As it looks to create a central place for business-building resources, the Howard County Innovation Center is making room for international companies: A soft landing zone for tech companies from South Korea is being designated at the Columbia center, per an agreement signed this week.
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and leaders from South Korean government agency Born2Global signed a memorandum of understanding this week at a ceremony that was also attended by Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan. The partnership between the Howard County Economic Development Agency (HCEDA) and Born2Global provides space and resources at the innovation center for South Korean companies interested in exploring the U.S. market.
For its part, Pangyo, South Korean-based Born2Global works under the government’s Ministry of Science and Information Communication Technology to support startups looking to expand beyond the country’s borders with an incubator space and other resources. Six companies from South Korea working on augmented reality glasses, educational robots and blockchain remittance services, among other products, attended the event.
Born2Global’s leaders approached Howard County about setting up a space, and as a result its companies will now have resources in Maryland, as well. Soft landing spaces are designed to provide resources including infrastructure, access to a professional network and business services to help companies seeking to enter international markets.
Working out of Howard County Innovation Center also sets up potential interactions with the companies based in that space.
“The partnership between Born2Global and HCEDA will enable both the respective tech communities to grow and prosper together,” said Lawrence Twele, CEO of HCEDA. “This international landing zone will provide greater opportunities for international collaboration in both communities and increase access to the business opportunities present in each other’s markets.”
Located on Columbia Gateway Drive, the Howard County Innovation Center opened its first phase earlier this summer after renovations, with the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship incubator, Howard Tech Council, Catalyst Loan Fund and other resources moving in.