February 28, 2013

Commentary: Making Maine an incubator of new ideas and small companies

By Alan Caron

(Continued from page 1)

In doing those things, we'd be saying that while we value our larger businesses, and welcome more, Maine is focusing on small businesses, entrepreneurs and innovation. We'd be placing more value on startups with 2 or 5 or 10 employees that might someday grow to 50 or 100 or 500.

And we'd be rebuilding an economy that would be, as Maine's once was, more decentralized and sustainable.

We have a good start in that direction with organizations like the Maine Technology Institute, Coastal Enterprises, the Maine Development Foundation, SBA and other organizations promoting creativity and entrepreneurship. They're co-operating with each other and with public and private colleges that are already moving in this direction. Now we need to put that emerging incubator infrastructure on steroids.

All of that is possible, if we decide to make it happen. We have a long tradition of invention and entrepreneurship. We're a land of tinkerers and creators. Let's put that part of our character front and center. Celebrate it. Applaud it. Grow it.

Alan Caron is a principal of the Caron & Egan Consulting Group, which works with companies, governments and nonprofits to plan and achieve goals and to more effectively collaborate. He also serves as the president of Envision Maine, a nonpartisan organization that promotes Maine's next economy. He can be reached at:



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