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How these startup-supporting orgs find companies and help them grow

Learn about resources available for entrepreneurs and the benefits of partnering with local groups.

A panel session at an event at the University City Science Center. (Courtesy University City Science Center)

The organizations appearing in this article are Technical.ly clients.

Every startup needs help at some point.

Whether it’s funding, legal guidance, networking connections, marketing and promotion, technical support or just perspectives from others who have faced similar challenges, external partnerships can allow startups to expand their capabilities and reach the next level of success. Depending on what type of help is needed and what resources are available, there are different processes for vetting companies to determine how they can best be of assistance.

For some additional insights, the following organizations shared with us how they identify and evaluate startups and entrepreneurs to work with. If you like what you see, follow the links to their Directory Pages to learn more and explore ways to connect.

Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Delaware Prosperity Partnership (choosedelaware.com) leads Delaware’s efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and support employers in place-marketing Delaware to potential employees.

“Whether they self-identify or we hear about them and reach out, Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) helps bring new ventures into the statewide innovation ecosystem and connects ventures already in Delaware to resources and networks that will help spur their growth here. DPP focuses on startups with high-growth potential that are scalable, primarily those in the science and tech space, assisting them with making connections and navigating processes like incentive application.” — Erica Crell, manager of innovation

Tech Council of Delaware

The Tech Council of Delaware is a non-profit workforce intermediary that connects and convenes members across the tech ecosystem to advance the Council’s three primary goals:

  1. Build and expand an inclusive tech talent pipeline in Delaware
  2. Create a strong tech ecosystem in Delaware
  3. Strengthen Delaware’s position and perception as a tech hub

“In Delaware, where there are only a few degrees of separation, the Tech Council of Delaware leverages its network of members and strategic partners to identify startups and entrepreneurs to work with for specific initiatives. We are in the process of launching the Diverse Tech Entrepreneur Committee (DTEC), the Council’s fifth tech ecosystem committee, as a structured way to engage with tech business owners from underrepresented communities. In terms of evaluating these entities for partnerships, the DTEC will be co-sponsored by the Delaware Black Chamber of Commerce and guided by Samira Savoury, entrepreneur and owner of The Savoury Group, to provide committee members with coaching and technical assistance for the purposes of building their respective investment readiness for contracting and funding opportunities. The Tech Council of Delaware is proud to serve as a convener and ecosystem builder as it seeks to develop mutually beneficial relationships for the betterment of the state’s tech industry.” — Zakiyyah Ali, executive director

TEDCO

TEDCO, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, enhances economic empowerment growth through the fostering of an inclusive entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. We identify, invest in, and help grow technology and life science-based companies in Maryland.

“Part of TEDCO’s mission is to be Maryland’s strategic direct investor and we have developed an impactful process to identify entrepreneurs and startups to fulfill our dual mandate of economic development and financial returns. TEDCO is unique to many other states because we focus on the ‘top of the funnel’ ensuring that our pipeline is filled with applications from HBCU’s, Women’s Entrepreneurial organizations and other historically underrepresented programs, as well as incubator, accelerator, university and federal lab technology transfer groups. In focusing on the ‘top of the funnel’ TEDCO uses social media, in person meetings, creates/attends events and publishes articles/press releases in publications throughout Maryland to attract applicants from these diverse communities.

As a prospective application moves through our process, we review the company, not only for compliance with the state’s directives, but also for the highest potential overall return to the state. The process includes financial, technical, management and market diligence (to name a few) using internal and external thought leaders to find highest potential companies. At the end of the process, we say yes to an investment about 20% of the time (which is more than the industry average), and when we say no, we typically refer the applicant to services, organizations or consultants to help the company prepare and re-apply in the future. So, when we say no, it is rarely a ‘hard no,’ it is usually a ‘not now.’ More information can be found here.— Jack Miner, chief investment officer

University City Science Center

The Science Center is Philadelphia’s premier catalyst of entrepreneurial activity, healthcare innovation and economic growth. Established in 1963, the nonprofit has been recognized by The Brookings Institution as a best-in-class investor, mentor and economic development partner for young technology companies.

“Each Science Center program targets founders at different stages of the commercialization continuum. Our Founders Fellowship, which we’re currently recruiting for, is designed for budding life science entrepreneurs who want to transform their innovative ideas into business reality. We’re interested in supporting first-generation college grads and undercapitalized and under-resourced individuals in entrepreneurship. Our 2024-2025 cohort will also put an emphasis on applicants with a research focus on fields relevant to aging and/or Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD).” — Tiara Durham, director of new ventures

University of Maryland BioPark

The University of Maryland, Baltimore BioPark offers a dynamic lab and office environment for life science companies, next-gen ventures, university spinouts, distinguished research organizations, cutting-edge clinical care and contemporary workforce training programs.

