UMaine Business Challenge presented by Business Lending Solutions announces this year’s finalists

Five teams of young entrepreneurs reach the finals of the 2018 collegiate business competition

HAMPDEN, ME (March 20, 2018) — The UMaine Business Challenge (UBC) presented by Business Lending Solutions (BLS), Maine’s largest college business plan competition, has announced this year’s class of finalists. The finalists of the now seven year old competition are all from Maine colleges or universities with businesses headquartered, or soon to be headquartered, in the State of Maine. Vying for over $20K in cash and prizes, these young college entrepreneurs will only have 2 weeks to prep for the live pitch in front of a panel of Judges being held at the University of Maine at Orono on Saturday, March 31st.

“I had the opportunity to compete as a Freshman and am now fortunate to help Chair this years competition,”  Nicholas Aiken, the 2018 UBC Planning Committee Chair says. “I know the work it takes to go through the process and have a new level of respect for this year’s cohort.”

Business ideas range from dog nutrition to medical education devices, with others crossing into industries like agriculture technology and outdoor recreation. Applicants ranged from Freshman to Seniors with new applicants who have been waiting years for the right idea to hit them. “I’ve known about the UBC since I was a freshman at UMaine and always considered applying,” says UBC finalist Nicholas Lajoie. “Now, as a senior, I am finally ready to pitch in front of the judges. I’m both honored and excited to have this opportunity.”

Justin Gagnon, Nicholas Lajoie, Zachary Dalrymple, William Breeding, and Stan Small, have also been chosen as this year’s finalists. They have been assigned mentors and have 2 weeks to prepare for the live pitch on March 31st. They will be competing for a $5,000 first place prize provided by Business Lending Solutions as well as a $1,000 second place prize from the Maine Business School. In addition, Business Lending Solutions will be providing $5,000 of in kind services. Thanks to the Bruce Fournier Foundation, there is another $10,000 innovation prize on the line as well, bringing the total prize money in excess of $20,000.

For more information on the UMaine Business Challenge, presented by Business Lending Solutions, please visit:

About Business Lending Solutions

With 12 credit union partners, Business Lending Solutions, LLC, was created in 2004 to provide Maine credit unions with commercial loan officers and business lending experience. Business Lending Solutions has helped hundreds of businesses from all over Maine with business loans of all types.

About UMaine Business Challenge

The UMaine Business Challenge (UBC) provides collegiate entrepreneurs with the support necessary to transform their business dreams into reality. The competition, open to all students attending a College or University within the State of Maine,  provides opportunity for students to engage in competitive business planning and presenting, with a chance to win over $20,000 in cash and consulting prizes. The UBC’s mission is to contribute to the long-term growth of Maine’s economy while also supporting entrepreneurial and student development.


Kirk Duke
Business Lending Solutions

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