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Sep. 25, 2012 10:04 am

InvestMaryland Challenge makes 300K available to early-stage companies

The InvestMaryland Challenge, which officially started Monday, is a "national seed and early-stage business competition hosted by the state of Maryland" that "will award $300,000 in grants and a host of business services to companies in the life sciences and high tech industries,"

Running a startup in need of some cash? The state of Maryland wants to give you $300,000. Or, at least, a piece of $300,000.

The InvestMaryland Challenge, which officially started Monday, is a “national seed and early-stage business competition hosted by the state of Maryland” that “will award $300,000 in grants and a host of business services to companies in the life sciences and high tech industries,” according to the challenge’s website.

Apply to the InvestMaryland Challenge. Applications are due Dec. 13, 2012.

Three categories of companies are eligible to receive InvestMaryland money: IT hardware and software companies, life sciences companies and companies “focused on Maryland’s top industries, including energy, agriculture, aquaculture” and others. The former two categories are open only to in-state startups, and each company chosen in each of the three categories will receive $100,000 apiece, reports the Baltimore Business Journal.

To qualify, companies must employ fewer than 25 people and have annual revenue of less than $1 million. Companies in the information technology and life sciences categories must be based in Maryland; companies that enter the general category can be from out of state but must agree to move the business to Maryland if they win. [more]

The challenge itself “is part of the state’s venture capital initiative that raised $84 million for seed and early stage companies earlier this year,” according to the Baltimore Business Journal.

Bethesda-based BrainScope received the first investment of $250,000 from the state’s fund, according to a press release from Governor Martin O’Malley’s officeInc. magazine is also signed on as the national media partner of the InvestMaryland Challenge.

“InvestMaryland is an important part of our overall strategy to nurture the state’s innovation economy by investing in our competitive advantages like science and technology and encouraging entrepreneurship,” said O’Malley in the release.

Watch O’Malley speak about InvestMaryland during a Pitch Across Maryland tour stop at UMBC September 20:

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Andrew Zaleski

Andrew Zaleski is a freelance journalist in Philadelphia and the former lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. Before moving to Philadelphia in June 2014, he was a contributing writer to Baltimore City Paper and a Tech Check commentator for WYPR 88.1 FM, Baltimore city’s National Public Radio affiliate. He has written for The Atlantic, Outside, Richmond magazine, Washington City Paper, Baltimore magazine, Baltimore Style magazine, Next City, Grist.org, The Atlantic Cities, and elsewhere.

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