(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
Maryland’s governor is putting new economic development energy into creating life sciences and cybersecurity startups.
To kick off the Governor’s Business Summit in Baltimore this morning, Gov. Larry Hogan provided some details on Excel Maryland. It’s a new initiative that’s seeking to bring together government, university and the tech community to develop a new strategy to grow startups.
“Today’s launch of Excel Maryland will help pool the talents of all of our state agencies, our universities, and our private sector industry experts to help us create an environment in Maryland where more companies can start up her, and then stay here and continue growing their companies here,” said Hogan, who has talked about making the state a cyber and biohealth center before.
The initiative comes after a report last year that pointed to startups as the missing ingredient in the state’s BioHealth ecosystem. At the same time, we’ve been seeing new efforts to encourage workers at government agencies in the state to create cybersecurity startups.
A steering committee will conduct a review of the state’s cyber and biohealth communities, and produce a report with recommendations on strengthening it.
“I’m charging this amazing team with delivering a set of initial strategic recommendations by Aug. 31. We’re looking for a blueprint to strengthen our innovation economy,” Hogan said.
To help formulate the plan, the governor is tapping talent from outside the state. The committee will be led by Susan Windham Bannister, the founding CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. She led Massachusetts’ state-backed effort to fuel life sciences growth.
From inside the state, the steering committee is co-chaired by Johns Hopkins President Ron Daniels and University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert J. Caret. Members also include Emergent Biosolutions CEO Daniel J. Abdun-Nabi and Plank Industries CEO Tom Geddes.
From the startup community, the committee includes Harpoon Medical CEO Bill Niland, Protenus CEO Robert Lord and AsclepiX Therapeutics CEO Wendy Perrow.
Investors on the committee include NEA Managing General Partner Peter Barris, Paul Silber of Blu Venture Advisors and Gula Tech Adventures President Ron Gula, who was also a cofounder of Tenable Network Security.
State officials from the Department of Commerce, Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and MEDCO will also be on the committee.