A local business that has built software to help companies track their sustainability initiatives won $10,000 Wednesday night at the annual Top Gun Showcase event.

About 250 people packed into Hannaford Hall at the University of Southern Maine to hear entrepreneurs from 10 companies pitch their businesses. The annual event is the culmination of the Top Gun program, an initiative of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development that offers five months of classes and mentorship to entrepreneurs who are building businesses in Maine.

“It was, by far, the most successful showcase we’ve had,” said Don Gooding, the center’s executive director.

The winner was Rapport, a company in Portland that has built a cloud-based software product that companies can use to help them track their sustainability initiatives. The software product is a spinoff from The SOAP Group, a Portland-based consulting firm focused on helping companies operate in more sustainable ways.

“Rapport is a great example of a company that’s been around for a while and then they developed an incredible innovation, which fundamentally changes their business,” Gooding said. “They have the customer relationships, they know the problems, and they’re starting to get traction with customers not only in Maine, but elsewhere across the country.”

Besides the $10,000 cash grand prize, Gooding surprised the crowd at the end of the night by announcing that Microsoft had pledged to provide the top three finalists with $60,000 in software and services through its BizSpark program.


After Rapport, the two runners-up that will receive the Microsoft package are Bar Harbor-based RockStep Solutions and American Unagi in Thomaston.

This year’s finalists competed in both online and live pitch semifinal competitions in each of the Top Gun locations: Portland, Rockport and Bangor. Judges chose two winners from each location, as well as four wild card spots for the entrepreneurs who held the next four highest scores, according to a news release from the center.

The other finalists who competed Wednesday night were Vetro FiberMap, Course Storm, Pemaquid Mussel Farms, Zeomatrix, Downeast Dayboat, Parent Technology Group LLC and LooHoo LLC.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.