Ignite Presque Isle received a $50,000 donation from MMG (Maine Mutual Group) which dedicates the co-workspace and business center and supports the build out and renovations to the former Cooper’s Lounge.

The space will be both shared space, dedicated desks, and independent offices for rent to businesses and individuals, said Jan Lucas, MBA, CEM, Community Manager.

Also, the Maine Community Foundation gave a $25,000 grant from the Makerspace and Incubator Fund as recommended by the Start Up Scale Up advisors. Ignite Presque Isle will use the grant money for furniture and co-workspace equipment. Just a few weeks ago, the Maine Community Foundation awarded Ignite PI a $10,000 Community Building Grant.

Executive Director of the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce, LaNiece Sirois stated, “I am so excited for Ignite PI and our area.  Having a modern co-workspace for entrepreneurs adds so much energy into the Downtown of Presque Isle.  And it is so good to see companies like MMG rallying behind this initiative to support Ignite PI as it takes on an exciting project and renovation of The Northeastland Hotel.”

“MMG Insurance is pleased to support Ignite Presque Isle’s development of a co-working office space. This new concept will provide an office structure, amenities, and access to technology necessary for many entrepreneurs and small business owners, that also fosters collaboration and innovation.” said Larry Shaw, MMG Insurance President and CEO.  “We believe this co-working space will also bring new energy to downtown Presque Isle and offer a point of attraction to the area that will benefit the entire City.  We look forward to the opening and future success of Ignite PI.”

A phased plan for the renovations is being developed with Ignite Presque Isle, local contractors and financial institutions. Already underway is the design of the co-workspace where Cooper’s Lounge was located. Part of the plans is to develop a new restaurant in a renovated Sidewalk Cafe at 436 Main Street called Rodneys. In the future, Ignite Presque Isle has plans to have a larger restaurant called 436 Main on the main floor where Cafe Rouge was previously located.

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For more information on the project or to reach out to Ignite Presque Isle, call Clinty Deschaine, Director of Community Innovation at (207) 478 - 5069. You can also contact Ignite PI by email at info@ignitepi.org.

Ignite Presque Isle is working to build economic development in Presque Isle as owner and operator of the Northeastland. Ignite PI is keeping consistent with the tradition and history of the hotel while making it a premier co-workspace and business center. The goal is to use fundraising, grants, donations and membership fees to build up and prioritize the city of Presque Isle. Ignite PI is a 501c3 nonprofit organization registered with the State of Maine.

Photo: Left to right: Clint Deschene, Julie French (Ignite PI Board member), Larry Shaw, Matt McHatten (EVP/Chief Operating Officer), LaNiece Sirois 

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