National Entrepreneurship Week events in Maine include several at the Foster Center for Student Innovation at the University of Maine, such as the annual Junior Achievement Titan Challenge and two sessions for students and others with business ideas to consult with investors and experienced entrepreneurs.
Bangor-area high schools are sending some 100 students to compete for scholarships in the JA Titan Challenge at the Foster Center, Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., in addition to other sites throughout Maine, says Jesse Moriarity, coordinator for the Foster Center for Student Innovation. Three-member student teams, with advising assistance from a community business professional, will use JA’s business simulation model to create and pitch business start-up ideas.
“It’s always ridiculously exciting,” says Moriarity.
At 6 p.m. at the Foster Center, the Top Gun Maine Celebrity Presentation will feature a video conference with international celebrity entrepreneur Steve Blank, considered the top entrepreneurship educator in Silicon Valley who is revolutionizing how start-ups can achieve success with minimal investment. Among the audiences viewing the conference will be Top Gun Maine’s 20 entrepreneurs and 50 mentors in video-conferencing rooms in libraries and on university campuses throughout the state. Viewers can ask questions and discuss Blank’s presentation.
“Calling All Entrepreneurs,” Thursday, Feb. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Foster Center and 1-4 p.m. at Target Technology Center in Orono will invite student entrepreneurs and others with business ideas to meet one-on-one with investors to discuss ideas, learn about resources for entrepreneurs and find out what investors look for in new businesses. Those wishing to participate are asked to call Ana Leira at (207) 866-6500 to register.
The Maine Entrepreneurship Week, Feb. 11-18, also includes a Feb.17 deadline for applications and executive summaries for the new UMaine Student Business Challenge organized and financially supported by three recent UMaine graduates as a way to generate and encourage innovation and creativity among students at UMaine. Proposals will be judged in April and winners receive a $5,000 cash award, plus $5,000 in in-kind business advising services.
All events are free and open to the public. The Foster Center for Student Innovation website has additional details.