AUGUSTA — Today the Department of Economic and Community Development announced it has selected the first Maine companies to participate in its Early Adopter Program. The Early Adopter program, launched in April, provides opportunities for up to three selected Maine companies to partner on a time-limited project with an appropriate State agency or office which helps take the company’s new product and or technology mainstream.

“Small businesses statewide are using their ingenuity and imagination to transform the way we do things. By supporting their creations in the early stages, we can ensure companies target their resources to reach the right markets in Maine,” said Commissioner Heather Johnson, DECD. “OpBox, Acadia Composite Materials, and pumpspotting exemplify the innovation of Maine people and we are proud to partner with them as the first participants in the Early Adopter Program.”

DECD received 13 applications from innovative companies in Maine and selected three applicants to make a “pitch” to an appropriate State agency for an early adopter project. Based on the presentations, three Maine companies were selected to move forward with two projects: pumpspotting with the Maine Bureau of Human Resources, and OpBox and Acadia Composite Materials with multiple state agencies. They are awarded a project contract with specific goals around how the effort will move the company forward.

In partnership with the Maine Bureau of Human Resources, pumpspotting will provide state employees, as well as their partners and spouses, access to the pumpspotting mobile app, a community-driven platform that provides nursing, pumping, and breastfeeding parents with timely, evidence-based content, uplifting notes and supportive articles, a crowdsourced map of places to nurse and pump worldwide, one-on-one support from certified lactation consultants and, perhaps most importantly, a network of fellow parents to connect with 24×7.

“As a Maine startup, we are thrilled to have been selected for this partnership,” said pumpspotting Founder & CEO Amy VanHaren. “The State of Maine’s commitment to supporting feeding parents is indicative of its commitment to innovation and to attracting a diverse workforce. We look forward to our home state being a model for breastfeeding supportive climates nationwide.”

In partnership with the Governor’s Office of Policy, Innovation and the Future, the Maine Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Environmental Protection, OpBox and Acadian Composite Materials will explore whether their custom high-end, high-tech modular units, built with a unique composite structurally insulated panel made from recycled plastic bottles, can meet the criteria for state and municipal uses as modular structures for use as mobile “pop-up” businesses and community infrastructure, such as shops, offices, food and beverage and disaster relief.

Both companies were founded by siblings Emily and Ben Davis. OpBox manufactures its units in Nobleboro out of 100 percent recycled plastic panels created by Acadian Composite Materials.  

“On behalf of ACM and OpBox, we would like thank the DECD for launching the “Early Adopter Program”, both companies are very excited to be part of such a great initiative,” said OpBox and Acadian Composite Materials Co-Founder Ben Davis. 

“We are proud to provide the state of Maine with a tool that will not only assist across multiple agencies but support the state’s green initiative,” said OpBox and Acadian Composite Materials Co-Founder Emily Davis.

The Department of Economic and Community Development will continue to host quarterly opportunities for up to three selected Maine companies. For more information, click here.