(Portland, ME) On Thursday, May 25th, six Maine start-up companies across the state went before a panel of
judges and offered their best pitches, hoping to win a $25,000 prize to build their business. The Top Gun
Showcase capped the Maine Entrepreneurs Summit, a day focused on learning, connecting and celebrating
Maine’s entrepreneurs. This year’s finalists had five minutes to share their story in front of judges and a live
audience of over 250 at Hannaford Hall at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.
Panelists Dan Walsh of Norway Savings Bank, Grace Mo-Phillips of the CEI Women’s Business Center South
and Leo Waterston of FocusMaine judged pitches on scalability, feasibility, innovation, and presentation.
The winning company ReachMyTeach was founded by Helen Cohen, Jeff Borland and Aidan Blum Levine and is
a school-home communication and translation platform engaging parents, students and teachers.
Other pitchers included:
awen – Brinn Flagg (Waterville), professional coaching services and app developed for families and loved ones
of addicted individuals.
Hootenanny Bread – Derek DeGeer (Waterville), a farmer’s market artisan bread bakery.
Shred Electric – Nick Planson (Lewiston/Auburn), designs and markets electric off-road vehicles and boats
with one battery that is interchangeable and can be swapped to power them all.
The Sleep NP – Carrissa Hankins (Lewiston Auburn), provider of medically necessary CPAP coaching services.
Tootie’s Tempeh – Sarah Speare (Portland), producer of organic, locally sourced & sustainable plant-based
tempeh, using a company developed plastics-free fermentation process.
“What an exhilarating day supporting and celebrating Maine entrepreneurship”, said Laurie Johnson Top Gun
The Top Gun Showcase is the culmination of a 15-week program for competitively selected entrepreneurs that
combines mentoring with high-impact weekly gatherings held across the state. Since 2009, the Maine Center
for Entrepreneur’s Top Gun program has helped over 340 (does this number include the 28 in the 2023 class?
entrepreneurs accelerate their businesses.
The $25,000 Top Gun prize is sponsored by the Maine Technology Institute. Maine Entrepreneurs Summit
sponsors included: Norway Savings Bank, FocusMaine, Bank of America, Opus Consulting, Maine DECD, FAME,
Maine Angels, and Maine MEP as well as many supporting sponsors.