MaineCF’s Start Up Scale Up Grant Program awards $200,000 in grants

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

In its first year of grantmaking, the Maine Community Foundation’s Start Up/Scale Up Grant Program is providing $200,000 to 10 Maine nonprofit organizations that are helping new ventures start and grow through shared workspaces and incubator and accelerator programs.

The 2020 grantees are:

  • Catholic Charities of Maine, Lewiston, to create a makerspace that will develop skilled immigrant textile workers through onsite textile businesses from contract work for manufacturers
  • Coastal Enterprises, Inc., Brunswick, to expand its programming to support, advise, and guide rural women entrepreneurs
  • Engine, Inc., Biddeford, to launch IGNITE incubator in partnership with the Office of Innovation and Economic Development at the University of Maine to support entrepreneurs whose competitive advantage is design
  • Main Street Skowhegan, to support Scale Up Skowhegan, a plan for economic growth that is grounded in data, encourages innovation and entrepreneurship, and supports business development
  • New England Arab American Organization, Portland, to launch an entrepreneurship program for Arab American and New Mainer women so they may gain skills, support and knowledge about starting small businesses
  • Our Katahdin, to develop affordable space in downtown Millinocket to incubate small businesses and create a vibrant environment for entrepreneurs and community to connect and access resources
  • Piscataquis Regional Food Center, Dover-Foxcroft, to develop a strategic plan for acquiring specialized commercial food processing equipment as part of a program to incubate regional food product businesses
  • Sunrise County Economic Council, Machias, to provide co-working space, broadband access and training, programming for cohorts, and business incubators for Washington County small businesses
  • Tear Cap Workshops, Hiram, to support Rent-a-Bench makerspace program and to develop a new workspace for an entrepreneur or artisan
  • UpStart Maine Inc., Orono, to build a pool of mentors in the Bangor region available to scalable startup companies in the programs of the UpStart Maine coalition.

The next deadline for applications is April 1, 2021. For application and guidelines, visit Questions about the grant program should be directed to Senior Program Officer Maggie Drummond-Bahl at or (207) 412-0839.