All 6 finalists of TEDCO’s Incubation Challenge ended up winning funding

TEDCO's leaders wanted to make a statement at its Entrepreneur Expo. So each concept will get $125,000 to launch.

Winners of TEDCO's Incubator Challenge. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

As promised, TEDCO leaders took the stage at the end of the agency’s Entrepreneur Expo Wednesday to announce which of the six incubator ideas who pitched earlier in the day would receive funding.
TEDCO President John Wasilisin called the first awardees up to the stage from Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center’s F³ Tech Program and Bethesda Green’s Be Green Hub. He would end up calling up all the finalists.
“We’re providing three-quarters of a million dollars to jumpstart incubators in Maryland,” said Wasilisin.
That was an increase from the amount that was initially advertised as being up for grabs. When the call for new incubator ideas went out earlier this year, TEDCO said $300,000 would be offered. However, TEDCO’s leadership went to the board and got approval for more funding for the program after seeing that each finalist had a strong proposal. It allows each of the finalists to receive $125,000.
Wasilisin said they “really wanted to make a statement in the community.” More than one attendee called it an “Oprah moment.”
Each incubator is a collaboration between organizations. The idea behind the program was to inject some new approaches to supporting startups into the state, Wasilisin said. Some pull from outside the state, such as a collaboration called Anchor Ventures between Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, UM Ventures and the University System of Maryland that is seeking to bring the Boston-originated Venture Cafe model to Baltimore and potentially other parts of the state. Wasilisin also pointed out that the finalists are “geographically balanced” from around the state.
Since everybody won, here’s another look at the finalists who got funding:

  • TrajectoryNext, a 12-week program to help health and life sciences startups. It’s a collaboration of Betamore, UM Ventures, the Grid, Fast Forward, Johns Hopkins Tech Ventures, and University of Maryland, Baltimore.
  • A group including Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (MTECH), Inncuvate Consulting, Bowie Business Innovation Center, Maryland Intellectual Property and Legal Resource Center, Prince George’s Community College, and Northrop Grumman wants to create a new program to help startups connect with corporations for partnerships.
  • FounderTrac, a pre-pipeline incubator that would offer curriculum, mentorship, dedicated seed fund and coworking space. It piloted in Annapolis this year, and is a collaboration between. Launch! Annapolis, MCVC partners, Annapolis Ventures, and The Maryland Tech Council.
  •  Ag, aqua and green startups are the focus of an incubator pitched by the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center’s F³ Tech Program and Bethesda Green’s Be Green Hub. It would initially focus on the Eastern Shore, Southern Maryland and Montgomery County initially.
  • Anchor Ventures, a monthly forum modeled on Boston’s Venture Cafe to help attract, retain and train entrepreneurs. It’s a collaboration between Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, UM Ventures and the University System of Maryland.
  • LaunchPort Accelerator, the Port Covington–based program focused on medical device startups that is launched by MVR Company and The Quinn Group.
Companies: TEDCO

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