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Maine Farm, Fish & Food Innovation Challenge

November 20, 2015 - November 22, 2015

Innovation Challenge Weekend

Friday evening, November 20 –Sunday, November 22

Bowdoin College

Local food production is flourishing in Maine. Young people are starting farms in record numbers. Chefs are developing creative uses of under-utilized fish species and some are raising fish and greens together in closed loop systems. Expanding this emerging and critical economic sector will require innovative thinking as to how we aggregate, process, distribute, and market local food and seafood. Maine has the opportunity to become the food production engine for New England and a model for land-based and ocean-based food self-reliance and best practices.

What we need: Sustainable business models (both financial and ecological) offering a fair return to the farmer or fisherman at a fair price to the buyer, while minimizing their carbon footprint.

We are looking for: Bold and big ideas pushed by people who want to challenge each other and the status quo. We expect solutions that either significantly enhance current models, such as farmers’ markets, fish markets, CSAs, pick-your-own and farm-stands, or create new models that adapt to local and regional needs, utilize technology and adopt creative business structures such as cooperatives and L3Cs.

One size does not fit all. Many possible solutions exist, some local and replicable, others regional. Our goal is to create a variety of market models, existing and new, that benefit producers, buyers and consumers.

The Challenge

Your challenge is very straightforward – create a team and enter the Maine Farm, Fish and Food Innovation Challenge. If your idea wins, you and your team will take home up to $10,000 in cash and services to help bring your solution to market, coupled with an expert support network to help you maintain momentum.



The Sustainability Lab

Media Sponsor

SOURCE & Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram


The Betterment Fund

Drummond & Drummond

Bowdoin College

Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Cribstone Capital Management


Host Committee:

Bowdoin College

Merrymeeting Food Council

Brunswick Topsham Land Trust

Kennebec Estuary Land Trust

Planning Committee:

Bill Seretta, Co-Chair – The Sustainability Lab

Tom Settlemire, Co-Chair – Brunswick Topsham Land Trust

Ben Tettlebaum -Conservation Law Foundation

Barry Woods -Drummond & Drummond

Tyler Kidder – USM

Eileen Johnson – Bowdoin College

Gray Harris-CEI

Monique Coombs -Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association


Envision Maine

Farm to Institution New England

Cooperative Development Institute


Wolfe’s Neck Farm

Island Institute

Penobscot East Resource Center

UMaine Cooperative Extension Service

Maine Venture Fund


The Maine Food Strategy

Maine Farmland Trust


November 20, 2015
November 22, 2015


Bowdoin College
ME United States
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