2017 Maine Food System Innovation Challenge
November 11-12, 2017
Saint Joseph’s College, Standish, ME
Enterprise Challenge: How might we create new models of aggregation, distribution and new products through innovative processing that adapt to local and regional needs, utilize technology – high-tech and low-tech – and are sustainable – both financially and ecologically while 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 ideas pushed by people who want to challenge each other and the status quo. We expect solutions that move beyond farmers’ markets, CSAs and farm-stands and that create new models that adapt to local and regional needs, utilize technology – both low and high-tech and test creative business structures such as cooperatives, enterprising non-profits and L3Cs.
One size does not fit all. Many possible solutions exist, some local and replicable, others regional and scalable. Our goal is to create a variety of market models, existing and new, that benefit producers, buyers and consumers.
Important Dates for Enterprise Teams
* Monday, May 1st: Enterprise Team Registration Opens. Register here.
* Friday, September 15th at midnight (or when the 8 team limit has been reached): Enterprise Team Registration Closes.
* Saturday-Sunday, November 11th-12th: Enterprise Challenge Weekend.
Eligibility – Enterprise Team
All entries must:
- Be a new (pre-launch idea stage) initiative or an established enterprise proposing a new idea.
- Present an innovative solution to get Maine grown food and harvested seafood to local and regional markets – think aggregating, processing, distributing. The business does not need to be located in Maine or focus solely on Maine food.
- Demonstrate a sustainable business model – profit or non – profit (both financial and ecological) offering a fair return to the farmer or fisherman with fair pay to the employees at a fair price to the buyer, while minimizing their carbon footprint.
- We encourage teams but submissions can be by individuals. We recommend teams of 2-3 members.
- Teams must be in attendance at the Challenge Weekend November 11-12 at Saint Joseph’s College.
- Participants must register by September 15th. We strongly suggest teams register ASAP as the registration will be cut off as soon as 8 qualified teams are selected.
Challenge Weekend Agenda and Logistics – Enterprise Teams
The Challenge will run from Saturday, November 11, 8:00AM to Sunday, November 12, 5PM. Meals will be provided to teams on Saturday and Sunday. Several resource people will be available on Saturday to advise teams and there will be two short workshops on the Business Model Canvas and Creating a Pitch. Teams will have access to wireless Internet and a printer. Teams should bring their own laptops. Dress is casual.
The Host Committee has arranged for a limited amount of overnight accommodations for teams traveling a long distance. Contact us at Challenge@theSLab.org if your team will require overnight accommodations.
Meals and coffee breaks will be provided Saturday morning through lunch on Sunday.
- Technical Advisors, Resource People & Mentors
The Challenge will have several advisors available to teams during the day on Saturday. Advisors are professionals working in the field of food & agriculture, legal, finance, sustainability, food retailing and business systems. They will be available to meet with teams, advise, react and comment on team proposals.
Judging Criteria – Enterprise Track
Judges will use several criteria in evaluating submissions. The criteria have been carefully designed to be consistent with the nature of this Challenge: that is one that seeks idea stage or early stage proposals, not fully developed business plans. Teams will use the Business Model Canvas support your Pitch. The five criteria are:
- Clarity of the Value Proposition – 20%
- Originality, Uniqueness or Appropriateness of the Proposed Innovation – 20%
- Impact Potential – Local or Regional (replicable or scalable) – 20%
- Sustainability – Financially & Ecologically – 20%
- Quality of Final Presentation – The Pitch – 20%
Awards – Enterprise Track
Judges will select 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.
First Place Award – Cash award plus technical assistance.
Second Place Award – Cash award plus technical assistance.
Third Place Award – Cash award plus technical assistance.
Awards subject to change.
Judges – Enterprise Track
There will be five Judges. Teams will make their Pitches to the Judges on Sunday afternoon with winners announced at 3:30. Judges to date:
Fiona Wilson – Lead Judge – Clinical Associate Professor of Social Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability and Director of the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise at UNH and Vice-Chair Wolfe’s Neck Farm.
Other Judges – TBA
Terms & Conditions – Enterprise Track
In order to enter and compete in the Maine Food System Innovation Challenge, participants must agree to the following:
- Enterprise Teams pay a registration fee of $30/per member
- Participate in the Challenge Weekend at Saint Joseph’s College, November 11 -12.
- Agree to allow all submission materials to appear on the Challenge website.
- Certify that you own, or have the owner’s permission to use/present; all intellectual property utilized in your entry materials, including any technology.
- Agree to allow participant names, description of your entry, photos of your team and video footage of your presentation from the Challenge Weekend to be used on the Challenge website and in future publicity, including social media.
Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MaineInnovationChallenge for regular basis for updates and news about the Challenge.