The Maryland Entrepreneur's Guide/Opportunities for Business Growth
Chapter 6 Opportunities for Business Growth
- 1 OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUSINESS GROWTH
- 1.1 Local Chambers of Commerce
- 1.2 Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)
- 1.3 The Greater Baltimore Technology Council
- 1.4 Tech Council Of Maryland
- 1.5 Small Business Resource Centers
- 1.6 Maryland Small Business Development Centers (MDSBDCs)
- 1.7 Women Only Activate Program
- 1.8 Business Schools
- 1.9 Speaker Series
OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUSINESS GROWTH
Local Chambers of Commerce
Chambers of Commerce generally are local voluntary alliances, business associations or non-profit organizations providing numerous pro-business services, including networking, information, marketing, advertising, advocacy with state and county government, and growth resources to businesses, government institutions and other organizations, as well as interested individuals. The focus of activities varies from chamber to chamber.
Maryland Chambers of Commerce (MCC)
The MCC is a statewide alliance of businesses and organizations. Its mission is to maximize opportunities for its members to grow and prosper.
The MCC provides services to small and growing business through its Business Development Council. The Council’s mission is to assist small, medium-size and minority-owned businesses to grow and prosper. Council initiatives include:
(1) Growing Business, Celebrating Success: This procurement fair and small business awards luncheon is designed to meet the needs of small and minority-owned businesses. The procurement fair provides the opportunity to meet face-to-face with procurement agents with Maryland's largest companies.
(2) Small Business of the Year Awards Program: An awards program designed to recognize the dedication, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by Maryland's small businesses.
(3) Networking Events: The Council sponsors events throughout the year to bring business people together to exchange ideas, build a strong list of business contacts and do business.
(4) Educational Workshops: The Council sponsors workshops specifically designed to address the business needs of employers with 200 employees or less.
For more information, please visit the MD chamber of commerce at http://www.mdchamber.org
Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce (BCCC)
The BCCC is a city wide alliance of businesses and organizations. Its mission is to promote interaction among its members, to provide information and resources to its members, and to advocate the adoption of a pro-business agenda by the City of Baltimore and the region on behalf of its members.
The BCCC Small Business Alliance Program provides a platform for small businesses to join ranks with like businesses to increase their business acumen to develop sustainable business growth strategies. The Small Business Alliance Program will offer quarterly sessions of topics instrumental to building a sustainable growth pattern. Topics include, but are not limited to, Importance of Branding and Marketing; Creating and investing wealth; Retirement and Succession Planning; Business Organization and Structure
Benefits of SBAP Participation Include:
(1) Quarterly Business Sessions
(2) Member-Only Dinner with Decision Makers
(3) Discounted Marketing Opportunities
(4) Focus Groups
For more information, please visit the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce at http://www.baltimorecitychamber.org/
Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce 
The Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce’s is a member-driven and member-supported organization with the mission to promote, grow, and sustain a diverse and health business environment.
Benefits of membership include:
(1) Business advocacy at the state and local levels
(2) Education support
(3) Marketing services
(4) Providing venue to develop a professional network
(5) Serving as the voice for business
Additionally, the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce worked in cooperation with the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development to create the Small Business Resource Center (SBRC). The SBRC has served more than 6,000 clients over 28 years which have led to the start-up of over 700 businesses. SBRC clients have access to the Chamber’s programs and services.
For more information, please visit the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce at http://www.baltcountycc.com/
Other local Chambers of Commerce
Essex-Middle River-White Marsh Chamber of Commerce for more information please visit http://www.emrchamber.org/
Frederick County Chamber of Commerce for more information please visit http://www.frederickchamber.org/cwt/external/wcpages/index.aspx
Greater Ocean City, Maryland, Chamber of Commerce, Inc. for more information please visit http://www.oceancity.org/
Prince George's County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for more information please visit http://www.mahcc.org/
West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce for more information please visit http://www.waaccc.org/cwt/external/wcpages/index.aspx
Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)
TEDCO is a corporation created by the Maryland State legislature in 1998, instituted as “a public instrumentality of the State”. Its main purpose is to facilitate the creation of businesses and foster their growth in all regions of the State through the commercialization of technology. TEDCO endeavors to be Maryland's leading source of funding for technology transfer and development programs and entrepreneurial business assistance.
i. Joint Technology Transfer Initiative (JTTI)
The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) has contracted with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) to facilitate transfer of technology. Technology development projects will be considered within the scope of the JTTI if the company can show how the proposed technology will meet the needs of DHS and/or USAMRMC (Spin-In) and/or the commercialization of DHS or USAMRMC technologies (Spin-Out). Funding for the JTTI is provided by Congress.
