August 2020 Edition
Sponsored by People's United Bank
5 Qs with Josh Kim
Founder of Sklaza and Colby College Student
1. You founded a startup that provides a campus-based marketplace just for college students. What kind of technical skills did you have when you started, and what skills did you acquire to move Sklaza forward?
[Josh Kim]: T he technical skills that I've acquired during my time with Sklaza have been based around learning the process of idea to implementation, researching what the customer wants, and how to prioritize what's important and what's not.

2. You recently completed a national search for a technical partner. What skills and qualities were you looking for, and how did you conduct your search?
[JK]: There were three main things I was searching for in a technical partner. The first was a general passion and curiosity of building online platforms such as Sklaza— I wanted to find someone who was a natural maker . Second, I needed to make sure that the potential partner would be someone with the right technical skills in order to grow the marketplace to more college students in the future. And lastly, since this search was for an equal partner, I needed to make sure that this was someone I could see myself being good friends with first, and a startup business partner second. 

I ended up personally interviewing over 75 students from all around the nation, from top Computer Science programs to entrepreneurial programs. I ended up choosing an engineering student from Harvey Mudd , in Claremont, CA.

3. How did you frame the value proposition of being a partner in an early-stage, Maine-based startup?
[JK]:  I think the fact that Sklaza was a Maine-based startup was a really huge value proposition. Because Sklaza had grown on such a strong foundation of resources, support, and entrepreneurial energy in Maine, it was really easy for any potential partner to see that they were going to be joining a really strong team with an even stronger community around it .

4. In 2020, you competed in the Greenlight Maine Collegiate Challenge and secured grant funding through Maine Technology Institute (MTI). How do you balance the time required to apply, compete, and receive funding with the cash flow needs of your startup?
[JK]: It definitely required a serious amount of time management and prioritization. Every day, I had to ask myself what the most important goal was going to be for that day, and based on that answer, I would make sure that I made more progress towards that goal. Because juggling multiple things gets really overwhelming really fast, I made the decision to focus on one thing at a time to make sure that I was staying productive.

5. Sklaza launched at Colby College in February 2020, serving over 800 users in just four months, and you planned to expand to additional campuses this fall. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your growth strategy?
[JK]: While we are staying aware of the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has really tried its best to not let it affect our goals for Fall 2020. If anything, it's given us more time and motivation to really improve everything under the hood so that we can provide the best product for our users when school returns in the fall. While some colleges are remote for the fall, we plan on targeting schools that are fully in-person or doing a hybrid program .  

Follow Sklaza on Facebook , LinkedIn , and Instagram .
August Tech Night: Telehealth, More Than Just Video - MaineGeneral's approach to virtual care
August 13 | 1:00pm | Click here for Zoom link

COVID-19 has rapidly increased the demand for telehealth services across the nation, as patients seek more streamlined, convenient healthcare experiences. Dr. Andrew Dionne, Chief Medical Officer, and Laura Mrazik, Telehealth Coordinator at MaineGeneral will share their perspective on launching telehealth services to ensure safe, high quality, compliant care for the patients of Central Maine .
About MaineGeneral:  MaineGeneral Health (MGH) is a comprehensive non-profit health system in Central Maine, with the mission of enhancing, every day, the health of our patients, our families and our communities. MGH delivers a range of health care services in a variety of care settings from birth through end-of-life.
Virtual Central Maine Tech Night (CMTN) Recordings
By moving to the virtual Zoom platform to comply with social distancing recommendations, Central Maine Tech Night (CMTN) has made its presentations available for viewing anytime. You can watch recordings of past CMTNs on the Tech Night web page .

July CMTN: When Remote Work Is Part of Your New Normal

June CMTN: Fiber Mapping & Broadband with VETRO FiberMap

May CMTN: Capital for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses During COVID-19 with FAME
Small Business K now-How
Adjusting Your Business to New Streams of Revenue During a Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has forced small businesses everywhere to rethink their business model, even if on a temporary basis. Small businesses are adjusting to new revenue streams to stay afloat, including:

  • Assessing existing resources, talent, equipment and supply, taking into consideration continued or disrupted access.
  • Investing in an online strategy to offset brick-and-mortar losses and secure future revenue as habits evolve.
  • Where possible, delivery service and gift certificates as additional potential revenue streams.

Read on for ideas on how to adjust your business to new streams of revenue.
Business Investment
CMGC Launches Small Business Resiliency Grant to Deploy Relief Funding
The Waterville Region Small Business Grant (WRSBG) offers financial assistance to mid-Maine businesses and entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19 with direct grants  in the amount of up to $2,000 .

In order to be as responsive as possible to the needs of local business owners and entrepreneurs, the program is designed as a timely deployment of funding for a wide array of business purposes, including payroll, rent and utility expenses, and expenses associated with reopening in accordance with CDC and State of Maine regulations, among other uses. 

Eligibility criteria, program guidance, and grant application are available at . This is a rolling application with no deadline, though demand is high and early applications are encouraged.
WRSBG funding is generously provided by the Bill & Joan Alfond Foundation, Central Maine Motors, and Colby College.
Maine Dept. Economic & Community Development Issues CDBG Program Statement for Micro-Enterprises
As part of the CARES Act, Maine received approximately $11 million for its Community Development Block Grant program for non-entitlement communities. Of this funding, $ 2 million will be made available through the Micro-Enterprise Program in partnership with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Eligible business owners may apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding. Eligibility criteria include, but are not limited to: five or fewer employees including the owner; owner's household income is low/moderate as defined by HUD (80% of county median income) ; and business must show revenue loss as a direct consequence of COVID-19.

