April 2019 Edition
Sponsored by People's United Bank
5 Qs with Derek Myska
Senior Technical Consultant at ideaPoint
Meet Derek at Pardon the Innovation at Thomas College on May 1 at 5:30pm.

1. Just 6 years after graduating cum laude from UMaine at Orono, you co-founded a successful startup, PingTank, and relocated to Los Angeles. What experiences prepared you to build your own company? 
DM: To be completely honest, I wasn’t even remotely prepared. Almost overnight, I was thrust from being a software developer with very little responsibility to co-founding a company with incredible expectations. Our earliest investor, Tim Draper, backed companies such as Tesla, SpaceX, Skype, Hotmail, Bitcoin, etc. During our pitch to Tim and his student body of future entrepreneurs, he labeled us the “next Facebook”.  The next Facebook”! We were just two kids from Maine without a clue how to build or run a business – but we had a dream.

2. Facebook incorporated PingTank's product into the Facebook Messenger app. How did you get their attention and deliver a successful pitch?
About six months into building our company, we were approached by a gentleman from a prominent mobile gaming company with an offer to buy 50% of PingTank. As we always did when faced with difficult decisions, we reached out to Tim. He felt the offer was too low and made a couple of phone calls on our behalf. Before we knew it, we had meetings scheduled at both Facebook and Google. Facebook was a perfect marriage for us. They were looking for fun, innovative companies that could integrate into their platform – we brought an early build of our app to demo and they absolutely loved it. Confidence, passion and true belief in your product are key. If you don’t believe in your own product, neither will anybody else.

3. After leading a successful startup, you worked as a software developer and technical consultant with large, established tech firms. Why make the switch? 
I would say “successful” is a relative term. The company, despite having an incredible opportunity, forging strong partnerships and raising over $3M in funding, dissolved in mid-2018. That said, I learned more though experience in those years than any school or mentor could ever teach. In 2015, I made the switch away from the startup life purely out of necessity. I learned that my co-founder had been severely misappropriating company funds and I wanted no part of it. I did what was necessary to provide the financial stability necessary for my family.

4. You currently work remotely out of Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space in Waterville. Why did you choose to join a coworking space?
I currently work for a Boston-based firm. As a software engineer, I am incredibly fortunate to have that option. Working out of your home on a daily basis becomes stale fast. When I found myself talking to my cats more than I was to people, I knew it was time for a change.  Bricks is a fantastic location in downtown Waterville that provides me everything I need from an infrastructure standpoint, and gets me back out around like-minded, motivated individuals.

5. Aside from finding you at Central Maine Tech Night, where can people hear more about your incredible story of life as an entrepreneur in Los Angeles?
A quick Google search of PingTank should yield some interesting stories and videos on websites from Forbes and Masahable to TechCrunch and TMZ. If you’re still longing to learn more, I will be speaking on May 1st at Thomas College’s “Pardon the Innovation” event – telling my startup story. Come by and learn all about it!
See how the people behind the bank can help you build success by visiting People's United Bank's Small Business Resource Center for know-how on topics ranging from human resources to cash flow projections.
Business Investment
Welcome Caring Hands to a new location
Caring Hands provides in-home care for children and adults of all ages, specializing in personal care and daily living activities. Their new location on Main Street in Fairfield provides opportunities for future on-site care as well.
Welcome F3 MFG as a CMGC investor
Maine's third-fastest growing company, F3 MFG , based in Waterville, ME on Trafton Road, specializes in the manufacture of strong, lightweight aluminum bodies and accessories for trucks and vans.
Top Stories of March 2019
Fairfield Announces Facade Improvement & Marketing Assistance Program - Businesses in Fairfield may apply for financial incentives to fund the renovation of commercial storefronts and to assist with marketing campaigns .

Joyce Galea Finds New and Growing Markets for Waterville-based Truck-body Manufacturer - Joyce Galea, co-founder of F3 MFG on Trafton Road, is honored as MaineBiz's Business Leader of the Year, Large Business Category .

Waterville's Bill Mitchell, Guided By His Late Father's Example, Making An Impact On His Hometown - Bill Mitchell, property developer and owner of GHM Insurance, is honored as MaineBiz's Business Leader of the Year, Small Business Category .

Grantees Announced for Downtown Waterville's Facade & Building Improvement Grant Program - Awards made to eleven businesses will stimulate over $325,000 in direct investments in the downtown .
Central Maine Real Estate Spotlight
Featured Commercial Property Location : 410 China Road, Winslow, ME
Listing: Available for sale or lease
Building size: 7,344 sq. ft.; may subdivide
  • Well water and public sewer
  • 21+ parking spaces
  • Accommodates both office and industrial kitchen space
  • Easy access to I-95 via Rt. 137
Contact : Don Plourde | 207-660-4000 | dplourde@cbplourde.com
Workforce Investment
Employer Spotlight: Central Maine Motors
While a nationwide shortage of mechanics sends dealerships racing to attract a shrinking field of candidates, Central Maine Motors in Waterville has found success through on-the-job training and partnerships with several area educational institutions.
A Mid-Maine Technical Center student records video in Central Maine Motors' service center.
By exposing high school and college students to the real experience of a mechanical career at the service center, Central Maine Motors can "test-drive" potential hires and instill the behaviors they look for in employees.

"We believe the investments we make in the younger workforce are worthy of the time and energy," explains Nikki Desjardins, HR Manager at Central Maine Motors. "These students provide excitement, energy, and new perspectives on how to compete and remain relevant in future markets with future generations."

She adds, "A good living can be made here in central Maine; if we help and assist the new workforce to enter the economy and be prosperous, we all win . Working to help students succeed is good for all concerned."
We hope you enjoy learning about local talent recruitment and retention strategies, and if your business has an innovative strategy or unique culture, please share with us!
April Recruitment Events
1p - 3p | KVCC Campus, 92 Western Ave., Fairfield

Save The Date: May 7 - Maine Virtual Job Fair
A first-of-its-kind job fair using video chat to connect with job-seekers and students statewide.
Construction-Related Professional Development Courses:
  • Welding (3 levels)

  • Pipe fitting and pipe welding

  • Basic carpentry (includes OSHA 10)
Workforce Training & Professional Development: Heavy Equipment Operation
Workforce Training & Professional Development at Kennebec Valley Community College is excited to offer a new Heavy Equipment Operation training program . With the use of our new equipment simulator, trainees can learn to operate complex, industry standard machinery in a realistic but safe and low risk environment.  

The simulator’s software and motion platform currently support excavator training and crane operation , with a variety of modules ranging from basic to difficult that allow instructors to track a trainee’s speed, as well as accuracy and safety .

Training is a great tool for:
  • Public works departments
  • Companies using heavy equipment
  • Career exploration for high school students
Quality of Place
Sponsored by MaineGeneral Health
Downtown Waterville Wi-Fi Hits Milestone of 100 Thousand Users in 7 Months
By March 1 of this year, Downtown Waterville Wi-Fi had served over 124,000 users in just seven months.

Sponsored by Kennebec Savings Bank , MaineGeneral Health , Northern Light Inland , and the Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation at Thomas College , the free public wi-fi service makes Waterville’s downtown one of the most connected in Maine.
Downtown Waterville Wi-Fi coverage map with sponsors. You can find more information about the free wi-fi service here .
MaineGeneral Orthopaedic Surgery has been recognized as a Star Performer by the American Orthopaedic Association for two years running.
Health Tip: Prevent Bone Fractures
By MaineGeneral Health
An estimated 10 million adults have osteoporosis. One in two women, and one in four men, will break a bone in their lifetime . Most people with osteoporosis often don’t know they have the condition until they break a bone.

Taking steps to address bone loss is very important to protect against fractures that result from falls.

Read about the Own the Bone Star Performer resources in the Kennebec Valley dedicated to your bone health.
Stay connected with CMGC:
If you are an investor in CMGC and would like to submit content to CMGC Intelligence , simply reply to this e-mail to speak with Elaine Theriault-Currier.
Board of Directors:

Chris Gaunce, chair – Central Maine Motors Auto Group
Michael Heavener, vice chair – Town of Winslow
Beth Gibbs, treasurer – Thomas College
Lucille Zelenkewich, secretary – Peoples United Bank
John Dalton, past chair – Northern Light Health - Inland Hospital
Elizabeth Fortin – Kennebec Valley Community College
Paul Stein – MaineGeneral Health
Darlene Ratte – Best Western Plus
Michael Roy – City of Waterville
Gary Bowman – Town of Oakland
Michelle Flewelling – Town of Fairfield
Brian Clark – Colby College
Michael Runser – Valley Beverage
Allan Rancourt – Kennebec Federal Savings
Lisa Hallee – Bill & Joan Alfond Foundation
Donald Plourde – Coldwell Banker Plourde Real Estate
Tom Meucci - Huhtamaki

 Ex-Officio Board Members:
Kimberly Lindlof – CMGC & Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce
Laura Cyr – Kennebec Valley Council of Governments
Christian Savage - Somerset Economic Development Corporation
James Dinkle – Kennebec Regional Dev. Authority / FirstPark