Let’s face it: the Greater Portland, Maine community is exceptional! We truly have everything you could ever want here. Free-flowing craft beers, fresh, local food, creative people, and an incredible number of networks to choose from.

Many people have asked: “How do you decide which groups, organizations, and networks to get involved with?”

1.  First, before you start networking- know yourself.  Do you hate talking to new people? You’re not alone… but we all have to do it if we want to grow our businesses! So, ask yourself- what are you passionate about? Who do you enjoying being around? Where do you feel at home? Spend time being around like-minded people who are involved in things that you like. Taking time to get involved in something that truly gets you jazzed will be MUCH more satisfying than doing something just to say you did it- and you’ll be much more likely to make real, authentic connections with people when you know you’re among like-minded individuals and in a comfortable space.

2.  Next, know your targets- who are you trying to network with?  What is the goal of connection with these people? Where do the people you need to meet hang out?

3.  Finally, don’t just connect with these groups in person- connect with them on social media, too!  Most of these groups have Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and/or Instagram profiles that you can follow to stay involved and make an impression (click the hyperlinks to be directed to their web pages to learn more!)

Please contact me if you would like more information about any of the groups listed here (or if you have a great network to add to these lists)!

There are a number of great Women’s Networks in Greater Portland:

There are also a whole bunch of networks for young professionals, creatives, and entrepreneurs:

  • 2 Degrees Portland/Creative Portland
  • AIGA Maine
  • Cleantech Open Northeast
  • E2Tech
  • Engine Room
  • Foster Center for Student Innovation
  • Hack Portland
  • Innovation Maine Magazine
  • Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG)
  • Junior League of Portland
  • Maine League of Young Voters
  • Lift360 (Formerly Institute for Civic Leadership & Common Good Ventures)
  • Maine & Company
  • Maine Angels
  • Maine Center for Creativity
  • Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development
  • Maine Media Workshops and College
  • Maine Technology User Group
  • Maine WordPress Meetup
  • Open Bench Project
  • PelotonLabs
  • Portland Buy Local
  • Portland Startup Meetup
  • PROPEL Portland
  • Social Media Breakfast Maine
  • Southern Maine Community College Entrepreneurial Ctr.
  • Startup Portland
  • Startup Weekend Portland Maine
  • TechMaine
  • TEDx Dirigo
  • Think Tank
  • Top Gun Maine
  • USM Center for Entrepreneurship

 a number of education-related networks:

  • Educate Maine
  • Greater Portland Alliance of Colleges & Universities
  • Maine Cohort for Customized Learning
  • Maine College of Art
  • Maine Community College System
  • Maine Department of Education
  • Maine Education Association
  • Maine Education Services
  • Maine Mathematics & Science Alliance
  • Maine STEM Collaborative
  • Southern Maine Community College
  • University of Maine
  • University of New England
  • University of Southern Maine

a few environment-related networks:

  • ecomaine
  • Friends of Casco Bay
  • Natural Resources Council of Maine
  • Teens to Trails

And many, business-related networks: