Rank #1: Rural Maine’s Next Economy
I carried my podcast recorder to the Rural Maine’s Next Economy Envision Maine conference at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Friday February 10. The temperature outside was in the single digits, but inside the ideas were flowing. I captured two segments - the Rural Sparkplugs segment of four minute talks, and the One Minute Big Ideas, an off-the-cuff opportunity to pitch the crowd on your idea. Here the guests in order of appearance: * Amanda Beal, President of the Maine Farmland Trust * Lucas St. Clair, Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. * George Smith, Author, Hunting/Fishing Activist * Bonnie Rukin, Slow Money Maine * Leah Cook, Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative * Nancy Smith, GrowSmart Maine * Vaughan Woodruff, Insource Renewables On the One Big Idea Segment * Ron Brown on Broadband * Matt Delaney from Millinocket Library * Mike Turcotte * Ken from Arrowsic * Matt Polstein from New England Outdoor Center * Robin Zinchuk, Executive Director of Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce * Kay from Lexington Township (note: what Kay wants to do is closely aligned to what Maine Farmland Trust's Farmlink program does) * Martha Bentley of Maine Technology Institute * Mike Wilson of Northern Forest Center * Jonah Fertig of Cooperative Development Institute * Eric from Appleton with a cool idea: Uber for canoes. Or Zipcar for canoes. Zipcanoe. * Scott Vlaun of Center for an Ecology Based Economy * Brooks Winner of Island Institute * Ivy from College of the Atlantic Hope you enjoyed the episode - it was fun to do - which of the big ideas was your favorite and why?
Rank #2: Sean Sullivan, Executive Director of Maine Brewer’s Guild
Sean Sullivan, executive director of Maine Brewer's Guild, is a great speaker and entrepreneur who happens to think that Maine craft beer is key to growing our economy. Brewing is a manufacturing business, and everything from ocean freight to a good local malthouse is in our favor. This episode of The Grow Maine Show is brought to you by The Dunham Group. The real estate market is tight. Even if you're not outgrowing your space now, if you think you will, why not check their property listings right now? Breweries also revitalize Maine's downtowns, especially in rural Maine, by creating destinations and building supply chains that spur other business growth. After listening to this... you know what you need to do to help out!!
Rank #3: Ben Davis of True Course Yachting and Portland Container Co.
This is our second time having Ben Davis on. His first visit was one of our most popular episodes ever and we're glad to have him back to talk about his new venture Portland Container Company. What I think is amazing about Ben is that he seeks advice and counsel, and he listens to it, and pivots. Frankly, I don’t think I did that well enough as an entrepreneur, so it makes me really appreciate it when I see it. Ben has been relentless in seeking out advice and wisdom, and has done it in an a really egoless way, which is a lot harder than it looks, isn’t it? What advice are you looking for, what are the challenges you’re stuck on right now? Let me know at email@example.com, and subscribe and follow on Facebook. Don’t be afraid to be awesome!
Rank #4: Ed McKersie of ProSearch and LiveandWorkinMaine.com
Ed McKersie is the founder and CEO of ProSearch Inc., which has been locating talent for Maine based companies – from across the street and across the country – since 1994. I’ve been looking to get Ed on the show forever. He’s founded a large successful Maine company, and now he helps other Maine companies find talent, so he’s got a heck of a perspective. Don't forget: If you believe in firsts, and startups, and want to put a startup guy in Congress, visit my campaign website and make a contribution at martygrohman.com. Make sure to check out Ed's amazing project liveandworkinmaine.com, which he runs together with Nate Wildes. This site is one of Maine's best workforce recruiting tools, and includes a job board and success stories.
Rank #5: Nancy Strojny of Portland Maine SCORE
The Portland, Maine office of SCORE is one of the top chapters in the country, and much of the credit is due to chair Nancy Strojny. Following a successful career in product management at Procter & Gamble, Nancy has been running our local chapter since 2009, successfully advising a who's who of Maine startups and growing the mentorship base to cover multiple areas of expertise. Benefit from the experience of a SCORE mentor - sign up for a mentoring session today.
