WATERVILLE — Thomas College’s Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation is set to host The Roux Institute’s Maine Start Summit in person on its campus Friday through Sunday, April 29-May 1.

Similar to what is referred to as a “startup” weekend, the two-and-a-half-day hackathon-style event is designed to lower the barrier of entry for aspiring founders and startup curious individuals. Attendees are invited to form teams, develop a unique idea, and with the help of an all-star line-up of mentors, learn how to build and pitch a successful business, according to a news release from the college.

Four entrepreneurial workshops will be presented Saturday to help each team build out its idea and develop a prototype before it have a chance to pitch for prize money on Sunday. Workshop Facilitators include Julene Gervais of Greenlight Maine, Leslie Hyman of Circa, Nick Rimsa of Tortoise Labs, and Owen Sanderson of IA Collaborative.

“Having this event here in Waterville is incredibly important for the region. It’s a chance to showcase the fact that Waterville has one of the most comprehensive and robust entrepreneurial ecosystems in the State,” said Mike Duguay, executive director of the college institute.

“Waterville has established itself as Maine’s newest innovation hub with programs to serve entrepreneurs at every stage of development,” said Dirigo Labs Managing Director Susan Ruhlin. “With incredible academic institutions and an advantageous geographic location for workforce development, the area offers multiple strategic opportunities for new ventures.”

Hosting the first of Roux’s Maine Start Summit was a natural progression for Waterville’s entrepreneurial community.

“Now that we have all the pieces needed to serve entrepreneurs at every level of development, it was time for us to reach out to the entrepreneurs in the region and throughout the state to make sure they knew that they could start and grow businesses right here in the Waterville area,” said Duguay.

Registration for the event is available online at thomas.edu/create.

For more information on the event or for registration assistance, call 207-859-1159.

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