Start Summits

Do you have a business idea?

Designed to transform ideas into prototypes, Start Summits are idea hackathons that support collaboration between curious, driven people from all over Maine.

The Summits are fun and fast-paced events where you’ll experience what it’s like to build a startup team and race to develop a business—all with the support of experts and colleagues and fueled by good food!

Plus, cash prizes are awarded to the first and second place teams.


Upcoming Start Summits:

June 23 & 24: Regenerative Entrepreneurship | Freeport, Maine

The Roux Institute, in partnership with Freeport High School, Freeport Community Services, and Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture & the Environment, invites you to join us for our upcoming Start Summit —  the opportunity for community members to address local challenges and transform ideas into prototypes. 

At this fun and interactive event, you’ll experience what it’s like to build a startup team and race to develop a concept—all with the support of experts and colleagues and fueled by good food! 

 Participants can expect to take part in a Design Thinking workshop and Pitching workshop, work with a team to identify a high-potential problem, and pitch to a panel of judges for the chance to win a cash prize! 


Subscribe to the Roux’s newsletter to learn about future Start Summits and other exciting events.


I cannot overestimate the power of networking, and the value it brings to an intensive business incubator program like the Start Summit.

Sara Languet

Start Summit Attendee

Program Details

You bring the energy and big ideas, and we’ll take care of the rest! Your registration includes summit participation, food, beverage, and swag items.

Duration: Start Summits are 1.5 days in length.

Awards: Cash prizes are awarded to the first and second place teams.

Programming includes:

  • Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop
  • Prototyping Workshop
  • Building an End User Profile Workshop
  • Pitch 101 Workshop
  • Access to subject-matter experts and mentors
  • Real-time feedback from judge panelists during pitch competition


Who can attend a Start Summit?

Anyone over the age of 18 and interested in startups is welcome and eligible to register for a Start Summit. Students, community members, small business owners, employees of larger businesses, and retirees looking to upskill come together to brainstorm and develop an idea.

What if I can only attend part of the Start Summit?

You can register to join a team as a full participant or simply join us as an audience member for the pitch competition and networking event.

Is the Start Summit intended to develop my current business?

No. While Start Summits will equip participants with the entrepreneurial tools and resources that can be applied to current or future ventures, teams will not be working on existing startup companies.

What food will be provided at the Start Summit?

While at a Start Summit you can expect meals, light snacks and beverages to be provided throughout the event. We will accommodate those with dietary restrictions, allergies, or religious preferences.

Is transportation and/or lodging available for Start Summits?

No. Transportation to the event, as well as hotels or lodging, will not be offered. If you are looking to carpool, contact us and we can try to connect you with others from the same area.

Start Summit Supporters

If you’d like to discuss support and involvement opportunities, please reach out to Anna Ackerman at [email protected].

Get in Touch

Please complete this form and our team will contact you with more information about Start Summits.