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The Big Gig

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ORONO Big Gig ( is about to enter its third year! The next Networking & Pitch-Off Event for Innovators and Entrepreneurs in this successful series promoting entrepreneurship in the Greater Bangor area will be on Sept. 23 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the new University Credit Union, 15 Main Street in Orono, headquarters in downtown Orono. And it's free.

The goal is to hold events that make sharing these big ideas a little less scary. They do this by connecting innovators and entrepreneurs with helpful, supportive folks. This event is a good opportunity for anyone who may be working on innovative products or ideas to network with other innovators and entrepreneurs, get coaching, practice pitching their ideas and even win a cash prize.

Eaton Peabody is a sponsor and UCU has increased prize levels for pitch-off winners.

The Big Gig is an unprecedented partnership between the towns of Orono and Old Town, the University of Maine, Husson University and Blackstone Accelerates Growth.

The goal is to create a network of innovators and entrepreneurs looking to make positive change and bring economic impact to our communities.

On the evening of the Big Gig, each of the three pre-selected pitchers delivers their pitch (three to five minutes, no handouts or PowerPoint) about their business or idea and receives constructive feedback from a panel of local Big Wigs (details below). But ultimately it's the audience who decides who the big winner of the night is.

Regardless of who wins, all participants get free publicity for their amazing idea plus the opportunity to network with other innovators, entrepreneurs, funders and providers.

At each of the first three pitch-offs, the winner receives $250 that night plus a chance to compete at the Big Gig Finale for the $1,500 grand prize. All prizes are donated by University Credit Union.

The panelists will be different at each event. At this initial Big Gig of the 2014-2015 season, the panel of local Big Wigs includes:

Brian Rahill founder & CEO, Rainstorm, Orono.

Stephanie Welcomer associate professor of management & associate dean,

Maine Business School, University of Maine.

Jeffrey Spaulding attorney, Eaton Peabody, Bangor, & chair of Eaton Peabody Innovative Enterprise Program.

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