Becoming an Innovate for Maine Company
The Innovate for Maine Fellows program connects the best and brightest Maine college students with Maine’s most exciting, growing companies and business leaders in an effort to help grow and create jobs across the state of Maine. Emphasizing innovation and entrepreneurship, the program prepares student fellows to collaborate with companies on innovation projects that accelerate company growth and give students a paid, meaningful, hands-on internship experience.
We are looking for a variety of high growth, for-profit companies with a focus on innovation.
Companies from across the state of Maine are invited to apply to engage a fellow for an internship experience. If selected, companies receive help from the best and brightest Maine college students. The University of Maine handles all recruiting, screening, matching, and initial innovation and workplace training. In addition, the university provides a supervisor for each intern and handles all hiring and payroll functions.
Selected companies are those that demonstrate an interest in innovation, a desire for scalable growth, and will provide fellows with a meaningful learning experience.
Innovate for Maine Fellows have the ability to:
• Conduct market research and customer surveys to identify innovation opportunities
• Generate ideas to leverage market opportunities
• Write marketing messages and innovation descriptions
• Run “fail fast, fail cheap” experiments, such as working on prototypes and sales forecasts to determine innovation feasibility
Some fellows are tasked with assisting only one company and may either work on site, or at the University of Maine or one of our partner organizations. Other fellows work on projects for multiple companies and are based at the University of Maine but may be available for company visits.
Over the summer, fellows will be available to work 100, 200 or 400-hour internships.
Prior to working with selected companies, fellows receive training in innovation and entrepreneurship to enable them to work effectively with companies on growth projects. Specifically, they are trained in Innovation Engineering, the University of Maine’s ground-breaking new innovation program. Through this training they will learn how to develop business models, customer surveys, and write customer messages. They will have the ability to create ideas for innovations and test them using “fail fast, fail cheap” experiments. Interns are also exposed to social media and workplace etiquette training.
Selected fellows will be employees of the University of Maine and will report to their UMaine supervisor in addition to the company contact. Prior to the start of the internship, we will develop a work plan in consultation with the company contact and selected fellow. Previous projects have included market research, competitive analysis, and digital marketing.
The fee for interns are as follows:
• Summer Full-Time (up to 400 hours), $6900
• Summer Part-Time (up to 200 hours), $3900
• Summer Project Based (up to 100 hours), $1950
For companies with fewer than 12 employees, subsidies are awarded on a first come, first serve basis based on the availability of funding, and how well your company/project aligns with the goals of the program: true innovation project, scalable growth, and good history of past program participation. In the event that a company is awarded a subsidy, the portion of the intern fee the they will pay is based on the sliding scale below.
• Year 1 Max: Company pay 25%
• Year 2 Max: Company pay 50%
• Year 3 Max: Company pay 75%
• Year 4 Max: Company pay 100%
If a company is awarded a placement, but not a subsidy, they have the option of declining to accept the placement.