GSB Presents Emerging Idea Winner with $10,000 Grant

Thomaston company utilizes a natural resource native to Maine

American Unagi, a company that harvests Maine glass eels, or elvers, and raises them to market size, was presented with a check for $10,000 on Monday by Gorham Savings Bank CEO Chris Emmons. The $10,000 grant and $10,000 worth of in-kind marketing and PR services was presented to the company as part of Gorham Savings Bank’s Emerging Idea Award.

New to LaunchPad this year, the Emerging Idea Award is a $10,000 grant prize that comes with an additional $10,000 worth of in-kind marketing, business development and public relations services from iBec Creative, Creative Imaging Group, Grove Marketing, Chris Philbrook PR and Pro-voke Strategy and Culture. All LaunchPad applicants – not just the live-pitch finalists – were in the running for this award.

American Unagi sources from Maine’s unique glass eel fishery. These local glass eels are typically shipped abroad to be grown, but American Unagi grows them here in Maine, close to the source. Their farm produces a more responsible, traceable, and ultimately a safer eel product than what is currently available in the United States. Local customers include Miyake, Fore Street and Hugo’s, among others.

“This is even better than the $50,000 dollar prize, said Sara Rademaker, owner of American Unagi, during a meeting Monday with Gorham Savings Bank representatives and sponsor companies. The timing is perfect because my business is positioned well for in depth brand and marketing discussions, and we need a website.”

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