Our mission is to provide resources to attract, support, and help develop eligible small businesses with the potential for substantial growth and success that will contribute to the prosperity of Maine.
Late Summer 2017 Newsletter
P. O Box 63
Newport, Maine 04953
Fund News
Maine Venture Fund -
A busy first half of 2017!

MVF completed six follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies to date this year, totaling $745,138, alongside private individuals and other investors. The six companies raised a total of $6,254,715 of growth capital that will be used primarily for operating expenses, such as wages for Maine-based employees.  

The companies include:

In addition to continued support of the above portfolio companies, the Fund made an initial investment in NBT Solutions LLC .  To learn more about NBT solutions and their recent capital raise, go to the article from Maine StartUp Insider (below).


In our last fiscal year four MVF portfolio companies executed successful acquisitions that provided both a return of capital to investors and a strong future for continued growth and prosperity in Maine.  

The SAAS software company Certify, Inc. recapitalized and joined with Nexonia to create a newly configured Certify that will support over 100 Maine-based employees, and continue its aggressive growth trajectory in Maine. 

InterSpec , Inc. , a software and services company in South Portland sold to an industry leader and has plans for additional Maine hires, expanded marketing and sales distribution, and product development.  

Coast of Maine Organic Products was recapitalized and, with their new partner, has embarked on a more aggressive growth strategy. 

Finally, Looks Gourmet Seafood Company combined with a strategic partner to achieve cost savings and create new market opportunities to fuel faster growth. 

Combined, these M&A transactions provided more than $ 4.5 million back to MVF that the fund will reinvest in other scalable, innovative Maine companies.
MVF interns are fantastic!

A big "Thanks!" to our 8th consecutive Amos Tuck School of Business summer intern, Joe Henderson, from the Management Team and Board of Directors of Maine Venture Fund.

Joe worked with two of the Fund's portfolio companies -- Redd, Inc. and The Gelato Fiasco, Inc. -- doing value-added projects and analyses for each company, as well as assisting with projects for the Fund.  We all benefited from Joe's quick mind and constructive approaches, and loved having him as part of the MVF team this past summer. 

We are grateful to Tuck and to the TuckGives program for the annual support and our mutually beneficial relationship.

Joe will be graduating with his MBA next June, and his preferred location is Maine! So keep that in mind! 

Thank you, Joe.

Portfolio Company News
Kennebec Lumber Company Adds Six Dehumidification
Dry Kilns from Nyle Systems
Dehumidification dry kilns cut drying time for red oak.

By Diane M. Calabrese, Timberline Magazine

There’s a lot to be said for proximity. But the convenience of nearness will only get a vendor a first look. Performance is what counts.

So it was that when Kennebec Lumber Company decided to add conventional kilns some three years ago, it looked just 64 miles to the east to Nyle Systems in Brewer, Maine. Three new conventional kilns from Nyle went into service 2 ½ years ago.

Based on the performance of the Nyle conventional kilns, Kennebec looked again to Nyle Systems this year. Only this time it was to purchase six dehumidification dry kilns.

Maine-born energy bar brand now in 1,000 stores nationwide
A young entrepreneur is marking a big milestone. He turned a backpack business into a coast-to-coast operation.

Redd,  an energy bar created by Alden Blease  of Bowdoinham, is now being sold in 1,000 stores across the country.

“Here we are definitely a scrappy group,” Blease said. “We find ways to innovate and overcome obstacles.”

Blease’s current obstacle at his office space in Brunswick is perfecting a recipe for his energy bar brand that he developed in college at the University of Maine.

“I didn’t have a lot of money, didn’t have a lot of meal funds, running two hours a day, eating a vegan diet and just cruised through the meal funds,” Blease said.

Orono Spectral Solutions Receives Approval
from US Department of Transportation
for New Water in Ammonia Testing Using ClearShot™ Technology
Orono Spectral Solutions (OSS), a global provider of advanced chemical sampling materials and novel analytical methods, announced today that the US Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued an approval for companies to use their ClearShot™ technology as a faster, safer and more accurate method to determine water content in anhydrous ammonia – a DOT regulated measurement to ensure shipping safety. Anhydrous ammonia is one of the most prominent fertilizer, refrigeration, and manufacturing commodities in the world. This new method offers many benefits to anhydrous ammonia manufacturers and their customers, allowing them to increase profits and enhance product quality while improving safety.

