Maine Entrepreneurial Resource Corps

Screenshots of the MERC web app displayed on a laptop and phone screen

The Maine Technology Institute approached One Ten Digital to build an online management system for their new funding program, the Maine Entrepreneurial Resource Corps (MERC).

MERC matches Maine technology companies with consultants for a variety of business needs. The technology companies – or clients – can apply for a project to fund legal services, marketing, web development, or a host of other needs. If approved, MTI will pay half of the project fee.

The MERC project consisted of two phases:

  1. An online management system for the MERC program coordinator
  2. An online portal where clients and consultants can submit, manage, and express interest in projects

Phase 1: The Online Management System

MERC’s administration area allows the program coordinator to see an at-a-glance view of projects, clients, and consultants active in the program. The web app’s dashboard allows the coordinator to see any projects that need immediate action, and they can dive deeper into any entity to see the latest status.

The admin area also allows MERC to create custom fields for clients, consultants, or projects that can be used to filter the list. The fields can be multiple choice, a short piece of text, or a full paragraph.

Screenshot of the MERC administration area, showing a list of clients with filters

The MERC app also features tight integration with MTI’s grant management software via an API. The site periodically pulls in newly registered clients and projects, allowing MTI to link the records when doing reporting.

Phase 2: The Client & Consultant Portals

Launched in 2023, the MERC client and consultant portal is an easy-to-use central location for companies to manage their MERC projects. The process starts with a project intake with MTI. That information is then pulled into MERC for the client to complete their project application.

Next, the MERC coordinator reviews the project in the administration area. Once approved, the app automatically notifies any consultants in the system with relevant areas of expertise for the project. Consultants can browse available projects at any time and can apply or decline any project in the system.

Screenshots of the client and consultant portals in MERC, showing matched consultants and a list of available projects, respectively

Once the matching period is complete, the client can log in to review the matched consultants. They can then decide which consultant seems like the best partner for the project.

The MERC portals allow easy access for both MTI and Maine companies to a truly beneficial program. We built from the start to be easily updatable based on feedback and any changing needs of the program. We feel honored to have been a part of the launch for this exciting opportunity for businesses!

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