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Pingree Announces $1.4M Federal Investment in Maine Entrepreneurs & Startups

Portland, Maine, September 16, 2020

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced the award of three grants from the Economic Development Association (EDA) for Maine’s small business innovation, totaling $1,412,525. The grants will support startup, creation, innovation, and commercialization in a range of fields, from bioscience to agriculture to technology.

“At a time when the future of many businesses is challenging or unclear, businesses will need to be innovative to survive. Early capital and access to industry experts is key for startups to grow into successful businesses. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’ve long championed federal investment in Maine’s small businesses and I’m proud that a variety of Maine businesses —from farms and technology companies to bioscience—will take advantage of this funding,” said Pingree.

Details of the grants are available below:

  • Maine Center for Entrepreneurs, Maine Bioscience Cluster Initiative ($512,556): 
    • This EDA investment funds the Maine Bioscience Cluster Initiative, to support the growth and success of Maine's bioscience industry from idea initiation, through startup, initial funding, and talent development. 
  • Central Maine Growth Council, Dirigo Labs: Fostering Innovation and Collaboratively Supporting Maine-based Entrepreneurs ($599,969): 
    • This EDA investment funds the Dirigo Labs: Fostering Innovation and Collaboratively Supporting Maine-based Entrepreneurs, to stimulate the establishment and growth of technology-based start-ups in mid-Maine, focusing on Maine-based, high-growth industry sectors including: bioeconomy, information technology, financial services, and innovation within Maine's legacy industries of precision manufacturing and blue economy, which extends to emerging environmental technologies in marine and aquaculture clusters.
  • Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), The Catalyst Fund: Early Equity Capital to Grow Maine's Food Economy ($300,000): 
    • This EDA investment funds the Catalyst Fund: Early Equity Capital to Grow Maine's Food Economy, to provide innovative, early stage equity capital to food system businesses with the potential for high growth, job creation, and positive environmental and social impacts. 

As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Pingree advocated for the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to receive $333 million in programmatic funding in Fiscal Year 2020 due to the program’s demonstrated success in private sector job creation and economic growth in distressed areas.

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