Casco Bay Creamery of Scarborough, who provides creamy, delicious butter and cream cheese to customers who want to make breaking bread a joyful occasion took the top prize at Gorham Savings Bank’s LaunchPad competition and its corresponding $50,000 cash prize. The company was chosen from among five finalists who pitched their small business concepts Tuesday night to a panel of independent judges in a packed USM Hannaford Hall.
Casco Bay Creamery’s business model, growth strategy, and ability to adapt to an ever-changing marketplace impressed LaunchPad’s judges, entrepreneur and co-founder of Safe Handling Inc., Ford Reiche, Logically, formerly Winxnet, CEO and co-founder Chris Claudio, and Catherine Cloudman, shareholder and board member, Village Fertility Pharmacy. The judges were also impressed with the company’s presentation style.
The other four finalists, all of whom delivered impressive and well-received pitches, were CourseStorm, GO Lab, Sidewalk Buttler, and Vintage Maine Kitchen.
“The quality of pitches this year was incredible. Congratulations to Casco Bay Creamery for emerging as the winner in front of this year’s record crowd,” said Steve deCastro, president and CEO of Gorham Savings Bank. “Our LaunchPad program reached a new milestone tonight, with more than $300,000 in grants going to Maine entrepreneurs since 2013. We’re fortunate to be in a position to help Casco Bay Creamery reach the next level.”
Gorham Savings Bank also honored one business in the Emerging Idea Award category. From a group of five finalists selected from LaunchPad applicants, MyBodyModel earned the distinction, plus a $10,000 cash prize and $10,000 worth of marketing, business development, and public relations services from iBec Creative, Creative Imaging Group, Grove Marketing, Philbrook Public Relations, and Pro-voke.
In addition, thanks to Gorham Saving Bank’s long-term partnership with Junior Achievement of Maine, middle school students from Falmouth, Saco and Windham participated in year three of LaunchPad Junior through JA It’s my Business!™ entrepreneurial education program. During intermission at the event, a video pitch from each class was shown and the student representatives from each school were invited on stage to answer several questions about their idea and what they learned through the program. The students’ hard work was rewarded with a $1,000 donation from Gorham Savings Bank to each school.