One hundred and thirty Maine entrepreneurs submitted an application to LaunchPad. An independent panel of judges spent countless hours reviewing each submission, and ultimately selected twelve semifinalists to compete. Nearly 9,000 votes were received by the public, and the top 5 finalists presented their ideas at the Live LaunchPad Competition on April 10th.


Rockland, Maine
Seeking to expand production of their healthy, gluten free chocolate + fruit + nut + spice bars.


Bixby & Co., founded by Kate McAleer, offers organic chocolates blended with dried fruits, nuts, organic brown rice crisps and selected spices. They will use the $30,000 to purchase capital equipment to prepare for a national launch. The award will help improve quality, manufacturing speed, and consistency of their product, and according to McAleer, “is exactly what we needed to boost our product to the next level.”


At the live competition, two additional awards were presented to LaunchPad participants.

$5,000 Maine Technology Institute & Blackstone Accelerates Growth Award

Invisible Intelligence - John Guimond and Ron Cote, West Gardiner

Maine Technology Institute (MTI), in partnership with Blackstone Accelerates Growth (BxG) offered a $5,000 Technology Award to one of the 12 LaunchPad semifinalists who has shown the best use of technological innovation as the basis for creating a new business in Maine. The preliminary panel of LaunchPad judges nominated Invisible Intelligence to receive this award.

Invisible Intelligence developed a new technology called a General Audio Recording Device. It is similar to a commercial airplane’s “black box”, but is for use at small general aviation airports. MTI & BxG will connect Invisible Intelligence with various resources needed to bring their new product or service to market. Because technology-based businesses often encounter more challenges in the development cycle, more resources are needed to resolve technology and engineering design issues, develop prototypes, or conduct testing. This award will help address those needs.

Congratulations to John Guimond and Ron Cote, founders of Invisible Intelligence, and thank you to Maine Technology Institute and Blackstone Accelerates Growth for providing this opportunity for one of the LaunchPad semifinalists!


$5,000 Emerging Idea Award

PJ Coeur - Pamela Castrucci, Janna Smith and Kirk Hill

Gorham Savings Bank introduced an additional award for one LaunchPad applicant outside of the finalist and semifinalist group. Our panel of judges felt that one idea stood out among the 130 submissions we received. We are pleased to recognize the efforts and entrepreneurial spirit of PJ Coeur with this $5,000 cash award.

PJ Coeur has developed a service called Voice Kite, an innovative technology designed to pair a voice with a photograph, preserving a memory in sight and sound. The $5,000 Emerging Idea Award will enable Pamela and her team to build the graphical user interface for the Voice Kite website and also allow her to get the Voice Kite name trademarked.

Congratulations Pamela and the PJ Coeur Team!


Special Thanks

Maine Venture Fund

We would also like to extend a special thanks to the Maine Venture Fund for providing additional opportunities to the 5 LaunchPad finalists in the 2014 competition. Since 1997, Maine Venture Fund has been investing in scalable Maine-based companies with the potential to significantly contribute to the prosperity of Maine. All five of this year’s LaunchPad finalists will be invited to submit materials to Maine Venture Fund for review and written feedback, and the winner of LaunchPad will have the opportunity to present their business plan to Maine Venture Fund’s Board of Directors. For more information, visit


Please contact us if you have any questions about this competition.


Mission Statement

The mission of LaunchPad is to help fund the launch of a business idea that may not otherwise take flight. One of the biggest barriers for entrepreneurs can be the lack of funding. LaunchPad not only celebrates great ideas but provides the resources to help bring these ideas to life.


Official Rules:



Contest Entry Period:

January 6, 2014 to February 14, 2014



 Contest is open to:

  • Legally registered Maine based businesses or
  • Legal residents of the United States and the State of Maine who are 18 years of age or older with a proposed idea or product.

Entities that are tax-exempt organizations, non-profits or charitable trusts are not eligible to participate. Employees, officers, and directors of Gorham Savings Bank and their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, promotion or advertising agencies, and members of their immediate family are not eligible to participate. Gorham Savings Bank reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify a semifinalist.


How to enter:

During the Contest Entry Period, visit and follow the directions provided to complete the entry form. All entries must be received by 11:59 PM EST on Friday, February 14, 2014 to be considered.