Roland Sirois, OSS Chief Executive Officer, stated, “OSS worked closely with key anhydrous ammonia manufacturing organizations to develop an alternative test method using ClearShot™ technology that is a major improvement in operator safety and process testing capabilities.” The method was developed using OSS proprietary technology in conjunction with a wide number of anhydrous ammonia manufacturing laboratory personnel in a highly collaborative effort.

Founder Forum:
Will Mitchell of NBT Solutions
By: Whit Richardson, Maine Start Ups Insider

Will Mitchell has worked for himself for the past 17 years, as a GIS consultant and then as founder of NBT Solutions, a professional services firm offering custom mapping software applications to clients.

His business efforts to date have been solid and offered steady employment, but he also came to realize that working for clients under a billable-hour model can be severely limiting.

So two years ago Mitchell and his NBT Solutions co-founder, Sean Myers, hatched a plan. Instead of spreading themselves thin by saying yes to whatever client approached them about building a different custom mapping application for this industry or that industry, they decided to focus their efforts and drill down on one industry where they had noticed a gap in the currently available software and what type of problems that caused for industry players. Rather than a client-first model, they wanted to shift to a product-first model.


Maine Startups Insider is a online news startup created by Whit Richardson, a journalist who’s covered Maine’s business community for the past decade during stints at the Portland Press Herald, Bangor Daily News and Mainebiz.

Whit originally created Maine Startups Insider in November 2015 as a weekly newsletter to round up all the startup-related news in Maine. However, not impressed with the coverage of Maine’s startups after I left the Press Herald at the end of 2015, I launched the Maine Startups Insider website as a venue to post original content.

Please subscribe to Maine Startups Insider’s weekly newsletter , which arrives in your inbox every Friday morning chock full of news and insider-y details about Maine’s startup community.
If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to  send an email to Whit.
Maine & Industry News
The hidden businesses that power the Bangor region’s economy
The year 2009 was not the best to purchase a company that builds kilns that dry lumber. But despite a lagging, post-recession economy and depressed housing market, Ton Mathissen and a group of investors saw what Nyle Corp. in Brewer could become.

Many employees had worked for the company for decades and held the knowledge essential for manufacturing the only lumber-drying systems in North America that use an energy-saving, dehumidification technology. And Mathissen, now president of what became Nyle Systems LLC, saw that the technology could be used for more than drying hardwood, which meant the company could grow.

With the help of other investors and the state-backed Maine Venture Fund, Mathissen purchased Nyle Corp.’s assets in 2009 and 2010 when the company had about 12 employees. Today the reconstituted company has about 40 employees, Mathissen said. Its revenue has grown, on average, 25 percent each year; the number of employees has grown 18 percent each year; and the company has needed to expand its physical space each year by 10 percent.

MTAF 2.0

Maine Technology Institute is requesting project proposals from Maine organizations, or organizations looking to locate in Maine, who anticipate making investments in equipment, infrastructure and technology upgrades to drive innovation in Maine. 

Interesting Articles You May Have Missed ...

About the Fund
Maine Venture Fund invests in high-growth Maine companies that have the potential to create strong returns and quality jobs in Maine and, thus, contribute to Maine's prosperity. Once we invest, we provide business advice and technical assistance to our portfolio companies, as well as access to an extensive network throughout Maine, New England and beyond. We consider companies in nearly any industry that can demonstrate the potential for high growth and public benefit. 

For more information, visit our website or call us at 207-924-3800.
~~~ MVF Portfolio Companies ~~~
Blaine Grimes

Vice Chair: 
Tim Agnew

Theresa B. Hodge

Daniel E. Boxer
Claire Deselle
Thomas J. Dunne
Corky Ellis
John P. Murray
Chris Pizey
Brian Whitney

Managing Director:

Investment Manager:

Entrepreneur in Residence:

Office Operations Manager:
And finally ... please let us know if you have company news to share! 
Send your news to terri@maineventurefund.com and we will distribute through the entrepreneurial neighborhood! Thank you.

Maine Venture Fund | P. O. Box 63 | Newport, Maine 04953 | 207.924.3800