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The second annual InvestMaryland Challenge is in full swing. If your business is in need of a jump start, check out this site for more information about the national business competition. The Challenge offers applicants free admission to networking events, social media promotion, scoring and feedback from judges, exposure to venture capital firms and angel investors and the chance to compete for more than $600,000 in prizes. Winners of the Life Sciences, IT, Cybersecurity and General Industry categories will each win $100,000 awards. Others will take home smaller grants, incubator space, consulting services and other cash and in-kind prizes. Applications are due by Dec. 6.

Judges include a distinguished lineup of industry leaders and experts in a variety of fields. Meet a selection of judges below.

Meet The Judges:

IT-robDoub

ROBB DOUB

Robb Doub joined New Markets Venture Partners in 2003. Robb is the lead administrative partner and serves as a board director for eCoast Sales Solutions and Appfluent Technology, and is lead partner or board observer for K2 Global, Kroll Bond Ratings, Navtrak, Three Stage Media, CSA Medical and TidalTV. He also serves on the board of Egeen International and the Conflicts Advisory Board of the off-shore hedge funds.

IT-daphneDufresneDAPHNE DUFRESNE

Daphne Dufresne joined RLJ Equity Partners from Parish Capital Advisors, where she was a Venture Partner managing the direct investment and co-investment program. Formerly, Ms. Dufresne was a Principal at Weston Presidio Capital with $3.4 billion of assets under management. She also served as Associate Director in the Bank of Scotland’s Structured Finance Group. Ms. Dufresne received her B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

LS_Christy_W_WyskielCHRISTY WILLIAMS WYSKIEL

Christy Williams Wyskiel is an entrepreneur and investor with 20 years of experience focused on the life sciences and healthcare industries. Previously, Christy was Managing Director at Maverick Capital, an equity hedge fund with $12 billion under management. She co-founded GrayBug, an ophthalmic drug-delivery company. In 2012, Christy joined the Johns Hopkins Alliance, a board charged with evaluating the commercial viability of research projects at JHU.

CS_Frederick_FerrerFREDERICK J. FERRER

Frederick J. Ferrer has over three decades of experience in the National Security, Intelligence Community (IC), Homeland Defense and Cyber. Mr. Ferrer holds a Master’s of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University and serves in a number of leadership capacities, including the Maryland Commission on Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence; National STEM Consortium Advisory Committee; and Chesapeake Regional Tech Council.

GEN_Deb_TillettDEBORAH TILLETT

As the Executive Director and President of the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore, Ms. Tillett is responsible for management of budgetary, administrative, programmatic functions and strategic planning. Prior to joining ETC, Ms. Tillett served as president and co-founder of Immersive 3D, LLC, a technology start-up providing web-based 3D computer gaming solutions for K-20 education and offering contract-based technology services.

See the full list of judges and submit your application on InvestMarylandChallenge.org.

BALTIMORE, MD (July 29, 2013) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced that two Maryland tech companies received investments totaling $350,000 through the State’s InvestMaryland program, which was created by Governor O’Malley and the General Assembly to make venture capital investments in promising Maryland startups in high-tech, high-growth fields. The State invested $200,000 in SocialToaster, a Baltimore firm specializing in social media and customer engagement, has been approved for a $200,000 investment and $150,000 in ReelGenie, a new online service based in Silver Spring that creates high-quality videos from a customer’s photos and digital media.

“Supporting our entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses is a top priority for Maryland as we grow our Innovation Economy. Our high-tech entrepreneurs place Maryland at the forefront of innovation and discovery,” said Governor O’Malley. “We’re pleased to make these investments in ReelGenie and SocialToaster, as well as the many others that have benefited from the InvestMaryland program, and we look forward to their future growth and success in our State.”

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Rachel King

Rachel King, co-founder and CEO of GlycoMimetics in Gaithersburg, has been named chair of the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board.

ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 5, 2013) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced that Rachel King, co-founder and CEO of GlycoMimetics in Gaithersburg, has been named chair of the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board (LSAB). King will replace chair H. Thomas Watkins, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Human Genome Sciences, Inc., who has served on the Board since Governor O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly created it in 2007. As chair, Watkins led the Board through a strategic planning process that, working closely with Governor O’Malley, resulted in BioMaryland 2020, a 10-year, $1.3 billion strategy for moving Maryland’s life sciences industry forward.

“I want to commend Tom for leading the effort to develop a comprehensive plan that has helped position Maryland as a global leader in the life sciences. To date, we have invested more than $600 million in initiatives that create jobs and expand opportunity for decades to come,” said Governor O’Malley. “We are equally fortunate to have someone of Rachel’s caliber as our new chair, as well as a board comprised of some of the State’s most skilled and talented scientists, educators and business professionals to help us grow our Innovation Economy.”

“It was an honor to serve as Board chair and work with many dedicated colleagues and industry leaders to maximize Maryland’s tremendous life sciences assets and build a roadmap for the industry’s future,” said Watkins. “I also want to thank Governor O’Malley for his vision for the life sciences in Maryland and for his continued support, which has resulted in making our State one of the top science and technology states in the country.”

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Deputy Secretary Bob Walker

Perhaps you’re considering testing your product in the international market—but where do you begin?

The first-ever Maryland/DC Celebration of International Trade 2013 gathered dozens of industry and governmental exporting experts in Linthicum Heights on Tuesday. Over 325 attended the Maryland/DC District Export Council conference, which was sponsored in part by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

Advice for prospective exporters abounded, ranging from logistical shipping tips to cultural taboos to avoid while negotiating.

Find our roundup of 10 takeaways from the conference below:

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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.”

Find more information from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development here.

Learn more about the economic impact of the Film Production Tax Credit here.

Finalists in the information technology category of the InvestMaryland Challenge represent some of the most innovative start-ups in Maryland and beyond.

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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.

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Tune into ABC7 WJLA News Sunday morning to watch Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development Secretary Dominick Murray chat about the statewide economic climate.

Business reporter Rebecca Cooper Dupin’s interview with Murray is expected to air at 9:30 a.m., the Washington, D.C.-based news station announced via Twitter.

Move your business to Maryland

Learn why you should move your business to Maryland.

Are you thinking about moving your business to Maryland?

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.
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Maryland incubator map

Maryland has 27 business incubators.

Looking for a supportive environment for your startup—a low cost space with easy access to educational resources and exposure to investors?

You might consider setting up shop in one of Maryland’s 27 business incubators, designed to support early-stage entrepreneurial companies in fields ranging from medical research to clean energy.

Incubators exist across the state in the following regions:

Find contact and admission information for Maryland incubators here through the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development.

Do you have a question related to Maryland business? Tell us in the comments.

Find previous DBED Answers posts here.

VisiSonics

VisiSonics offers 3D sound.

Check back for Q&A profiles on all the competition finalists.

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 College Park-based VisiSonics, founded in 2010. To find out a little more about this high-tech company, we spoke with President and CEO of VisiSonics Ramani Duraiswami.

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.

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Maryland's Evolution Craft Brewing Company

Find help naming your Maryland business.

Whether you make cakes or custom-made suits, the right business name can make all the difference. So what process must you go through to name your business in Maryland?

Fortunately, the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development is your one-stop shop for links to resources on naming your new endeavor.

Click here to find state and federal forms and to review the following:

  • legal requirements and implications
  • search and registration
  • domain names
  • corporate name availability search
  • trade name search and registration

Do you have a question related to Maryland business? Tell us in the comments.

Find previous DBED Answers posts here.