Black Bear Consulting Corps

We’re excited to announce that we’re piloting a program called Black Bear Consulting Corps! This program will provide support to Maine companies that are bringing new innovations to market and that faced challenges and delays due to the pandemic, and it will give students much-needed professional experience to build their résumés. BBCC will pair each company with a small team of vetted college students who can assist with key business projects for three to six weeks during the academic year. The Corps is designed for rapid response on short-term project opportunities. Students will be 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 Fall 2023 (subject to change)

  • Maine company with fewer than 250 employees

  • 100-hour to 150-hour project to start by September 2023 or later

  • Project complete in 3-6 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)


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 3-6 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 earlier during the fall semester, please complete the short form by July 14th.


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 Spring 2023 (subject to change)

  • Paid $17.50/hr by UMaine
  • Attend 2-3 day training session the week of January 9th, 2023 (please reach out if concerned about housing)
  • Work the week of January 9th, 2023 through the end of April (or the end of your college’s semester)
  • Able to work at least 8 hours/week 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. Assigned a team of 1-2 other students to work on first project

  6. Engage with company and student team for 3-6 weeks while you work on the project

  7. Begin steps 4 and 5 again (students will work on one project at a time)

If you’re interested in participating during the fall semester of 2023, more information will be available in the coming months.


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.