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So maybe you have heard that Maryland is the cybersecurity center of the world.

After all, in our local community there are the National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Cyber Command, Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), Communications Electronics Command (CECOM), National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCOE), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) just to name a few. So you knew that, but did you know that the Maryland State legislature wants to continue to grow the cybersecurity economy in Maryland? The new Cybersecurity Investment Fund has been created to provide seed stage investments for Maryland cybersecurity start-up companies.

The Cybersecurity Investment Fund (CIF) provides funding for Maryland companies who wish to develop cybersecurity products and/or services for private sector or government markets. To be eligible for the program, a Maryland company must meet the following two criteria: (1) they must be a for-profit entity with fewer than 16 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) employees and with its principle place of employment in Maryland (i.e., a majority of its employees must work in Maryland and the company’s proposed project must have the potential to lead to future growth in Maryland); AND (2) the company must be pre-revenue OR pre- venture investment.

The CIF exists to support seed/early-stage Maryland companies in their effort to develop and commercialize new products that enable or enhance privacy and/or security in a networked environment. An additional objective of the program is the development of cybersecurity products and/or services for government procurement. CIF can fund up to $100,000 in the form of a reimbursable note to defray a company’s direct cost of developing early stage cybersecurity technology. The objective is to enable companies to reach a critical milestone in their product or service development efforts, move their technology further along the commercialization pathway, increase the company’s value, and lead to follow-on investments and job creation.

Features of the Program and Proposal guidelines are available at http://tedco.md/program/cybersecurity-investment-fund-cif/

Brian Corbett
Cybersecurity Program Manager