April 6, 2021

By Ramona du Houx

 The Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) announced a one-year pilot Early Adopter Program as part of the implementation of Maine’s ten year economic development strategy. The Early Adopter Program is designed to help Maine companies launch their innovative solutions and to determine their product-market fit, while aiding the State of Maine find innovative approaches to its work.

In this pilot year, Maine DECD will host quarterly opportunities for up to three selected Maine companies to pitch an idea for a time-limited project in which a State agency or office would be an early adopter, beta-tester, or pilot customer for that company’s newly developed product and/or service.

Companies whose pitch is selected for acceptance into the program will enter into a time-limited agreement with the State of Maine for up to $10,000.

“This pilot is another example of how the State can lead by example,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “Innovating companies need more than capital – they need early customers. The State can play a key role in helping test out these new products and services.”

After a year the DECD will adjust, expand, or terminate the program based on the learnings from the pilot phase.

How to participate:

Applications to present for this quarter’s round of the Early Adopter Program will be accepted between April 1 and April 30, 2021, with pitches scheduled in May.

The program guidelines and application  can be found on the DECD website or on the State of Maine Procurement site. If you have any questions pertaining to this program, please email BizAwards.DECD@maine.gov.

Participation in the Early Adopter Program does not guarantee long term vendor relationships with the State of Maine and is not an alternative to the RFP process.

To learn more about the Maine Economic Development Strategy: A Focus on Talent and Innovation visit: www.mainestrategicplan.com.

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