Posts Tagged Maine

Innovation Isn’t Only for High-tech Businesses

In Maine, the legislature is currently debating slowing or eliminating an increase in the minimum wage enacted last year after a citizen initiative passed. Small businesses came to Augusta to argue that they couldn’t raise their prices, and so the increase in their labor costs was too high. For small businesses who sell products based […]

What Would an Innovative Community Look Like?

For twenty-five years, I’ve thought about innovative states. For the past five years, I’ve also thought about innovative companies through the Innovation EngineeringTM discipline. Recently, I’ve started to think about innovative communities, and what would that look like. We have thirty Main Street Maine communities in the state where with funding from the National Center […]

Evaluations, Good and Not So Good

It’s evaluation week here at Innovation Policyworks LLC. First, a paper ( I co-wrote with Ken Poole, CEO of the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (, has just been published in State Legislature, the journal of the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL). In our paper, we argue that evaluation of state economic development investments […]

Reflections on NGA Economic Policy Advisors’ Institute

Last week, I attended the Economic Policy Advisors’ Institute that I helped organize with the National Governors Association, SSTI and the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness. Representatives from 31 states and territories attended, primarily heads of the departments or agencies responsible for state economic development, and policy advisors from the Governor’s office. Maine’s Governor declined […]

Benchmarks, not Rankings, Have Value in Policymaking

Everywhere you turn these days, some magazine, newspaper, or think tank is publishing the “Top 10” list of something. In the economic development community, these lists are both a source of bragging rights (if your state or community comes out on top) or an opportunity to try to explain away the results. Our politicians also […]

Thirteen Stories

Thirteen. That’s the number of Maine companies in INC.’s annual list of the fastest growing 5000 companies in the US. Not a big number, but bigger than any year in recent memory by a factor of ten! Usually we have only one or two. So hurray for us! They are Vet’s First Choice, Provider Power, […]

It’s Not Always Good to Be First

On some rankings of the states, it’s not good to be first. Here’s an example. The US Census has just released data that shows that Maine is officially the oldest state in the nation, followed closely by our neighbors, Vermont and New Hampshire. By the way, we’re also one of the least diverse. A map […]

Diversity, Inclusion and Innovation

A few weeks ago, I attended a conference in Nashville, TN. The meeting was instructive on several fronts. First is the resurgence in Nashville itself. The Mayor himself addressed our group and talked about the investments that the city made in a new convention center downtown, built during the recession. He reminded us that they […]

It Floats!

I was thrilled to be on hand last Friday to see the launch of the VolturnUS 1:8 scale offshore floating wind turbine from the Cianbro facility in Brewer, ME. After so many years of talking about and working for the vision of offshore wind power development in the Gulf of Maine, it was amazing to […]

Why aren’t there more scalable entrepreneurs in Maine?

Here’s my question. MassChallenge, the renowned accelerator for start-ups in Boston recently announced its 2012 class of entrepreneurs – 125 companies selected from an applicant pool of 1237 from 35 counties and 36 state. Now, I know that they have a $1 million prize, so that obviously brings out a lot of folks, but 90 […]