Five Maine entrepreneurs will get a spot in the limelight tonight at the sixth annual entreverge awards, kicking off a week of events focused on entrepreneurship in the state.
The award program started by the Portland Regional Chamber’s organization for young professionals (PROPEL) in 2009 kicks off Maine Startup and Create Week, which will host businesses from around the state and across the country to talk about making stuff, doing things and everything connected with those pursuits.
The event Thursday at the Westin Harborview leads not just to recognition but also free legal, marketing and other assistance for the five startups.
Friday marks the beginning of Startup Weekend, part of a national event model where entrepreneurs will take on a crash course in developing a business from a notion to an investor-ready plan. After pitching initial ideas, participants join teams to develop business plans and prepare a final pitch.
Next week, the full schedule of ticketed events around the city begins, discussing a wide range of topics related to specific industries, raising capital for startups and lessons from business leaders in Boston on how the city has nurtured a cluster of technology startups. To give you sense of that discussion, the panel is titled: “We’re Not Silicon Valley and We’re OK: Lessons for Maine from Massachusetts.” There’s plenty more in the week ahead and I’ll be sending dispatches from key parts through the week and learning more about companies getting their start in Maine and their challenges and opportunities.
Before I link to the full schedule for the Create Week portion of the event — kicking off with an event Sunday night — I’ll note that admission to the full week of events is about $600 and the day passes run $150.
If you have topics, questions or other aspects of the event you’d like to read about, Tweet at me: @darrenfishell.