Rank #6: Mainebiz New Ventures/Start-up Forum
Hey, I’m back with The Grow Maine Show. I’m working hard after a really intense run, and loss, in a contest for US Congress. But I’m jumping right back in with this recording of the really great Mainebiz New Ventures/Start-up Forum held August 21. This is content too good to be forgotten, so I'm really glad to present it to you here: It features: Eliah Thanhauser of NorthSpore Allison Lakin of Gorges ("Gorgeous") Cheeses Becky McKinnell of iBec Creative Bill Keleher of Kennebec River Biosciences Sean Sullivan of Maine Brewers Guild David Stone of Forager The panel is moderated by the incomparable Betsy Biemann of CEI. Promo: the New England Venture Summit in Boston coming right up in Boston on December 12. I have a really nice discount code, $100 off registration. Here it is: GMSVIP. If you choose to attend or pitch, I expect you to kick ass on behalf of Maine! Great advice from Eliah of NorthSpore: get your systems down. And case in point, as you heard, the battery on my Zoom H4N recorder died in the middle of the panel, so I missed a piece of it – right when Allison talked about her cooler dying – must have been karma. It does give me a chance to thank, and recommend, Headlight Audio Visual. I record a lot of events and they are top notch, and Trevor from Headlight bailed me out with a couple of AA’s at this event. Get your systems down! Please like share and subscribe, I want to push this episode and others like it far and wide. The Grow Maine Show is on Facebook, go there and like the page to hear about the next episode, which is coming right up! Don’t be afraid to be awesome!
Rank #7: Jess Knox of Maine Startup and Create Week
Jess Knox is the co-founder and chair of Maine Startup and Create Week, an amazing and visionary convening of everything startup for the week of June 19-23 in Portland, Maine. Jess has a long background with startups and economic development, having worked for President Obama's Small Business Administration. He's a big thinker and not afraid to swing for the fences. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did! MSCW is full of opportunities. If I had to pick just one (besides my talk), I would go with Maine Technology Institute's Tech Walk, which is the networking opportunity of the year. From there, fill out your schedule with workshops and keynotes. If you stay in the coffee shop and do email, I guarantee you'll regret it - in this case, the entrepreneurial opportunities are going to come to you, and since there are so many to choose from, most of the events are not crowded and you will have a chance to deeply engage. Due to my work as a legislator at budget crunch time, I cannot participate as fully as I would like, but I know you'll enjoy it, and I'm jealous of you.
Rank #8: Kai Adams of Sebago Brewing Company
Sebago Brewing Company is celebrating 20 years in business, a remarkable thing in any industry. But it didn't happen by chance - the founding partners have relentlessly worked on their business and their partnership, finding ways to work together that have made them all successful. And the impetus for Kai to become an entrepreneur gets even more interesting: diagnosed with lymphoma as a young man, Kai realized that it was now or never to pursue his dream. With 250 employees, six locations and as one of Maine's leading breweries, I'd say it has worked out. What is holding you back from kicking it in? My brother Owen, the family beer aficionado, met and recorded this interview with Kai at Sebago's new destination brewery on Main Street in Gorham. This is a great spot to meet and I highly recommend it. You can get a free tour of the working brewery, taste some new beers (and fan favorites), and even grab some lunch or dinner. And if you'd like to put an entrepreneur in Congress to represent you, please check out my campaign page at martygrohman.com!
Rank #9: Maddie Purcell of Fyood Kitchen
Fyood Kitchen of Portland, Maine is a social cooking competition. Maddie Purcell is founder and ceo. Fyood's team sets you up in a professional kitchen with a full pantry and gives you a mystery basket with four secret ingredients. Your challenge is to make it into something that will impress your friends. If you've never participated, you've really got to give it a try - either as a judge or as a cook, it's a blast. This episode is brought to you by The Dunham Group. To get on that Inc 500 list, you need to grow your business fast. That means a good office, a good building. Don’t wait around – visit our custom link to straight to the property listings. Please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music, or Stitcher. I love how Maddie is #allin on this concept of Fyood Kitchen. I think it's especially valuable how she talks about doing everything herself, when it could better be done by someone who is a specialist. Man, I made that same mistake getting this podcast going. I continually make the mistake of not asking for help – I think we all do. My ask today is that if you enjoyed this episode and got something from it, share it with one other person who will benefit from it too! Cheers!
