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UMaine Highlights - Business Incubation

The University of Maine is a partner in the operation of two of the state’s Advanced Technology Development Centers or “business incubators.”

The Target Technology Incubator in Orono provides both physical space and business counseling services to technology companies. The Target Technology Incubator is a partnership of the University of Maine, Bangor Area Target Development Corporation, the town of Orono and the state of Maine. The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) recently selected the Target Technology Incubator for the Maine State Merit Award. The incubator was also profiled in the August 19, 2013 issue of MaineBiz.

The second is the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center that operates aquaculture and marine science incubators at both the UMaine Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research in Franklin, Maine, and at the UMaine Darling Marine Center in Walpole, Maine.

UMaine has formed a collaboration with the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development and the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center called the Maine Business Incubation System (MeBIS) to share resources and expertise, while providing better services to entrepreneurs statewide. The incubators work together to coach entrepreneurs and help them access R&D, financing and mentoring resources. As part of this partnership, UMaine also jointly provides the Top Gun entrepreneurial development program, which provides intensive training and mentoring to approximately 20 high-potential entrepreneurs each year.

The Target Technology Incubator

The Target Technology Incubator currently has five tenant companies and four affiliate companies. Combined, tenant companies raised more than $2.4 million in investment capital and research grants this year, more than doubling FY12 and added 17 new full-time positions. These totals include eight tenant or affiliate companies who graduated from the incubator in FY13.

Incubator Tenants

  • Advanced Infrastructure Technologies
    Advanced Infrastructure Technologies is commercializing the composite bridge construction technology, called Bridge-in-a-Backpack, developed at UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The technology involves hollow composite tubes that can be shipped in a bag to any construction site, inflated at the site, bent to any shape to fit the geometry of the site and infused with a resin that becomes rigid overnight. In its first year, the company expects to construct as many as six bridges in Maine, working with the Maine DOT, and local contractors and engineering firms. After an initial incubation of five years, the company says it could employ more than 100 people, including engineers, technicians, manufacturing, and sales and marketing personnel.
  • Cerahelix, Inc
    Cerahelix is bringing the next generation water filtration product to market. The helix-NFM is a patent-pending ceramic nanofiltration membrane that can produce highly purified water under extreme conditions and at low pressure.
  • Double Blue Sports Analytics – New Incubator Tenant in FY13
    Double Blue Sports Analytics is developing the 360 Save Review System (SRS). 360 SRS is an iPad application that can utilize point of view (POV) cameras, such as a GoPro or an iPhone or iPad, to capture and provide hockey goaltenders from peewee to pro with their own video analytic platform. Video can be tagged during games and practices using their patent-pending capture system, where the data is collected into an advanced performance library. Users can then analyze vital trends in a game: where goals are being scored, from what ice locations, review puck handling sequences, advanced goal ranking, statistical overviews and more.
  • Environetix, LLC
    Environetix provides wireless solutions to the challenges of sensing temperature, pressure, vibration, strain and corrosion in harsh and extreme environments. A technology-transfer spin-off company, Environetix was formed in 2009 in response to the significant interest the U.S. Air Force (USAF) expressed in commercializing the groundbreaking research performed in partnership with the University of Maine Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology (LASST). LASST researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of using select piezoelectric surface acoustic wave sensors to meet USAF requirements for high temperature, pressure, vibration and strain sensors in harsh environments.
  • Zeomatrix, LLC
    Zeomatrix is a UMaine spin-off engaged in designing, testing and producing catalysts for environmental remediation of landfill waste, animal waste odor, decontamination of toxic chemical agents and nanoscale catalysts for the energy industry.

