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Scratchpad Accelerator announces companies selected for pilot startup initiative

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BANGOR The Scratchpad Accelerator, a pilot program of the University of Maine in collaboration with the Maine Technology Institute, has selected four companies to participate in a seed accelerator, the first of its kind in Maine.

CourseStorm of Orono; Double Blue Analytics of Orono and Brunswick; Tip Whip, LLC of Old Town; and L&K Manufacturing of Bangor will receive up to $25,000 from MTI. The companies will work from Scratchpad's location in downtown Bangor for three months to focus on growing their businesses.

Startups face a lot of unknowns and many fail before they find the right answers. With full-time support and access to industry experts and mentors, Scratchpad Accelerator will help each company uncover answers to critical questions about their businesses, including their most appropriate customer base and business models, and how to pitch to investors. Scratchpad Accelerator guides entrepreneurs through the early stages of business development to help them improve their chances of success.

'We are thrilled to be a part of Scratchpad,' says Spencer Wood, founder and CEO of Tip Whip, LLC. 'We believe our company is poised for tremendous growth, but we need help to get there. At Scratchpad, a team of people will help guide us through critical business decisions. With their help, Tip Whip will become a well-known name on college campuses throughout the United States.'

In addition to programming and mentors, Scratchpad will provide office space and coordinate more than 15 events from weekly founder dinners to a final Demo Day where entrepreneurs will pitch to an audience of potential investors, supporters and partners.

'We provide the environment startups need to explore, pivot and grow quickly,' says Jason Harkins, Scratchpad's managing director and associate professor of entrepreneurship at the Maine Business School. 'The support participants receive in the program include funding, education, office space, networking opportunities, mentors and more. It's our job to clear away obstacles and help companies get clarity. It's all about helping the entrepreneurs find the right answers and quickly apply lessons learned.'

Mentorship is a critical component of the accelerator, and Scratchpad is developing a strong statewide mentor network with help from the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development; Jess Knox of Maine Accelerates Growth; the Bangor Target Area Development Corp. and others. Anyone interested in a mentor role is encouraged to fill out a Mentor Profile on the Scratchpad website.

Scratchpad's Founding Sponsor is Bangor Savings Bank Foundation. The Bangor Target Area Development Corp. is a Master Craftsman Sponsor. The team is looking for additional sponsors interested in making a financial contribution to support entrepreneurs and help Scratchpad reach its funding goal of $19,500. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

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