TechMaine, formerly MESDA, files for Ch.7

TechMaine, the trade group once known as MESDA, has filed for bankruptcy.

The filing files the announcement in October that TechMaine was officially disbanding.

Over the years, the group, which began as the Maine Software Developers Association, advanced the tech field in Maine through user groups, remote link-ups and other innovations to help the state’s relatively small tech field. It was a big proponent of the “fund of funds,” which sought to aim more venture funding at Maine companies.

In October, Mainebiz’s Jackie Farwell (now the BDN’s health editor) broke the story that TechMaine was formally ending. (Update – here’s the link to that story – Tks, @mainebiz!). The move came three months after TechMaine hired John Spritz to take over as executive director, after longtime head Joe Kumiszcza left. The reason for disbanding, Mainebiz reported, was the poor economy – which had affected MaineTech just as it had its member companies.

A look at the bankruptcy papers, filed Dec. 28, shows just how hard TechMaine was hit by the economic downturn. In fiscal year 2009, the group took in $240,155 in membership dues, contributions and revenue from programs. In 2010, that number had dropped to $163,755. And in 2011, it was $142,913.

The groups lists $1,300 in assets (computer and office equipment), and $19,769 in debt. That debt includes some money owed on insurance policies and other small expenses, but the bulk — $16,252 – is owed to Kumiszcza, owed “under terms of severance agreement for reimbursement of health insurance and other expenses.”