Maine Accelerates Growth, a nonprofit organization focused on fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Maine, on Thursday announced the recipients in its first round of grant funding.

Three organizations will benefit from the $70,000 in distributed grants:

  • The Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development will receive $50,000 to help it expand its Top Gun startup accelerator program into the Lewiston-Auburn area. The grant comes on top of $390,000 in federal funds that MCED received last year through the U.S. Economic Development Association’s I6 Challenge to expand its Top Gun program.
  • The Sustainability Lab will receive $15,000 to help organize and convene its Maine Food Systems Innovation Challenge, which takes place in November at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. The challenge is a new program in Maine that takes its inspiration from hackathons and startup weekends and is focused on scaling new ideas to improve Maine’s food systems.
  • The Treehouse Institute will receive $5,000 for its continued production of TEDxDirigo, the Maine-based TEDx program.

“We are incredibly pleased to support these important efforts and the process that our partners went through to reach their funding decisions,” Brian Whitney, president of the Maine Technology Institute and a member of MxG’s advisory committee, said in a statement. “By driving collaboration and coordination we know each of these programs will continue to improve the environment for entrepreneurs and innovators in Maine.”

The grants come from MxG’s “field-of-interest fund” hosted by the Maine Community Foundation.

MxG is the successor to Blackstone Accelerate Growth, which was a three-year initiative launched by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation to foster the entrepreneurial community in Maine. The Maine Technology Institute helped provide formative funding for MxG with a $200,000 challenge grant that matched gifts to MxG dollar-for-dollar.