October 2019 Edition
Sponsored by People's United Bank
5 Qs with Matthew Rideout
Founder of StrictChef, Owner of Rideout
The responses below are excerpts from our full interview, which you can read here .
1. You've built an impressive background in digital marketing and software development. Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? 
[Matthew Rideout]: I have always felt like an entrepreneur. From the time I was old enough to understand money and business, I wanted to be "The Boss" and to own a tech-based company (read: I wanted to be Bill Gates). As a kid, this started with lemonade stands. In college, I tried to create a better version of MySpace (lol) .

My leap to being a full-time entrepreneur happened during the fall of 2017. I was employed full-time and working on StrictChef part-time, but progress was slow and I knew I needed to go full-time on StrictChef if I had any chance of bringing it to market. It took a year of working on it full-time to launch.

2. Tell us a bit about StrictChef. How does it set itself apart from other recipe-based apps?
[MR]: For starters, I have an autoimmune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis , which if left untreated causes painful inflammatory arthritis and will slowly fuse together your spine and SI joint. At the time, I thought "food as medicine" was hippe mumbo jumbo, but after joining an online community, I tried it - after two years, I was symptom-free! Changing my way of eating was extremely difficult, and it became my passion and mission to help others like me.

Enter StrictChef. We take dietary restrictions and preferences to the next level - no other app comes close to the control we give users. StrictChef is built on the premise that no two people have the same dietary requirements - we don't group users based on similar needs. And we aren't a tracker like other major competitors. If you eat the right foods, you don't need to track anything.

3. How does your experience with Agile, LEAN, and Scrum inform and benefit your development of StrictChef?
[MR]: They were critical in getting me to where I am today . The agile/scrum/lean software development philosophies are based on rapid launch, testing, and iteration cycles. The framework helps you stay nimble to feedback and focused. I started with paper sketch drawings, tested them with a target audience I built over Facebook and networking, and used feedback to eventually build interactive prototypes. It's an approach that kept me on the right track - if someone had given me $100k to built my initial vision for StrictChef, it would have been a spectacular failure .

4. You were selected to participate in the 2018 cohort of the TopGun program. What were two important takeaways you learned from the program?
[MR]: #1 - TopGun reaffirmed the need to completely understand your audience and customers before investing time in building anything, and to continuously reevaluate your product with customer feedback . #2 - TopGun illustrated the importance of storytelling and rhetoric . The way you tell your story has a dramatic impact on product acceptance and audience enthusiasm.

5. We are excited for your TechTalk at Central Maine Tech Night on October 10th. Can you give us a quick preview of what you'll be talking about?
[MR]: I'll talk about my background and autoimmune struggles, my journey to found StrictChef, and the cutting-edge tech behind the app. From a "techie" standpoint, I'll review everything that makes StrictChef function, but I also hope to paint a picture of everything that goes into launching an app - it's so much more than code .
Small Business K now-How
Top Tools and Tech for Cash Flow MGMT
It's important for business owners to leverage technology to improve cash flow management: monitoring, predicting, and managing cash flow are essential business functions, and searching for new ways to maximize cash flow can create new revenue streams and improve business performance .

Three top tools to help your improve your cash flow position are remote deposit capture , electronic payments , and automated clearing house . Read more about these tools here .
Business Investment
Top Stories of September 2019
Town of Oakland Launches Broadband Survey for Residents and Businesses - the online take-rate survey will identify the current and future technological needs of Oakland's residents and business owners, ultimately informing the Oakland Broadband & Technology Committee on its recommendations for broadband infrastructure.

Downtown Waterville Launches Qualified Opportunity Fund to Attract Investment in its Opportunity Zone - the first economic development corporation-owned opportunity fund in New England, one of the first in the US, intends to stimulate further direct investment into the city and its downtown by taking advantage of the tax incentive program established by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Oakland To Install Solar Array Atop Former Landfill, Cutting Town's Electric Bill - the 497,000 kilowatt-hour solar array is expected to generate enough power to completely cover the Town government's energy consumption.
Central Maine Real Estate Spotlight
Featured Commercial Property Location :
Space Available: approx. 3,000 sq.ft.
Sale Price: $225,000
Retail Features:
  • Great window visibility
  • Prime downtown location
  • Ample parking
  • High-traffic area along U.S. Rt. 201
  • 0.34 acre
  • Sale includes land, building, and two separate heating systems
Contact : Rachel Anderson | 207-649-2156
Workforce Investment
Employer Spotlight: You
CMGC and Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) invite you to tap into the KVCC student talent pool via a variety of engagement opportunities, including classroom visits, internships, and job referrals.

This partnership makes it easier than ever to engage with KVCC students in the courses relevant to you.
Connecting with KVCC students will build exposure for your organization, help recruit for open positions, enrich students' educational experiences, and build a qualified local workforce .

You can learn more about each engagement opportunity here ; the variety is designed to fit your needs and schedule. Don't miss this free opportunity to connect with a talented pool of candidates - take this survey to indicate your interest in learning more .
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!
Workforce Training & Professional Development:
Service Learning: Connecting Students with Businesses
Quick Facts on KVCC's Center for Civic Engagement:
  • Established in 2003
  • 49,763 hours of community service
  • Over $1,029,000 in value-added contribution to the local economy
  • Service learning increases student retention and success in college
  • Service learning volunteers can only fulfill duties that would be unpaid, and can not replace what would be a paid employee.
KVCC's Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) promotes and provides technical assistance for faculty and students who wish to incorporate service learning into their curriculum.

Service-Learning provides the most comprehensive of opportunities to gain practical experience , apply the concepts gained through academic study, and to reflect upon personal responsibility for civic engagement and social responsibility. 

If your organization is interested in developing a partnership with KVCC students and faculty to perform a service learning project, contact Dr. Mark Kavanaugh at [email protected] .

KVCC has a great reputation for its core programs in Allied Health , Nursing , Business and the Trades , new programs including Culinary Arts and Sustainable Construction , transfer programs such as Liberal Studies and Psychology , and Business & Industry , which assists in upgrading skills for new and existing employees.
Quality of Place
Sponsored by MaineGeneral Health
Downtown Waterville Farmers Market is at Head of Falls through Autumn
Though the air is crisp and leaves are changing color, the Downtown Waterville Farmers Market continues to offer fresh local product along the RiverWalk at Head of Falls.

In-season Produce and Artisanal Goods:
  • Apples
  • Beets
  • Bread
  • Brussels
  • Cheese
  • Forged Ironworks
  • Garlic
  • Jams & Jellies
  • Meats
  • Potatoes
  • Prepared Meals
  • Winter Squash
Every Thursday from 2:00-6:00pm
RiverWalk at Head of Falls
Health Tip: Investments in Robot Surgery
Waterville-area residents have access to the latest state-of-the-art minimally invasive surgeries.

At Thayer Center for Health, robotic equipment enables surgeons to perform day surgeries with benefits for patients that include less pain medication and fewer complications .

Patients can return sooner to their work and activities they enjoy. Learn more here .
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:
Laura Cyr – Kennebec Valley Council of Governments
Christian Savage - Somerset Economic Development Corporation
James Dinkle – Kennebec Regional Dev. Authority / FirstPark