bringing together thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators to explore sustainable economic development in Maine's coastal communities

Start Summit on Innovation in Maine's Coastal Communities coming to Rockland

Thu, 03/23/2023 - 12:45pm

ROCKLAND — Rockland Main Street, the Island Institute, Steelhouse, the Penobscot Bay Chamber of Commerce, the City of Rockland, and Mid-Coast School of Technology, are partnering with Northeastern University’s Roux Institute to host a Start Summit on Innovation in Maine's Coastal Communities. This Start Summit will take place on April 28-29, 2023, and will explore opportunities for business growth and sustainable economic development throughout Maine’s MidCoast.

The Start Summit will bring together thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators to explore sustainable economic development in Maine's coastal communities. Panelists will discuss topics such as innovations in the blue economy, creating more resilient communities, and critical infrastructure, and will hear success stories from Maine's leading innovators and entrepreneurs. The event will also feature interactive discussions where attendees can share their own ideas and experiences, and network with other business owners and innovators. Selected businesses will be invited to compete in an innovation challenge on the topics of: 

-Workforce sustainability in coastal communities. 
-Environmental sustainability of the working waterfront.
-Visibility of innovation in coastal communities.
-Businesses will compete and be evaluated by a panel of judges with the most innovative ideas being awarded first-place prize of $3,000 and $2,000 for the second prize.

"We are thrilled to partner with the Island Institute and the Roux Institute to host this Start Summit," said David Gogel, Executive Director of Main Street Rockland, in a news release. "Maine's Midcoast communities are an ideal location to host this summit to support innovation and growth. This summit will help catalyze new ideas and collaborations that will benefit our communities and the state as a whole.”

"Maine's coastal communities are a critical part of the state's economy and culture,” said Kimberly Hamilton, interim Chief Programs Officer at the Island Institute. “We see tremendous potential for growth and innovation in these areas. We look forward to exploring opportunities for collaboration and sustainable coastal development at the Start Summit."

"We are excited to bring together leaders and innovators from Maine's coastal communities to explore opportunities for sustainable economic development," said Wendy Blackwell-Moore, of Northeastern University’s Roux Institute. "We believe that by fostering collaboration and innovation, we can create new opportunities for businesses and individuals in Maine's coastal regions."

The Start Summit on Innovation in Maine's Coastal Communities will take place at the Mid-Coast School of Technology in Rockland, Maine. The summit is open to the public and free thanks to the generous support from the Maine Technology Institute, Eaton Peabody Attorneys at Law, and the Island Institute.  

Registration is now open. Attendees can register for the event and find more information here.



The Roux Institute in Portland, Maine is designed as an engine of innovation, talent–building, and economic growth for Portland, Maine, and northern New England. Partnerships set the model of graduate education and research apart. With leading companies and nonprofit organizations at the table from day one, the Roux Institute creates programs that are preparing the workforce to stay agile and thrive in a competitive landscape powered by artificial intelligence. The Roux Institute, as an R1 global research university, is nurturing an environment for high-impact research and innovation in computer and data science, digital engineering, the advanced life sciences and medicine, and other tech fields. And the Roux helps entrepreneurs launch businesses focused on and powered by technology. Together, with our partners, we are creating an innovation corridor that will stretch from Boston to Portland and beyond. For more information:  


Rockland Main Street works to preserve and enhance the unique sense of place, and economic vitality of downtown Rockland, Maine while working to create a place of shared prosperity, equal access to opportunity, and inclusive engagement. 



The Island Institute is a 40-year-old nonprofit organization, based in Rockland, Maine, that works to sustain Maine’s island and coastal communities and is committed to a just, resilient, and vibrant future for the coast. For more information, visit .