PORTLAND, Maine — Good To-Go, a Kittery, Maine-based company that makes dehydrated, gourmet meals pre-packaged, has won the 2017 Gorham Savings Bank LaunchPad Competition and its corresponding $50,000 cash prize. The company was chosen from among five finalists, who pitched their small business concepts Tuesday night to a panel of independent judges in a packed USM Hannaford Hall.
Good To-Go is the first line of all-natural, dehydrated, gourmet meals catering to active adventurers. Designed to vastly elevate the food-on-the-trail experience; each meal is handmade by nationally-recognized chef Jennifer Scism, who once defeated Mario Batali on Food Network’s Iron Chef. In the minds of judges Melissa Smith (President & CEO, WEX), Chris Claudio (CEO & founder, Winxnet), and Steve Campbell (CEO, Pro-voke), the company rose to the top for its standout scalability potential.
The other four finalists, all of whom delivered impressive and well-received pitches, were Jellux, a Saco-based manufacturer of waterproof LED lighting; North Spore, a Westbrook-based gourmet mushroom producer/mycological community hub; STARC Systems of Brunswick, which produces a modular soundproofing system for occupied buildings under partial renovation and UniteGPS of Portland, whose CrossWalk technology solves the problem of parents and students not knowing just when the bus will arrive each day.
Gorham Savings Bank also honored one business in a new category this year, the Emerging Idea Award. All LaunchPad applicants, not just the five live-pitch finalists, were in the running for this award. American Unagi, a company focused on taking Maine harvested, glass eels and raising them to market size, earned the distinction; plus a $10,000 cash prize and $10,000 worth of marketing, business development, and public relations services from iBec Creative, Creative Imaging Group, Grove Marketing, Chris Philbrook PR and Pro-voke Strategy and Culture.
In addition, thanks to Gorham Savings Bank’s long-term partnership with Junior Achievement of Maine, middle school students from Gorham, Lincoln and Mahoney participated in LaunchPad for the first time ever, through JA It’s my Business!™ Entrepreneurial Education Program. During intermission at the event, a video pitch from each class was shown and the student representatives from each school were invited on stage to answer several questions about their idea and what they learned through the program. The students’ hard work was rewarded with a $1,000 donation from Gorham Savings Bank to each school.