Rank #10: Chris Claudio, CEO of Winxnet
Chris Claudio is CEO of WinXNet of Portland, Maine. He is an extremely impressive entrepreneur that has built a company, together with his partner Mike Williams, into a national leader in the IT services and security space. The company has more than 125 employees and is at the top of many national rankings in their field. Speaking of national leaders, did you know I’m running – yes, that’s me, Marty – am running for United States Congress? It is time we put an end to the partisanship that is crippling Congress. If you’d like to put a startup guy in Washington to represent you, I’d appreciate your support at martygrohman.com. So back to the interview: what an amazing entrepreneur Chris is. It takes some serious chops to ‘install’ a business process in the way that WinXNet has, and I believe the company is an example of the success that dedicated, focused leadership can deliver. Enjoy!
Rank #11: Three Rural Maine Businesses Succeeding Because of Broadband Internet
John Hafford of DesignLab, Rick Levasseur of 5 Lakes Lodge, and Sean DeWitt of Our Katahdin addressed a group of State Legislators, including myself, back in January. During lunch in a pine paneled room at the Northern Timber Cruisers snowmobile club in Millinocket - at an event curated by the Maine Development Foundation - they made a good case for rural broadband expansion, and maybe made fun of each other a little bit too. In a nice way.
Rank #12: Lucas St. Clair of Elliotsville Plantation
Lucas St. Clair of Elliotsville Plantation is one of Maine's most remarkable entrepreneurs. He's taking on a different problem than most entrepreneurs - he wants to create a national park in Maine's north woods. We explore how he did it, and the decisions he made along the way. Whatever you may think of the idea (which I support), Lucas' efforts and approach are a model for taking on a big challenge. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did, and if you want to support a fund for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument operations, be sure to have a bottle of Maine Beer Co Woods and Waters IPA!
Rank #13: Topher Mallory of Mexicali Blues, Split Rock Distilling and Royal Rose Simple Syrups
Topher Mallory has three roles: he’s CEO of Mexicali Blues, and co-owner and co-founder of Split Rock Distilling, which also owns Royal Rose syrups. So it’s three interviews in one, for Maine entrepreneurs! We recorded the interview at Topher’s office at Mexicali Blues in Newcastle, after a quick visit to one of the Mexicali Blues stores. And if you’d like to put a startup guy in US Congress, learn more about me at martygrohman.com And here are those great coupon codes: RoyalRoseSyrups.com for 20% off simple syrups: growmaine And one for MexicaliBlues.com (online only) coupon is 15% off: growmaine And as promised, here's a link to Rich Brooks and Agents of Change conference; a link to Tim Ferriss and Tools of Titans, and a Link to the Book Essentialism.
Rank #14: Entrepreneurial Motivation in the form of Poetry
It might seem odd, but I saw this poem by Gretchen Berg in the Sunday paper, and thought it would make a good episode of The Grow Maine Show. It's part of a column by Portland, Maine's poet laureate, Gibson Fay-Leblanc. As I read it, I thought of all the flip charts and breakout rooms I've been a part of, and how it feels like a road to nowhere. Maybe you feel the same way too. So I put that together as a quick episode, together with some updates on upcoming events from ScratchPad Accelerator, Gorham Savings Bank Launchpad, and StartupMaine. I'm taking my own advice too – I'm running for US Congress for Maine's 1st district – and that is going to take all of the entrepreneurial chops I've got and more. See my launch video.
Rank #15: Adam Burk of Treehouse Institute
Adam is a social innovator and cultural architect. His life and work is dedicated to living well in this place with others. He creates spaces – physical and programmatic – that raise the level of resilience, and improve communication in communities. Adam made a big leap by launching TEDxDirigo in 2010 and hasn't stopped since, also producing MaineLive and other events in conjunction with his nonprofit Treehouse Institute. Listen to the episode for an offercode to register for TEDxDirigo RISE coming up on Saturday November 4, and take a look here for guides to creating comfortable spaces for challenging conversations.
Rank #16: Singer-Songwriter Sara Trunzo
Sara Trunzo is an independent singer-songwriter who was Maine food famous before she became Maine singer famous. She was the director of the Veggies For All program, part of Maine Farmland Trust, and she worked hard on that career for many years before she decided to make a big change and dedicate herself to her music full time. I was very interested in that change and how and why she went about it. Before I forget: be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play. By subscribing, you'll get the latest episode in your podcast player without having to look for it. I first met and heard Sara perform at BikeMaine, which is this rolling community of cyclists. She played in a freezing tent in Pittsfield, and carried it off well. I really want to thank Cloudport in Portland, where we recorded the interview on a Saturday night. Cloudport is a great coworking space in the India Street neighborhood. I started by asking Sara where she was headed from here, so let’s jump right in: I think today’s musicians are true entrepreneurs. Learn more about Sara and support her, please, at saratrunzo.com. Her new EP would make an excellent Christmas gift!
