Funding Opportunities for Maine Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Maine Small Business, Entrepreneur & Inventor Innovation Grants

By Mike Brown

So you have a great idea for some technology that will lead to a new product, process or service, the only problem is you need money to turn your idea into a reality. In this blog I will tell you where and how to get your project funded.  If you are a private inventor, entrepreneur or small business, you will benefit from this!

Would $5k help you on your way? What about $500k? Let me introduce you to a great little group of people who have been helping stimulate the Maine economy since 1999.

“The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) is a private, non-profit corporation that offers early-stage capital and commercialization assistance for the research and development of technologies that create new products, processes and services, generating high-quality jobs across Maine. MTI was created by Maine’s legislature in 1999 to promote, stimulate and support research and development activity leading to the commercialization of new products and services in Maine’s technology-intensive sectors to increase the likelihood that one or more of the sectors will develop into an economic cluster of activity. (5MRSA 15302)”

So now maybe you are saying “great, but do I qualify?” The best way to find out is to visit their website here and follow the survey to figure out if your project qualifies. The requirements are broad, so chances are pretty good that your project does!

MTI’s Top 2 Grants

Tech Start Grant:

“The TechStart Grant is a new funding opportunity offered …to individuals and companies across Maine who are looking to develop their new ideas and new products. Entrepreneurs with ideas of innovative technologies are encouraged to apply.

TechStart Grants will be awarded up to twelve times each year, for up to $5,000 per project. Funds must not be readily available from another service provider.  TechStart Grants also may be used to support specific activities such as business plan development, intellectual property filings, market analysis, or planning and preparation activities related to the submission of Federal SBIR/STTR Phase I grants or Federal Broad Agency Announcement for technology development.  TechStart Grant projects must have clearly defined deliverable outcomes and endpoints for the specifically funded scope of work not to exceed six months in duration. Each grant requires a 1:1 match consisting of actual cash, salaries, staff time, or equipment directly attributable to the proposed project.  Funded projects must fall under one of Maine’s seven targeted technology sectors.

…If you are a first time entrepreneur or have never applied for a grant or investment before, we suggest that you consider drawing on outside assistance, whether paid or pro bono, and preferably with someone familiar with the MTI TechStart Grant application process. “

Download the Tech Start Grant Application HERE (


Seed Grant:

“MTI Seed Grants of up to $25,000 are offered three times a year to support early-stage research and development activities for new products and services that lead to the market. Funded activities may include activities such as proof of concept work, prototype development, field trials, prototype testing, pilot studies, or technology transfer activities.  Funded projects must fall under one of Maine’s seven targeted technology sectors.

MTI offers Seed Grants as direct investments in companies that are pioneering Maine’s future through their technology innovations. Loan recipients are companies undertaking research and development that will enable them to grow and remain competitive in the global marketplace.”

Download the Seed Grant Application HERE



Partnering with the AMC

The AMC is the number one choice for product development work for MTI grant recipients. We are well known by the MTI team and can even help you with the technical details of your grant application to increase your likelihood of getting funded the first time around.

So now I’ve started you in the right direction to getting your project funded and as always feel free to email your questions @ Just put the title of this blog in the “subject” line.

I am also always interested to know more about you! Answer the questions below if you feel inclined to.

  1. What is the most important activity you do in your business?
  2. Do you have any pain associated with this activity?

Email me your responses at