Internship connects Maine college students with growing companies

Editor’s note: The Innovate for Maine application deadline has been extended from March 11 to March 23.

For the seventh year in a row, the Foster Center for Student Innovation at the University of Maine is inviting Maine companies and college students to apply for a one-of-a-kind internship experience.

Innovate for Maine seeks to connect the best and brightest Maine college students with the state’s most exciting, growing companies as a way to grow and create jobs in Maine through innovation and entrepreneurship.

Far too often college students leave the state to find employment. At the same time, companies express the need for a qualified, skilled workforce. This is where the Innovate for Maine Fellows program can help.

“There are a number of Maine companies developing innovative products, services and systems that are eager for talented students who understand the innovation process,” says Renee Kelly, assistant vice president for innovation and economic development. “By matching students trained in a systematic approach to innovation with these companies, we hope to help the companies grow while helping Maine students see that there are great opportunities to work and stay in Maine after they graduate.”

Selected students will become part of the Class of 2018. They are placed on real-world, meaningful projects within one or more organizations. Additionally, all fellows receive intensive training before the start of the internship to prepare them for working in high-growth organizations.

Companies have the opportunity to be matched with a fellow or can apply to have their own intern participate in the program as part of this year’s class. All companies receive an innovation mentor who will guide and consult the fellow and company during the project.

Innovation projects can include work on new products or services, process improvements, or projects to scale company growth. Innovate for Maine interns are able to conduct tasks such as market research, write marketing messages and innovation descriptions, assist with technical work, and run “fail fast, fail cheap” experiments such prototyping and sales forecasting.

This year, a number of subsidies will be made available to selected companies to help cover the cost of an intern. This is made possible through the continued support of collaborating partners Maine EPSCoR and Maine Accelerates Growth (MxG).

The deadline to apply is March 23. More information, including applications, is online.