USDA Rural Development and Maine Community Foundation Invest $59,500 in Upstart Maine to Strengthen Local Businesses

Emily Cannon
Bangor, Maine
Release Date
Aug 13, 2020

Funding is projected to Assist Ten Small Local Businesses

USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs today announced a Rural Business Development Grant in the amount of $34,500 to Upstart Maine, located in Orono and serving the Bangor Region. In addition, Upstart Maine will receive a $25,000 Start Up Scale Up Grant from the Maine Community Foundation.

USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs said, “I am pleased that USDA Rural Development can assist Upstart Maine by providing essential funding that will help connect start-up businesses in the region to resources that will help them grow. This funding underscores the Trump Administration’s steadfast commitment to investing in economic opportunities that help Maine businesses thrive and prosper.”

The funds invested by USDA Rural Development and Maine Community Foundation will enable UpStart Maine to engage as an “ecosystem builder” to help build connections between entrepreneurs and community resources in the Bangor Region and beyond: mentors, senior executives in established organizations, companies that can serve as first customers and industry contacts, early-stage investors, and other entrepreneurs who have achieved commercial success.

The coalition's members are:

  • Bangor Innovation Center (incubator with flex, production, distribution space)
  • Bangor Region Top Gun (business accelerator program)
  • Big Gig (coaching, pitch and networking program)
  • CoVort (coworking space)
  • MaineStream Finance (Community Development Financial Institution - business assistance and micro-loans)
  • Scratchpad Accelerator (seed accelerator)
  • University of Maine Foster Center for Innovation (technical assistance, internship program, student incubator)
  • UpStart Center for Entrepreneurship (incubator with R&D and lab facilities and related services)

For more information on how your business can benefit from Upstart Maine, please contact them at (207) 866-2406 or

USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business Development Grant Program provides grants to entities such as towns, communities and nonprofits to provide technical assistance and training for small rural businesses. For more information please contact Brian Wilson, Business Programs Director, at (207) 990-9168 or

Maine Community Foundation’s Start Up Scale Up Grant Program invests in nonprofit organizations and projects that help start up new businesses or help grow existing businesses. This includes but is not limited to “incubator” and “accelerator” programs and collaborative workspaces such as “makerspaces” or “coworking” spaces. please contact Senior Program Officer Maggie Drummond-Bahl by email or phone: or (207) 412-0839.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit