More Than

$300,000 in Grants

To Maine Small Businesses... and Counting


550+ applicants

LaunchPad gets bigger and better every year. More applicants, more media attention, bigger prizes. What started small has become Maine’s premier showcase for small businesses and the state’s entrepreneurial economy.

100+ cities and towns

The Maine economy is truly that: “Maine’s economy.” Maine’s biggest cities and smallest communities are well represented, proving that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, all over our state.

25+ industries

From fashion to fish, and from green energy to gourmet candy, LaunchPad competitors represent a wide range of business types across a huge spectrum of industries. All that matters is that you have a business, or even a well-thought-out business idea, that’s worthy of immediate and impactful support.

2019 Winner

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 plan to use the $50,000 to purchase machinery that will enable them to pack more efficiently and increase production.

2019 Finalists

  • CourseStorm
  • GO Lab
  • Sidewalk Buttler
  • Vintage Maine Kitchen
2018 Winner



North Spore, a returning finalist from 2017, produces specialty mushrooms, mushroom products and mushroom spawn, changing the way the world interacts with mushrooms through innovation and education. North Spore rose to the top by explaining how it could double production capacity and greatly increase efficiency with an autoclave and autobagger, two machines they’ll purchase with the $50,000 grant.

2018 Finalists

  • American Roots
  • Bangs Island Mussels
  • Blue Ox Malthouse
  • Wallace James Clothing Co.
2017 Winner



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.

2017 Finalists

  • Jellux
  • North Spore
  • STARC Systems
  • UniteGPS
2016 Winner



Fluid Farms, which grows greens and freshwater fish in Maine’s only MOFGA-certified organic aquaponics greenhouse, was named the 2016 LaunchPad winner on June 7 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.

2016 Finalists

  • Blue Ox Malthouse
  • Garbage to Garden
  • Good To-Go
  • UniteGPS
2015 Winner


Peaks Island

Gorham Savings Bank announced FlowFold as its third LaunchPad winner after a live, high-energy competition on June 18. 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 LaunchPad grant enabled FlowFold to purchase new equipment to scale production for a growing roster of national accounts, including L.L.Bean.

2015 Finalists

  • Casco Bay Butter
  • Sentry EHS
  • Saco River Dyehouse
  • Beach Glass Transitions
2014 Winner



After a dynamic presentation to our panel of judges at the live April 10 LaunchPad event, Kate McAleer, founder of Bixby & Co., took home the 2014 Grand Prize of $30,000 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.

2014 Finalists

  • Chimani
  • Flowfold
  • Double Blue Sports Analytics
  • Garbage to Garden
2013 Winner



Pika Energy, announced as the first LaunchPad winner on March 21, 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.

2013 Finalists

  • Atayne
  • Coastal Farms and Foods
  • Green Bee Soda
  • Montecito Roadhouse
  • Resurgam Zero Food Waste
  • Saco River Dyehouse
Pika Energy
  • North Spore mushrooms