MaineCF Start Up/Scale Up Grant Program awards $225,000 in grants

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

In its second year of grantmaking, the Maine Community Foundation’s Start Up/Scale Up Grant Program is providing $225,000 to 11 Maine nonprofit organizations that are helping new ventures start and grow through shared workspaces and incubator and accelerator programs. MaineCF donors and partners made an additional eight grants totaling $183,141.

The 2021 grantees are:

  • Black Owned Maine, Saco, to develop an entrepreneurship program for those who wish to master African hair artistry while learning skills to become a successful business owner
  • Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Farmington, to create a maker-space within its downtown retail store so that youth can strengthen skills and engage in entrepreneurial ventures
  • Ignite Presque Isle, to purchase furniture and equipment for new co-workspace and conference rooms at the downtown hub
  • Main Street Skowhegan, to create a business accelerator program and entrepreneurial facility to assist rural entrepreneurs and small business owners in Skowhegan
  • Maine Center for Entrepreneurs, Portland, to develop an intensive business training program for early-stage outdoor recreation businesses in Maine in collaboration with the Maine Outdoor Brands trade association
  • New Ventures Maine, Bangor, to provide cohort training, individual coaching, and network building opportunities for new and existing microbusiness owners, primarily in rural areas
  • 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
  • Sunrise County Economic Council, Machias, to expand outreach and re-run successful Pathways in Entrepreneurship programs offering free college credit, micro-credentials, and workshop opportunities in Washington County and beyond
  • Town of Lisbon, to support the Digital Advertising Bootcamp, a training and tailored consulting for entrepreneurs in Lisbon and throughout the state
  • Town of Monson, to expand the town's coworking pilot program and evaluate options for a larger, permanent location
  • UpStart Maine, Bangor, to engineer new collisions, within and beyond the Greater Bangor Region, to connect innovation-driven startups with community and financial resources

The Start Up/Scale Up grant program is now closed. A complete list of both 2020 and 2021 grants is available at Questions about the grant program should be directed to Senior Program Officer Maggie Drummond-Bahl at or (207) 412-0839.  

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