All About Boot Camp
A four-day boot camp is the foundation of the Innovate for Maine experience and a major differentiator compared with other internship programs. Typically held in late May, boot camp focuses on building leadership and innovation skills that will help fellows to succeed in their placements. As their project for the week, fellows will put those skills to the test in a real-world challenge to develop a creative solution for a non-profit or entrepreneur.
Networking is another essential element of boot camp. Fellows will connect with Maine entrepreneurs and business leaders at events and through project work. The boot camp also fosters the development of a close-knit cohort among fellows, a support system that the students can draw on over the course of their summer placements and beyond.
*The Innovate for Maine boot camp is typically hosted on the University of Maine campus in Orono. In 2024, we are planning for an in-person experience. *
Below, please find an overview of boot camp activities. It is meant to provide a sketch of each day to give students an idea of what to expect.
Day 1: Introductions
Fellows will meet and the day’s program will focus on learning about Innovate for Maine and the state’s entrepreneurial and economic landscape. Typically, Day 1 involves activities and a meal in downtown Bangor.
Day 2: Innovation
Fellows will learn the fundamentals of Innovation Engineering and begin work on their real-world challenge project for a Maine entrepreneur or non-profit.
Day 3: Networking and Entrepreneurship
During the first part of the day, fellows will work more on their project and also have individual portraits and a group photo taken. In the afternoon, the cohort is scheduled to attend the Top Gun Entrepreneurship Accelerator Showcase in Portland, the final pitch competition for finalists from the regional Top Gun Accelerator classes. This evening involves networking at the showcase.
Day 4: Placement Prep
Fellows will review their individual work plans, learn what to expect working with start-up companies, participate in a seminar on marketing, and go over the soft skills necessary for professional success.