Press Releases

April 2015

TEDCO Receives i6 Challenge Grant Under the U.S. Commerce Department’s Regional Innovation Strategies Program

COLUMBIA, Md. (April 2, 2015) U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)  is among the first 26 recipients of the 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies program grants. The Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program, which is being run by the Department’s Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), is a new initiative designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country through three different types of grants: i6 Challenge grants, Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds, and Science and Research Park Development Grants. Secretary Pritzker announced the recipients of the first two funding opportunities today. Recipients of the third grant will be announced in the coming weeks.

“As America’s “Innovation Agency,” the Commerce Department has a key role to play in supporting the innovators and job creators of tomorrow,” said Secretary Pritzker. “We want to ensure that all entrepreneurs have access to the tools they need to move their ideas and inventions from idea to market. The Regional Innovation Strategies Program competition is designed to advance this mission across the United States, strengthening our economy and our global competitiveness.”

TEDCO received a $500,000 i6 Challenge grant to create the mdSTEPP (STructure for Efficient Professional Product development) Program which will train the next generation of medical device entrepreneurs and leverage the various other resources in Maryland to form 5-7 new medical device companies each year.

“I’m extremely pleased that TEDCO has been awarded the i6 Challenge award, which will help Maryland entrepreneurs accelerate their transition  from innovation to commercialization in the medical device field,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Maryland is a leader in technology development and this program will further enhance the array of resources to increase job creation. mdSTEPP Program  will become an important element  to our State’s economic development strategy.”

“The main purpose of mdSTEPP Program is to increase the number of successful medical device start-ups in Maryland,” said Rob Rosenbaum, president and executive director of TEDCO. “With the support of the i6 Challenge award, TEDCO will create a virtual commercialization center that brings together innovation, aspiring entrepreneurs, and seasoned medical device executives to improve the efficiency of medical device commercialization in the region.”

The mdSTEPP Program is similar to a business accelerator in that start-up medical device companies will be selected from an applicant pool, accepted into the Program, and graduate from the Program after 18-24 months. Upon completing the Program, these companies will be better positioned to attract investment, hire employees, and generate revenues.

The i6 Challenge, was launched in 2010 as part of the Startup America Initiative, and is now in its fourth iteration. i6 is a national competition that makes small, targeted, high-impact investments to support startup creation, innovation, and commercialization. Now that the i6 Challenge is included in the new Regional Innovation Strategies Program, the funding will support more than just Proof-of-Concept Centers. Investments will also go toward the expansion of existing centers and in later-stage Commercialization Centers, which help innovators fine tune and scale their innovations to bring new products and services to the market. The total amount of funding for the i6 Challenge under RIS is nearly $8 million.

For more information about the Regional Innovation Strategies Program, including a full list of the 2014 grant recipients, please visit:


About the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)

TEDCO is the go-to source for entrepreneurial support and guidance for start-ups and early-stage companies engaged in bringing innovative ideas to market. For more than a decade, the organization has provided funding, mentoring and networking opportunities to support Maryland’s innovation ecosystem. While founded by the Maryland General Assembly, TEDCO is an independent entity that makes seed/early-stage investments and manages private capital for angel and venture capital funds. It is frequently ranked as one of the most active seed/early-stage investors in the nation. The organization plays a key role in bringing research created in Maryland’s educational institutions and federal laboratories into the commercial marketplace. For more information on TEDCO and its programs and resources, visit .

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.