A new business accelerator in Bangor has selected four startups for its inaugural class.

Scratchpad Accelerator is a pilot program of the University of Maine and the Maine Technology Institute. The first of its kind in the state, the program was created to help nurture and provide mentorship to promising startups in the greater Bangor region.

The four startups accepted into the program are Orono-based CourseStorm, which develops course-registration software for education organizations; Double Blue Sports Analytics, based in Orono and Brunswick, which develops sports-related video analytics applications for the iPad; Tip Whip LLC of Old Town, a ride-sharing company geared toward college students; and L&K Manufacturing of Bangor, a 3D printing services bureau.

“We are thrilled to be a part of Scratchpad,” Spencer Wood, founder and CEO of Tip Whip, said in a statement. “We believe our company is poised for tremendous growth, but we need help to get there. At Scratchpad, a team of people will help guide us through critical business decisions. With their help, Tip Whip will become a well-known name on college campuses throughout the United States.”

The companies began work this week from Scratchpad’s location in downtown Bangor and for three months will focus on growing their businesses without distractions. Each will be eligible to receive up to $25,000 from MTI upon completion of the program.

“We provide the environment startups need to explore, pivot and grow quickly,” Jason Harkins, Scratchpad’s managing director and associate professor of entrepreneurship at the Maine Business School, said in a statement. “The support participants receive in the program include funding, education, office space, networking opportunities, mentors and more. It’s our job to clear away obstacles and help companies get clarity. It’s all about helping the entrepreneurs find the right answers and quickly apply lessons learned.”

In addition to programming and mentors, Scratchpad will provide office space and coordinate more than 15 events from weekly founder dinners to a final Demo Day where entrepreneurs will pitch to an audience of potential investors, supporters and partners.

The startups do not need to pay or give up any equity to participate in the accelerator. To be eligible, they had to fit into one of MTI’s seven focus areas: biotech, advanced materials and composites, environmental tech, forest products and agriculture, high-tech and IT, marine tech and aquaculture, and precision manufacturing.


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