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Success Stories

Roberta Alexander’s background set her up almost perfectly to be a business owner. With work on Nanik’s franchise division, Window Works, developing training and building relationships between franchisees and the franchisor, her time working on advertising across several industries, and product launches while working for major brands, there couldn’t be a more fitting range of experience. Combined with her love of tea and desire to improve the way people feel, Roberta had all the necessary components to open Soakology in Portland.

In order to get the new business off to a good start, Roberta reached out to SCORE in 2004, prior to opening. Her advisor looked at her business plan and offered some recommendations that were able to make applying for financing easier. With additional assistance from the Portland Economic Development Center and an SBA backed loan with Key Bank, Roberta was able to identify a space for the business and fund the needs of the spa. As sales have grown... Read More

As a US Army Signal Officer, Joshua Broder built extensive knowledge of complex communications systems while deployed overseas in Afghanistan. Applying the training and experience he learned in the Army, Josh returned to his home state of Maine with the expertise to lead Tilson to record growth since transitioning ownership of the company in 2011 from Mike Dow, Tilson’s current Chief Information Officer. Recognized eight consecutive years on the Inc. 5000, Tilson is the fastest-growing privately owned technology company in the state providing network deployment and information system professional services to telecom, construction, utility and government clients across the country.

Part of the success Tilson has experienced over the past few years can be attributed to the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, which allows small businesses to leverage private capital. Between 2015 and 2016, Tilson received $1 million in equity and sub-debt through this program.... Read More

Two of the things that bring people together easily are food and competition. Fyood Kitchen in Portland brings the two together in a way that is accessible for the public. Modelled similarly to the TV show “Chopped”, Fyood presents its customers with a box of ingredients and a challenge to create one sweet dish and one savory dish in a competition with other teams.

Maddie Purcell, the owner and creator of Fyood Kitchen, started this model on a small scale in 2016, first with her roommate, and then inviting friends over to participate in the cooking competitions. Once she was sure that there would be a market for the business, she approached the recently opened Fork Food Lab in Portland to secure business space. With help from the Portland chapter of SCORE, Maddie set up a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 to finance new equipment, and Fyood was able to scale up to five events per month, ranging from small parties to corporate team-building events.

As Maddie and Fyood... Read More

In 2017, Flowfold Co-Owners Devin McNeill and Charles Friedman were named as SBA’s Maine Young Entrepreneurs of the Year. In the time since they received their award, Flowfold has continued to see great success and growth, capitalizing on their strengths in the process.

At the time Flowfold received its initial recognition from the SBA, the business was located in a 1,300 square foot space, had five full time employees, and was just beginning to expand their brand outside of the United States. Now, the business has relocated to a new 3,000 square foot space, has eight full time employees with plans for at least three more, and is fully in the swing of exporting. Flowfold has also strengthened its partnership with L.L.Bean with the launch of a new collaboration collection sold online and in all U.S. and Japan L.L.Bean stores.

Through partnerships established with the help of STEP grants and the Maine International Trade Center, Flowfold has been able to establish... Read More