Gorham Savings Bank has revealed the five finalists in its Launchpad business plan competition that will vie for $30,000 in a live pitch event next week.
Launchpad, in its second year, is open to Maine businesses or promising startups that can demonstrate solid business plans and compelling need for the money.
The five finalists were chosen by public voting on 12 semifinalists, each of which posted a video pitch on the bank’s Launchpad website.
“We’re obviously very excited and very honored,” said Dan Kerluke, CEO of Double Blue Sports Analytics. “There were so many great companies that were semifinalists, we’re very fortunate to get to the top five. It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to promote the company, but also to have a shot at $30,000 to bolster the development of the product.”
Double Blue Sports officially launched software in December that provides hockey goalies and goalie coaches with performance data and analytics by aggregating video of goalies’ performance. Kerluke said the company’s product is “first to market” and gaining attention.
Each finalist will have seven minutes to pitch his business at an event starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the University of Southern Maine’s Hannaford Hall in Portland. The public is welcome. A panel of judges will weigh the pitches and select a winner, who will walk away with the $30,000 prize, no strings attached.
The judges will be Craig Denekas, president and CEO of the Libra Foundation; Paul Ferguson, president of the University of Maine; and Michelle Neujahr, entrepreneurial center director at Southern Maine Community College.
In addition to the grand prize, the Maine Technology Institute and Blackstone Accelerates Growth will present a technology award of $5,000 to the semifinalist that shows the best use of technological innovation as the basis for creating a new business in Maine.
Pika Energy, a Gorham-based company that makes residential wind turbines, won the inaugural contest last year, using the $30,000 to move from a founder’s basement to a commercial space.
Whit Richardson can be contacted at 791-6463 or at: