Portland Maine: Where a Start Up Should Be

Portland, Maine: start up capital?  It appears so.  Portland was recently identified as a great place for entrepreneurs to launch their creative business endeavors, as you can see here.

How have the conditions come together to make Portland a great place to start a business?  Of course as a Portland resident I'm biased, but Portland is a great place to live, not only for the lovely ocean, islands and beaches, it's welcoming and (relatively) diverse community, and really, let's face it, the best restaurants anywhere, but it is also a place where your vision of creating something new, exciting and successful can be achieved without a million obstacles.  Maybe that's why people are coming here to launch their new business.  There is a large pool of talented, creative and hard working people who are willing to take a risk and make something new.  We've watched businesses such as Idexx take off, restaurants win all kinds of prizes, shared workspaces blossom, specialty doughnuts and bagels and chocolates and oysters that are truly sublime become successful small businesses.  We have a vibrant refugee resettlement population, and halal meats and flavored tobacco are advertised in buildings that used to have boarded up windows.  And don't get me started on beer.  My daughter in Vermont says they have the best breweries.  I beg to differ.

All this is to say that if you have an idea for a new business, there are many models for you to look at, and many people who have gone down that road who can give you guidance.  One part of the process is getting some basic legal issues clarified.  Rob Tod, who founded Allegash Brewing in 1994, was quoted in Maine Biz recently saying, "I think someone is nuts to start a business without basic due diligence from a law firm.  It's a required expense.  I'm a believer in unnecessary risk aversion."

But what do you do if you're not a venture capital firm, and the idea of a law firm's five figure retainer is out of reach?  that's why we are here.  So go ahead, imagine your start up, and then take the steps forward to make it a reality.