Press Release
Thomas College Student Contestant on Greenlight Maine Season 9 College Edition MacKenzie Riley Young | April 5, 2024

WATERVILLE, MAINE, April 2024 — Thomas College student and Searsport, ME native Cole Ellis will appear as a contestant in Season 9 of Greenlight Maine’s College Edition business competition show this spring.

Ellis is a first-year marketing and entrepreneurship student at Thomas College. He’ll be pitching his business, Keep it Clean Heat Pumps, a service and cleaning company out of Searsport, ME.

“I’m really excited about appearing on Greenlight Maine,” said Ellis. “It will be great exposure for my business and I’m so thankful for the community and support at Thomas College that has helped get me here.”

Ellis comes from humble beginnings and has always had the entrepreneurial bug – from selling eraser tops to kids in first grade and chicken tenders for a profit to his classmates in middle school to creating and selling hydro drip designed electronics in high school.

Now, he has two employees for his business and is studying full-time in college- things he never thought possible.

“Cole embodies the essence of what it means to be an entrepreneur,” said Thomas College’s Harold Alfond® Institute for Business Innovation Executive Director Mike Duguay. “He’s highly creative and understands that the service he provides needs to match up perfectly with the results that his customers are looking to receive. This sounds obvious but so few new entrepreneurs understand this concept. That’s why Cole has come so far so quickly in my opinion.”

“I definitely could have had plenty of excuses to not go to college, but now I’m here and succeeding,” said Ellis. “My end goal is to live comfortably, support my family, and help support others by creating a scholarship fund for my hometown.”

Thomas College’s Harold Alfond® Institute for Business Innovation is an official partner of Greenlight Maine.

Greenlight Maine College Edition highlights innovative college students who have a business idea in any stage of development, from a simple idea to a well-constructed business plan. The 10 contestants square off in a televised pitch-off to determine the three finalists. Those three finalists then pitch off against one another in the Greenlight Maine Collegiate Finale to compete for a cash prize. The cash prizes include: first place – $10,000, second place – $7,500, and third place – $5,000.

The television series kicks off on April 6 and will air on several television markets throughout the state: WGME CBS 13 – Portland, WABI TV5 CBS – Bangor, WWPI-LD NBC – Presque Isle and Maine Public – Statewide.

About Thomas College:  

U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks Thomas College as a top college in Maine for social mobility. Our clear career focus and one-of-a-kind Guaranteed Job Program™ makes it possible to advance faster in the arts and sciences, business, and education. Earn an undergraduate degree in three years and then choose from a variety of in-person or online graduate degree programs that can be completed in one-year or two. Located in Waterville, Maine, Thomas College is your pathway to a promising future, guaranteed. For more information, visit or contact MacKenzie Riley Young at [email protected] or 207-859-1313. Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and TikTok