scratchpad acceleratorA new startup accelerator in Orono is looking for a few good startups to shepherd through the process of launching a successful business… but time is running out. The deadline is today!

The Scratchpad Accelerator is an initiative of the University of Maine in partnership with the Maine Technology Institute. Three companies will be accepted into the 12-week program.

The goal is to lead company founders through a process to “validate, pivot and refine business ideas quickly, helping turn them into viable commercial offerings in a short period of time,” according to Jennifer Hooper, the accelerator’s communications director.

“The program will help companies accomplish in a few months what often takes years to figure out,” she said.

There is no fee and startups do not need to give up any equity if accepted into the program.

Eligible startups, though, do need to be in one of the seven sectors that MTI focuses on: biotech, advanced materials and composites, environmental tech, forest products and agriculture, high-tech and IT, marine tech and aquaculture, and precision manufacturing.

The three startups accepted into the program will have the chance to receive up to $25,000 from MTI, the website says.

Interviews will be conducted next week, and the accelerator starts Sept. 14. Apply here.

“In essence we are accelerating the accelerator and practicing what we will preach to the companies: be nimble, be comfortable with ambiguity, and work until the job gets done!” she said.