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  • Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, E2 Tech get SBA grants

    The Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development said Tuesday that it and E2 Tech are among the winners of the 2015 SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.

    The $50,000 award will fund the operating budget for MCED's Top Gun program-for accelerating high potential Maine companies using mentoring, training and connections. The program is offered in Portland, Bangor and Rockland, and plans are underway to set up a fourth location in Lewiston/Auburn within two years.

    E2Tech, which also won the award, was incubated at MCED.

    Congresswoman Chellie Pingree applauded the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development and E2Tech for being two of only eight New England winners of the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. Administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the competition recognizes organizations that work to successfully help start-ups create jobs and become commercially viable. 
    “Supporting Maine’s entrepreneurs is key to our state's economic future.  Someone’s brilliant idea could lead into thousands of jobs down the line if they have the help and support they need to turn that idea into a successful business model,” said Pingree.  “I appreciate both the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development and E2Tech for providing that support through mentoring, networking opportunities, training, and more. They both have had an impact on moving the state¹s economy forward, and I’m very happy that they are being recognized for it.” 
    Congresswoman Pingree also congratulated the City of Rockland for winning the Startup in a Day award. It is one of 25 cities across the country receiving $50,000 to streamline their online permit and licensing processes to allow businesses to start faster and easier. They are the only city or town in Maine to receive the award and one of four in New England.
    “This award just shows how Maine’s cities can become incubators for entrepreneurship,” said Pingree. “I hope that Rockland’s example will inspire other cities in Maine to pursue policies that help improve their permitting and licensing process.”
    Startup in a Day is an initiative announced by the President earlier this year designed to help cities and Native American communities streamline the licensing, permitting, and other requirements needed to start a business in their areas, with the goal that an entrepreneur can apply for everything necessary to begin a business within one business day.

    The Top Gun program started in 2009 with 12 entrepreneurs in Portland, and it graduated 32 companies this year. The 110 total Top Gun graduates have generated more than $25 million in revenue growth, $7.5 million in capital formation and 100 net new jobs, according to MCED.

    This year the award was given in consideration of the White House Power Initiative to empower entrepreneurs from all walks of life to participate in the innovation economy.