The Maine Innovation Challenge culminated on Sunday afternoon with Pitches given by ten teams. The 5 judges awarded First Place to the Forq Food Lab and the Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative, both from Portland. The New Beet Market from Brunswick and Frinklepod Farm from Arundel were awarded Second Place. Two student teams, Darling Sea Farm from the Darling Center and AgriGatr from Hampshire College received Honorable Mention. The First Place teams each received $5,000 and 6 hours of legal services from Drummond & Drummond and Second Place teams each receive $1,750 and 8 hours of business development consulting services from the Sustainability Lab.
The ten teams were comprised of thirty-six participants. In addition to the winners, teams represented Abundant Harvest, The Farming Artists, Central Maine Meats and Simonton Cove. During the weekend teams attended 2 workshops, the Business Model Canvas presented by Bill Seretta, from the Sustainability Lab and the Art of the Pitch presented by Don Gooding from the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development.
Advice and consultation were provided to the teams by George Parmenter, Manager of Sustainability, Delhaize North America (Hannaford), Beth Boepple, Lambert Coffin, Stephanie Gilbert, Farm Viability and Farmland Protection Specialist, MDAC&F and Nate Huckel-Bauer, Drummond & Drummond.
Bill Seretta and Tom Settlemire, Co-Chairs of the event, stated, “the event exceeded our expectations.” And they thanked “the Planning Committee, Host Committee, ten teams, 5 judges, 4 Team Advisors, eleven Sponsors, fourteen Partners, Challenge Volunteers and Bowdoin College for making the first Maine Farm, Fish & Food Innovation Challenge a resounding success.”