Comcast Accelerates Startup Scene at Bethesda Green

Today Yahoo! Finance reported that Comcast Business will become the exclusive network bg logoservices provider for Bethesda Green – MBIA member and rapidly-growing incubator for green businesses in Montgomery County. The agreement provides a 1 Gigabyte-per-second Ethernet Dedicated Internet line that outfits the office with fast and reliable Internet access capable of scaling to 10Gbps of capacity as business demands evolve.

You can learn more about Bethesda Green & Comcast’s commitment to small business growth at Yahoo! Finance.

ESIC Opens in Dorchester County

The Eastern Shore Innovation Center (ESIC) in Cambridge officially opened its doors on Dorchester County Economic DevelopmentMonday February 29th, making it the first business incubator on the Eastern Shore. After breaking ground in June 2015, the $2.4 million dollar completed incubator offers 13,500 square feet that can house up to 15 businesses in their two-year incubation program. As of the ribbon cutting, 6 startup companies already call the incubator their home.

The Eastern Shore Innovation Center provides an important resource for Dorchester County. Keasha Haythe, the Dorchester County Economic Development Director, said “Just as counties have done throughout Maryland, it was equally important for Dorchester County to provide a location for startups that provide services, support and the facilities they need to succeed in business.”

To learn more about the Eastern Shore Innovation center, please read the full article on The Star Democrat.

TechBUZZ Application Deadline Nears!

The Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA) shines the spotlight on the hottest up-and-coming early stage technology companies in the Mid-Atlantic again in 2016. A diverse and experienced cross-section of Early Stage Investors, VCs, and experienced CEOs will provide valuable feedback in response to the TechBUZZ presentations. Whether on stage or in the audience, the insight of the investor panels is always informative and thought-provoking.

TechBUZZ is the area’s premier event where early-stage entrepreneurs and active investors come together to see the best and brightest, to connect with one another, and to celebrate the strength of the startup scene in our region. The program will be fast-paced & interactive and the networking top rate. Whether on the stage or in the audience, innovative Company Builders and active Investors won’t want to miss this action-packed afternoon.

MAVA is now entering the FINAL PUSH for Applications before the deadline at Midnight on February 29th (next Monday, Leap Day).

If you need a reminder of the fantastic companies who have taken the stage in previous years, take a look at the list of 240+ Awesome TechBUZZ alumni: http://mava.org/programs/techbuzz/techbuzz-alumni/

Here are the details:

TechBUZZ Spring 2016

Wednesday, April 6th

PNC Place (top floor, amazing views!)

800 17th Street NW

Washington DC 20036

1:00 – 7:00pm

Event details: http://mava.org/programs/techbuzz/spring-2016/

Apply to Present by Midnight, 2/29 – there is no cost to apply, feedback sessions offered to all applicants and many benefits just for putting your hat in the ring.

Link to Application: http://mava.org/programs/techbuzz/apply/

Social Media:  #TechBUZZ2016 @MAVACapCon

IMET’s Harbor Launch Brings Incubator to Inner Harbor

The Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology has announced the launch of their new incubator Harbor Launch. Harbor Launch calls itself a “home for marine, environmental, and biotech/human health startups” and is located in the Inner Harbor, close to the Aquarium. Harbor Launch is currently looking for its first incubator member companies; the space has room for 10 to 15 startups, as well as four wet labs, crucial amenities for the type of startups that Harbor Launch is trying to attract.

The other benefit of Harbor Launch is the connections it offers; Harbor Launch will connect its incubator companies with the people, facilities, and other resources of its partner organizations UMCES, UMBC, and UMB, and the University System of Maryland. To learn more about Harbor Launch, read the full article on Baltimore Business Journal.

UMB Biopark Looking to Expand

The University of Maryland BioPark is looking to add a new building to its campus, and isBioParkSign hoping to get a biotech incubator to be that building’s anchor. The University and their real estate representatives, Wexford Science + Technology, are seeking $17.5 million in public financing to lure one specific incubator -the Cambridge Innovation Center. Baltimore Development Corporation’s President William H. Cole wrote in a memo to City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young that “Baltimore is in need of additional wet lab research space to attract new companies, as well as retain existing Baltimore bio-tech companies within the UMB BioPark.”