Additional Entry Restrictions:

  • Entry must be the original work of the entrant.
  • Must not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity, or other rights of any person or entity.


Winner Determination:

The Contest will consist of four (4) phases to determine the winner.

  1. Preliminary Judging. An independent panel of judges will review all eligible entries received and select up to 20 semifinalists. They will judge how the ideas presented address the Mission statement. Semifinalists’ submission ideas will remain confidential through the preliminary judging phase.
  2. Notification of Semifinalists. Between March 5 and March 7, 2014, the selected semifinalists will be contacted at the telephone number listed on the Entry Form. They must confirm their availability to compete in the live event on April 10, 2014. If unable to participate, they will be disqualified and another semifinalist will be chosen.
  3. Voting Phase. Up to 20 semifinalists will be featured on Gorham Savings Bank’s LaunchPad webpage,, between March 18 and March 27, 2014. During this timeframe, the public will be invited to vote for their favorite semifinalist. The five (5) semifinalists who receive the highest number of votes will be deemed LaunchPad finalists. Limit one (1) vote per email address during the voting period. Voting ends 11:59 PM EST on March 27, 2014.
  4. Live LaunchPad Event – April 10, 2014. The five (5) finalists will have up to three (3) minutes to set up their presentation, up to seven (7) minutes to present their case, and up to five (5) minutes of Q&A from judges. An independent panel of qualified judges will score the presentations on the following criteria:
  • entrant’s ability to address the Mission statement
  • entrant’s commitment to his or her business, business idea or product
  • energy and enthusiasm for their business, business idea or product
  • entrant’s intent on using the LaunchPad money to achieve their goal set forth in their entry.

Each finalist will be videotaped at the live event, for use in a promotional video by Gorham Savings Bank. The panel of judges will select one (1) finalist, who will be deemed the LaunchPad winner.


LaunchPad Award:

 $30,000 will be awarded to the finalist who best meets the Mission statement.

