The winning contestants of Greenlight Maine season six. First place: Owner, Founder and CEO of Bixby & Co. Kate McAleer. Second Place: STARC Systems Vice President of Strategic Partners Chris MacKenzie. Third place: CEO of bluShift Aerospace Sascha Deri. Screenshot

STARC Systems and bluShift Aerospace, two companies that operate out of Brunswick Landing, were awarded as top-three finalists on Maine’s entrepreneurial television show, Greenlight Maine, on Thursday.

This year there were 26 competing Maine companies, all of which had appeared on the show in a previous season. The finale, which aired on Thursday night, concluded the sixth season of the series.

STARC Systems came in second, winning a $10,000 prize, and bluShift Aerospace was awarded $5,000, coming in third.

Bixby Chocolate, a Rockland-based company that makes healthier chocolate out of natural ingredients, took first place and the $25,000 prize. The company was represented on the show by owner, founder and CEO Kate McAleer.

In 2011, the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority was charged with guiding the redevelopment of Brunswick Landing, which included the founding of Techplace, a science and technology business center that opened in 2015. The center hosts around 30 businesses.

BluShift Aerospace is a rocket company that had their first successful launch in January and STARC Systems is a temporary wall company that helps construction projects contain dust and debris.


STARC Systems Vice President of Strategic Partners Chris MacKenzie.

“This was indeed the best of Greenlight Maine,” said STARC Systems Vice President of Strategic Partners Chris MacKenzie. “We were delighted to be part of if it and we were honored, and again to be in the final three out of five seasons of candidates was really quite amazing.”

MacKenzie said that STARC Systems is planning to use the money to expand the company’s online platform, specifically a feature to give customers the ability to have a digital, customized visual of how the product would work for their project.

Founder and CEO of bluShift Aerospace Sascha Deri. Courtesy of bluShift Aerospace

BluShift Aerospace CEO Sascha Deri said that the company plans to use the cash from Greenlight Maine to help fund their next rocket, Starless Rogue.

“Making it into the top three finalists of Greenlight Maine was a thrill for me personally and for everyone who believes that Maine can and should be leading the greener, more responsible New Space industry,” said Deri said.

Owner, Founder and CEO of Bixby & Co Kate McAleer. Contributed

In an interview Friday, McAleer said her reaction to the first place victory was total excitement and feeling very honored to have made it through the competition. McAleer said she plans to use the money to purchase much-needed chocolate manufacturing equipment.

“I think fundamentally Maine is a state of small businesses,” McAleer said about business in state. “That’s so refreshing and different.”

The three judges for the finale included President and CEO of MaineGeneral Medical Center at MaineGeneral Health Chuck Hays, CEO of Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream Lindsay Skilling and Managing Director at the Roux Institute Techstars Accelerator Lars Perkins. The show is hosted by Julene Gervais.

Gervais said in an interview that she thinks the three finalists were successful due to their ability to overcome and rise above obstacles in each of their very different markets.

“We know in every industry there is competition and there is also setbacks with the pandemic that they had to adjust their business plan,” Gervais said. “They were all able to do that and keep going and grow during very tough times.”

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