BALTIMORE, MD (January 15, 2013) – The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) and Startup Maryland today hosted a webinar on the State’s InvestMaryland initiative as a national best practice for other states to model.
The webinar provided information on the creation and implementation of the $84 million program that is fueling Maryland’s Innovation Economy by investing in start-up companies. Outgoing DBED Secretary Christian S. Johansson joined Michael Binko, CEO of kloudtrack and Startup Maryland Co-Chair for the webinar discussion for entrepreneurs and startup communities nationwide. To access a replay of the webinar, click the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJUDTnBNADw
“Fostering entrepreneurship is critical to the success of every state in this increasingly competitive and global innovation economy,” said Secretary Johansson. “InvestMaryland is providing essential early stage capital for Maryland’s best and brightest young companies and is part of the State’s runway to success that supports startups as they mature through innovation to commercialization to company formation to job creation.”
“Stakeholder mobilization is one of the more subtle yet critical factors in building awareness and buy-in for public-private venture fund programs like InvestMaryland and the Venture Fund,” Binko said. “Governor O’Malley and DBED worked closely with the full spectrum of innovation communities to inform and engage them in the initiative.”
The webinar was held as part of the national Startup America Partnership’s effort to spread successful entrepreneurial support policies and programs across the country. The largest venture capital investment initiative in Maryland’s history, InvestMaryland was tapped by Startup America for the organization’s “Ideas Center,” a collection of economic development best practices from around the United States.
“Startup America created the Ideas Center as a place where our Region Champions can share the most promising practices being employed to build strong and sustainable startup communities around the United States,” said Donna Harris, Managing Director for the Startup America Partnership. “The recent InvestMaryland/Maryland Venture Fund initiative has become widely recognized as one of the most successful and creative public-private venture capital programs in recent years. We are delighted to have Startup Maryland and Maryland DBED discuss in detail just how the effort was accomplished.”
“Access to capital is a concern many states and communities are tackling,” Harris added. “Broad awareness of these types of trailblazing ideas will benefit other Startup America Regions looking to increase capital flow and rally entrepreneur resources in their own communities.”
Created by Governor Martin O’Malley and passed by the General Assembly in 2011, InvestMaryland is now being administered through the Maryland Venture Fund Authority and DBED. In March, the State raised $84 million for the program through an online auction of tax credits to Maryland insurance companies.
Two-thirds of the InvestMaryland funds will be managed by carefully screened private venture firms that will invest the funds with a commitment to return, if successful, 100% of the principal and 80% of the profits to the State’s general fund. The remaining third will be invested by the state-run Maryland Venture Fund.
Since signing its first deal in September, InvestMaryland has invested more than $1.8 million directly in Maryland companies and allocated another $12 million to Grotech Ventures to invest on behalf of the state.
About the Startup America Partnership
The Startup America Partnership is a growing national movement of thousands of founders, experts and resources providing startups access to the corporations, investors, and services they need to grow. Launched in early 2011, the Partnership brings together startups and local champions from around the country focused on creating successful networks for young, high-growth companies to thrive. AOL co-founder Steve Case chairs the Partnership and the Kauffman and Case Foundations are its founding partners. American Airlines, American Express OPEN, Dell Inc., Intuit Inc., Microsoft and NYSE Euronext are corporate sponsors. For more information on the Partnership, visit http://www.s.co and follow us at www.twitter.com/startupamerica and www.facebook.com/startupamerica.
About Startup Maryland
Startup Maryland (http://startupmd.org) is a regional initiative launched out of the Startup America Partnership (http://www.S.co). It is a state-wide initiative FOR entrepreneurs BY entrepreneurs to bring resources together, increase access to capital / deal flow and boost awareness / celebration, while also bringing together entrepreneurs in a community of support to drive greater economic outcomes.
# # #
Karen Glenn Hood