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Tom Rainey of Maine Center for Entrepreneurs, on WGAN’s Inside Maine

Tom Rainey and Marty Grohman on WGAN

WGAN’s “Inside Maine” airs on Saturday morning. I had the honor of hosting the program on March 2. I booked several guests with the theme of “Service”, starting with Tom Rainey of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs. MCE provides many important services to Maine startups. The Top Gun program is (deservedly) the best known, but MCE also runs many other important programs, which are covered in this interview. It’s great to be able to publish it here for those who missed it live – I hope you enjoy and give your feedback and suggestions in the comments – my first go around as a live radio host!

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Michelle Neujahr, Business Growth Consultant, Faculty at Southern Maine Community College

Michelle Neujahr

Michelle Neujahr is a business growth consultant and member of the faculty at Southern Maine Community College. As a consultant she specializes in helping businesses that have plateaued around a million dollars in sales scale to the next level. Michelle also works with executive teams helping them to create and execute visionary strategic plans.

She’s from Minnesota, see if you can catch the accent 🙂 and don’t miss Michelle’s TEDx talk “The Power of Perseverance“. And be sure to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 

And don’t forget to the subscribe to The Grow Maine Podcast and leave a 5-star review. We’re making a difference in Maine’s startup community and you can help in just 30 seconds. Thanks!

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Katie Shorey of Startup Maine

Katie Shorey

Katie Shorey is the Business & Community Liaison for People’s United Bank, and President of Startup Maine, an organization with the mission to inspire & elevate entrepreneurs. She’s a connector; enabler of entrepreneurs & startups, and gives a great interview.

Startup Maine’s annual conference is coming up in June – and it’s not to be missed.

Now’s a great time to get involved! Submit a workshop proposal, go ahead and register, or volunteer.

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Mainebiz New Ventures/Start-up Forum

MaineBiz NewVentures Panel!

Hey, I’m back with The Grow Maine Show. I’m working hard after a really intense run, and loss, in a contest for US Congress. But I’m jumping right back in with this recording of the really great Mainebiz New Ventures/Start-up Forum held August 21. This is content too good to be forgotten, so I’m really glad to present it to you here:

It features:

Eliah Thanhauser of NorthSpore
Allison Lakin of Gorges (“Gorgeous”) Cheeses
Becky McKinnell of iBec Creative
Bill Keleher of Kennebec River Biosciences
Sean Sullivan of Maine Brewers Guild
David Stone of Forager

The panel is moderated by the incomparable Betsy Biemann of CEI.

Promo: the New England Venture Summit in Boston coming right up in Boston on December 12. I have a really nice discount code, $100 off registration. Here it is: GMSVIP. If you choose to attend or pitch, I expect you to kick ass on behalf of Maine!

Great advice from Eliah of NorthSpore: get your systems down. And case in point, as you heard, the battery on my Zoom H4N recorder died in the middle of the panel, so I missed a piece of it – right when Allison talked about her cooler dying – must have been karma. It does give me a chance to thank, and recommend, Headlight Audio Visual. I record a lot of events and they are top notch, and Trevor from Headlight bailed me out with a couple of AA’s at this event.

Get your systems down! Please like share and subscribe, I want to push this episode and others like it far and wide. The Grow Maine Show is on Facebook, go there and like the page to hear about the next episode, which is coming right up! Don’t be afraid to be awesome!

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Kay Aikin, CEO of Introspective Systems

Kay Aikin

Kay Aikin is CEO of Introspective Systems, a developer of electrical grid management software based in Portland, Maine. The company takes on complex systems and makes them simpler. Somewhere between the internet of things and artificial intelligence, there is an immense opportunity to reduce costs and gain efficiency in electrical systems, communications, medicine, and smart homes. And just about everything else.

This is clearly an immense opportunity. What is not immediately obvious is that Introspective Systems doesn’t seek to take on those complex problems themselves, but rather to build the systems that let others do it. It’s like running the trading post at the gold rush.

If this topic is for you, Introspective Systems is convening a series of artificial intelligence and cutting edge software tech get togethers called ‘Edge Talk’. Kay and others will lead the discussion. The next Edge Talk, “AI is the New Bacon” will explore differences between general and specific artificial intelligence applications and some of the many ways it can be used to solve complex problems in business. The event will take place on May 15 at noon. For information and to register click here.



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Kate Dickerson of Maine Science Festival

Kate Dickerson of Maine Science Festival

Kate Dickerson is the founder and director of the Maine Science Festival. Featuring Robert Krulwich of the popular podcast Radiolab as keynote speaker (listen to the episode to hear of Robert’s Maine connections!), this four-day event attracts 12,000 festival goers of all ages to Downtown Bangor and the Cross Insurance Center for more than 60 events and activities available free-of-charge. Featuring forums, workshops, hands-on activities, films, exhibits and presentations, there’s no better place to find out about (and celebrate) Maine science.

This episode is brought to you by The Dunham Group. They are commercial real estate brokers. If you’re an entrepreneur, one of the best ways to control your own destiny is to own your own building. If that’s not an option, structure the best lease you can. Get started with The Dunham Group.

Back to Kate: did you hear about an idea so good that you had to drop everything you’re doing? That’s what Kate did with the Maine Science Festival in 2012. Taking three years to produce the inaugural event, she has built an ongoing success that highlights the ‘you can do it here’ spirit of Maine.

The Maine Science Festival is proud to be an independently funded program of the Maine Discovery Museum, and a member of the Science Festival Alliance.

Sign up to attend the Robert Krulwich event here.

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Ben Davis of True Course Yachting and Portland Container Co.

Ben Davis

This is our second time having Ben Davis on. His first visit was one of our most popular episodes ever and we’re glad to have him back to talk about his new venture Portland Container Company.

What I think is amazing about Ben is that he seeks advice and counsel, and he listens to it, and pivots. Frankly, I don’t think I did that well enough as an entrepreneur, so it makes me really appreciate it when I see it. Ben has been relentless in seeking out advice and wisdom, and has done it in an a really egoless way, which is a lot harder than it looks, isn’t it?

What advice are you looking for, what are the challenges you’re stuck on right now? Let me know at [email protected], and subscribe and follow on Facebook. Don’t be afraid to be awesome!

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Nancy Strojny of Portland Maine SCORE

Nancy Strojny of SCORE Portland Maine

The Portland, Maine office of SCORE is one of the top chapters in the country, and much of the credit is due to chair Nancy Strojny. Following a successful career in product management at Procter & Gamble, Nancy has been running our local chapter since 2009, successfully advising a who’s who of Maine startups and growing the mentorship base to cover multiple areas of expertise.

Benefit from the experience of a SCORE mentor – sign up for a mentoring session today.


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Maine Technology Institute’s Tech Walk

I walked into MTI’s Tech Walk with the ol’ Zoom H4N at the ready and conducted some on the spot interviews. It was fun to do, and I met some powerful entrepreneurs created success statewide. In this episode I also put in a plug for a Biddeford based pitch contest called Pitch York County, which I hope you’ll participate in.

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