By guest authors Irina Patterson and Candice Arnold
Joe: A lot of our population in Maine is pretty concentrated. The benefit of that is you can really power networking within the state, access capital sources, which we help folks with. We’ll make introductions. We’ll do mentoring. We’ll support mentor programs. In the state of Maine, you can also, if you need to, access policy makers. In Maine, you can get to who you need to get to pretty easily.
Irina: What are your personal daily challenges?
Joe: One of the challenges, in a state like Maine, with 1.3 million people, is deal flow – you know, prospects for good investable technology development or companies that are doing research and development.
The other is that once we do find investments and we make them, to try to put the pieces together. To try to help those companies or entrepreneurs get access to the resources, networks, tools, people and capital that can help them beyond the simple MTI involvement so that they can move their products or services or grow their companies.
At MTI, one of the internal challenges is that we’re a small organization. We work under an administrative cap, so we can’t expect to be all things to all people, where maybe in a venture capital firm you might have industry experts from various sectors and areas of expertise.
We tend to be technology and business general practitioners to some extent, but when it comes to getting resources and specific expertise networked with our companies, that’s always a challenge.
It can be done. The resources are in Maine, and if they’re not in Maine, they’re available regionally. It’s just always difficult trying to work and help match those companies with their needed resources.
We have some technology incubators in the state, and we’re always looking, trying to figure out how to partner with them.
Irina: Thank you, Joe. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas with us.