Governor Martin O’Malley announced that Media Rights Capital started filming the second season of the Netflix series House of Cards in Maryland.
“We are pleased that House of Cards, a critically-acclaimed and ground-breaking series has returned to Maryland,” said Governor O’Malley. “Season One had an economic impact of more than $140 million and provided jobs for more than 2,200 Marylanders. Together with our leaders in the General Assembly, we’ve expanded the Film Production Tax Credit, and as we welcome the cast and crew back, we also look forward to more job creation and economic opportunity to come.”
Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development Secretary Dominick Murray sat down with Washington, D.C.-based ABC7 WJLA News Sunday morning to share his vision for Maryland’s continued recovery and update the region on the department’s innovative programs.
Business reporter Rebecca Cooper Dupin spoke with Murray about the perceived rivalry between Maryland and Virginia. The secretary responded that both states are working toward the region’s overall prosperity.
“Maryland and Virginia are very close. The people in your audience, and the people drinking coffee at home now, want to know that this region is doing better. Certainly, there’s a competition between these two rival states—let’s call it a co-opetition—and that’s good if it helps everyone to stay on task and do their jobs well. In Maryland, we brought in 32,000 jobs last year. Virginia had a little less than that, but I really don’t want to concentrate on that as much as what we can do for your viewers at home to make sure they have gainful employment, so we can help business owners create wealth for them and their employees,” Murray said.
For locals, the benefits are fairly obvious, but if you happen to be an out-of-stater, here are five reasons to consider making Maryland your business’ new home.
Funding incentives: Did you know there are state and federal loans and grants available to businesses in nearly every sector of the economy? And don’t forget state-sponsored investment contests offering hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants and services. Find more information here or call the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development’s Office of Business & Enterprise Development at 410-767-6978.
Q. What does VisiSonics do, and how would you explain it to the average person?
A. Our product presents sound as naturally as if you’re listening to something on the scene. When you listen to music on headphones it sounds a lot different than how you would have experienced the music at the concert. If you see a movie at a high-end theater with a very high-end sound system, it sounds quite a bit different from the way a movie sounds when you watch it on your iPad or tablet. So our software makes that sounds as natural as being present at the real scene. We hope it will have a major impact on the way people consume media, such as games, movies and music on mobile devices.
The first-ever InvestMaryland Challenge is down to its final round with just 33 companies competing for more than $300,000 in grants and business services. The final winners will be announced during the Governor’s Cup Awards Ceremony on April 15.
One of the companies, selected out of more than 250 applicants, is Baltimore-based SocialToaster. To find out a little more about this growing company, founded in 2011, we spoke with CEO and inventor Brian Razzaque.
Q. What does SocialToaster do, and how would you explain it to the average person?
A. We help organizations to engage their existing fans and we make sharing content from the organization through those fans to their personal social networks very easy.
Gov. Martin O’Malley emphasized economic growth during the swearing-in ceremony of Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Dominick E. Murray Thursday morning in Annapolis.
“Our top priority is jobs. Without jobs, there is no progress,” the governor said while introducing Murray’s new role at the department.
“At DBED, Dominick will be helping us to track venture capital through InvestMaryland, moving more technology and ideas out of our great university labs … and into the marketplace, leveraging our first-in-the-nation health IT network, advancing public-private partnerships to rebuild our critical infrastructure and advancing our job creation tax credits for biotech and R&D, and … cybersecurity,” O’Malley said.
Murray spoke about his Irish heritage and focused on equal opportunities for work during his remarks.
“The fact that my father came here to this land of opportunity, and the fact that under Gov. O’Malley, we have called Maryland, ‘Maryland of Opportunity’ as our slogan—this is what will continue to drive me at the Department of Business and Economic Development, so that every person … will have the opportunity for what Gov. O’Malley calls the most important job, which is the next job.”
Find more information on the secretary’s background below.
A panel of entrepreneurs told the Maryland Economic Development Commission on Tuesday that Maryland needs to commercialize more discoveries made in academic and government labs and improve the entrepreneurial culture if the state hopes to compete with traditional hubs of innovation.
“You ain’t gonna replicate Silicon Valley and Boston in many places around the world. What Maryland has is unrivaled research assets that, basically, most states cannot compete with,” said Rich Bendis, interim CEO of BioHealth Innovation Inc. “The difference is, we’re talking about culture. It’s the entrepreneurial culture that’s different in those other cities.”
Bendis said Maryland’s stature is improving in the eyes of entrepreneurs and those tasked with supporting startups.
“Maryland is being viewed more progressively than it has been in the past,” he said. “It looks like with the Innovate Maryland program, the InvestMaryland program, it’s a lot of positive activity that’s occurring here.”
Dave Troy, CEO of 410Labs in Baltimore, agreed, pointing to what he said has been a recent uptick in entrepreneurial activity.
“You can’t make something out of nothing but the fact that we do have so many great assets here, just shifting the culture a little bit can unleash a huge amount of potential,” he said.
Part of the problem in the IT field, Troy said, is that companies like his must compete for talent against firms in the government services sector, which is often seen as a well-paying and more stable path than starting a company or joining a startup.
“We need to celebrate every success that we have here a lot. I think that’s something the state could do a little bit more of,” said Troy. “There’s always more we could do in terms of changing the culture so that it becomes more normal to stay here instead of thinking ‘Oh, you can’t do that here. You have to go to California or New York.’”
Kenneth Carter, president and CEO of NexImmune Inc., called on research institutions in the state to focus on commercializing the discoveries made in their labs. Academics, particularly at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, College Park, have started to turn the corner, but the federal government needs to catch up, he said.
Federal regulations that would allow employees to participate in the commercialization of technologies they discover would be the “largest single economic development event in Maryland,” Carter said.