Maine Startup and Create Week has recruited a diverse group of big thinkers to serve as keynote speakers at its entrepreneurial showcase set for June 20-24.

The speakers, including two startup founders with Maine ties, were picked to help encourage Maine residents who want to develop high-growth, high-impact companies to flourish in a state that is geared toward more traditional small-business models, said event founder Jess Knox, a Portland-based business consultant. Mainers excel at launching small businesses, and hard work, but often lack the opportunity to hear from people “who have big aspirations to grow a world-class company,” Knox said.

Speakers include Mimi Chun, a startup founder and designer who helps find funding for startups; Rodney Sampson, a serial startup founder who launched an Atlanta-based innovation incubator; Sampriti Bhattacharyya, a young roboticist who designed an underwater drone to detect cracks in nuclear reactor tanks; Robyn Kanner, an Amazon designer whose company is helping transgender people find health care; and Forbes Media President Mike Perlis, who achieved record growth for the century-old company with startup techniques.

Kanner is a former Portland resident, and Perlis began his media career as co-founder of New England Publications in Camden.

To buy tickets or to see a schedule of events, go to Keynote addresses run from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. at the Maine College of Art in Portland.

Through the end of the month, tickets cost $400 for the week, $150 for a day, and $15 to hear a keynote speaker over lunch, which can be purchased for an additional $20. Tickets to all five lunches cost $60.

Maine Startup and Create Week began in 2014. The schedule of workshops, addresses and networking celebrates design thinking and business innovation.


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