Keeping up with Maine Startup and Create Week, at #MSCW

Five Portland entrepreneurs, from a group of about 45 nominees, took home awards for young Portland-area startups last night, kicking off the weeklong Maine Startup and Create Week — which I wrote about here — that aims to showcase and support the state’s early-stage businesses.

Besides winning award guitars from the Portland Regional Chamber’s young professionals’ group, PROPEL, the companies winning Thursday get a range of free services — legal, marketing, etc. — that stands to help them move their businesses to the next stage.

Before I get to the winners, I wanted to note you can follow along with all of the who-whats-and-wheres of the weekend at the hashtag #MSCW. I mention that before the winners because, if you were following along there, you probably already know who they are.

Getting to who took home the “Entreverge” awards, the companies were: Buoy Local, Maine Pie Line, Portland Paddle, Think Tank and Kurier.

All of the young companies recently expanded or have plans to grow. Kurier, a leather craft maker, recently opened a Congress Street storefront and Portland Paddle plans to open a retail spot downtown as well, keeping its Casco Bay kayak touring business operating year-round. Think Tank recently expanded to its first satellite office in Yarmouth and has a goal to take its co-working model national. Maine Pie Line — which won the award in part for working with and hiring refugees coming to Portland — has recently increased its wholesale distribution and inked agreements with three Maine-based distributors.

They’re all Maine companies to watch and there will be more throughout the week.

And I can’t end this blog post without noting: I realize this deals primarily with neither widgets nor digits. So…

Since the week focuses on young companies and entrepreneurs, here’s a look at the economic impact of Maine companies by business size, from 2011 census data:

Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.