Black Bear Consulting Corps

We’re excited to announce that we’ll be hosting our third cohort of Black Bear Consulting Corps during the winter/spring of 2024! This program provides support to Maine companies that are bringing new innovations to market and that faced challenges and delays due to the pandemic, and it gives students much-needed professional experience to build their résumés. BBCC pairs each company with a small team of vetted college students who can assist with key business projects for five weeks during the academic year. The Corps is designed for rapid response on short-term project opportunities. Students are assigned to project teams based on how well their skills and experience align with project needs.

The Black Bear Consulting Corps is funded through the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan and is intended to support the recovery and long-term growth of the many Maine startups and small businesses (fewer than 250 employees) that faced pandemic challenges. Services are offered at no cost to the company. 

Example Projects:

  • Market Research
  • Competitive & Data Analysis
  • Web Design & Improvements
  • Copywriting
  • Graphic Design & Marketing

(This is not a comprehensive list – if your company has different needs, please reach out to us!)


For Companies:

Did your business face challenges and delays in bringing new innovations to market as a result of the pandemic? Do you have a long list of important projects that you don’t have time to complete or that are outside your team’s skillset?

Requirements for Winter 2024 (subject to change)

  • Maine company with fewer than 250 employees

  • 150-hour project to start by late January 2024 or after

  • Project complete in 5 weeks with a team of 2-3 students
  • Projects must be clearly defined and allow students to start working without deep industry/company knowledge (ex: market research, web projects, copywriting, data analytics)

  • Availability to meet with the student team at least once a week via Zoom during the project


How Will It Work?

  1. Complete project form

  2. Company/project vetted by program

  3. Program determines student availability and timing

  4. Project added to queue for completion

  5. Engage with student team for 5 weeks while they work on the project

We will have a rolling application deadline, but if you’re interested in applying to have a project started during Winter 2024, please complete the application linked below by November 19th.



For Students: 

Are you looking for a paid position to gain real-world experience with Maine companies and build your resumé during the school year?

Details & Requirements for Winter 2024 (subject to change)

  • Paid $17.50/hr by UMaine
  • Attend a two-day training session the week of January 8th (housing provided if needed)
  • Work the week of January 16th, 2024 through mid/late April
  • Able to work an average of 10 hours/week for 10 weeks at least partially during business hours (8:30AM – 5PM on weekdays)

  • Currently matriculated in a degree program at UMaine (unless a former Innovate for Maine Fellow)

  • Willing to work in a group with 1-2 other students

  • Located in the United States (exceptions may be made for students studying abroad in certain countries)


How Will It Work?

  1. Complete program form

  2. Interview with our team (unless a former Innovate for Maine Fellow)
  3. Program determines if there are projects that fit your skillset

  4. Select companies/projects that you would prefer to work with

  5. Attend our two-day BBCC training session
  6. Assigned a team of 1-2 other students to work on projects

  7. Engage with first company and your team for 5 weeks while you work on the project

  8. Work with second company for 5 weeks once first project is complete

If you’re interested in participating during the spring semester of 2024, please complete the application linked below by November 19th.


If you have any questions, please reach out to Emma Wilson at


Outline of the state of Maine with the text Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan

The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan was put forth by Governor Mills and supported by the Maine Legislature to invest the State’s share of federal American Rescue Plan relief funds provided by Congress, including for University of Maine System research, innovation, and workforce development.