Follow SBDC and contact your local SBDC advisor to determine eligibility and apply.
Top Stories of July 2020
Startups, Downtown Activity Are Now Central to the Central Maine Economy - with a record $125 million invested in downtown Waterville and approx. 20 new businesses, student entrepreneurship and regional partnerships on innovation and workforce, the mid-Maine region is resilient and attracting talent .

Bill & Joan Alfond Foundation Grant Funds Innovation-Based Opportunities in Waterville - the grant funding, which strengthens the region's emerging technology and innovation sector, is awarded to a partnership between Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space, Thomas College, and Tortoise Labs.

Construction on Arts Collaborative Building In Waterville To Begin This Week - Landry/French will begin construction on the $6.5 million creativity hub funded in part by the Lunder Foundation . Located at 14 and 20 Main Street in downtown Waterville, the Arts Collaborative will host art exhibitions, poetry readings, musical performances, art studios, and workspace.

Landry/French Celebrates 10 Years - launched in the shadow of the Great Recession during a 15-year low in construction employment, Landry/French now employs 50 people and has completed and/or is currently working on several projects in Waterville, including the Bill & Joan Main Street Commons, the Lockwood Hotel, and the Arts Collaborative .
Contact : Don Plourde
Central Maine Real Estate Spotlight
Featured Commercial Property :
Building Size: 22,000 sq.ft.
Sale Price: $1,150,000 (price reduced)
Unit Price: $52.27 PSF
Property Features:
  • Well-established self-storage facility
  • 10 ft. ceilings
  • Renovated in 2006
  • Located on Route 139
  • Proximity to Interstate 95
Workforce Investment
Employer Spotlight: Bowman Constructors
An ideal candidate shares your values; they will fit seamlessly into the company culture you have carefully crafted, and they will make a great colleague with whom your current employees will want to work. So why not look at the organizations you personally support as potential sources of talent recruitment?
Kevin and Brian Bowman of Bowman Constructors are deeply involved with Boy Scouts of America; both serve as Pack Leaders and volunteer with Eagle Scout candidates. As President and Vice President, respectively, they prioritize a willingness to work hard and an eagerness to learn, values Boy Scouts have in spades. The Bowmans have turned their personal passion and volunteerism into a talent recruitment opportunity – they currently employ 3 Eagle Scouts! – by connecting with potential candidates on a personal level and scaffolding a training program that allows interested yet inexperienced Scouts to gain construction skills and learn about the industry. 

In a tight labor market context, think creatively and consider how can you turn your favorite causes and organizations into a talent pipeline.
KVCC is excited for the fall professional development training classes. In response to COVID-19 we have transitioned many of our course offerings online or into virtual classrooms. We will also be delivering some live lab based classes and have taken extra care to deliver these in the safest possible manner to protect our community. 

 Classes offered this fall include High Pressure Boiler training, Heavy Equipment Operator, Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump Training, National Electrical Code Update, Solar PV for the Associate Candidate, Welding, Healthcare Provider CPR, Comp Tia and more. 

We also continue to deliver customized training programs to the business community and can utilize Zoom or MS Teams where possible to offer a virtual classroom experience . To learn how you can train your team or to register for a class please call 207.453.5083 or visit us online at .
Quality of Place
Sponsored by MaineGeneral Health
Recycle Your Electronics & Surplus Tech to Help Students Learn
Remote learning has placed incredible burden on families, but the challenge is even greater for families without the technology students need to succeed.

As we prepare to go back to school in whatever form it may take, you can help students overcome barriers to learning by donating your retired laptops and computers. Local nonprofit give IT. get IT will scrub your tech to the highest of international standards, repurpose it for student use, and teach them how to use it.

Learn how you can help students get back to school here .
MaineGeneral Health Services Are Open
Receiving the right care, at the right time, at the right place has never been more important. MaineGeneral Health has reopened, making sure you are safe as you get the health care services you need.

Call your primary care practice to:
  • Help you manage your chronic medical conditions;
  • Address your acute concerns; and
  • Discuss medication refills.

MaineGeneral Express Care, now with Save My Spot, is here to help when you:
  • Need non-emergency care;
  • Cannot see your primary care provider; or
  • Don’t have a primary care provider.
  • We’ll treat you and help you find a PCP.

Learn about your health care options and COVID-19 precautions 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
Beth Gibbs, treasurer – Thomas College
Lucille Zelenkewich, secretary – Bar Harbor Bank & Trust
Teresa Vieira – Northern Light Health - Inland Hospital
Elizabeth Fortin – Kennebec Valley Community College
Paul Stein – MaineGeneral Health
Michael Roy – City of Waterville
Gary Bowman – Town of Oakland
Michelle Flewelling – Town of Fairfield
Paul Fongemie - Town of Winslow
Brian Clark – Colby College
Michael Runser – Valley Beverage
Allan Rancourt – Kennebec Federal Savings
Donald Plourde – Coldwell Banker Plourde Real Estate
Tom Meucci - Huhtamaki
Ryan Poulin - New Dimensions FCU

 Ex-Officio Board Members:
Laura Cyr – Kennebec Valley Council of Governments
Christian Savage - Somerset Economic Development Corporation
James Dinkle – Kennebec Regional Dev. Authority / FirstPark