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UMaine, Maine Technology Institute to Launch Entrepreneurship Program

The University of Maine, in partnership with the Maine Technology Institute, is building a startup seed accelerator for Maine entrepreneurs. The pilot program, called Scratchpad Accelerator, starts Aug. 31 in Bangor.

Scratchpad Accelerator will work with up to four high-potential, high-growth entrepreneurial teams to validate their customer base, value proposition and business model. The selected startups will participate at no cost and will each receive $25,000 in seed funding. Participating entrepreneurs will work full time on their businesses, with daily learning sessions, extensive mentor interactions, and a push to develop and test hypotheses as frequently as possible to ensure that their companies are moving in the right direction.

The program will culminate with a Demo Day, at which each team will pitch its company to a group of potential investors for additional funding.

The accelerator will help entrepreneurs get to “go” or “no-go” decisions quickly — saving them time, money and energy — with the help of the Scratchpad team and statewide supporters. Ideally, the business ideas will lead to commercialization, but even a “no-go” result is considered a win if it shaves off months or years figuring it out.

The planning team is building on expertise from the University of Maine and the Maine Technology Institute (MTI). Leading the team is Jason Harkins, associate professor of entrepreneurship in the Maine Business School, in collaboration with Jennifer Hooper, entrepreneur and mentor coordinator at UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation, and Joe Migliaccio, MTI’s director of business development.

The pilot program has long-term implications. The team also will create a Maine accelerator “playbook” that can be shared with other areas of the state, broadening the accelerator to a replicable model for any region.

Scratchpad is currently taking applications on its website. The application deadline is Aug. 14. To be eligible, entrepreneurs must have an idea with high-growth potential, a team of collaborators, a commitment to living in the Bangor area during the accelerator and a willingness to work long days for three months.

More details about the program are online; questions can be sent to info@scratchpadaccelerator.com.

Lynn Coutts Named Senior Associate Director of Athletics

University of Maine Director of Athletics Karlton Creech has announced the promotion of head softball coach Lynn Coutts to senior associate director of athletics. Mike Coutts, the associate head coach of softball, has been named head coach.

Lynn Coutts was hired in fall 2010 as the head softball coach and spent the previous four seasons at the helm of the Black Bears. In her new role, she will oversee compliance, Title IX, financial aid, student-athlete conduct, sports medicine, sports performance and equipment. She will serve as the liaison to academic support, the NCAA-designated senior woman administrator and a sport program administrator.

A member of the University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame, Lynn Coutts graduated from UMaine in 1987 following an All-American senior season.

She replaces Eileen Flaherty, who resigned to take a high school athletics director position in Massachusetts.

Mike Coutts joined the softball program as an assistant in 2012 and was promoted to associate head coach in spring 2014. A former Black Bear baseball team member and assistant Black Bear baseball coach, Mike Coutts graduated from UMaine in 1982 and earned a master’s degree in education/administration from UMaine in 1989.

National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman to Speak at Northport Celebration

The public good and humanities in Maine will be the focus of a keynote address by William Adams, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 13, at Point Lookout, Northport. Adams’ address is part of a free public Celebration of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Humanities in Maine, coordinated by the University of Maine Humanities Center.

In addition to the keynote address, Adams will join a panel discussion about the “Historical Atlas of Maine,” published in January by the University of Maine Press. Joining Adams on the panel will be Stephen Hornsby, director of the Canadian-American Center at UMaine and a co-editor of the Atlas; University of Maine Press Director Michael Alpert; Margaret Chernosky, Maine Geographic Alliance; and Anne Kelly Knowles, UMaine professor of history. Panel moderator will be Liam Riordan, director of the UMaine Humanities Center. More information about the event is online.

To attend the Celebration of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Humanities in Maine, RSVP is requested by Aug. 3 by calling 581.3582. The event is sponsored by the Fisher Foundation, the Maine Community Foundation and an anonymous donor.

DMC Offers Free Summer Wednesday Morning Tours

The University of Maine Darling Marine Center offers free, guided, 90-minute tours of its waterfront laboratories at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 19.

Ashley Rossin, an undergraduate student in the School of Marine Sciences and a DMC summer intern, is the tour guide. She recounts the history of the center’s founding — 50 years ago this year — and shares her perspective on the DMC today.

Scallops, crabs, lobster and squid are subjects of study in the wet lab. The histology lab focuses on deep-sea corals from Antarctica, Alaska and the Gulf of Maine, and the focus of the optics lab is to explore oceans using satellites and robots. Visitors to the aquaculture lab will learn how oysters are farmed and see the algae room where food for oysters is grown. Throughout the tour, scientists and other students will be available to discuss research, explain its significance, and answer questions.

Registration is not necessary; those wishing to take a tour can meet at the circle driveway on the lower waterfront campus. The center is at 193 Clarks Cove Road, seven miles from downtown Damariscotta. More information is online.

