What's a meet-up?
It’s a networking opportunity for entrepreneurs (and those who can assist or support entrepreneurs) to get together on a regular, scheduled basis – weekly-to-monthly – to talk strategies, share success stories, exchange tips, spot trends, etc. A meet-up typically might last one hour, at a time when most interested people can attend (e.g., just before or after work hours, at lunch time, whatever works for the group). It can be held at a restaurant or coffee shop, a co-work space, rotate among individual businesses, a community room, or something similar.
The meet-up might be a general event for entrepreneurs in any field, working in a particular town or other geographic neighborhood; or it could be entrepreneurs in a particular field in which the area has a cluster of startup businesses (such as food, breweries, B-to-B marketing, health care, sensor technologies, forest products, gaming software, software publishing, etc.).
How is a meet-up started?
One or a few people typically initiate the meet-up and are responsible for organizing and making sure the meet-ups happen, preparing simple agendas to get started, and facilitating the meet-ups at least at the outset. Participants can share responsibility for spreading the word and for bringing in interesting people who might be important to the network.
How UpStart Maine can help you start a meet-up
A one-time grant of up to $200 to get started
Advice on how to get started and on who in the entrepreneurial world might be connected to the meet-up
Attend a meet-up session or two to share information on programs, organizations, & agencies that may be useful to participants
Publicity through UpStart Maine’s web site and social media
Meet-up Mini Grants
UpStart Maine has up to ten mini grants available to help any group that would like to start regular “meet-ups” of entrepreneurs and others who can help entrepreneurs meet their business objectives. These are one-time grants for up to $200 to help pay for refreshments for the first session or two, a “table flag,” distribution materials, or anything else the organizer(s) may think is necessary to get the meet-up going.