We are excited to announce our opening as the newest addition to Maine’s innovation ecosystem.
We’re building Venture Hall because innovation is vital to our community and our economy. But it doesn’t happen by accident. To innovate is to decide on a better future worth fighting for, to put in the work with discipline and rigor, to value diversity of thought, to be wrong early and often, to have courage, and most importantly, to undertake the journey. Venture Hall is for those with the courage to undertake that journey.
What is Venture Hall?
It’s a not-for-profit corporation providing educational instruction, mentorship and training to individuals and teams who are building innovation-driven enterprises. To improve their chances of success, we help convene the talent, capital and insight necessary to accelerate the growth of these unique enterprises.
Our vision is for Maine to be as widely regarded for it’s world-class innovation ecosystem as it is for it’s world-class beauty, natural resources, dining and way of life.
How will we deliver value?
We’re creating Maine’s first innovation center specifically for projects that have the potential to become high-growth or high-impact startups. We will produce, curate and facilitate a range of on-going programs and events for current and aspiring entrepreneurs in the Portland region, as well as a selective accelerator program designed to serve the highest-potential startups from across the country.
We will work with complementary organizations like E2Tech, MCED, MTI, and others, while enlisting the help of corporate partners, Maine Accelerates Growth, Maine Startups Insider (if you don’t already read this valuable weekly newsletter you should) and our host, Cloudport CoWorking MultiSpace.
Speaking of Cloudport, we’re holding three events there in the next week, and we invite you to join us:
Graveyard of Broken Dreams – Friday 10/28 6:00 – 8:00PM
A Halloween-inspired celebration of learning from failure and letting go. The challenges we face make us stronger and more successful. Come share your own failure and then watch it burn in the cauldron, then have a drink on us!
1 Million Cups – Wednesday 11/2 7:30 – 9:00AM
A national program created by the Kauffman Foundation for new and aspiring entrepreneurs to present their ideas to a friendly and supportive audience for constructive feedback (+ free coffee!)
Lean Startup Conference Live Stream Wed – Thurs 11/2 – 3 Noon – 9:00PM
Two days of cutting edge insight into how to build innovative new products and services faster, cheaper and more reliably beamed straight from the conference main stage in San Fransisco, CA.
How is Venture Hall different?
While the established organizations in Maine support many types of entrepreneurs, few exist specifically to provide education, advice and active support to those known as innovation-driven enterprises.
For most new small businesses, their products, services, business models and markets already have well-established precedents; it’s up to the entrepreneur to execute a clear plan. For innovation-driven enterprises, on the other hand, they are defined by the fact that they are bringing new innovations to market in the form of new products, technology, processes, business models, or all of the above. Their paths are much less clear, but their potential upside for growth (revenue + jobs) can be many times greater. That’s why they are often called high-growth startups.
These kinds of startups require a different set of tools, resources, talent, insight and even different sources of capital. Venture Hall will work to convene all of those pieces through one organization.
Our programs will follow a rigorous evidence-based process, we will work closely with corporate partners who can lend startup teams crucial domain expertise as well as access to customers and marketing channels, and we will anchor our programs with a highly selective, intensive summer accelerator.
We’ll be serving more and different entrepreneurs than those already in Maine, which is an important strategic goal: to become a net attractor of talent and capital that is vital to our economy.
The entrepreneurial spirit is strong in Maine. Always has been. Venture Hall is here to build upon that legacy.
What can I do to help?
Great question! To stay up to date every week and share our news with your friends, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter. And if you’d like to reach out directly to see how you might get involved, feel free to contact us here. More to come…
Mike Sobol, Katie Shorey & Jess Knox