The Maine Technology Institute awarded $95,213 in grants to seven Maine companies in December 2016.
MTI awarded three TechStart grants totaling $10,670, two Business Accelerator grants totaling $74,543, and two Phase 0 KickStarter grants totaling $10,000. In total, the grants leveraged more than $1.5 million in matching funds from the companies.
“These small yet consequential investments will have a meaningful impact on the ability of these companies to protect their intellectual property, enhance the development and competitiveness of their products, and attract much-needed federal R&D funding to Maine,” Brian Whitney, MTI’s president, said in a statement.
Three companies received TechStart grants, which are awarded monthly and designed to help defray startup costs such as developing a business plan and IP filing fees:
Warmsoft LLC in Portland received a $5,000 TechStart grant, which it matched with $5,000 from other sources. Warmsoft’s founder Jonathan Amory has created technology that can substantially increase the insulation value of windows while shading or filtering light and enhancing aesthetics. This grant will help fund the filing of an international patent for the technology.
Security Solutions of Maine LLC in Bangor received a $670 TechStart grant, which it matched with $800 from other sources. Security Solutions of Maine will use the funds to complete business planning and market analysis as they seek to commercialize their product, the “Immediate Danger Signal” system.
Boreal Games LLC in Farmingdale received a $5,000 TechStart grant, which it matched with $9,500 from other sources. Boreal Games has developed a digital collectible card game, Crystal Companies, that features immersive and interactive elements the company says are not found in any other card games. Boreal will use its MTI funding to conduct customer discovery through market research. This data will ultimately guide the development of future versions of the game and be helpful in framing the game’s potential as the company seeks investors.
Two companies received Business Accelerator grants, which are provided on a monthly basis to companies seeking up to $50,000 to commercialize new technology or help a business increase its scope and sustainability.
NBT Solutions in Portland received a $24,565 Business Accelerator grant in December, which it matched with $58,435 from other sources. The company has developed a mapping product to help small- to mid-size Internet service providers build and manage their fiberoptic networks. The company will use the funds to increase its sales and marketing activities as part of its go-to-market strategy in 2017. Implementing this strategy is the result of an 18-month-long intensive product development cycle that was supported by an MTI Development Loan.
RockStep Solutions Inc. in Portland has received a $49,978 Business Accelerator grant, which it matched with nearly $1.5 million from other sources. Rockstep Solutions has developed a cloud-based information management system called Climb to accelerate biomedical research. The company is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health, through an SBIR Phase II award. The MTI grant will help RockStep Solutions build sales and marketing infrastructure designed to meet the company’s near-term sales goals.
Business Accelerator Grants are available to startup and early-stage companies that have been received MTI Development Loans, or to companies that have recently received certain federal research grants.
The next deadline to apply for either a TechStart or Business Accelerator grant is Feb. 7, 2017.
Two companies received Phase 0 KickStarter grants, which help companies prepare Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) federal funding proposals.
bluShift Aerospace Inc. in Brunswick received a $5,000 grant, which it matched with $5,040 from other sources. The aerospace company is using the funds to employ a professional grant writer familiar with the aerospace industry to prepare an application for a NASA SBIR Phase I grant, which it needs to accelerate its development of a biofuel-derived rocket.
Eldertide LLC in Dresden received a $5,000 grant, which it matched with $5,000 from other sources. Eldertide recently developed proprietary technology to produce microbiologically stable liquid concentrates with applications for the military. The original research was funded through federal SBIR and MTI grants and these new funds will help develop a proof of concept and parameters for a prototype.
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.