Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF)

Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) provides up to $225,000 to support projects that advance a technology toward commercialization. TCF helps companies to reach a critical milestone in their product (or service) development that will move their technology further along the commercialization pathway, increase the company’s valuation, and lead to follow-on investment for further growth and sustainability.

TCF funding is provided in two distinct investments.  The “First Investment” of up to $100,000 provides funds for critical product development that enables companies to achieve significant product development/technical milestones.  The “Second Investment” of up to $125,000, which is subject to a concurrent third party investment (a “Qualified Investment” – defined below) and TEDCO’s approval, supports further product development and better prepares a company for later-stage investments or product launch  and revenue generation.

Overview

TCF is a seed funding program for companies in Maryland. It exists (i) to help develop and commercialize new products based on technology created in Maryland’s universities, federal laboratories having a partnership agreement with TEDCO, and other non-profit research organizations in the State, (ii) to support the commercialization of technology by companies affiliated with Maryland’s qualified incubator programs, or (iii) to support companies receiving mentorship through TEDCO-supported, entrepreneurial development programs including ACTiVATE, INNoVATE, and the Rural Business Innovation Initiative (RBI2). TCF enables companies to reach a critical milestone in their product (or service) development efforts that will move technologies further along the commercialization pathway, increase the company’s valuation, and lead to follow-on investment for further growth.

Eligible Recipients

There are two main eligibility requirements for a TCF investment.  For interested companies, it is critical to check with the Request for Applications (RFA) prior to initiating an application.  The RFA provides details on application structure, review criteria, and other important information.  The application deadline is the 1st of each month and the review process takes approximately sixty days.

To be eligible, a company must meet both of the following criteria:

  • The company must be a for-profit entity located 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 of the company within the State) with fewer than 16 employees (Full-Time Equivalents – FTEs).
  • The company is pre-revenue OR has received less than an aggregate of $500,000 in equity investments from sophisticated investors (i.e., ‘Angels’ or institutional investors other than company founders).

Investment Conditions

TCF investments are made in the form of a convertible note bearing 8% interest. In the event that the company receives an aggregate outside investment of $500,000 or more, or in the event that the company sells substantial assets or equity, TEDCO may, at its sole option, convert the principal and interest due on the note at the time of the outside investment or sale on the same terms and conditions received by the most recent investors.

The First TCF Investment of up to $100,000 is provided in tranches that are subject to the achievement of specific project milestones. The Second Investment of up to $125,000 is provided as a one-time investment, subject to a subsequent issuance of securities in an aggregate amount of $500,000 or more from institutional or other Accredited Investors (a “Qualified Investment”). A closing on a Qualified Investment would have to occur within 24 months from the initial closing date of the TCF investment and the company must complete the project funded by the First Investment prior to receiving the Second Investment.  All Second Investments will be made through TEDCO’s standard convertible note or, subject to TEDCO’s approval, through the deal terms established by the Qualified Investment.

  • All Second Investments will be subject to TEDCO’s approval based on appropriate due diligence.
  • All funding for Second Investments will be allocated from TEDCO’s reserve funds and will be subject to the availability of said reserve funds.
  • Under the terms of the note associated with a First Investment from TCF, TEDCO must be notified of any pending Qualified Investment.  With this notification, eligible companies can initiate the process of being considered for a Second Investment by simply indicating their interest when reporting a pending Qualified Investment.
  • The Second Investment will be available to all companies that closed on a TCF award after November 1, 2014.  In order to become eligible, TCF portfolio companies will need to sign a revised First Investment document that reflects the revised funding mechanism.

TCF – Seed Baltimore Option

Thinking of moving to Baltimore?  TEDCO, in partnership with the Abell Foundation, has created a “Seed Baltimore Option” to TCF, which can provide an additional investment amount up to $50,000.  Click below for details:
Seed Baltimore Option    Seed Baltimore Note

Application Process

Deadline for the application is the 1st of each month. The full review cycle begins on the first day of the month and takes approximately 60 days.

Applications must be uploaded and submitted through TEDCO’s on-line application management system, which can be accessed by clicking here Prior to submitting an application through TEDCO’s web portal, companies must set-up an account in the system.

It is strongly advised that applicants follow the guideline provided in the Request for Application (RFA) very closely to ensure that all elements requested in the RFA are covered in the full proposal.

Contact

Henry Ahn
Program Manager, Technology Funding Programs
hahn@tedco.md
410.715.4165