Market Tenants

  • Forest Research – Graduated in FY13 to Market Tenant
    UMaine spin-off focusing on economic research on forest-based products/services, including biofuels, biomass and carbon sequestration.
  • Four Directions Development Corporation
    The mission of Four Directions Development Corporation (FDDC) is to improve social and economic conditions for Native Americans in the state of Maine. The driving vision behind FDDC, the first Native-governed Community Development Corporation in Northern New England, is to create an institution to build assets for tribal members. FDDC serves members of the four Native American tribes in Maine: the Passamaquoddy tribe (representing two reservations), the Penobscot Indian Nation, the Houlton Band of Maliseets and the Aroostook Band of Micmac Indians.
  • Milcord ME  – Graduated in FY 13 to Market Tenant
    Milcord ME is developing geospatial solutions through government funded advanced technology development programs based on research conducted through UMaine’s Department of Spatial Information Science and Engineering. Milcord ME will commercialize the technology through Milcord Partners, LLC.
  • SGC Engineering, LLC
    SGC is a highly responsive, solution-oriented engineering firm with offices across Maine and Vermont. It helps clients succeed by committing the appropriate resources and required expertise to develop the best solution. This is accomplished by gaining a thorough understanding of customers’ needs and leveraging available technology to its fullest to meet their immediate and long term goals.

Target Affiliates Program

Target’s Affiliates Program allows companies that are not tenants to benefit from many of the services and resources available at the center. Affiliates include existing technology companies, start-ups and University researchers who are commercializing new technologies.

New Affiliates

  • Maine Prime Technologies, LLC
  • Maine Aqua Ventus I, GP, LLC

Existing Affiliates

  • Compotech
    Compotech, led by founders Jacques Nader and Paul Melrose, is a spin-off from the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, specializing in the development, design and commercialization of composite materials and structures. Over the years, Compotech has established a global network of strategic partners, including strong presence in Abu Dhabi to help U.S. companies expand their market shares through international sales. Compotech’s services also include general engineering consulting, design and manufacturing of composite structures, commercial finite element modeling, and development and manufacturing of blast and ballistic protection systems.
  • Energy Sticks – Graduated in FY13
    Energy Sticks manufactures, formulates and infuses Toothpicks and Check sticks that improve oral health, while delivering long-lasting flavors along with various function-specific active ingredients, including green tea, extracts, ginseng, xylitol and caffeine.
  • Fluorometrics – Graduated in FY13
    The mission of Fluorometrics, founded by UMaine graduate student FIRST NAME? Killarney is to develop real-time fluorescence spectrometers for the rapid quantification of organic contaminants in water.
  • Just Enough, LLC, d.b.a. GudMuse (Information Technologies) – Graduated in FY13
    GudMuse is a business created by UMaine professor Stuart Marrs. He uses advanced technology to create instructional DVDs for music students, artists, schools and classical music aficionados.
  • Knife Edge Productions
    Knife Edge Productions is a full-service video production and design company that synthesizes creativity and technology in a seamless way. Founding partners Nathan Hankla and Sheridan Kelley work together to provide a customized approach to video design project. Knife Edge combines artistic talents and creative vision with access to the latest technological advances.
  • Pelletco, LLC
    Pelletco’s mission is to provide locally sourced and sustainable alternative energy solutions utilizing patented biomass fuel technology that is cleaner burning, more efficient and cost effective than traditional alternatives.
  • PelletShield Engineered Products, LLC – Graduated in FY13
    Patented, engineered biofuel technology for industrial and residential markets (Advanced Technology for Forestry and Agriculture).

The Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research – Incubation at Franklin

The Franklin Center (CCAR) provides on-site space for start-up aquaculture businesses. FY13 has seen the completion of significant incubator space expansion and fit-out through grants from the 2009 Maine Technology Asset Fund (R&D Bond). In addition, the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center has expanded incubator resources at the Darling Marine Center (DMR) in Walpole, Maine, through grants from the Maine Technology Asset Fund.

Aquaculture Business Incubation Clients in FY13

  • Friendship International (urchin aquaculture), CCAR Franklin – affiliate
  • Great Bay Aquaculture (cod aquaculture), CCAR Franklin – affiliate
  • Little Pearl, LLC, DMR Walpole – tenant
  • Sea and Reef Aquaculture, LLC  (marine tropical fish aquaculture), Franklin – tenant
  • Axat Inc., (sensing systems for aquaculture monitoring),  CCAR Franklin – affiliate
  • Acadia Harvest Inc., formerly RAS Corporation – tenant
  • Advanced Ponic Technologies – tenant

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