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Welcome to UMaine Business Challenge

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News and Updates

The UMaine Business Challenge (UBC) has announced it’s finalists for the 2016 competition. Check out a great write up by the MaineBiz here!

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A huge shout out goes to Opticliff Law! For the 2016 UMaine Business Challenge we are happy to partner with yet another great Maine based company. Opticliff Law has agreed to donate 10 hours of legal work to a UBC participant. To find out more about Opticliff Law check them out here: Thanks again to Opticliff Law!




UBC Update: Take a look at the updated UMaine Business Challenge important dates with the flyer below! For more information send an email to

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 Official 2016 UBC Flyer

 Here’s a look at this year’s UBC flyer! Contact us through the information below if interested or if you have any questions!
















Expansion to the Technology Prize is Announced

Read about this years competition and an expansion to the Technology Prize thanks to the Fournier Family Foundation in the MaineBiz Here.

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Thanks to Nicholas LaJoie and Spud-Nic Studios for the creation of this video for the UMaine Business Challenge. Check it out by clicking the link here!


Announcing our Finalists

You can find the finalists for the UMaine Business Challenge here.


Maine Technology on the UMaine Business Chanllenge

Maine Technology and The Maine Campus have posted about the UMaine Business Challenge. You can check out the Maine Technology article here and The Maine Campus one here.


UMaine Business Challenge in the News

The Bangor Daily News and Mainebiz have written articles about the UMaine Business Challenge! You can find the Bangor Daily News article here and the Mainebiz article here.

Intent to Participate

Although we have recently entered our Executive Summary stage, we are still accepting your intents to participate. You can express your interest by emailing us at


Intent to Participate Date Extended

Just a quick update: the end date for the “Intent to Participate” stage has been pushed back to February 1. This change will push the “Executive Summary” start date to February 2. We hope to hear from you!

UBC to Offer Technology Prize

The UBC is proud to announce a new partnership, and prize for the 2015 UBC. In cooperation with the Fournier Family Foundation, the UMaine Business Challenge will award a technology prize starting with the 2015 competition. The award will be $5,000 with the winner decided by our panel of judges based on the finalist that best fits into a technology category.


2014 UMaine Business Challenge Winners John and Christine Carney – Thick and Thin Designs

Congratulations to 2nd place winners of $1,000, Juliette and Ronald Cohen with Above and Beyond Scheduling.

2014 UBC Finalists Announced

The Umaine Business Challenge is moving forward with the following competitors! Stay tuned for updates on the contestants as we inch closer to the awards ceremony. Regina Smith – Beehive Monitoring John and Christine Carney – Thick and Thin Designs Juliette and Ronald Cohen – Above and Beyond Scheduling Ryan Nicols – R&N Firewood Matt Cartmell – Mauled Apparel

 UBC Continues to Reach Out

Click the link below to listen in to the audio from James Morin and last years winner Tom Myers appearance on the Ray Richardson Show!

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UMaine and USM Collaborate to Innovate

James, Owen, and Greg Cavanaugh went to Mind Your Own Business Radio to discuss collaboration between UMaine and the USM to strengthen the UMaine Business Challenge. For more information please visit Campus Ventures Program website.

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UBC to Offer Technology Prize

The UMaine Business Challenge is proud to announce that we will be partnering with the Maine Technology Institute, Blackstone Accelerators Growth, and the USM Campus Venture program to offer a technology prize for this year’s competition.  The prize will consist of a two-hour coaching sessions, a $3500.00 prize, and assistance from MTI’s appropriate network members.  More information can be found at the following here. The UMaine Business Challenge has enjoyed a prosperous second year in our quest to turn collegiate entrepreneur’s dreams into a reality, while simultaneously striving to impact the economy of the State of Maine.  We are privileged to have support from many arenas in the state and wanted to give our due thanks by directing you to our sponsors and supporters section of our website.

Entrepreneurs Are Problem Solvers

Owen and James on the Ray Richardson show talk about collaboration with USM and discuss the finalists with one of our judges!

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The UBC recently introduced the four finalists who will be competing during our 2013 Business Plan Competition at University of Maine (scroll below to read the announcement). It gave them an opportunity to tell us what it meant for them to win the competition; as well as what motivated them as aspiring Maine entrepreneurs.

We decided to kick things up a notch this year and allow the finalists to tell us a little bit about the business ideas they’ll be pitching on the 20th of April. Enjoy!

ABC Firewood

Over the next few years ABC Firewood will be undergoing a transformation from a small startup into Southern Maine’s leading supplier of high quality, affordable firewood. We will be accomplishing this by leveraging the high output capabilities of our custom made, proprietary processing equipment. This will ensure that our clients are receiving the highest quality wood for the absolute best possible prices. In addition to this, we will also be implementing a charitable program where a percentage of proceeds will go towards helping to heat the less fortunate.

