LAEGC Complements Entrepreneurial Development Offerings with Plan to offer Maine Scale Up

The Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council (LAEGC) has announced that it will sponsor the next round of Scale Up Maine, a Small Business Administration (SBA) program which helps companies with revenue overcome obstacles to success and growth. Combined with its new Top Gun LA program, Scale Up will allow LAEGC to offer a complete portfolio of business assistance to companies from pre-revenue stage to $500,000 in annual sales.

“The Lewiston Auburn area can be the preferred environment in which to start and grow a business, in keeping with our “Make It Here” approach.  Combined with our collaboration with Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development to launch the Top Gun program, we can help early stage companies striving to launch and those seeking to break through to a million dollars and more in annual sales, ” said John Holden, President of LAEGC.

The ScaleUp initiative is designed to help companies grow by addressing the barriers to small business growth such as access to financing, increasing sales profitably, and hiring the best employees for the business.  Working in groups of 15 entrepreneurs, Scale Up provides peer to peer learning, one on one coaching and mentoring, and hands on assistance in helping participating business succeed. This is the fifth time the program will be offered in Maine, and close to sixty businesses to date have participated in previous cohorts. Participants in the program have raised over $2 million in new funding, won numerous business competitions such as Gorham Savings Bank Launch Pad and Greenlight Maine, and hired over 40 new employees.

“We look forward to working with businesses in Lewiston Auburn who need some help to get to the next level,” said Michelle Neujahr, Maine Scale Up Program Manager. “From my own experience growing a successful family construction business, I know how hard it can be to find the funding, new sales and employees to get your business over the initial hump. I look forward to replicating our success elsewhere in Maine in Lewiston Auburn.”

Since it was established in 2009, the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development’s (MCED) Top Gun start-up accelerator program has helped more than 140 new Maine businesses to hone their vision and move innovative new products and services into the marketplace.  In 2016-2017, LAEGC brings this exciting program comes to LA for the first time.  In anticipation, and in planning for Top Gun LA, LAEGC has formed a committee to help coordinate other entrepreneurial efforts in and around LA.  LAEGC’s focus will be in the delivery of Top Gun LA—a 4-month program for companies ready to “take the next step.”  Top Gun LA will include a “pitch off” the winners of which will be invited the statewide Top Gun pitch contest.

Business owners interested in taking the next step in growing their businesses are encouraged to email Scale Up is currently accepting applications, and will begin meeting in Lewiston in early October. Scale Up is free to participants.  LAEGC will be announcing more details on Top Gun LA in September.  Both programs are open to business and entrepreneurs in central and western Maine.

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