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CEI and UpStart Maine Announce New Collaboration

CEI & UpStart Maine are pleased to announce a new collaboration, the Women's Entrepreneur Exchange which provides targeted support through "invitation only" networking groups for female founders in Maine who are actively scaling.

While our technology founders group is fully subscribed at this time you can learn more about it by contacting us at or

We are however actively extending invitations for our Food & Beverage Founders Group for those founders who meet our participation criteria. If you believe you are a fit for this group, please reach out to us at or

To foster a greater sense of collaboration and shared purpose amongst peers we are asking each member of our Food & Beverage group to meet the following criteria below.

We recognize not everyone who could benefit from this peer group will meet each requirement and we will consider all applicant requests on a case-by-case basis. Please be in touch if you think you may be a good fit.

Participation criteria:

  • Business must be food and or beverage focused.

  • Businesses must be headquartered in Maine or have an active presence in Maine.

  • The founder must identify as female. We align with the definition of women and females that explicitly includes not only cis women but also trans women and femme/feminine-identifying genderqueer and non-binary individuals.

  • Business must have a VIRAL score of 3 – 4.

  • Business must have 3+ employees, including the founder.

  • Businesses must have sales outside of Maine, or a plan to have sales outside of Maine within 6 months.

  • Business must have $150K+ in annual revenue or have received at least $150K in funding beyond a friend's and family raise.

  • The founder must be willing to openly share business challenges in a confidential forum, and bring a spirit of collaboration and support to helping other founders with their own challenges.

Learn more about Women's Entrepreneur Exchange by reaching out to or

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