MCE Expands Seafood/Aquaculture Business Support

August 10, 2021

(Portland, ME) – The Maine Center for Entrepreneurs (MCE) announced today that Emily Lane, President, Blue Lobster Consulting, Vinalhaven, Maine, has been engaged to support a growing number of seafood and aquaculture clients in MCE’s food industry programs.

The Maine Center for Entrepreneurs (MCE) will expand services for Maine’ food industry by expanding its core team to include additional expertise in the seafood   and aquaculture industries.

Lane, a business development, marketing, and industry networking  specialist will join the MCE Food Accelerator Team of Sue Hanson and Janine B. Cary to support companies that have an interest in growing their businesses and refining their business practices to become more scalable, profitable and grow their reach regionally and nationally.

Established 24 years ago, the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs (MCE) has a strong history of supporting new entrants into the food and beverage industry. To date, MCE has served over 85 food industry companies in all corners of the state. MCE is a proud partner of the FocusMaine agriculture strategy that includes several partner organizations, such as Coastal Enterprises, Inc. The program is part of Focus Maine’s larger initiative to create quality Maine jobs and increase economic diversification in Maine. 

Building on MCE’s past experience serving two different aquaculture entrepreneurship cohorts, Emily Lane will recruit additional Maine-based seafood and aquaculture businesses and facilitate workshops, mentoring sessions, and mentor matching based on company needs. Cohort members will benefit from new national and local business networks through Lane’s participation on MCE’s food industry team.

The seafood industry plays a leading role as one of the state’s key economic drivers. Maine ranks second in the US for employment in fish and fishing products, coming in just behind Alaska and the 2020 catch was worth over half a billion dollars. Maine  is the leading producer of lobster, with 96 million pounds brought to market in 2020. Farm raised salmon and a growing aquaculture industry producing oysters, mussels,  sea vegetables, and other species, plays an increasingly important role in   Maine’s “blue economy.” With the right support, Maine is strategically well positioned to expand into new markets with approx. 70 million consumers located in the Northeast within same – day distribution, and recognition as a national leader in sustainable, high – quality seafood and aquaculture products.

 “Emily will be a great addition to the MCE team given her decades of experience in the Maine Seafood industry,” said Tom Rainey, Executive Director. “She has demonstrated success in scaling-up food industry businesses, and contributed significantly to the strategies and internal systems that enabled these businesses to grow. We are excited for her to join our Cultivator and MarketShare food accelerator programs – reaching out to additional seafood and aquaculture businesses, and helping them develop and implement scale up and market growth strategies.”

In addition to her international consulting work and kelp farm on Vinalhaven, Emily Lane has served on various non-profit, state and Federal marketing boards involved in the blue economy, and currently serves as the board Chair for the Island Institute.

Established in 1997, MCE’s mission is to build and lead a community of growth-oriented businesses in Maine, by providing the training, connections, coaching and mentors they need to commercialize and grow their ideas, products and services so that their companies will drive the growth of Maine’s economy. Over its 24-year history, the organization has accelerated the growth of hundreds of businesses, and established a mentor network of over 200 members.