(Photo by University of Maryland, obtained via Creative Commons license)
It’s Monday, a time to dig out your inbox and seek out fresh opportunities in a new week, so Technical.ly is bringing a few new chances to plug into the tech and entrepreneurship community with Resource Roundup. It’s a look at open applications for business and career-building programs around the region. Want to tell us about a program or new opportunity for entrepreneurs and technologists? Email us at email@example.com.
The University of Maryland, College Park is adding an incubator to bolster startup strength around its research expertise in quantum technology.
Launched Thursday with an announcement by UMD President Darryll J. Pines at an event dubbed Innovate Maryland, the Quantum Startup Foundry is being created through a $25 million investment from the university’s newly established Discovery Fund. A $10 million capital investment is also backing its creation.
The incubator is also partnering with the Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance, a 24-member group formed in January 2020 which includes universities, major corporations, startups and government labs working on quantum technology.
Led by UMD Chief Innovation Officer Julie Lenzer, the incubator aims to launch and support new startups, as well as provide connections with mentors, infrastructure and the wider business community.
It’s part of a wider push at UMD around quantum technology, which involves leveraging the laws of nature at the atomic level and applying them to use for specific functions. The university has long had research strengths around quantum and partnerships with federal labs. Now, with technology developing and use cases growing, the university is spearheading efforts to centralize activities through its Quantum Technology Center, and support businesses that might be created from it with resources like the incubator. It already has one market milestone to point to: Last month, quantum computing company IonQ, which was founded out of the university and is headquartered in College Park, announced plans to become publicly traded.
As Lenzer told us in December: “Quantum can be for us what silicon was for San Jose. It’s that big of a platform technology.”
Maryland Entrepreneur Hub goes live
If you find value from this roundup, here’s a new place to go deeper: A web platform that uses AI to provide a single source for Maryland business-building resources and funding opportunities is now live.
Maryland Entrepreneur Hub launched earlier this month, aiming to connect the state ecosystem with info on the many accelerators, incubators, funds and mentors that startup founders can turn to for support.
A partnership between TEDCO, the Maryland Department of Commerce and the University System of Maryland, the state-backed orgs collaborated with Baltimore’s EcoMap Technologies to bring it to fruition.
Along with organizing and gathering all of the resources and making the resources easier to search, this is also about providing access to the information that can help businesses grow.
“If we want to use entrepreneurship as a lever for economic development, then we need to make entrepreneurship accessible to all,” EcoMap CEO Pava LaPere told us last year. “A giant part of this is reducing the information barrier that can stop founders from finding the tools and support they need to launch and grow.
Federal aid update
Following passage of the latest federal stimulus package last month, the U.S. Small Business Administration is rolling out a series of programs to offer new aid for specific categories of entrepreneurs that were the worst hit by the pandemic. Here’s a quick look:
Supplemental Targeted Advances will provide another $5 billion to 1 million small businesses that were most affected by the pandemic’s economic downturn. Rolled out on April 22, this program will offer a $5,000 advance on the already-existing Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
“Many of our nation’s small businesses are still struggling to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’ve found that the smallest businesses — the majority of which are minority-owned — are hurting the most. The SBA’s Supplemental Targeted Advance program aims to reach those businesses with 10 employees or less who need our help today,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a statement.
Earlier in April, SBA also increased EIDL’s ceiling from six months of working capital with a maximum of $150,000 to 24 months of working capital and a maximum of $500,000.
The rollout of grants for specific industries will continue this week. On Monday at noon, the SBA opened the portal to apply for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, which is the targeted relief for performance and entertainment spots that were most affected by the pandemic. And a specific grant program for restaurants is expected to open in the coming days, starting with a pilot program.
Here are a few quick updates from past roundups:
- TEDCO launched the Agriculture and Rural Rebuild (ARR) Challenge to provide $200,000 grants for Maryland technology supporting agricultural and rural-based businesses. Apply by April 30.
- The Maryland Energy Innovation Accelerator and Mtech Ventures are launching the Climate Tech Pre-Accelerator at University of Maryland College Park in June. Apply to be in the first cohort by April 30.
- One to watch: Techstars will be coming to Baltimore in November. Focused around “equitech,” the national accelerator’s local expansion is coming via partnership with the newly launched initiative UpSurge Baltimore.
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