Applications close Thursday for startups interested in vying for one of three, $100,000 grants made available through the InvestMaryland Challenge, a seed and early-stage business competition for companies both in-state and nationwide.
As of Monday, the challenge has received 180 applications from 10 states since kicking off in September, according to MDBizNews. Winners will be announced in March 2013.
Apply to the InvestMaryland Challenge. Applications are due Dec. 13.
Money for the challenge comes from the state’s larger, $84 million InvestMaryland fund, a pool of venture capital funding raised in the spring through the sale of tax credits to insurance companies that will be paid out in $28 million installments over three years (2012 being the first year).
Funding through InvestMaryland goes expressly toward early- to late-stage companies, mainly within the state. Venture capital firms and the Maryland Venture Fund — set up 17 years ago and seeded with $25 million — will be dishing out the lion’s share of InvestMaryland funding. So far, four companies have received InvestMaryland money. Grotech Ventures was chosen last week as the first venture partner with InvestMaryland, as Technically Baltimore reported.
The purpose of the InvestMaryland program is to provide companies with financial capital in the hopes that they’ll expand their operations in-state, hire more workers and, in turn, spur economic development.
Crucial to the efforts, though, will be the return state residents see. According to MDBizNews, the Maryland Venture Fund “has seen returns of about $64 million and helped create 2,000 jobs” since being established in 1995.