The Maine Technology Institute awarded nearly $700,000 in grants to 26 Maine companies during the second quarter of 2017.
The capital flowed to companies across a range of industry sectors, from healthcare IT to manufacturing to specialty foods. One TechStart grant also went to the University of Maine in Orono.
During the second quarter, MTI awarded a single Development Loan of $203,062, 19 Seed Grants totaling $419,348, six TechStart Grants totaling $27,367, one Business Accelerator Grant of $25,000, and four Phase 0 Grants totaling $20,000. In total, the $694,777 in grants leveraged $960,815 of matching funds from the award recipients, according to MTI.
“These investments will help cost-share private sector innovation efforts in Maine,” said Brian Whitney, MTI’s president. “From basic business planning, prototype development and proof of concept work, to providing assistance in attracting federal R&D funding, to helping to commercialize and scale new products, these beneficial investments will help propel these innovations and companies forward to allow them to grow and sustain jobs in our state.”
Field Phyto-Nutrients LLC in Brunswick was the sole recipient of a Development Loan. The company received $203,062, which it matched with $222,074, to develop an economic feasibility study for a commercial-scale plant where it would grow micro algae in a proprietary system from which it later extracts docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that is a sought-after nutritional supplement, which it would brand as PhytoCortX™ Liquid. MTI provides Development Loans on a rolling basis to help companies commercialize their products and services.
UniteGPS in Portland received a $25,000 Business Accelerator Grant to help it expand product development of its fleet-management software, called Crosswalk, which schools use to track school buses and provide real-time location information to parents and students via web and mobile app. Business Accelerator Grants are only available to startups and early-stage companies that have previously been awarded MTI Development Loans or have recently been chosen for a Federal Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I or Phase II Grant.
MTI provided Seed Grants ranging from $4,800 to $25,000 to 18 companies to support R&D of new innovative ideas. For a brief description of each company’s project, here’s MTI’s full press release.
- Caron Engineering Inc. in Wells
- Schmitz Studios LLC in Portland
- Blue Barn LLC, dba Bluet, in Jefferson
- SpinDoc Inc. in Augusta
- Benjamin Dwyer in Scarborough
- Occupational Medical Consulting LLC in Leeds
- Maine Shellfish Developers LLC in Brunswick
- Aron Semle in Buxton
- Atlantic Cookie Company LLC in Scarborough
- The Montalvo Corporation in Gorham
- American Rheinmetall Systems LLC in Biddeford
- SteriZign Precision Technologies LLC in Brunswick
- Fiber Materials Inc. in Biddeford
- Nearpeer Networks Inc. in Portland (it received two Seed Grants)
- Open Ocean Oysters in South Portland
- Anchorpak LLC in Portland
- Eagre Games Inc. in Orono
- Rainstorm Inc. in Orono
Six companies received TechStart Grants, ranging from $4,000 to $5,000, designed to help defray startup costs such as developing a business plan and IP filing fees:
- Benjamin Dwyer in Scarborough
- Veebie Inc. in Portland
- Visible Logic Inc. in Portland
- Energy Medicine and Psychology Systems LLC in Portland
- University of Maine in Orono
- Farmer Brown Organics LLC in Presque Isle
Four companies received $5,000 Phase 0 Grants, which are offered to individuals and companies seeking to submit proposals for federal R&D grant funding.
- MedRhythms Inc. in Portland
- VisionMaster Inc. in Portland
- Home Care Business Services in Falmouth
- Atlantic Corp. in Waterville
MTI, created by the Maine Legislature in 2000, provides funding to Maine entrepreneurs operating in one of seven target industries: aquaculture and marine technology, biotechnology, composite materials, environmental technologies, forestry and agriculture, precision manufacturing, and information technology.