The twin towns of Lewiston and Auburn in Maine are trying to lure some of their young entrepreneurial talent back home with the Launch L/A initiative, reports WMTW Channel 8 News. The Lewiston-Auburn Chamber of Commerce is raising $100,000 – split about 80-20 between services and cash – which will be awarded to the winner of a contest for the best business proposal.
In September, Launch L/A will begin accepting proposals for consideration, and residents of the two towns can vote for a winner from a list of finalists in December. The proposals will be graded, receiving points for job creation potential, creativity and usefulness to the community.
"We hope they’ll come here and try their ideas," L/A Economic Growth Council member Paul Badeau told WMTW. "There’s a lot of very, very creative people but we just want them to think about coming back and this is just a way to get them to think about doing that."
Launch L/A is striving not just to get a new business up and running in the region, but also to raise the towns’ profiles and encourage other enterprises to give Lewiston and Auburn a chance.