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. 

Company Benefits

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

Fellow Availability

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 200 or 400-hour internships.  

Logistics

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. (A sample work plan can be seen here.) Previous projects have included market research, competitive analysis, and digital marketing. 

Cost

The fee for interns are as follows:
     • Summer Full-Time (up to 400 hours), $5900
     • Summer Part-Time (up to 200 hours), $3500
     • Summer Project Based (up to 100 hours), $1750

The Innovate for Maine program has a limited number of subsidies that are awarded based on how well the goals of the company align with the goal of the program. The percentage of the intern fee that the company pays is based on its number of employees. In the event that a subsidy is awarded, the portion of the intern fee is based on the sliding scale below.

     • 50 or more employees, pay 100%
     • 26-49 employees, pay 75%
     • 16-25 employeees, pay 50%
     • 6-15 employees, pay 25%
     • >6 employees, pay 10%

If a company is awarded a placement, but not a subsidy, they have the option of declining to accept the placement. 

Thank you to all who applied for assistance from this year’s class! The application is now closed and applicants will be notified via email in the coming weeks.

“Cait is amazing and has been a huge help. With her assistance we’ve made some great progress this summer. In fact, she’s helped us take an idea and turn it into a revenue generating product just in the short time she’s been in our office. That’s an accomplishment to be proud of!”
“Jon did an excellent job working for me the beginning of the summer. I very much appreciated the work, seeing the concept be validated, as well as the positive survey and professional feedback.”
“Victoria was perfect. Detail oriented, friendly and willing to tackle difficult tasks.”
The Innovate Maine intern that I worked with was able to design and complete a critical market analysis project without a lot of coaching. The quality of the data was key to making a decision to proceed with a new product. I would whole-heartedly recommend the Innovate Maine Interns to any company and look forward to using them again in the future.