Applications are now being accepted for:  

Application Deadline: January 12, 2018 **Hurry! Space is limited to 12 Maine Aquaculture Companies.**  

Now is your chance to join a unique program with unlimited opportunities to ACCELERATE your business growth in 2018 and beyond. 

What is Top Gun?

Top Gun is a four-month program that combines mentoring with high-impact weekly gatherings.

Applications are being accepted now through January 12. The program begins in February.

WHEN Weekly sessions run from February 7 – June 6, 2018  

WHERE Coastal Enterprises, Inc. 30 Federal Street, Suite 100 Brunswick, ME 04011  

COST $500.00 (Just 10% of actual costs!) *$200 Gulf of Maine Research Institute scholarships will be available to all qualified applicants for a limited time.  

Are you a Maine aquaculture start-up looking to grow in 2018?  

An exciting opportunity is now available! Earlier in 2016, the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs and its partners announced the expansion of the 2018 Top Gun entrepreneurship program to include aquaculture businesses. The Brunswick Top Gun class will be focused on companies in the aquaculture sector, including:  

  • Shellfish, Fin Fish and Seaweed Producers
  • Processors
  • Organizations that provide support services
  • Companies providing enabling technologies

Accepted businesses will meet in Brunswick for 12 sessions, featuring a shared dinner, session speakers, and highly interactive coursework.

Does this sound like you?

What You'll Learn

This intensive evening entrepreneurship program is tailored to support aquaculture businesses located in Maine. Participants will learn from each other, as well as from aquaculture and business experts in:

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Legal Issues
  • & More!

How the Aquaculture Top Gun Works

  • Submit a short online application by January 12, 2018 here.
  • Follow instructions for Aquaculture Companies ONLY.
  • Interviews will take place in each region between January 16 – 20, 2018.
  • Two final pitch competition winners will receive $5,000 cash prizes.
  • Finalists will compete statewide with other Top Gun finalists for a $25,000 cash prize.

Don’t miss your opportunity to participate in a fun, high-profile competition offering a cash prize of $25,000!

About the Top Gun Showcase Competition

Top Gun Showcase brings together a statewide community of 300 to celebrate and encourage high potential entrepreneurial teams. Two entrepreneurs are selected through a round of semi-finals in each location to give a five-minute pitch in front of panelists.  

Finalists are provided with a venue for promoting their businesses to the “Who’s Who” in entrepreneurship in Maine, including: 

• Leading funding agencies • Bankers • Angel investor club members • Other service providers • Members of the press

The winner receives a $25,000 CASH PRIZE 

Does Your Business Have What It Takes?

Of the 175+ companies that have been through the Top Gun program since it began, 40% were already generating revenue, at an annual rate of up to $1 million.  

Many others were in product and business model development, with a few still in research or product and business model definition stages. Top Gun teams have included twenty-somethings, AARP-demographic entrepreneurs, and every age in between.  

Previous Top Gun Graduates 

Previous participants have included technology companies, innovative food companies, as well as service companies with a unique twist, some of which include:

• Garbage to Garden, a Greenlight Maine winner • Bixby & Co., a Gorham Savings Bank LaunchPad winner • Rapport, the Steve Case Rise of the Rest winner • Thrivent Health, 2017 Top Gun Showcase winner

What Top Gun Graduates are Saying  

"Top gun was really essential in connecting my aquaculture focused business to Maine's broader business community."  

"What a great opportunity for Maine's entrepreneurs to connect with each other!"  

"I loved the some of the unexpected opportunities that came from Top Gun from honing in on my pitch [which has been constantly put to use!] to learning from other entrepreneurs tackling some of the same problems." ~ Sara Rademaker, Founder, American Unagi  

"As a pre-revenue start-up connecting and working with other entrepreneurs, at all different phases in the start-up process, was really encouraging."  

“The Top Gun pitch I developed, with the help of their mentors, has been the key component of the development of the vision, articulating it through practice, refining it, making connections, networking and achieving results.” ~ Carter Newell, Founder, Pemaquid Mussels/Undine Marine  

Are you ready to grow your business in 2018? 

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to learn from aquaculture and business experts – PLUS – the chance to win cash prizes up to $5,000! + if a statewide Top Gun Finalist, an additional $25,000!  

What are you waiting for?  

Apply for Top Gun 2018 Today!

Program Coordinator, Sponsors & Support

John Pavan, Course Coordinator Based in Brunswick, John is active in Maine’s aquaculture sector. He works in several market sectors, all of which are niche or limited-entry and address a societal, sustainability or environmental challenge, including several Maine aquaculture businesses. John serves as advisor, co-investor, non-executive director and/or in C-level roles, all in collaborative support of the entrepreneur. He creates value through capital, market and operational strategies with the goal of multiple bottom-line successes. 

2018 TopGun MCE Logo

The Maine Center for Entrepreneurs (MCE) is a private non-profit founded in 1997 that helps Maine’s most promising entrepreneurs to grow through innovation.  

For over 20 years, MCE has accelerated the growth of hundreds of companies, established the largest community of mentors in Maine, and continues to offer the very best training, advice and connections. For additional information, contact MCE at 207-774-8111 or via email at

Lead Sponsors The lead partners have developed this program as part of the FocusMaine aquaculture industry growth initiative.

  • FocusMaine
  • Small Business Administration
  • Economic Development Administration
  • Maine Aqauculture Innovation