The Launch

The Portland Food Launch is June 22nd at Thompson’s Point in Portland. The event is Maine’s one-day celebration of food, wrapped into an interactive, educational experience. The inaugural event is sponsored by the Greater Portland Council of Governments, Norway Savings Bank, Fork Food Lab, Maine Technology Institute, Hannaford and Maine Today/ Portland Press Herald.

Dayside, hundreds of food entrepreneurs will partner with Maine business, finance and marketing leaders in three educational tracks: Startup, Scale-up and Accelerate. The goal: To give Maine food entrepreneurs and scaling businesses a push to the next level.

 Photo  credit: Tim Greenway/Mainebiz

Photo credit: Tim Greenway/Mainebiz

8:00 AM Registration

8:30 AM Keynote Address

Founder & Owner of Holy Donuts Leigh Kellis

Hear about Leigh's road to success as the 2017 SBA Maine Small Business Person of the Year and how Holy Donuts employees are giving back to their communities.

Food Businesses, Entrepreneurs, Realtors, Developers, Planners, and Service Providers are encouraged to participate in any track

THREE TRACKS:  Startup . Scale-up . Accelerate

Holy Donut

sTARTuP tRACK For New Businesses

MORNING: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Brick South, Thompson's Point

Are you working out of your home kitchen and looking to move out? Learn the nuts and bolts of starting your business from a team of business experts from the Small Business Administration, the Maine Food System Innovation Challenge, SCORE, Maine Small Business Development Center and New Ventures. During this hands-on session, you will develop your business value proposition and clarify your customer base.

Business Startup Overview: Brad Currie, US Small Business Administration

Business Model Canvas: Bill Seretta, Sustainability Lab, with business counselors from SCORE, SBDC and New Ventures

AFTERNOON: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Stroudwater Distillery, across from Brick South

Meet the experts in a fast-paced networking environment

  • Labeling & Packaging: Taja Dockendorf, Pulp+Wire  
  • Licensing & Permitting: Derrick Stephens, City of South Portland
  • Legal 101: Jonathan Dunitz, Verrill Dana: Legal Food Hub
  • Branding: Glen Rudberg of Ethos Marketing, Kathy Fisher of Fisher Creative, and Krystina Benedetti of Beneditti Design Company


MORNING: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Brick South, Thompson's Point

Is your business ready to grow to the next level? Find out how to pitch your business to secure financing and scale growth to wholesale markets. In the morning session, you will hear real pitches from scale-up companies which have landed financing.

Business Experts include Terry Trickey, Bangor Savings Bank and Grey Harris, CEI

Businesses include Jennifer Scism of Good to Go, Steve Shaffer of Black Dinah's Chocolatiers, and Lynne Rowe of Tortilleria Pachanga

AFTERNOON: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., O'Maine Studios, 54 Danforth St.

  • Meet wholesale buyers in a relaxed networking environment

Businesses include Hannaford, Whole Foods, Rosemont, and Associated Buyers

accelerate TRACK for businesses on the move

MORNING: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Brick South, Thompson's Point

Is it time to grow your business, regionally or internationally? Hear from Maine businesses which have succeeded in national and global markets. Experts will walk you through creating a capital stack to seek funds for your business expansion and learn how to access national/global markets.

Speakers include Colleen Croteau of Maine Beer Company, Joshua Davis of Gelato Fiasco, and John Ready of Ready Seafood.

AFTERNOON: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., various locations

  • Global exports with a field trip to Portland's International Marine Terminal with Karen Martin of Scarborough Economic Development District, Patrick Arnold of Soli DG, Jeff Porter of Maine International Trade Center, and Orion Kelly of OCO Global
  • Real estate development with a field trip to Portland's Bayside neighborhood with Jedd Steinglass of Woodard & Curran