Rank #17: Luke Shorty of Maine School of Science and Mathematics
Luke Shorty is a remarkable Maine entrepreneur. As the leader of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone Maine, he’s made the moves to grow the school and enhance and expand its mission and role in the community. Luke is also a longtime fan and supporter of podcasts, including The Grow Maine Show, and I really appreciate his encouragement over the years. I actually left a little bit of our pre-show chat in the episode, since I thought it was kind of fun review of Maine podcasts, so we started with that. Here are the podcasts we mention: Love Maine Radio The Maine Show Podcast Manager Tools Relentlessly positive and known for his work all over the state, Luke Shorty has the kind of upbeat attitude that you just can't get enough of. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did!
Rank #18: Listen to Bisson
Keith Bisson is president of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) in Brunswick. If you've heard of a startup in Maine, they probably had a hand in getting it going. They are willing to take a risk on early stage innovators that conventional lenders and investors won’t, calculating good jobs and environmental benefits in addition to dollars, as core to return on investment. He's pictured here with ceo Betsy Biemann. Together they lead this organization that is core to Maine's entrepreneurial community. Never miss a show: subscribe to the Grow Maine Show on Apple Podcasts , TuneInRadio or Stitcher. In 2017, CEI or its subsidiaries assisted almost 2,000 Maine entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, including these high profile examples: Paul and Theresa Lancisi of Dove Tail Bats in Shirley Mills; Julie Swain of Dog Not Gone in Skowhegan; Jim Chattley of Meineke Topsham Car Care Center; Ten Ten Piè in Portland; and Corrin and Shirley Conforte of Kindred Farms Market and Bakery in Casco, and of course my favorite, Hyperlite Mountain Gear in Biddeford. The community nonprofit helped to finance the completion of eight historic redevelopment projects from Biddeford to Waterville, made a first-in-the-nation loan from the innovative USDA Community Facilities Relending Program to support the expansion of a YMCA in Central Lincoln County, supported the design and commercialization of innovative technologies at companies such as Pemaquid Mussel Farms and Ocean Renewable Power Company, and successfully exited an equity investment in the software company Certify. They've been busy. But we don't talk about any of that stuff. Instead, we learn about Keith's first bike, his passion for taking on investments that others turn away, personal guarantees and second positions, plus a little bit of gelato. Forty years ago, remarkably, CEI was a startup too. Now it's time for their 40th Anniversary Celebration, which will be held on April 25, 2018 at Brick South on Thompson's Point in Portland. I hope you will register and I hope to see you there. I expect it will be the #1 entrepreneurial event of the year in Maine.
Rank #19: Zak Ringelstein, Democratic Candidate for US Senate
Zak Ringelstein is a former teacher who has a strong background in entrepreneurship, and now he's running for US Senate. While I generally don't do politics on the Grow Maine Show, I've had Angus King on twice, and so it's only fair I have Zak on. I will have the Republican candidate Eric Brakey on as well if he asks. Today's episode is brought to you by The Dunham Group. Buying my own building was the single best thing I ever did in entrepreneurship. If you're outgrowing your space, follow my custom link to get you right to the property listing page. Please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music, or Stitcher. My next guest has the highest Inc 5000 listing of any Maine company ever... if you subscribe, the next episode will show up automatically so you won't miss a thing. Back to Zak. Zak's got a passion for entrepeneurship. He's a good listener, too - an unusual attribute in a politician (and I'm a politician). Do you agree with his take on Amazon? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments, and learn more about Zak at ringelsteinformaine.com.
Rank #20: Angela Ferrari of Story Spectacular
Have you ever wondered if you could go for it, and make a living as an artist? Angela Ferrari is a children's book author & illustrator based in Portland Maine, and the host of the of Story Spectacular podcast. We discuss how she got her business off the ground, what the first steps were, and Maine business resources like CEI and Small Business Development Centers. I loved the ‘finding your routine’ advice. Here's a link to the Simple Habit app. Find out more about Angela and listen to her show here. Also here is a sneak peek of what she has in store for the Story Spectacular Thanksgiving Special. It's the "Quirky Turkey" Music Video!!! Enjoy