Top Gun LA is an entrepreneurial accelerator program offered in the Lewiston Auburn region by the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
Top Gun LA is an intensive ‘boot camp’ for business startups and early stage companies that have a business idea or a business model and are ready to launch or grow their company.
Top Gun was founded in 2009 by the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs in Portland and has since expanded across a statewide network. Since the program started, about 200 companies have been through the program statewide, and since then, they’ve generated about $25MM in revenue and created about 250 Maine-based jobs. Program participants report revenue growth of 31% post-completion.
in Portland and has since expanded across a statewide network. Since the program started, about 200 companies have been through the program statewide, and since then, they’ve generated about $25MM in revenue and created about 250 Maine-based jobs. Program participants report revenue growth of 31% post-completion.
The program features three main components:
- Weekly Learning Sessions – Through lively, interactive presentations by subject matter experts, we explore a number of pertinent topics ranging from customer discovery and marketing strategies to financing and legal issues that are common to entrepreneurs.
- Mentor Matching – Companies in the program are matched with experienced mentors and talented professionals who donate their time and expertise to support their progress in the program.
- Pitch Competitions – We work with each company to develop ‘Shark Tank’ style pitches to help the participants learn how to speak clearly, succinctly and convincingly about their business. There are both regional and statewide pitch off competitions at the end of the program, and in the statewide competition, companies compete for a $25,000 grand prize provided by the Maine Technology Institute.
Top Gun is perhaps best known as a haven for tech companies, but it’s equally applicable to consumer products companies, service companies and others. They might be pre-revenue startups, early stage businesses that are positioning themselves to scale up, or mature companies that are diversifying by launching a new product or service line. Regardless of how different they may be, they all have something in common – they are all fully committed to growing their companies.
Top Gun LA runs for about four months every year, starting with weekly sessions beginning in February and concluding with regional and statewide pitch competitions held in May. For more information on how you can get involved with Top Gun LA, call Scott Benson, Economic Development Director at (207) 783-2249, or email Scott@lametrochamber.com.