R.I.P. MESDA, er, TechMaine

Just saw today’s story by Jackie Farwell at Mainebiz. Seems TechMaine, the trade group that was once known as MESDA, which was once known as the Maine Software Developers Association, is formally ending.

What a bummer.

The group, under the able leadership of Joe Kumiscza (the one guy in Maine with a last name harder to spell than mine) advanced the tech field in Maine through user groups, remote link-ups and other innovations to help the state’s relatively small tech field. He was a big proponent of the “fund of funds,” which sought to aim more venture funding at Maine companies. By the way, Joe’s last name is actually spelled “Kumiszcza.” I knew I was missing a consonant in there…

According to Jackie’s story, the reason is mainly financial, with the economy hitting tech companies just like the rest of the sectors, and membership down. The move comes about three months after TechMaine hired John Spritz to take over as executive director, after Kumiszcza left.

In an interview maybe a half year or so ago, Kumiszcza told me TechMaine planned to move back to Portland from Westbrook, with the idea of being an anchor building tenant that would stimulate other high-tech activity. He wanted to be someplace right downtown, someplace that members would want to visit, a site that would allow Maine’s tech community members to be showcased.