Challenge Weekend, November 21-22
Do you have an idea on how to improve bringing Maine produced food and harvested fish to local and regional markets and could you benefit from expanding your network, technical assistance, funding and recognition? If the answer is yes – Enter the Maine Farm, Fish & Food Innovation Challenge.
What we need: Sustainable business models (both financial and ecological) offering a fair return to the farmer or fisherman at a fair price to the buyer, while minimizing their carbon footprint.
We are looking for: Bold and big ideas pushed by people who want to challenge each other and the status quo.
We expect solutions that either significantly enhance current models, such as farmers’ markets, fish markets, CSAs, pick-your-own and farm-stands, or create new models that adapt to local and regional needs, utilize technology and adopt creative business structures such as cooperatives and L3Cs.
One size does not fit all. Many possible solutions exist, some local and replicable, others regional. Our goal is to create a variety of market models, existing and new, that benefit producers, buyers and consumers.
Your challenge is very straightforward – create a team and enter the Maine Farm, Fish and Food Innovation Challenge. If your idea wins, you and your team will receive technical assistance, expand your network, receive recognition for your work and maybe take home up to $10,000 in cash and services to help bring your solution to market, coupled with an expert support network to help you maintain momentum.
- Be a new (pre-launch idea stage) initiative or an existing venture in the formative stages of development (i.e. less than one year old) or an established enterprise proposing a new idea.
- Present an innovative solution to get Maine grown food and harvested seafood to local and regional markets - think aggregating, processing, distributing or marketing. The business does not need to be located in Maine or focus solely on Maine food.
- Demonstrate a sustainable business model – profit or non-profit- both financial and ecological - offering a fair return to the farmer or fisherman with fair pay to the employees at a fair price to the buyer, while minimizing their carbon footprint.
- We encourage teams but submissions can be by individuals. There is no limit on team size.
- All team members are expected to be in attendance at the Competition Weekend November 21-22
- Participants must register by November 15th.
Challenge Weekend Agenda and Logistics
The Challenge will run from Saturday, November 2, 8:30AM to Sunday, November 22, 5PM. Meals will be provided to teams on Saturday and Sunday. Several resource people will be available on Saturday to advise teams and there will be two short workshops on the Business Model Canvas and Creating a Pitch. Teams will have access to wireless Internet and a printer. Teams should bring their own laptops. Dress is casual. Limited housing is available for teams traveling a long distance.
For more information and team registration go to www.MaineInnovationChallenge.org.