The crown of entrepreneurs, innovators, funders, service providers, and students who braved the cold this past Tuesday night to attend the Big Gig ( at Husson’s Dyke Center for Family Business had a fine time.

All three participants in the pitch-off did very well and received compliments (in addition to constructive suggestions, of course) from the panel of local Big Wigs. The three pitches were for three very different types of businesses – a restaurant, a business app, and a free service – making comparisons between them even more interesting!

James Gallagher, Whoopie Pie Café, is looking to expand beyond the current Bangor location on Hammond Street. He also wants to build a website to facilitate deliveries.

Tobin Slaven, Magic Number Labs, is developing a software widget/app that makes a game out of shopping and provides small-to-medium sized retailers a better alternative than coupons. He is looking for a small group of such businesses with which to test the program.

Spencer Wood, Tip Whip LLC, provides a free ride-sharing service to UMaine students. He is developing mobile app technology, hopes to expand to other college campuses, and wants legal guidance on various business models.

Ultimately, the audience gave the most votes to Spencer Wood’s pitch for Tip Whip, so he received a $250 check from Big Gig’s prize sponsor, University Credit Union, and is invited to compete for UCU’s $1,500 grand prize at a pitch-off with the previous two winners at the Big Gig Finale, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, at UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation.


Again, similar to the event this week, the Big Wigs and audience at the Finale will hear pitches for three very different enterprises.

Who: Big Gig is an unprecedented partnership between the towns of Orono and Old Town, the University of Maine, Husson University, and Blackstone Accelerates Growth.

Big Gig is a join effort between the Orono Economic Development Corporation, the Old Town Development LLC, the Foster Center for Student Innovation, the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business, and Blackstone Accelerates Growth. its goal is to create a network of innovators and entrepreneurs and bring.

The evening of the Big Gig, each of the three pre-selected pitchers delivers their pitch (no more than five minutes; no handouts or PowerPoint) about their business or idea and receives constructive feedback from our panel of local Big Wigs. But ultimately it’s the audience who decides who the big winner of the night is. Regardless of who wins, all participants get free publicity for their amazing idea – plus the opportunity to network with other innovators, entrepreneurs, funders, and providers.

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