Press Releases

October 2017

TEDCO’s wants to deliver ‘connectivity,’ not just cash under 2.0 plan

George Davis is a veteran entrepreneur and the CEO of Maryland Technology Development Corp.

The Maryland Technology Development Corp. has always has been a venture funding organization backed by state capital. But new CEO, dot-com veteran George Davis, wants to add new layers to what 20-year-old TEDCO does — adding value beyond the money.

Davis wants the organization to be more ingrained in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, as opposed to a traditional fund that just gives a startup money and waits on a return.

“A lot’s changed in 20 years. And we need to make sure TEDCO stays upfront,” Davis said, during the organization’s annual Entrepreneur Expo in Baltimore on Wednesday. “So we have been listening to our community to figure out what we can do better.”

With a background in both entrepreneurship and startup building, as well as venture funding, Davis said he knows the two things that startups need most are cash and connections. Growing a successful business is not just about seeking funds, but finding mentors that can guide the operation, or connecting with other entrepreneurs that might be going through the same struggles or might make for good strategic partners. Davis wants TEDCO to be the glue that brings the cash and connectivity side of things together.

He is calling his plan for revamping TEDCO and its role with Maryland startups “TEDCO 2.0.”

During his first 125 days on the job, Davis said he has examined Maryland’s innovation ecosystem, visiting universities, co-working spaces and incubators across the state to what is happening on the ground level with startup companies, what resources already exist and what is missing, and how TEDCO fits in.

“A lot of what we want to do is going to be about collaborations and partnerships,” he said. “We want to work with those who have strengths we don’t have, to create more synergy.”

TEDCO is working on adding more services on the “front end” of entrepreneurship, Davis said, like providing mentorship and training to companies that may not be investment-ready just yet, or that are working to build up to a larger investment stage. There are plenty of accelerator and incubator programs around the state, and especially in Greater Baltimore, that provide crucial services, he said, that TEDCO hopes to work with more closely.

Davis also plans to expand some of the initiatives TEDCO has already worked on, including a loaned executive program, which offers temporary access to an experienced C-level team member that can help fill a void in an early-stage company, as well as the organization’s pre-seed fund geared specifically toward supporting minority-owned ventures. And he is actively working with investment groups and the Maryland Department of Commerce to find funding to support TEDCO’s programming growth.

The bottom line is, TEDCO wants to do more for entrepreneurs, Davis said, “and do it quicker.”

“The entrepreneurial world moves very fast and we need to keep up,” he said. “We don’t want you to wait 90 days for a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ I know how long that is in startup world. We want to get there quicker, so you can keep moving forward and we can help you do it.”