Bonneau & Son Excavation

Construction is a constantly developing industry, that of which requires professional management and quality workmanship. My name is Henry Bonneau and I am the owner/operator of Bonneau & Son Excavation. I started my business in the spring of 2012, first doing small jobs in the Skowhegan area, such as lawns and residential drainage solutions. As the summer progressed I incorporated more equipment and took-on larger construction jobs such as driveways and septic systems. The work resume that I had compiled over the summer even included a land rehabilitation job for Central Maine Power. As a result, I have been able to purchase more equipment and line up larger jobs for the upcoming season. Now, looking forward to the future of my company, I have sought out innovative methods and materials that my business can employ in order to set itself apart from other companies. I aspire to do so by first trying to promote and incorporate tire derived aggregates as a cheaper, and more efficient alternative to traditional aggregates used in road construction. This application would consequently prevent frost heaves and function as a primary layer to newly reconstructed roads. However, I do not want the extend of my company’s service to stop there. My overall aim is to develop Bonneau & Son to the point where we are a major player in Maine’s construction industry, applying the newest innovations, such as reclaimed asphalt, to jobs of all sizes. Doing this through the use of newly developed construction methods and materials, which are also cheaper, will result in better workmanship at a lower cost to customers. However, a goal of this magnitude cannot be accomplished overnight, which is exactly why my business is currently in operation, working for, and employing Mainers. I believe that maintaining a strong work ethic and building a resume of satisfied clients, in addition to my engineering degree, is necessary for making for my company successful. Having entered the business challenge gives me the chance to promote my business and possibly receive financial support that can be put directly towards investments to further the development of Bonneau & Son Excavation.

Body Guard Fitness


It’s That Time of The Year Again!

The UMaine Business Challenge Executive team is glad to announce the finalists for the 2013 competition! One of our milestones had been to open doors to all the schools under University of Maine system. Much to our delight, multiple candidates from SMCC and USM submitted their ideas; making the screening process tougher than we anticipated. We finally decided that the following ideas should compete on April 21st for the $5,000 cash prize and $10,000 in consulting services.

ABC Firewood

Body Guard

Bonneau & Son Excavation


In our very first video, cofounders Owen McCarthy and James Morin go over what inspired us to start this business plan competition, what the aspiring student entrepreneurs can do to compete in 2013 and what’s at stake! As you may have heard by now, the UMaine Business Challenge has decided to expand the business plan competition to include entire UMaine System. It is true! You can read more on that on Bangor Daily News and MaineBiz

UBC executive James Morin and 2012 competition runner up Shannon Byers recently appeared on The Ray Richardson Show on Newstalk WLOB radio and WPME TV.

Click the player below to enjoy the excerpt! 

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After a successful inaugural year, the UBC is currently working hard to make the second year even bigger! We will soon be announcing details regarding the 2013 competition.

You can always help us make the competition sustainable, and reach our long-term goals by making a contribution.

While you’re here, also check out the pictures from April 21, 2012 competition by clicking on the image below. – UBC Team Lauren Abbate from The Maine Campus writes, “Brothers win UM business challenge, $5,000 prize”. Read the article

A must read for any entrepreneurs looking to compete. New entrepreneurs find ways to earn respect and find success despite their ages

The UBC Executive team supports organizations like Blackstone. The team appreciates anyone that shares in our mission; the mission to support entrepreneurial growth and business development in Maine. Want to find out more about them? Go to their website 

You have to SEARCH for positive news like this. It’s important to realize that there ARE positive difference makers out there and The Bank of Maine is one of them. $600MM! Awesome. Just Awesome. The Bank of Maine exceeds $600M financing goal

Check out the latest project by UBC 2012 winners on vimeo! Everyone is pulling for you. UMaine, The State of Maine UMaine Alumni, the UBC.. everyone!

The UBC recently interviewed the 2012 competition finalists. Here’s your chance to get to know them! (Click on the links below) Tory StarkBIO REMEDIATION Shannon ByersBEST IN SHOW PAWS Nate Wildes and James BeaupreSTILLWATER POSTER COMPANY, LLC Luke Thomas and Jacob Thomas – AERIALFLY

January 31, 2012 UMaine Business Challenge has recently been added to the website Launched by JFH Innovative LLC, Pittsford, NY, the aim of their website is to keep “tabs on the most promising, legitimate entrepreneurship contests and business plan competitions occurring anywhere in the United States”. Click here to go to our page

January 29, 2012 We have added a new web page, ‘Maine Success Stories’, to acknowledge some of the successful Maine businesses that can be a great source of encouragement and inspiration for our student entrepreneurs. Find out more

January 7,  2012

The UBC founders Owen McCarthy, Matthew Ciampa, and James Morin, and the competition’s adviser Professor Jason Harkins recently appeared on the front-page of MBS Connects newsletter, discussing their views on the competition.

Click here to access the newsletter

December 8, 2011

UMaine Today writes, “Three alums focus on encouraging student entrepreneurs and small businesses.”

Read the article on the founders on UMaine Today

September 21, 2011

“This January, the Maine Business School and the Foster Center for Student Innovation will join forces to assist the Maine Business Challenge, the brainchild of three recent University of Maine graduates.” Lauren Reeves, The Maine Campus.

Click here to read the whole article on The Maine Campus

September 15th, 2011

Anthony Takacs, a special correspondent to the Bangor Daily News writes “UMaine alumni organize business competition for student entrepreneurs”

Click here for the article on Bangor Daily News

September 14th, 2011

UMaine announces business plan competition!

Click here to read the announcement