Maine Startup & Create Week Announces 2015 Event Schedule

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Over 75 Events Related to Small Business, Food Innovation, and Scale & Growth Slated For Week of June 22-28, 2015

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MSCW is a national conference and celebration of innovators, entrepreneurs and small businesses that showcases Maine’s vibrant, growing startup eco-system to the wider Maine community and attendees from around the country.

Maine Startup & Create Week ( MSCW) – a national conference and celebration of innovators, entrepreneurs and startups – has released its schedule of events and keynote speakers. Presented by Norton Insurance • Financial and Blackstone Accelerates Growth, MSCW will once again take place in Portland, Maine from June 22-28, 2015, with the aim of showcasing Maine’s vibrant, growing startup eco-system to the wider Maine community and attendees from around the country.

Beginning on Monday, June 22, MSCW will host eight sessions each day that are focused on three tracks - Small Business, Food Innovation, Scale & Growth - while each afternoon a nationally recognized keynote speaker will share his/her thoughts, learnings and expertise with registrants.

The full schedule can be found online at http://www.mainestartupandcreateweek.com/schedule/, with some of the highlights listed below:

MONDAY, JUNE 22

  •     Trends in Financing for Growth – Discussion of trends in financing for companies looking to grow quickly.
  •     What Growth Looks Like in Maine – Hear from three successful entrepreneurs about how they scaled their businesses, and whether being in Maine helped or hindered their success.
  •     Rapid Prototyping: Learn how to expediently and efficiently prototype to ensure scaling quickly.
  •     Green, Clean and Stretching the Seasons: Learn how high-tech greenhouses, bio-digesters and other innovations are increasing efficiency, intensity, and sustainably for farmers.
  •     Getting A Food Product Ready for Retail: Regional and national retail buyers discuss the details of getting into regional and national chains.
  •     Donato Tramuto: Keynote Speaker

TUESDAY, JUNE 23

  •     New Grocery Model: From Farmer’s Markets to National Chains - how to look ahead to food trends to better serve our customers and our businesses.
  •     Stories of Successful Pivots: Discussion on successful pivots, in the face of changes in company culture, product development issues, design issues, user experience and customer research.
  •     New News Media: Staying relevant in the evolving face of news media.
  •     Craft Spirits in America - A panel will explore the craft spirits space by looking at challenges associated with this growth category, as well as favorable trends among distillers and consumers.
  •     Managing Conflict: How co-founders and partners manage conflict and come out on top of their business.
  •     Customer Acquisition: Growing A Customer Base. How to get the first 100 customers, and how that’s different from the next 10,000.
  •     Early Hires: A panel discusses identifying skills gaps and hiring growth drivers before they get expensive, learning to assess ROI and whether to hire at all.
  •     From the Kitchen Stove to the Marketplace: Discussion on early problems of starting a food business, how they were solved, and how to avoid many before they happen.
  •     Jules Piere: Keynote Speaker

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24

  •     Owner-Operator Syndrome: Learn how to delegate a business process to ease bottleneck and promote growth.
  •     Farm to Fork 2.0: How connective software can improve farming, distributing and marketing about local food.
  •     Food Company Sustainability: A 360 Degree View: Discussion on how to be a truly sustainable food company and the balancing act of staying true to your mission and profitable at the same time.
  •     Brand Building for Growth in the Digital Age: Building and managing a brand in the digital age.
  •     Crowdfunding Sales: How small businesses can use crowd funding to fuel business growth at the local level.
  •     Reinvigorating and Innovating Traditional Crops: Learn how to get value from a harvest, moving beyond a commodity sale by telling the story of the harvest, sustainability and relationship with the source.
  •     Cheryl Heller: Keynote Speaker

THURSDAY, JUNE 25

  •     Falling Forward: Learning from stories of failure from people who have overcome theirs.
  •     Social Media - Great When it Works: Learn from panelists who have built their businesses around social media, as well as entrepreneurs who use social media to drive non-sales indicators for their businesses.
  •     Food Distribution: Learn how a food entrepreneur starts and how to grow successful partnerships with distributors.
  •     Design Accelerant: Discussion on the role of art and design in value creation, differentiation and scale.
  •     Food Distribution: A panel will cover different distribution types and provide insights on challenges of distributors working with different types of growing companies.
  •     Valuation Narrative: Entrepreneurial tales of valuation and exit strategies
  •     Agile Manufacturing: How to plan for manufacturing growth in an innovation economy. A discussion on planning for growth in economy, how to find manufacturers, and how manufacturers can help fill skills gap.
  •     The Art of Sales: Discussion on why sales people are the most important people in organizations and explain the recruitment, training and incentivizing of sales people.
  •     Market Insights on a Shoestring: How to evaluate a market opportunity, and use the basic market research and market testing tools to fail fast and fail cheap even before the prototyping stage.
  •     Financing Food Ventures: A panel of artists who are leading fast paced startups and prominent national companies discuss the role of art in design.
  •     Steven Kotler: Keynote Speaker

FRIDAY, JUNE 26

  •     The Abundance Cycle: Jay Friedlander discusses how he is helping sustainable companies reign supreme through an innovative and holistic framework.
  •     Food Branding, Design and Marketing: How to tell your story while staying true to your brand and finding the right audience.
  •     When to Innovate: A discussion on when it makes sense for small companies to take on the risk and overhead to introduce product innovation.
  •     Food Incubator Models: A panel will discuss what food incubators are, citing some examples from around the country.
  •     East versus West: Why someone should start a business in Maine versus Silicon Valley or Boston.
  •     Space Matters Workshop: Transition from a bootstrapped workspace to a thoughtful and effective place of business.
  •      John Gosier: Keynote Speaker

SATURDAY, JUNE 27

  •     Product Innovation Maine: An inside look at how great Maine companies are at positioning their products.
  •     How to Live Well and Make A Living in Portland: A look at how transplant employees and their employers are solving the trailing spouse issue.

For additional information with regard to Maine Startup & Create Week, or to sign up for particular workshop, visit http://www.mainestartupandcreateweek.com/.

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