Welcome to the Maine Startup & Create Movement.
Maine Startup & Create Week began in 2014 when a group of doers, founders and service providers noticed something special was stirring in the area, and wanted to help it grow. Maine has always been a place to have a great life; now over the past decade or so, it is also becoming a place to have a great career. Professionals and companies no longer need be tethered to large cities and central offices, and increasingly people are discovering that life and work are better when they cut the cord. Maine is a destination for many of these people – and the skills, ideas, and progressive work culture they bring.
Maine Startup & Create Week is a reflection and gathering of this emergent energy. It is about growing enterprise and changing culture in the region, but it’s also about redefining the conventional wisdom of what an economic center looks like, and what can be achieved outside of major metropolitan areas. It’s about creating community amongst those making it happen. And it’s also about truly great content and conversations, that will raise the bar and inspire you, no matter where you live or whether you have any connection to Maine. That’s the point – innovation and quality no longer need be captive in big cities. 300 speakers from 30 states and 3 countries, as well as more than 4,000 participants for over 250 events (so far), have proved the case.
Maine Startup and Create Week was inspired and supported by analogous events around the country like Boulder Startup Week and Austin Startup Week. We learned from them, adopted some of their tenets – importantly Boulder Author Brad Feld’s “give before you get”– but ultimately are creating something innovative for our particular context. We welcome both “startups” (innovative and high-growth teams, regardless of the size or age of the company) and “creators” (anybody in the business of making things, from physical to digital), and provide an intimate week of cutting-edge content, opportunities for applied learning, and plenty of connections of the most exciting kind.
Now in our fourth year, it’s true that Maine Startup and Create Week is still a startup itself. We’re completely volunteer run, we still sweat to make it happen (15,000+ volunteer hours), and all our rough edges aren’t perfectly polished yet… but that’s just like the startups who come together here. Isn’t that the most exciting time of any place or venture, anyway – when you can still be a part of making a difference?