Other fine print

  • Void Where Prohibited or Restricted by Law: All federal, state and local regulations apply to the Contest. The Contest is void in any Country, or Federal or State jurisdiction where it is prohibited by law or regulation.
  • Contest and Official Rules Subject to Modification by Gorham Savings Bank: The Contest and these Official Rules are subject to modification, cancellation, or limitation at Gorham Savings Bank’s sole discretion, with or without notice, including to persons who have already entered the Contest. All changes or modification of the Contest or these Official Rules will be posted on this Website.
  • General Conditions of Participation in This Contest: Except where prohibited by law, all entries that are selected as one of the 20 semi-finalists permit Gorham Savings Bank and its affiliates to use, without notice or further compensation, worldwide and in perpetuity in any and all forms of media, now known and hereafter devised, such winner’s name, likeness, pictures, photographs, voice, biographical information, and statements for purposes of advertising, trade, promotion, and publicity. Once submitted, all entries, not just those of the semi-finalists, will not be returned.
  • Disqualification: Gorham Savings Bank reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it (or its authorized designee hosting the Website) finds to be: (i) tampering with the entry process or otherwise tampering with the operation of the Contest, the Website, or any web page or web banner ad related to the Contest; (ii) acting in violation of the Official Rules; (iii) acting in a non-sportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, harass, harm, mislead, or defraud any other individual or entity; or (iv) otherwise in violation of law as solely determined by Gorham Savings Bank. Any person attempting to defraud Gorham Savings Bank or the other contestants or in any way tamper with the Contest will be ineligible to compete in the Contest or win the contest and Gorham Savings Bank may seek any and all remedies available to it, including, if appropriate, filing complaints with legal authorities.
  • Website or Contest Corruption: If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned or if in the sole discretion of Gorham Savings Bank, the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest is corrupted or adversely affected, Gorham Savings Bank reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the contest.
  • Limitation of Liability: Gorham Savings Bank is not responsible or liable for entries that are illegible, late, forged, destroyed, lost, misplaced, stolen, misdirected, tampered with, incomplete, deleted, damaged, garbled, altered, or otherwise not in compliance with these Official Rules, whether caused by Gorham Savings Bank, the entrant, or anyone else.
  • Entrants’ Own Work: Your submission must be entirely your (or in the case of a team effort, your team’s) own original creation and must not infringe upon or violate any laws or any rights of third parties, including, but not limited to, such violations as infringement of copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary or property right, libel, defamation, violation of rights of privacy, publicity, personality or celebrity, or any contract right, or any other right of any individual, corporation or entity. Entrants must obtain all necessary permissions, licenses, clearances, releases, waivers of moral rights and other approvals from third parties (including but not limited to all copyright holders and all individuals appearing in a video submission), necessary to use the submission, in whole or in part, in any way, including without limitation, to reproduce, make derivatives, edit, modify, translate, distribute, transmit, publish, license and broadcast worldwide, by any means. Any and all such permission, licenses, clearances, releases, waivers of moral rights and approvals must be provided to Gorham Savings Bank upon its request. Gorham Savings Bank shall not be responsible to a third-party for any entrant’s failure to comply with this provision, and each entrant agrees to indemnify Gorham Savings Bank for any such claim. • Affidavit & Release: As a condition of winning you may be required to execute and deliver to Gorham Savings Bank a signed Affidavit of Eligibility, which includes an acceptance of these Official Rules and a release of liability.
  • Notice to Winners: As a condition of winning, you will be asked to use the funds solely to fund the business described in your entry form. Gorham Savings Bank reserves the right to contact the winner on a regular basis for a period of one year to check on status, and will ask for a summary at the end of the year as to how well the funding met the expectations of the application. Items within this summary may be published by Gorham Savings Bank.
  • Release and Waiver: By entering the Contest, each entrant irrevocably agrees and acknowledges to be bound by the Official Rules and all applicable laws and decisions of Gorham Savings Bank which are final and binding in all respects; to forever and irrevocably waive all of his/her rights to claim ambiguity with respect to the Official Rules and to waive all of his/her rights to bring any claim, action, or proceeding against Gorham Savings Bank in connection with the Contest; and to forever and irrevocably release, indemnify, and hold harmless Gorham Savings Bank and its respective officers, directors, employees, or agents including outside attorneys, shareholders, representatives, successors, and assigns (collectively the “Releasees”) from any liability (including, but not limited to, liability for defamation, libel, slander, invasion of privacy, infringement of publicity or any intellectual property rights, any property loss, damage, personal injury, bodily injury, death, expense, accident, delay, inconvenience or irregularity, and any indirect, incidental, consequential, special, punitive or exemplary damages of any kind, even if the Releasees have been advised of the possibility of such loss or damages), costs and expenses (including, without limitation, reasonable outside attorneys’ fees) that may arise from, result from, or are in connection with: (a) the Contest including, but not limited to, any Contest-related activity or element thereof and the entrant’s entry, participation, or inability to participate in the Contest; (b) the violation of any privacy, personal, publicity or proprietary rights; (c) typographical errors in these Official Rules or any Contest promotional materials; (d) any change in the prizing (or any components thereof) due to unavailability, business or creative considerations, or due to reasons beyond Gorham Savings Bank’s control or as otherwise permitted in these Official Rules; (e) any interruptions in or postponement, cancellation, or modification of the Contest; (f) human error; (g) incorrect or inaccurate transcription, receipt, or transmission of any part of the Contest entry; (h) any system, computer timing and/or dating mechanism, computer equipment, software, or Internet service provider utilized by Gorham Savings Bank or by an entrant; (i) interruption or inability to access the Contest, the Website, or any other Contest-related web pages or any online service via the internet due to hardware or software compatibility problems; (j) any damage to entrant’s (or any third person’s) computer and/or its contents related to or resulting from any part of the Contest; (k) any lost/delayed data transmissions, omissions, interruptions, defects, and/or any other destroyed, incomplete, undeliverable or damaged Contest Entries; (l) any wrongful, negligent, or unauthorized act or omission on the part of Gorham Savings Bank, or any of its agents or employees; (m) the public voting or the tabulation of the votes, or (n) the selection by Gorham Savings Bank or its advisors of the finalists.


Please contact us if you have any questions about this contest.


Call Katie Bellerose at (207) 222-1437