THE CONCEPT

IGNITE is an arts business incubator program that supports makers, manufacturers, artists, and creative service providers. Engine and its network of partners is jumpstarting a competitive nine-month program for for creative entrepreneurs from February through October 2022. Participants will receive support in concert with their business goals and material support up to $5,000 each. Businesses or individuals with new business ideas are encouraged to apply to the program by its January 17, 2022 deadline. Selected candidates will then be supported with resources that they need to turn ideas into inventions and viable businesses.  

We will use methods from design thinking, the Business Model Canvas, agile development, and the maker movement to help a range of businesses—from musicians and performers to textile artists, advanced manufacturers, and hardware developers—take their creative vision to the next level.

IGNITE 2022 PROGRAM AWARDS & BENEFITS

  • The 2022 IGNITE cohort will participate in a business development funding course convened by Engine and the University of Maine’s Foster Innovation Center. IGNITE’s program team and Engine’s network will also leverage connections in the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem to provide mentorship and networking opportunities, material support, and a studio or production space rent relief valued at about $5,000 per business. Applicants will be asked to outline how they’d apply Engine’s support to their project budget, specifying whether materal support or physical rent relief are larger priorities.
  • Production Space/ Rental Offsets: IGNITE’s selected participants will be strongly encouraged to occupy studio/production space at Engine’s 163 Main St. studios and Makerspace for the duration of the program. If selected to the cohort your business is eligible for a full rental subsidy for the duration of the nine-month program. IGNITE’s program team may support alternative sites (when/if appropriate), but the ability to travel regularly to Biddeford’s downtown district is a requirement of the 2022 cohort.
  • Fringe Fest and Public Engagement in addition to leadership opportunities among Engine’s network of studio artists, and seasonal open studios, the IGNITE 2022 Cohort will be supported to develop a part of their vision in the form of an installation, pop-up shop, performance, or other appropriate medium for Engine’s 2022 Fringe Fest —a downtown Biddeford street festival scheduled for mid-August. 

CALLING LEADERS IN SOCIAL INNOVATION AND CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Engine serves an arts and cultural mission. This work requires leadership in social, environmental and economic equity for Maine and the region. IGNITE will prioritize applicants whose business concepts demonstrate equitable leadership within their business plans. 

Social and ecological integrity are fundamental to any sustainable economic future. Therein we acknowledge historic disempowerment of indigenous citizens of Maine’s past and present tribal nations, as well as black and brown people and people of color. We are especially seeking to support the safety and excellence of citizens from these historically marginalized demographics, and those from majority demographics who provide regional leadership and grow the value of socially just business missions for the public benefit of all Mainers.

IGNITE 2022 APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 17th, 2022

ALL INQUIRIES AND QUESTIONS ON ELIGIBILITY CAN BE DIRECTED TO: IGNITE@feedtheengine.org

IGNITE Program FAQ (COMING SOON)

THIS PROJECT HAS BEEN SUPPORTED BY GRANT FUNDING FROM:

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