Midcoast Innovation Hub unveiled

Feb 20, 2014

Camden — Midcoast Magnet and Blackstone Accelerates Growth or BxG announce the newest Innovation Hub to join the BxG community in Maine. T

he Midcoast Innovation Hub is being created in cooperation with Midcoast Magnet, and will provide a series of support services and programs to identify entrepreneurs in the Midcoast and help them start innovative businesses. The hub will also support existing Midcoast businesses to help them grow. The Innovation Hub program is a cornerstone of the BxG initiative in Maine, designed to provide connections for entrepreneurs and businesses, provide access to resources and to accelerate their growth.

The growth of innovators in the Midcoast is driving renewed opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses in the region. According to Amanda Roberson Austin, president of Midcoast Magnet and the new coordinator of the BxG Midcoast Innovation Hub, “There is a great deal of creative talent in the Midcoast, and the new relationship with Blackstone Accelerates Growth will help the region’s entrepreneurs grow successful businesses here.”

According to Martha Bentley, operations director for BxG in Maine, “Innovation Hubs are an essential part of the Blackstone Accelerates Growth strategy for building connections among entrepreneurs, businesses, service providers and support organizations in the region. Our recent announcement of new hires for the Statewide Innovation Hub Coordinator and Portland Innovation Hub Coordinator underscore Blackstone Accelerates Growth’s commitment to this program, and our expectation is that working with a strong regional organization like Midcoast Magnet will create a sustainable community of support in the region.”

The Midcoast Innovation Hub and the entrepreneurs and businesses in the region will receive a variety of benefits from BxG and its partners MTI, MCED and UMaine, including financial support for key events, access to services for entrepreneurs, connections to key partner programs, access to Innovation Engineering training, well qualified student interns, and enhanced statewide and New England regional visibility.

“The Innovation Hubs are about connecting the various organizations and services in the region and helping the regions benefit from learning throughout the state,” said Jess Knox, BxG Statewide Innovation Hub Coordinator. “Amanda, Jess, and the rest of the BxG team will be working to support the success of entrepreneurs and businesses in the midcoast region,” said Bentley. This is not just a terrific place to live, it is a terrific place for innovative people to start and grow successful businesses."

The announcement of the Midcoast Innovation Hub follows the announcement of two Midcoast companies becoming the latest BxG Accelerated Ventures. In recent months Dream Local Digital of Rockland and Swans Island Company of Northport joined the Blackstone Accelerates Growth initiative. These companies are receiving support from BxG and its partner organizations, and BxG expects more companies will participate in the Accelerated Ventures program now that the Midcoast Innovation Hub is active.

Midcoast Magnet will celebrate the announcement of the Midcoast Innovation Hub at its next Mingling + Munchies networking event on Tuesday, Feb. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. at 40 Paper Italian Bistro & Bar in the Knox Mill, Camden. The public is welcome to attend to network and hear more about the newest Innovation Hub.

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