Science On Tap: Darling worms: A Rich Legacy of Polychaete Research

The University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center (DMC) is host of the Science on Tap Seminar series at the Newcastle Publick House from 6–7 p.m. Wednesdays.

On July 29, the series wraps up with a seminar by Pete Jumars, “Darling worms: A rich legacy of polychaete research.

Marine worms are critical food web components. They feed on dead organic material on the seafloor and in turn are food for lobsters, crabs, and bottom fishes. These polychaete worms have been studied at the DMC since its beginning 50 years ago.

Research at the DMC has unlocked secrets of polychaete migration, feeding habits, unexpected roles in transferring marine pollution into food webs, and surprisingly fast and efficient means of burrowing through mud. Current and future projects will focus on their roles as pests of oysters and their altered ecosystem functions when nipped (partially eaten) by fishes.

Jumars is one of the world’s leading experts on polychaete worms, having published comprehensive reviews of this taxonomic group in 1979 and 2015. He studied deep-sea species diversity at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and received his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego. Jumars’ current research interests are broad and interdisciplinary — focusing on the ways that physics, chemistry, and geology limit what marine organisms do and how they do it. Jumars is a professor in the UMaine School of Marine Sciences and based at the Darling Marine Center.

This summer the DMC is also offering Wednesday Walking Tours of our waterfront facility through Aug. 19. Tours begin at 10:30 a.m. and last about 90 minutes.

On Aug. 8 the DMC will host an Open House from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public.

Additional information on all these events, as well as Darling Marine Center history, can be found on the DMC’s website.

UMaine Athletics to Offer Free Video Stream of Home Games

The University of Maine Athletics Department announced it will offer free live video streams of its 2015–16 home events.

Black Bear fans who formerly paid to watch ice hockey and football games online will now be able to watch the home events free of charge.

“We have Black Bear fans in every state of the country as well as Canada and overseas,” says Karlton Creech, UMaine’s director of athletics. “Free streaming is one way for us to thank them for continuing to support our student-athletes and University of Maine Athletics. We are thrilled to share the excitement of home games with all of Black Bear Nation and hope it will lead to further support at our games.”

Fans interested in other sports will continue to have free access to UMaine’s America East teams through AmericaEast.TV.

More information is online.

Upward Bound Math Science Students to Present Projects

Participants of the Upward Bound Math Science program at the University of Maine will present videos and posters on a variety of research projects conducted throughout the summer.

The students will host a Group Design Project Video Show from 1–2:30 p.m. Friday, July 24 at the Foster Center for Student Innovation. The videos document the design process over the past six weeks as students have created inventions and innovations to address problems posed by Maine EPSCoR faculty and staff.

On Monday, July 27, students will participate in the program’s annual STEM Symposium where they will present posters on their individual research projects and explorations from 5 to 9 p.m. in the atrium of the D.P. Corbett Business Building.

Upward Bound Math Science is affiliated with the UMaine College of Education and Human Development and offers a six-week college preparatory program to first-generation college students from eight Maine high schools. The program specifically targets students who are interested in pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors and careers.

This summer, 31 students attended from students are attending from Central High School in Corinth, Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, Portland High School, Stearns High School in Millinocket, and Schenck High School in East Millinocket.

School of Economics, Maine Development Foundation Release Report on Water Quality

On July 22, the Maine Development Foundation (MDF) and the University of Maine’s School of Economics released the sixth quarterly report analyzing critical economic indicators in Maine.

The latest report, “Water Quality in Maine,” addresses the economic, social, and natural effects of Maine’s comparatively high water quality.

Water is an essential resource in Maine that needs to be protected, the report states. Water quality affects tourism and recreation, property values, the cost of drinking water treatment, and the fishing industry.

The report was written by Kate Warner, a Ph.D. student in ecology and environmental sciences at UMaine, and Mario Teisl, director of the UMaine School of Economics and professor of resource economics and policy.

The publication is part of a series that explores the economic indicators in “Measures of Growth,” the Maine Economic Growth Council’s annual report on the critical issues affecting Maine’s economy.

The full “Water Quality in Maine” report is online.

A summary of the latest quarterly economic report, along with future quarterly reports created by the MDF and UMaine’s School of Economics, will appear as part of the Bangor Daily News’ “Maine Focus” series. The School of Economics will generate eight more research briefs to support its monthly contribution to the series​.

Memorial Service for Professor Emeritus David Clar

A memorial service for David Clark, University of Maine professor emeritus of economics, will be held at 2 p.m. July 31 in Buchanan Alumni House. Clark passed away April 15, 2015. He was 82 years old. Clark’s obituary is online.

Free Screening of ‘The Lego Movie’ Aug. 5 at Alfond Stadium

University of Maine Athletics will host a free screening of “The Lego Movie” at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5 on Morse Field at Alfond Stadium.

Members of the public are encouraged to bring blankets or chairs to watch the film on the high-definition video scoreboard.

UMaine football team members will greet fans and provide free snow cones during the event presented by CU Promise.

More information is available by calling 207.581.1086.


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UMaine News
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
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