The eight-story, 250,000 sq ft building is planned to open in 2017, and will feature office space, lab space, the incubator, and coworking space. BioPark officials are confident that the CIC will move to Baltimore, and that CIC will help attract more entrepreneurs to the university. Once the entrepreneurs are in residence in the BioPark, they will be able to connect with students and professors, and will hopefully remain even after moving out of the start-up phase.

To learn more about the BioPark and CIC, read Stephen Babcock’s full article on Technically Baltimore.

The Cupids Cup Entrepreneurship Competition Expands Across the Country

Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour and one of Maryland’s most well-known entrepreneurs, has expanded his entrepreneurship competition to schools across the country. For the past decade, Plank has partnered with the Dingman Center at the University of Maryland. For the 2016 event, Plank has extended the competition to 20 universities around the country, including Duke, UVA, and Georgetown.

The Cupid Cup’s premise will remain the same; young entrepreneurs (students and recent alumni under 30) will compete for $100,000 in prize money and access to Kevin Plank’s professional network. To learn more about the Cup and see the full list of participating schools, visit the Baltimore Business Journal.

Get a Glimpse Inside Maryland’s Newest Accelerator

Six months after Relevant Health was announced, the accelerator has launched with theRelevant Health goal of building the health tech capital. Chris Bing of DC Inno takes an in-depth look at Relevant Health, its goals, its connections, and the structure of the accelerator program.

CEO Rich Bendis, also the CEO of BioHealth Innovation, says that the program aims to find and nurture early-stage health tech startups, and to help them attract outside venture capital investment after they graduate. The companies currently enrolled in the accelerator make widely varied products; from speech therapy learning software for children to a mobile app focused on nutritional coaching for women with high-risk pregnancies.

Read the full article to learn more about Relevant Health’s work.

Dingman Center Angels Get Investment from NAB Labs

The Dingman Center Angels is a business incubator that works to identify and fund NABLabsstartups in the Mid Atlantic region. The program, part of The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, also offers seminars, workshops, and training programs to the area’s entrepreneurial community.

Last week the National Association of Broadcasters revealed that their technology division, NAB Labs, has joined the Dingman Center Angels as an investor. NAB Labs hopes that by partnering with Dingman Center Angels they’ll be able to find tech startups with the potential to have a positive impact in radio and television broadcasting. This fits with their mission to foster companies on the leading edge of innovation.

To learn more about NAB Labs, Dingman Center Angels, and their partnership, read Jonathan Kuperberg’s full article here.

Kauffman Foundation Study Finds MD Encourages Innovation

A recent study by the Kauffman Foundation has found that, for the first time in five years, year-over-year startup activity has increased, and has shown the greatest increase in 20 years. Among the 40 metropolitan areas in the United States examined in the study, Baltimore ranked 17th, moving up two places from their 19th-place position in 2014.

This ranking comes from a variety of factors, including start-up density, opportunity share of new entrepreneurs, and the rate at which new businesses are formed. Opportunity share is especially important, because it measures the number of entrepreneurs that were not unemployed when launching their new business. The Kauffman Foundation said that nearly 90 percent of Baltimore entrepreneurs were otherwise employed when they launched, which means that these entrepreneurs both saw a market need and felt secure enough in the demand to leave an existing job. The national average opportunity share is 79 percent, and Baltimore ranks second only to San Jose.

There are several driving forces that have helped Maryland establish its reputation as an innovation hub. Many credit Governor Larry Hogan for his business-friendly policies and his commitment to developing a greater entrepreneurial ecosystem. There is also the presence of numerous incubators and accelerators in the state, like FastForward East, which has recently begun work on a new, expanded facility in Baltimore. Many startups join incubators and accelerators for the business support and services they offer, including office space, shared overhead costs, and access to vibrant communities of fellow entrepreneurs.

To learn more about innovation in Maryland, read Tom Sadowski’s op-ed in The Baltimore Sun.