“The University of Maryland BioPark serves as a hub for the region’s many players, supporting the growth of early-stage technology ventures. The BioPark regularly works to bring together the startup community alongside local university partners, incubators, development organizations, state entities and investors to strengthen the community and support entrepreneurs at all levels as they advance their ventures. By offering commercial lab and office space on the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), the BioPark is an ideal launching point for companies that have graduated from area incubators and/or spun-out of local universities. When 4MLK opens, these companies will have the opportunity to locate in a flexible lab suite that offers space and resources to help them grow. Additionally, we work to connect these companies with the research and clinical resources at UMB, allowing and encouraging them to collaborate with entrepreneurial faculty and together bridge the gap between academic research and commercial ventures.” — Jane Shaab, executive director, University of Maryland BioPark; associate vice president for economic development, University of Maryland, Baltimore

For more specifics on how partnerships can benefit startups, the following firms shared examples of companies they’ve worked with recently and the resulting outcomes:

Arcweb Technologies

Arcweb Technologies is on a mission to democratize digital healthcare through open source solutions that expand the delivery and lower the costs of care. In pursuit of this goal, we focus on forming long term partnerships with health and wellness companies and leveraging decades of experience to solve their most pressing software product challenges.

“Arcweb helped Tomorrow Health accelerate the development of critical new functionality for their home-based care ordering platform. It’s noteworthy that Tomorrow Health’s investors are Andreessen Horowitz (a.k.a. a16z), best and among the largest venture capital firms in the world. Vijay Kedar, co-founder and CEO at Tomorrow Health, said, ‘Arcweb were fantastic partners to Tomorrow Health in providing critical bandwidth, expertise and a best-in-class customer service approach. We’re grateful for their partnership and collaboration that has unlocked value in our product and the services that we’re able to offer to the patients and families that we serve.’ Find more info here.” — Chris Cera, CEO

Ballard Spahr

Ballard Spahr is a national, full service law firm with more than 600 attorneys spread across 15 offices. Our attorneys work with entrepreneurs and emerging companies from ideation through exit and understand how to provide expertise while offering our broad network to help businesses grow and achieve great heights. Our ECVC lawyers also advise venture capital funds and angel investors to help seed ventures from the most nascent stages.

“Ballard supports our startup clients by making introductions to our broader firm network to help them connect with potential customers, future investors, advisors and other resources. We do it proactively but also when clients (such as Philly’s local Carbon Reform) notice we have a connection and ask us to make a warm introduction. We do it because we want to be more than a service provider, we want to be part of these emerging companies’ growth stories.” — Kimberly Klayman, partner

NEXT powered by Shulman Rogers

Shulman Rogers is a full-service law firm with more than 100 attorneys working from our offices in Maryland, Washington, DC and Northern Virginia. Our attorneys work collaboratively across practice groups to support national, regional and local clients and respond to all of their legal needs.

NEXT powered by Shulman Rogers shared this from a startup they worked with recently:

“From our early days, NEXT has been an invaluable partner in our journey at Novel Microdevices. Their unwavering support in handling our corporate legal matters has been instrumental in navigating the complexities of the startup landscape. As we embarked on our startup journey, NEXT stood by us every step of the way — from Delaware C-corp conversion to seed stage convertible note rounds and our Series-A round.

Their expertise and dedication have not only streamlined our legal processes but have also played a pivotal role in shaping our growth trajectory. The team at NEXT has consistently demonstrated a deep understanding of our industry and a genuine commitment to our success, even during demanding periods, including tight timelines and holidays.

Working with NEXT goes beyond the typical attorney-client relationship; it’s a true partnership built on trust, reliability and a shared vision for Novel Microdevices.” — Andrea Pais, founder and CEO, Novel Microdevices, Inc.

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Curious about startup resources in your local tech community? Take a look at the new Technical.ly Preferred Partners list, and check out other companies in the Technical.ly network here to find out about their missions, cultures and initiatives.

P.S. If you’re curious about Technical.ly’s services for your own org, find more info here and connect with us.

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Companies: Tech Council of Delaware / NEXT powered by Shulman Rogers / Delaware Prosperity Partnership / University of Maryland BioPark / TEDCO / Arcweb Technologies / Ballard Spahr / University City Science Center
Series: Technical.ly Brand Builder Monthly Prompts / Technical.ly Ecosystem Builder Monthly Prompts
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