University of Maine announces Innovate for Maine Fellows class of 2021

The Innovate for Maine Fellows of 2021 are kicking off their summer work experiences with Maine companies following completion of a week-long boot camp program designed to introduce them to innovation and entrepreneurship in the state. Twenty-three students representing seven colleges and universities will complete internships or projects for 25 Maine companies this summer as part of the program.

The boot camp featured training in innovation and an introduction to Maine’s economic and entrepreneurial landscape. Students heard from Sen. Angus King, University of Maine assistant professor of economics Andrew Crawley and a dozen young innovators and entrepreneurs who are living and working in Maine. Through Maine Career Catalyst, Innovate for Maine fellows will have access to professional development, social, and networking opportunities over the course of the summer, connecting them with other student interns across the state.  

Innovate for Maine connects the most innovation-minded Maine college and graduate students with Maine’s most exciting growing companies for paid summer fellowships designed to accelerate company growth. Through training and hands-on work experiences, student fellows develop innovation skills and learn about the dynamic entrepreneurial and innovative companies operating in the state. The companies selected to host interns this year are based in 18 different cities and towns in Maine, representing 10 of the state’s 16 counties.  

The program is open to Maine residents, regardless of where they attend school, as well as any student from outside of the state who is currently matriculated at a Maine college or university. This year, fellows represent four in-state schools (Bowdoin College, Colby College, the University of Maine, and the University of Southern Maine) and three out-of-state schools (Denison University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies). The fellows are selected based on their demonstrated interest in innovation and entrepreneurship, their unique skill sets, and their vision for Maine’s future. A full listing of fellows, their schools, their hometowns, and the companies with which they will be working follows. 

Run by the University of Maine’s Foster Center for Innovation in collaboration with partners statewide, Innovate for Maine was established in 2012 as part of the Blackstone Accelerates Growth Initiative and has run annually since (excepting a hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Through the program, student participants have gained exposure to innovative Maine companies and built strong networks that help them find opportunities to stay in Maine. A recent survey of Innovate for Maine alumni revealed that 70 percent of respondents were living in Maine and another 10% currently live outside of Maine but plan to return as their careers progress. Nearly 20% of program alumni have started their own companies.

The 2021 Innovate Maine Fellows and their summer work sites are:

Abby Gray of Freeport, Maine, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, working with the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center; Carter Breitenfeldt of Plymouth, Minnesota, Colby College, Lean East; Eleanor Goldman of St. Louis, Missouri, Colby College, Local Wood Works; Emma Walsh of Readfield, Maine, University of Southern Maine, Marin Skincare; Hannah Bennett of Milbridge, Maine, Denison University, Farmington Underground; Jean-Daniel Liwanga of Portland, Maine, University of Southern Maine, Nearpeer Inc.; Jillian Galloway of Hope, Maine, Bowdoin College, Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center; Joshua Jacobson of Sudbury, Massachusetts, Colby College, MaineNerve LLC; Mairéad Murphy of York, Maine, Illinois Institute of Technology, HaloMed and The Hop Yard; Tara O’Malley of Norfolk, Massachusetts, Bowdoin College, Tortoise Labs.

From UMaine — Abigail Boucher of Bangor, Maine, UNAR Labs LLC; Chamath Lochana Amarasinghe Hiti Hamillage of Gampaha, Sri Lanka, Blue Marble Geographics; Claire Hubby of Chanhassen, Minnesota, The Scone Goddess, Blue Ox Malthouse, and The Good Crust; Dylan Bulmer of Auburn, Maine, TrustedRentr; Emma Richardson of Blue Hill, Maine, Foster Center for Innovation; Evan Bess of Madison, Maine, ScanDx LLC; Isaiah Lee Bedsole of Melrose, Massachusetts, Mainely SEO; Jessie Power of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Sea & Reef Aquaculture; Katie Luce of Sidney, Maine, Exploring Ventures; Lucas Blom of Bangor, Maine, KinoTek; Maizy Guinn of St. Joseph, Missouri, Bangor Beer Company; Margaret Somers of Hallowell, Maine, Portland Rising; Sydney Avena of East Lyme, Connecticut, Pemetic Sea Farms.

Contact: Ashley Forbes,