Kelly Speaks with Press Herald About Innovate for Maine, Blackstone Accelerates Growth

Renee Kelly, director of economic development initiatives at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about the planned end of the $3 million Blackstone Accelerates Growth (BxG) initiative that aimed to support entrepreneurship in Maine. Among the programs created through BxG is the Innovate for Maine Fellows program that is based in UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation. The internship program connects Maine college students with growing companies as a way to create jobs in Maine through innovation and entrepreneurship. Since it was founded in 2012, it has placed roughly 100 college students at Maine companies, according to the article. “We saw a real need because we interact with students every day,” Kelly said. “They feel like they don’t know about opportunities and have to leave the state to find good opportunities, and at the same time we work with companies that are desperate for talent. We felt there must be a better way, and this program is a way to build those connections. And the Blackstone funding was critical to help get that off ground.”