WATERVILLE — Dirigo Labs has successfully won the pitch competition award for its inaugural cohort of 12 Maine-based startups. The Accelerator Program Pitch Competition, to be held at Colby College on Tuesday, June 21 from 5-8 p.m., will evaluate each company’s pitch delivery, capital strategy, and impact on entrepreneurship in Maine. Dirigo Labs’ inaugural cohort, which began March 23 and is housed at the Hathaway Creative Center in Waterville, is aimed at startups in a variety of industries, including aquaculture, software, healthcare, and aerospace.
“Skowhegan Savings has a long history of supporting local start-ups, recognizing that innovation and entrepreneurship are the cornerstones of our economy,” said Steve Thomas, Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending at Skowhegan Savings Bank. “The Dirigo Accelerator program nurtures this group of entrepreneurs, by providing the tools and mentorship, to succeed. Our charitable foundation couldn’t be happier to award the winner a cash prize of $25,000 to help them reach the next level of growth needed for their business to thrive.
The 12-week program guides startups through a focused program to execute their project plans, and each company in the cohort is able to work with an organized board of local and national advisors from a variety of industries. Seminar topics included how to use public and private sector subsidies and economic incentives, customer acquisition strategies, capital planning, and intellectual property valuation.
“This inaugural cohort represents the best of the Maine startup landscape,” said Dirigo Labs CEO Susan Ruhlin. “These passionate founders are building a stronger innovation-based economy in our state, and we look forward to sharing their progress with the community. The generous support of Skowhegan Savings Bank is a perfect example of their unwavering commitment to helping entrepreneurs turn their vision into reality, and we are very grateful to them.
To learn more about the Dirigo Labs pitch competition and how you can attend in person, please visit https://tinyurl.com/2p82dhzm. For startups and potential mentors interested in learning more about Dirigo Labs, please visit http://www.dirigolabs.org.