‘an affordable way to bring in fresh perspectives and complete projects’

Innovate for Maine Fellows opens 2021 applications for students, companies

Thu, 01/28/2021 - 2:00pm

The University of Maine’s Foster Center for Innovation is seeking Maine students and Maine companies to participate in the 2021 Innovate for Maine Fellows internship program. Applications are now open.

The Innovate for Maine Fellows Program connects the best and brightest Maine college students with Maine’s most exciting growing companies for paid, meaningful, hands-on internship experiences, according to UMaine, in a news release.

The program is looking for both student fellows to join the 2021 cohort and a variety of for-profit companies with innovative products, services, or processes to host them.

“In 2021, we believe Innovate for Maine’s mission is more important than ever,” said Renee Kelly, assistant vice president for innovation and economic development at the University of Maine. “Many Maine businesses continue to face uncertainty and challenges. For them, Innovate for Maine is an affordable way to bring in fresh perspectives and complete projects that will accelerate growth. For students, it demonstrates that innovative career opportunities aren’t limited to major cities in other states — there are many options right here in Maine.”

Eligible students include those enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs at any college or university in Maine, as well as Maine residents enrolled in degree programs at colleges or universities outside of the state. 

Host companies can range in size from small startups to major corporations. Fellows can work full time or part time during the summer, with the possibility of continuing part time during the academic year. Depending on public health guidance, program-related events and internship placements may take place remotely in 2021.

Emphasizing innovation and entrepreneurship, Innovate for Maine prepares student fellows to collaborate with companies on innovation projects that accelerate company growth. Innovation projects can include work on new products or services, process improvements, market research, prototyping, sales forecasting, and more.

Trained innovation experts guide and mentor both the fellow and the company for the duration of the internship. The University of Maine handles all recruiting, screening, matching, hiring and initial innovation and workplace training for companies selected to participate in the program.

Since Innovate for Maine Fellows was established in 2012, student participants have gained exposure to innovative Maine companies and built strong networks that help them find opportunities to stay in Maine. A recent survey of Innovate for Maine Fellows alumni revealed that 70 percent of respondents were living in Maine and another 10 percent currently live outside of Maine but plan to return as their careers progress. Nearly 20 percent of program alumni have started their own companies.

To apply or to learn more about Innovate for Maine Fellows, visit the program website.

Applicants may submit materials to be considered for the early application deadline (Feb. 26, 2021), or the regular application deadline (March 12, 2021).


About the University of Maine:
The University of Maine, founded in Orono in 1865, is the state's land grant, sea grant and space grant university. It is located on Marsh Island in the homeland of the Penobscot Nation. As Maine's flagship public university, UMaine has a statewide mission of teaching, research and economic development, and community service. UMaine is the state's only public research university and among the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast. It attracts students from all 50 states and more than 75 countries. UMaine currently enrolls 11,741 undergraduate and graduate students who have opportunities to participate in groundbreaking research with world-class scholars. UMaine offers more than 100 degree programs through which students can earn master's, doctoral or professional science master's degrees, as well as graduate certificates. The university promotes environmental stewardship, with substantial efforts campuswide to conserve energy, recycle and adhere to green building standards in new construction. For more information about UMaine, visit umaine.edu.