A week-long event highlighting entrepreneurship has been renamed and a new leader selected after one of the co-founders of the event resigned following allegations of sexual harassment.

Maine Startup & Create Week will now be called Startup Maine and will be led by Katie Shorey, organizers announced Thursday. Shorey, who was named president and chairwoman of the organization this week, said the name change reflects the event’s shorter schedule and also opens the organization to involvement in other events promoting entrepreneurship throughout the year.

One of the co-founders of the event, Jess Knox, resigned as president in January after admitting that he behaved inappropriately with two female associates. Venture Hall, a Portland-based business accelerator, also cut ties with Knox and ceased operations after a $475,000 entrepreneurship grant was canceled in the wake of Knox’s admission. In addition, an entrepreneurship initiative backed by the Maine Technology Institute said it would no longer work with Knox or his consulting firm.

In addition to the new name and leader, organizers of Startup Maine also said the group’s premier event would be shortened from a week to three days and will be adding evening events to allow more people to participate after regular work hours.

Startup Maine will now be held from the evening of Thursday, June 21 through Saturday, June 23. There will be day and evening events on Friday, June 22 and the Saturday event will run all day, with speakers, workshops and networking opportunities.

Shorey, a community development executive with Peoples United Bank, said the organization is transitioning from being led by a steering committee to a board of directors, with the goal to make sure there’s gender parity on the board. She said the change will take place over the new few weeks.


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