$300,000 in Grants
To Maine Small Businesses... and Counting
Casco Bay Creamery
Casco Bay Creamery, a returning finalist from 2015, makes creamy, delicious grass-fed butter and cream cheese. The company’s business model, growth strategy, and ability to adapt to an ever-changing marketplace impressed LaunchPad’s judges. Alicia and Jennell used the $50,000 to purchase machinery that enabled them to pack more efficiently and increase production.
Where are they now? Since LaunchPad, Casco Bay secured a large-scale contract. They’re growing rapidly and searching for a larger facility.
- GO Lab
- Sidewalk Buttler
- Vintage Maine Kitchen
2019 Emerging Business Winner: MyBodyModel
Good To-Go is the first line of all-natural dehydrated meals made for active individuals. For years, the options were mushy freeze-dried food, but no more! Designed to vastly elevate the trail food experience, each meal is handmade by nationally-recognized chef Jennifer Scism. Good To-Go has revolutionized the underserved market of adventure seekers who are looking for healthy, delicious and easy to prepare food options.
Where are they now? Good To-Go completed a facility expansion shortly after winning LaunchPad. The COVID pandemic spurred major growth with a record number of people camping and spending time outdoors.
- North Spore
- STARC Systems
2017 Emerging Business Winner: American Unagi
Fluid Farms, which grew greens and freshwater fish in Maine’s only MOFGA-certified organic aquaponics greenhouse, was named the 2016 LaunchPad winner by an independent panel of judges including WEX President & CEO Melissa Smith; Winxnet CEO and Co-founder Chris Claudio; and SMCC’s Entrepreneurial Center Director Michelle Neujhar. Co-Founder Tyler Gaudet planned to invest the $50,000 grant in a more energy-efficient heating system that would help Fluid Farms better meet the needs of major distributors.
Where are they now? Despite a strong start, Fluid Farms is no longer operational.
- Blue Ox Malthouse
- Garbage to Garden
- Good To-Go
Gorham Savings Bank announced FlowFold as its third LaunchPad winner after a live, high-energy competition. Originally based on Peaks Island, FlowFold designs and produces wallets, totes and everyday gear that’s 100% Maine-made using some of the world’s strongest materials. The company’s mission is to build quality products, deliver a great experience and support the local workforce. The grant enabled FlowFold to purchase new equipment to scale production for a growing roster of national accounts.
Where are they now? Flowfold has since launched a collection in partnership with L.L. Bean, including the first-ever Bean Boot collaboration. In response to the COVID pandemic, they began making face shields and opened a second facility as demand grew.
- Casco Bay Butter
- Sentry EHS
- Saco River Dyehouse
- Beach Glass Transitions
BIXBY & CO.
After a dynamic presentation to our panel of judges at the live LaunchPad event, Kate McAleer, founder, took home the $30,000 grant for her company, Bixby & Co., which makes organic chocolates blended with dried fruits, nuts, organic brown rice crisps and selected spices. Bixby used the $30,000 to make capital investments in equipment to prepare for the company’s national launch. The award helped improve the quality, speed and consistency of its manufacturing process.
Where are they now? Kate has since won a Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Competition, was named a National Confectioners Association Future Leader, and received many other accolades. Bixby expanded to a line of snack-sized bites, drinking chocolate, and opened a bean-to-bar retail store.
- Double Blue Sports Analytics
- Garbage to Garden
Pika Energy, announced as the first LaunchPad winner, was founded by MIT engineers in 2010 to help families cut their home electric bills and reduce their environmental impact. The company designs, builds and tests affordable, high-quality personal wind turbines—and does it all right here in Maine. Pika’s founders had previously designed a leading home wind turbine system called SkyStream; at Pika, they developed cost and performance innovations that cut total costs in half and improved the system’s overall flexibility and ease of ownership.
Where are they now? Pika Energy products are now sold and installed throughout North America. In 2019, Pike was acquired by Generac Holdings, Inc. but continues to operate in Maine.
- Coastal Farms and Foods
- Green Bee Soda
- Montecito Roadhouse
- Resurgam Zero Food Waste
- Saco River Dyehouse