UMaine Student Companies Win All Three Finalist Spots in Greenlight Maine Competition
All three finalist spots in the college competition of Greenlight Maine, twice Emmy nominated business competition television show, have all been awarded to UMaine student entrepreneurs working out of and with mentors at the University of Maine’s Foster Center for Innovation student incubator. They will compete live for the grand prize on Saturday, March 23 at 4 p.m. at the University of Maine’s Hauck Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.
Student entrepreneurs representing colleges and universities from around the state went head-to-head for these final three sports. All finalists will compete for the grand prize of $25,000 as part of a larger prize package with an estimated value of $60,000.
“The UMaine team is so proud of these students. They’ve all worked very hard and spent countless hours devoted to developing their businesses,” says Veena Dinesh, Director of Business Incubation at the University of Maine.
The winning companies are Ferda Farms, KinoTek, and RentScore.
Ferda Farms is a local oyster farm in Brunswick, Maine on the New Meadows River. Operated by three college freshman and one of their dads, Ferda Farms produces quality tasting, farm fresh oysters, while bringing innovation and automation to the aquaculture industry. Determined to lead the new generation of young-age farmers, these students are doing it with sustainability and style to keep our beloved coasts and waters clean. Leading the company are Max Burtis, a mechanical engineering student, and Sam Dorval, an electrical engineering student. Both hail from Brunswick, Maine and attended Brunswick High School.
KinoTek uses virtual reality and motion capture technology to see the way people move and the muscles they use. The work being done by this company seeks to mitigate musculoskeletal injuries, increase body awareness, and help with overall education of physiological and biomechanical concepts. KinoTek is led by Justin Hafner, who has degrees in Kinesiology & Psychology, from Queensbury, NY. Other team members include: Jon Gagnon with a B.S. Kinesiology/M.S. Kinesiology from Glenburn, ME; David Holomakoff with a B.S and M.S. in Bioengineering from East Norwalk, CT; Patrick Breeding a master’s student with a B.S in Bioengineering from East Grandby, CT; and Walter Rasmussen a computer engineering student from Auburn, ME.
RentScore is designed to provide landlords with critical information about their tenants, which currently landlords lack the resources to acquire, leaving them to interpret the quality of the tenant with insufficient information. Based on in-person landlord and tenant interviews, the company has found that in many cases, negative landlord-tenant relationships stem from a perceived lack of trust from destructive tenants and landlords neglecting their responsibilities. RentScore will help rebuild this trust by providing the information that landlords want from tenants quickly and easily. Preliminary public relations research shows tenant groups, landlord associations, and city officials will welcome the services that RentScore will offer, making communities a better place to live for all. Team members include Steve Doman a current MBA student from Portland, ME who attended Deering High School, and John Peters, who holds a B.A. in philosophy, from Lewiston, ME and attended Lewiston High School. Both Steve and John were part of the Foster Center’s Innovate for Maine Fellows program.
Greenlight Maine is a business competition aired on WCSH-6 and WLBZ-2. The student competition will air every Sunday in the month of March at 10 a.m. The series is a production of Portland Media Group, LLC in cooperation with the New England School of Communications. In the five seasons the series has aired, over $11 million has been invested in companies that have appeared on the show, in addition to the $300,000 given out in prize money. To find out more about Greenlight Maine, please visit greenlightmaine.com.
The University of Maine Foster Center for Innovation helps students and community members develop a mindset and skill set for creating, testing, and achieving ideas. To learn more about the Foster Center for Innovation and the student business incubator, please visit umaine.edu/innovation.
The Innovate for Maine Fellows program connects the best and brightest Maine college students with Maine’s most exciting, growing companies as a way to grow and create jobs across the state of Maine through innovation and entrepreneurship. For more information on the Innovate for Maine Fellows program, please visit innovateformaine.org.