WATERVILLE — Maine Venture Fund is proud to announce a new partnership with Dirigo Labs, a startup accelerator launched by the Central Maine Growth Council, to increase capital investment into companies located in central Maine. Dirigo Labs will provide MVF with “boots on the ground” in the region and develop a channel through which companies can learn about the equity financing options available from MVF. In turn, MVF will participate in Dirigo Labs accelerator programming and work directly with companies to help them understand the fundraising process and identify sources of capital in Maine and beyond, including but not limited to Maine Venture Fund itself.
Dr. Brien Walton, MVF Board chair, stated, “Partnering with Dirigo Labs follows the MVF Board’s strategic priority of expanding impact across Maine. As a lean team, MVF can be more efficient by working to support existing regional partners rather than recreating those resources. The relationship with Dirigo Labs and the Central Maine Growth Council is a perfect example of this type of partnership, to better connect the state’s resources with dynamic leaders on the front lines of growing central Maine’s economy.”
Susan Ruhlin of Dirigo Labs agreed. “As Maine’s venture capital fund, it made sense to ally with Maine Venture Fund to ensure that participating Dirigo Labs startups have direct access to state funding that seeks to support high growth companies. Maine Venture Fund’s demonstrated success in the state over the past 25 years bolsters the potential for new economic development organizations like Dirigo Labs to gain a foothold and thrive over the next 25 years in better serving the central Maine region.”
MVF is already engaging with several of the companies enrolled in the Dirigo Labs inaugural accelerator class in a range of activities from general fundraising education to capital investment evaluation. MVF expects to leverage the newly announced MVF Microfund program to offer a wider range of equity funding options to the companies at Dirigo Labs and in the wider central Maine region.
Dirigo Labs is a regional startup accelerator based in Waterville, Maine. With a mission to grow the greater Waterville area’s digital economy by supporting entrepreneurs building innovation-based companies, the Dirigo Labs ecosystem brings together people, resources, and organizations to ensure the successful launch of new startups. Dirigo Labs operates under Central Maine Growth Council and is supported by several organizations, academic institutions, and investment firms. To learn more about Dirigo Labs, please visit http://www.dirigolabs.org.
Maine Venture Fund invests in dynamic businesses that have the potential for significant growth and impact in Maine. The Fund has invested over $25 million in Maine companies since 1997, after its creation by an act of the Maine Legislature as a revolving “evergreen” state-sponsored fund. For more information, visit maineventurefund.com.