ORONO – The University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation is seeking motivated, innovative college students and Maine companies for the Innovate for Maine Fellows program. The application deadline for both college students and companies is March 15.

The Innovate for Maine Fellows program is open to students pursuing college degrees in Maine or residents attending college elsewhere. Students can work full time or part time during the summer, with the possibility of continuing part time during the academic year.

Innovate for Maine Fellows connects the best and brightest Maine college students with the state’s most exciting, growing companies as a way to create jobs through innovation and entrepreneurship. The program offers paid internships that place students with companies to receive training in innovation and entrepreneurship, and real-world job experience. Other benefits for interns include potential academic credit and networking opportunities with Maine business leaders.

“I feel very lucky that my first job is at a startup like Tide Creative (in Portland),” says Dana Hopkins, a current Innovate for Maine Fellow. “It’s letting me get experience in multiple areas, including social media, customer support, blogging, event coordination and even a little project management. This opportunity never would have happened without the Innovate for Maine program, and I will always be grateful.”

Students chosen to become the next class of Innovate for Maine Fellows participate in an intensive week of preparation before beginning their internships. The mandatory “boot camp” includes training in UMaine’s cutting-edge Innovation Engineering program, a systematic process for developing breakthrough innovations. In addition, students learn more about Maine’s entrepreneurial landscape and network with entrepreneurial leaders.

Applications are also available for Maine companies looking for summer interns. Companies selected to participate in this program are able to get the help they need to accelerate innovation projects and grow their businesses. Trained innovation experts guide and mentor both the fellow and the company for the duration of the project. UMaine handles all recruiting, screening, matching, hiring, and initial innovation and workplace training.

The Innovate for Maine program will match interns with companies that are developing innovative new products or services, and seeking to significantly grow revenues and employment. The initiative, supported in part by Blackstone Accelerates Growth, assists companies with matching funds, according to company size, to support the cost.

Blackstone Accelerates Growth is a partnership between the University of Maine, Maine Technology Institute and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development. The goal of the initiative is to create jobs and economic development in Maine through entrepreneurship and growth. It works with partners to create statewide programs with coordinated, focused activities to accelerate companies, connections and the next generation of Maine entrepreneurs. It operates as part of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, a $50 million Entrepreneurship Initiative to support innovative programs that drive job creation.

“There are a number of Maine companies developing new innovations that are eager for talented students who understand the innovation process,” said Renee Kelly, co-director of the Foster Center. “By matching students trained in Innovation Engineering with these companies, we hope to help the companies grow while helping Maine students see that there are great opportunities to work and stay in Maine after they graduate.”

For more information and applications for the Innovate for Maine program got to foster.target.maine.edu/2-uncategorised/207-innovate-for-maine-fellows-program.


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