High-Tech & STEM Work Flourishing in Greater Baltimore
In its most recent look at states where innovation and entrepreneurship rank high, the U.S. Department of Commerce Foundation rated Maryland third, highlighting the state as a “national leader in bioscience, biotechnology, and health innovation.”
Following suit, Greater Baltimore’s strengths in nurturing startups and cultivating innovation are being recognized nationally. Greater Baltimore ranks third in startup growth and fifth for the survival rate of new businesses, making the region a hotbed for entrepreneurial activity.
Maryland is home to more than 30 incubators, 18 of which are in Greater Baltimore. From Johns Hopkins’ FastForward 1812 and bwtech@UMBC, which focus on bioscience and cybersecurity, to City Garage, and Spark, which provide creative co-working environments, Greater Baltimore provides support for innovators who will contribute to both the region’s and State’s economy.
“With terrific local angel organizations and state-sponsored groups like TEDCO, Baltimore is a surprisingly easy place to get ideas off the ground,” said Robert Lord, co-founder and president of Protenus, a healthcare compliance analytics company that was a graduate of DreamIt Health Baltimore’s 2014 accelerator class. Protenus recently raised $11MM in Series B funding.
Deb Tillett, president of the Emerging Technology Centers—one of the region’s first incubators—has been a longstanding advocate and champion for homegrown entrepreneurs.
“We deliver access to capital, clients, and connections, supporting the growth of these small businesses and the economy,” said Tillett.
And grow they have. R2integrated, for example, was an early ETC company that has now expanded into a large multi-media marketing firm with headquarters in downtown Baltimore and offices in Seattle, Silicon Valley, and St. Louis.
The network and connectivity of these incubators encourage creation, collaboration, and execution. For example, in its first year, FastForward graduated 18 new startup companies and raised more than $56.8 million in follow-on funding with 32 startups. Recently ranked 7th worldwide by UBI Global as a Top Business Incubator Collaborating with University, ETC is also one of only 24 “soft-landing” programs for global entrepreneurs looking to grow their business in the U.S. Similarly, bwtech@UMBC launched the first global cybersecurity incubator as a way for global cyber innovators to connect with our regional companies and talent.
A culture that supports young companies, the state of Maryland’s increasingly “business friendly” approach, and a tech-trained workforce are all fueling Greater Baltimore’s economy and providing us with a solid foundation for future success.