Frequently

Asked Questions

Torey Penrod-Cambra, cofounder of HighByte, 2021 LaunchPad winner

“My advice is to tell your story. Home in on what makes you unique and innovative. Be specific about how you will use the funds.”

2021 LAUNCHPAD WINNER, TOREY PENROD-CAMBRA, CO-FOUNDER, HIGHBYTE
Torey Penrod-Cambra, cofounder of HighByte, 2021 LaunchPad winner

ENTERING THE COMPETITION:

Q. Can I preview the application questions before it opens on March 1?

A.  Yes! Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for entrepreneurs to apply, so we’ve provided the questions in advance. You can preview the application here. If you’re considering applying, listen to our 2021 winner, HighByte, talk about the value of going through the application process.

Q. I applied before—can I update my application, rather than starting from scratch?

A.  If you applied to LaunchPad in 2019 or later, your application will be available once you log in on or after March 1. Unfortunately, applications submitted prior to 2019 are not available.

Q. How can I make my LaunchPad application stronger?

A.  Review the Judging Criteria and watch our “Before You Apply” video to learn more from the LaunchPad Judges themselves about what they look for in an application. Also, be sure to validate any statements or claims with financial information whenever possible.

Q. I don’t have the resources or time to film a video for my application. Will that hurt me?

A.  Absolutely not. We want to give all applicants equal opportunity, which is why it’s your choice to answer the question with either a video or a written response. However we strongly encourage submitting a video, even an iPhone video gives judges valuable insight into you and your business.

Q. Can I save my application and come back to it later?

A.  Yes! We know small business owners are pulled in lots of different directions, and we want to be sensitive to that. Get started by creating your account. Just don’t forget to submit your application before the March 31 deadline.

Q. I know the deadline is March 31, but what time? Do I have all day to put the finishing touches on my application?

A.  The application deadline for the 2022 LaunchPad competition is 5:00pm on Thursday, March 31, 2022. If you have any issues with the application, email launchpad@gorhamsavings.bank.

Q. I know the award is $50,000—but what is that? A loan? Will I need to pay it back?

A.  The $50,000 award is a grant, so it does not need to be paid back. The mission of LaunchPad is to help fund the growth of Maine’s most innovative small businesses by providing one of the most critical ingredients—capital. It’s one tangible way that Gorham Savings Bank can show its support for entrepreneurs and new businesses in Maine.

Q. Who can I contact with a question, or about an issue I’m having with the website or application?

A.  Email launchpad@gorhamsavings.bank and we’d be happy to help.

______________________________________________

THE REVIEW PROCESS:

Q. Once I apply, when will I hear whether I’ve been selected as a 2022 LaunchPad finalist?

A.  All applicants will be notified by Friday, May 13, 2022. We greatly appreciate your patience as our preliminary judges diligently review the applications.

Q. If I’m selected as a finalist, how long do I have to prepare for the live event?

A.  All finalists will be notified three weeks before the live event, which will be held on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. We will also host a Finalist Orientation for the $50,000 finalists the week before the event to help familiarize them with the event agenda.

______________________________________________

THE EMERGING Business AWARD:

Q. My business is very early-stage. Can I apply for the Emerging Business Award?

A.  We know you’re busy running your business, so we kept it simple. All LaunchPad applicants are automatically considered for both prize levels, the $50,000 grant and the $10,000 Emerging Business Award. No separate application is required.

Q. What do judges look for in an Emerging Business Award finalist?

A.  The judging criteria for the Emerging Business Award is the same as for our $50,000 grant: viability, scalability, uniqueness, management, and impact. Additionally, our judges look for a promising, innovative small business at a stage where the business and marketing-related services could help launch them to the next level.

Q. If I’m selected as an Emerging Business Award finalist, how long do I have to prepare my pitch video?

A.  All finalists will be notified by Friday, May 13, 2022. If selected as a finalist, the Emerging Business Award pitch videos will be due to GSB by Friday, May 27, 2022.

______________________________________________

THE LAUNCHPAD live EVENT:

Q. Where and when is the 2022 live event?

A. The event will take place on Tuesday, June 7 at a *NEW* venue: University New England’s Innovation Hall (Portland Campus) on 772 Stevens Ave in Portland (get directions). The social gathering begins at 3:30pm and the competition will kickoff at 4:30pm. Don’t miss it! Save your seat now.

Q. Do I have to RSVP to attend the live event?

A.  We strongly encourage you to RSVP in advance for the June 7 live event, although it is not required. There is no cost to attend LaunchPad. The event is about celebrating Maine’s entrepreneurial spirit. RSVP now.