"Everything has to start with an idea," Carter said. "And this started with an idea that's been in my head for 20 years."
His is one of two new
The other entrepreneur is
"It's about getting them interested in programming at a younger age," said Chabe.
She said developing that industry here is one way to attract more young people into the country's oldest state. In recent years, software companies have popped up in rural areas of
Beyond programming, the courses also touch on lessons in entrepreneurship, which Chabe said distinguishes High Touch Courses from competitors. It also is developing an online course to run on tablets and netbooks, catering to rural users who may have slower Internet connections.
Chabe, who grew up in the
"If I had a support network of people to help me learn how to code, I feel I would have been able to blossom a lot faster," she said. "We want to reach the kids in Down East Maine or potato country to give them that support network."
Carter, who is a lead instructor for the summer technology camp, is seeing the other end of that problem in developing the game Curio:
"I'm having to hire out of state to do art for us," said Carter, who's worked on 26 games in his career, including the 1993 release Myst, which held the title of best-selling PC game for almost a decade.
Long term, Carter plans to tackle that workforce problem in his own way: mix a few industry veterans he knows are interested in moving to
His vision for Curio is a larger franchise of nonviolent plot-heavy games geared toward people age 36 and up, a market he said Myst tapped into years ago and recent releases such as the 2012 game Dear Esther have proven is still strong.
"It was profitable five hours after releasing it," Carter said of Dear Esther.
He plans to distribute the game for Windows, Mac and Linux through the game marketplace Steam, where developers collect about 70 percent of the revenues.
Carter hopes to raise between
"People don't necessarily know how video games make money or that they can make a lot of money," he said.
Chabe, who helps technology companies find financing through
"We can have all the networking events and workshops and whatever that we want to have, but we really need access to capital," she said.
Making his game reality, Carter said, will be the first step toward putting the city on the map and becoming a minor hub for video game development, such as
"It started out very small [in
Since the early 2000s, software publishing has made up a small fraction of employers in
Carter, who has so far supported his passion project with contract work from all over the country, said the connections he's made in
The ability for the company to get through that "runway" phase with few resources is what gives Chabe hope for Eagre and other software startups in
"Why we think technology startups might have the best chance succeeding in
That's what Carter sees in getting his start and developing something bigger in
"We don't have any overhead and we can build it just how we want to," Carter said. "That's the idea, to build a unique tech hub. It all starts with an idea."
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