Highlights: • Maximum awards of $75,000 in support of technology development • Emphasis is on the development of technologies to meet the needs of both the DHS and USAMRMC • Open submission (no deadline) • Sixty day review cycle
For additional information contact: Ronald Kaese Director, Federal Programs 410-715-4170 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.marylandtedco.org/publications/JTTI.cfm#
ii. Johnson & Johnson Joint Investment Program
The joint TEDCO-J&J seed stage investment program is a component of the Maryland Technology Transfer Fund (MTTF) -- a seed stage fund for companies working with either one of the federal laboratories or universities in the state of Maryland. The joint program provides J&J with valuable insight into the most promising technologies being licensed to the private sector by the universities and federal labs in Maryland. The funding and subsequent development of technology has provided pipeline product opportunities for J&J. In addition, the funding has provided TEDCO portfolio companies with valuable commercial insight, and the funding has helped build sustainable companies that meet J & Js requirement for eventual equity investment through its venture capital group (JJDC). Finally it provides TEDCO portfolio companies a conduit for licensing of products and technologies to one of J&Js operating companies.
Program Eligibility Criteria:
There are three tracks for companies to apply to the joint program. Companies that are new to TEDCO apply under Track 1. Applicants must meet the MTTF eligibility criteria and need only apply for MTTF funding with a budget up to the MTTF award limit (currently $75,000). Johnson & Johnson through COSAT participates in review of the MTTF proposals unless the applicant opts out of the joint review. If the MTTF review team recommends funding of these proposals, J&J has the right to designate a specific amount of funding for MTTF awardees from its designated award pool. J&J may contribute up to 50% of a first MTTF award, with TEDCO making up the balance.
TEDCO portfolio companies can apply under Track 2 and Track 3. Applicants must have received an award under one of TEDCO’s existing seed stage funding programs and successfully completed such a project. To apply for funding under the joint TEDCO-J&J program Track 2, a portfolio company submits a concept paper to determine whether there is interest by COSAT. Concept papers may be submitted by TEDCO portfolio companies at https://www.jnjcosat.com/tedco.aspx.
Under Track 3 a portfolio company can apply for MTTF II funding after receipt of an invitation from a TEDCO review committee member up to the award limit of $75,000 but an angel investor must provide at least a 1:1 match of the TEDCO funds.
For additional information, please see: http://www.marylandtedco.org/JJ.cfm
iii. TechStart Program
The TechStart Program will fund university-based or federal lab-based teams to determine whether specific technologies would have the potential to be commercialized through a startup company. A university or entrepreneur submits a proposal to TEDCO for evaluating the opportunity. An award would defray costs of evaluating the feasibility of the startup opportunity. Proposals are capped at $15,000 per technology.
All universities or entrepreneurs working with federal laboratories in the State are eligible for TechStart funding. To be eligible, a university or entrepreneur is required to assemble a team consisting, at a minimum, of the following: • An experienced entrepreneur who can provide business guidance for the team as they pursue the due diligence process. • An inventor or inventor team willing to assist in evaluating the feasibility of a startup and willing to collaborate with a startup, if one is formed; and • A technology transfer manager.
For additional information, please contact Linda Saffer, Program Manager, University Programs, 410-715-4175 email@example.com Website: http://www.marylandtedco.org/TechStart.cfm
iv. University Technology Development Fund (UTDF)
The goal of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation's (TEDCO) University Technology Development Fund (UTDF) is to provide resources to Maryland universities to support pre-commercial research on university intellectual property to increase the likelihood of commercializing that intellectual property. The program helps universities to license early stage technologies more effectively and serves as a source of technology development projects for Maryland companies that are eligible for additional TEDCO and other State financing programs.
All institutions of higher education in Maryland are eligible for UTDF grants. Institutions that operate offices of technology transfer have the infrastructure to participate effectively in the program and to manage intellectual property developed with UTDF funding. TEDCO can assist other institutions in establishing technology transfer infrastructure.
For more information on this program please contact Linda Saffer, Ph.D., Program Manager, University Programs, at 410-715-4175 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please see: http://www.marylandtedco.org/tedcoprograms/utdf.cfm
v. The Working Capital Loan Fund
The Working Capital Loan Fund has been established by TEDCO to provide loans to early-stage technology-oriented companies located in the State of Maryland. Low-interest loans of between $15,000 and $50,000 are available to qualified applicants to be used for working capital in order to assist a company with expansion, market entry, or product launch. Companies must be beyond the research stage as these loans cannot be used for research and development.
Terms and Fees: • Rates are at or below market rate. • A nonrefundable application fee of $150 is due at the time of application submittal. • Loan term is normally 3 to 5 years with a minimum term of 6 months. • Personal guarantees by all principals in the company satisfactory to TEDCO as well as liens on company assets are required. • Companies are required to submit a letter of support from a local economic development official, an SBDC representative, an incubator manager, or a professional consultant. • An administrative fee of .5% is required at the time of closing.
vi. Maryland Technology Transfer and Commercialization Fund (MTTCF)
The goal of the MTTCF is to provide funding for Maryland companies who wish to develop technology-based products and/or services in collaboration with the Universities and/or Federal Laboratories in Maryland. To be eligible for the program, a company must be collaborating with a Federal Laboratory or university in Maryland or be located or be an affiliate of an incubator company in the state. In addition the company applying must meet the following criteria: fewer than 16 employees OR the company is a university spin-off in business less than 5 years AND Pre-revenue OR venture investments under $500K. If the company is in an incubator or an affiliate, contact your incubator manager now. Additionally, companies must have more than 50% of their employees present in the state of Maryland.
Program Benefits: • Funds up to $75,000 are available to defray a company’s direct cost of developing early stage technology. • Program may be used to perform early stage feasibility testing on technology-based products/services to assist in obtaining financing for further development. • No repayment is required unless and until the company receives revenue from sales. • Repayment is capped at 2X the original award at the end of five years. A company can repay early at the multiple current for the year in which buyout occurs.
For additional information, please contact Henry Ahn, 410-715-4165, email@example.com. Website: http://www.marylandtedco.org/tedcoprograms/mttf.cfm
i. The Maryland Rural Business Innovation Initiative (RBI2)
The RBI2 is designed to enhance commercialization activities and provide technical and business assistance to small technology-based companies in the rural areas of Maryland, as defined by the Rural Maryland Council. Assistance to companies is provided by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), through their local RBI2 representatives. Each region has a local RBI2 Business Mentor whose job is to evaluate potential clients, and to provide resources, consulting services, and technical management assistance.
Activities: The RBI2 Initiative will achieve its goals through:
- Providing general business assistance in:
- Technology commercialization strategy
- Intellectual property strategy
- Market channels
- Financing options
- Building a management team
- SBIR and STTR proposal writing assistance
- Organizational structure
- Human Resource issues
- New market opportunities
- Providing technical assistance in:
- Prototype design
- Manufacturing Assistance
- Energy Assessments
- Identifying funding opportunities
- Identifying companies seeking technologies to commercialize and facilitate collaborations with federal laboratories and universities in Maryland.
For more information, please see: http://www.marylandtedco.org/tedcoprograms/rbi.cfm
Federal Lab Opportunities
i. NASA Technology Opportunities
TEDCO can help identify NASA-sponsored research, technology, technical expertise and R&D capabilities that match the needs and interests of your business. TEDCO assists Maryland businesses to improve their competitiveness by providing free technical assistance and information to help resolve specific technical questions or needs that can be addressed within a limited amount of time. This is routinely done on a confidential basis. Also, TEDCO funding programs can help you develop NASA technology.
TEDCO provides Maryland companies with information about these “technology opportunities” and how to pursue them within NASA. NASA is also seeking industrial partners to pursue joint research and development projects that have potential application to both NASA missions and the commercial market. TEDCO serves as a point of contact for businesses seeking information about NASA technologies. TEDCO will work with you to understand your specific opportunity, question, or need. We will then provide assistance through our own expertise, the knowledge base of NASA, and other partners within the TEDCO family. After providing the assistance, we may send you a brief evaluation survey to determine your satisfaction and the economic impact of our assistance.
Contact: Ronald Kaese, 410-715-4170 or firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.marylandtedco.org/tedcoprograms/nasa.cfm
The Incubator Development Fund program provides funding for capital expenditures in the development of new and the renovation of existing technology incubators in the state. To date, the new facilities supported by this fund include the ETC@Johns Hopkins Eastern, the Silver Spring Innovation Center, the Rockville Innovation Center, the Frederick Innovative Technology Center@Hood, the Frederick Innovative Technology Center@Monocacy, the techcenter@UMBC, the Technical Innovation Center, the Prince George’s County Technology Assistance Center, the UM-B BioInnovation Center and the Germantown Innovation Center. Funding Resources:
To assist in determining whether or not to start or expand an incubator, TEDCO offers the Feasibility Study Grant program. This grant provides funding to a government, government-related or university-related organization to engage an outside consultant to research and write a feasibility study. For further information, contact John Wasilisin at email@example.com or 410-715-4167.
The Greater Baltimore Technology Council
The Greater Baltimore Technology Council facilitates business networking in Baltimore and the surrounding areas. This is accomplished through programs and events that give business owners the opportunity to meet face-to-face as well as to access online information through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, and blogs. http://www.gbtechcouncil.org/.
There are three types of memberships available: technology memberships, partner memberships, and education/non-profit/government memberships. https://www.gbtechcouncil.org/Get-Involved/Joining-and-Cost.aspx
a. Technology memberships. A Technology Company is defined as a company that generates or intends to generate at least 50% of its revenues from the research, development, manufacturing or sale of technology products including software, hardware, telecommunications and Internet technology; or a biotechnology company that generates or intends to generate at least 50% of its revenues from the development or sale of biotechnology products or biotechnology research.
b. Partner memberships. Partner members are defined as companies and organizations that provide support services to the technology industry. These services/organizations include, but are not limited to: accounting, financial institutions, benefits, employment services, legal, office equipment/supplies, venture capital, printers, real estate, hospitality, training, business consultants, and marketing/public relations. The annual investment for technology members and for partner members depends on the company’s number of full-time employees in the State of Maryland. The joining costs depend on the investment level: https://www.gbtechcouncil.org/Get-Involved/Joining-and-Cost.aspx
c. Education, non-profit or government membership. To join as an education, nonprofit, or government member, your organization must be either: • An educational institution that provides a degree program or continuing education classes in computer science, information technology, Web design, telecommunications, or biotechnology. • A nonprofit organization whose mission affects or is affected by technology or education. • A state, local or federal government institution that takes a proactive role in technology development; or serves as a proponent of technology growth in the Greater Baltimore region.
A membership application can be downloaded here: https://www.gbtechcouncil.org/Get-Involved/Membership-Application.aspx
The annual investment for technology members and for partner members depends on the company’s number of full-time employees in the State of Maryland. The joining costs depend on the investment level: https://www.gbtechcouncil.org/Get-Involved/Joining-and-Cost.aspx
All education, nonprofit, and government members pay a set annual fee of $800.
Website contacts: https://www.gbtechcouncil.org/Connect-With-Us/Contact-Us.aspx
Tech Council Of Maryland
The Tech Council of Maryland (TCM) is Maryland's largest technology trade association, which brings its members access to technology industry leaders in Maryland, DC and Virginia. TCM has two divisions, which provide valuable resources and benefits to help businesses succeed. MdTech serves the advanced technology community and MdBio serves the Maryland biotechnology community. http://techcouncilmd.com/
TCM helps the region's technology organizations grow through its membership and activities such as networking events, cost saving programs, and advocacy initiatives. TCM’s mission is to promote the technology industry and to create an environment where technology companies can collaborate, grow and succeed.
Committees That Get You Involved. TCM provides a forum that promotes leadership, innovation, collaboration and information sharing among technology professionals with in the technology industry. This is a free benefit to all employees in TCM members companies.
Public Policy. TCM offers its members direct access to the political process with a full-time Government Relations staff that provides your business with a strong voice that will be heard by policymakers at the state, local and federal levels.
Face to Face Networking. Reach over 5,000 attendees every year at more than 40 unique networking events that provide tightly focused agendas that allow you to make real connections.
Marketwire. TCM members receive 15% discount on Markettwires’s standard published rates for all domestic distribution options, 10% on all international distribution options.
Cost Savings Programs. Save money by participating in one or more of our special programs designed for members to pay less on products and services their business needs to thrive in such a competitive marketplace.
Member Directory. TCM publishes an annual Member Directory that provides concise and comprehensive listings of the council's over 500 member companies.
Sponsorship Opportunities. TCM offers members numerous sponsorship levels that are designed for any size company. Make connections and be noticed by the largest tech audience in the industry at any of TCM events.
Tech Exchange Newsletter. The Tech Exchange is a weekly email newsletter offering the latest news within the industry, member highlights and events at the Tech Council of Maryland.
TCM's Web site offers TCM members the latest industry news, a directory of more than 600 industry professionals, and an up-to-the-minute event calendar - http://www.techcouncilmd.com.
Tech Council of Maryland (TCM) membership dues are based on total employment for the company within Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. All TCM memberships are corporate; individual memberships are not available.
Online application and mail-in form: https://techcouncilmd.com/membership/join_tcm.php
Small Business Resource Centers
The Small Business Resource Center provides a wealth of information on-site about many subjects that affect small businesses, from planning and financing to marketing and insurance. The Center has a large business library, plus PC-based internet access to magazines and newspapers nationwide, for research on a variety of business topics. There are videos and cassettes as well as literature and self-help guides covering a variety of topics, including how to start your own business, preparing a business plan, getting credit, business taxes and regulatory responsibilities, and networking.
Directions & Contact: http://www.sbrcbaltimore.com/html/general/contact.shtml
In addition to the MSBDC and the Baltimore District Office of the SBA, the Center provides information and links to:
SAFF- Strategic Assistance Consulting Fund “this new initiative is designed to provide expert private – sector-consulting services to small, minority and micro-enterprise business. Booth Management Consulting, LLC will administer the strategic Assistance Consulting Fund to build upon the basic services currently offered through the Maryland Small Business Development Center, (SBDC) network to qualifying clients and provide more advanced and specialized consulting services.” For more information about SAFF call 410.625.1297.
SCORE- Counselors To America’s Small Business - What is SCORE? Score, the Services Corps of Retired Executives, is a 13,000-member volunteer association sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Since 1964, the association has matched volunteer business management counselors with clients in need of expert advice. SCORE has experts in virtually every area of business management and maintains a national skills roster to help identify the best counselor for a particular client. Through in-depth counseling and training, SCORE volunteers help prospective and established small business owners and managers identify problems, determine the cause and find solutions. To locate the Score office nearest you, call (800) 634-0245.
Greater Baltimore SCORE- Offers low-cost workshops and free mentoring for new and existing businesses in the Greater Baltimore area. Visit http://greaterbaltimore.score.org/ or call 410-962-2233 for more information. Eastern Shore SCORE- For SCORE counseling and workshop opportunities in the Eastern Shore region visit http://uppershore.score.org/ or call (410)810-2969 for more information. Southern Maryland SCORE - For SCORE counseling and workshop opportunities in the Southern Maryland region visit http://southernmaryland.score.org/ or call (410) 266-9553 for more information.
DEVCORP - Consulting Corporation - The City of Baltimore Local Contractor Development Program (BLCDP) is managed by DevCorp consulting Corporation. DevCorp is the industry leader in achieving small contractor participation in public and private construction projects. The program provides surety bonds and contract financing, detailed technical and business assessments of participating contractors, contractor improvement work plans and road mapping for contractor development. DevCorp currently targets Department of Public Works, Department of Recreation and Parks, Department of Housing and Community Development and the Office of Transportation. Visit their web site at www.devcorp.com.
EBMC & BEC - Empower Baltimore Management Corporation and the Business Empowerment Center is a non-profit organization. EBMC moves toward the four-core area of Baltimore’s strategy: Job Creation, Workforce Development, Improving the Quality of Life and Community Capacity Building. The Business Empowerment Center (BEC) this office is staffed with experienced professional from banking. EBMC will assist you in finding the right site for your business using their own computer mapping system, commercial realtors, and the Baltimore Development Corporation. For further information visit www.empowerbaltimore.org.
MOED - The Mayor's Office of Employment Development - helps area businesses hire well-qualified workers and upgrade and enhance their employees' skills. Employ Baltimore, MOED's business services arm, can assist your business with customized workforce solutions including outreach and recruitment, applicant prescreening, assessment and testing services, tax credit information, training assistance programs and human resources support. For more information or assistance, please call 410-396-3193 or visit www.oedworks.com.
Maryland Small Business Development Centers (MDSBDCs)
The MDSBDC network provides advice, counseling and support to entrepreneurs and small to mid-size businesses across the state. The network, a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration and the University of Maryland College Park, links private enterprise, government, higher education and local economic development organizations to provide management, training and technical assistance to Maryland’s small businesses. As part of a national SBDC Network, the MDSBDC has rapid access to a number of information resources to deliver assistance to small businesses. The MDSBDC network is divided into six regions across the state. For more information, please visit http://www.mdsbdc.umd.edu/.
Many educational references are available in local MDSBDC resource libraries. MDSBDC clients are free to come in and browse materials anytime during regular office hours, or use computers to do online research. Each MDSBDC library contains books, journals and electronic media on a variety of topics including: loans, franchising, startup, marketing, management, statistical data, Strategic planning, business planning, and more. Note: Not all MDSBDC's have a resource library.
The MDSBDC offers workshops and additional assistance on preparing the application for submission for certification for various state and federal programs, including the Minority Disadvantaged 8(a) certification for the Small Business Administration (SBA) program created to help small disadvantaged businesses compete in the American economy and access the federal procurement market, and the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certification for the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT).
Western Maryland: serving Garrett, Allegany, Washington, and Frederick County for more information please visit http://www.westernmdsbdc.org/page/page/6925482.htm
There are the following types of counseling available:
(1) One-on-One Counseling. One-on-one counseling is offered to prospective and existing small business owners. Many counselors are former bankers, accountants or business owners who work with clients to provide personalized and confidential counseling at no cost to the client. Some of the areas of concentration include: Business Plan Development, Business Structuring, Market Planning, Research Market Development, Financial Analysis, Control, Accounting Systems, Business Valuation, Management Techniques, Debt and Equity Funding Opportunities, Cash Flow Analysis and Financial Projections, and Management Information System Development.
(2) Group Counseling. A number of specialized group counseling sessions are offered to assist clients in a specific area of need, allowing participants to benefit from the experiences of others while providing them with the opportunity to network and learn in an open-ended environment. Some specialty group counseling sessions include: Business Plan Writing, Financing, Personal Readiness, Procurement, and Credit Repair.
(3) Procurement/Contract Counseling. The MDSBDC provides specialized procurement counseling services through its Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP). This program, funded by the Defense Logistics Agency and Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, assists clients to identify, obtain, and perform successfully on federal, state, and local government contracts.
(4) High Technology Counseling. Individual counseling and small group workshops, conducted by trained technology counselors, are provided to guide clients through the preparation of various types of plans. The management assessments are designed to improve performance and support growth and taking advantage of federal and state government support programs.
(5) Retail/Restaurant Counseling. Individual and small group counseling is available to assist clients with the unique aspects of starting, managing, and maintaining a retail or restaurant operation, including assessing feasibility, assisting with store layout, establishing and maintaining good vendor relationships, marketing, inventory management and more.
Virtual Classroom. A comprehensive online training program which is available at no cost. This program is designed to provide information and guidance to entrepreneurs in various stages of growth.
Regional Training. Training programs are offered in the evening for a minimal fee and are taught by skilled professionals. Sessions range in length from two hours to several weeks. Resources
The MDSBDC can assist its clients in identifying and securing the appropriate source of funds for business ventures. Funding sources include:
a. Small Office Home Office Loan (SOHO) - A new marketing initiative under SBA's Community Express and SBA Express loan guarantee programs. This initiative combines financial and technical assistance to enable small and home-based business owners to access business loans instead of consumer loans. Qualified businesses can obtain as little as $5,000 with a liberal repayment policy, no collateral, and technical assistance through the MDSBDC.
b. Micro loans - Micro loans are smaller loans, made to eligible borrowers in amounts that range from $100 to a maximum of $25,000. The lending criteria for a micro loan may not be as stringent as those established by commercial lending sources. Loan proceeds can be used for working capital; equipment; furniture and fixtures; inventory; and leasehold improvements. The proceeds cannot be used to refinance existing debts.
c. Commercial Bank Loans - MDSBDC can assist with determining the appropriate lending vehicle for a particular venture, ensuring that loan application packages are complete, and initiating communications with lenders
d. Accounts Receivable Financing/Factoring - Factoring is the selling of a company's accounts receivable, at a discount, to a factoring agency, which then assumes the credit risk of the account debtors and receives payment as the debtors settle their accounts. Factoring can provide a quick turnaround and convenient funding to growing companies who need capital to expand their business. Factoring is not a loan. There is no debt repayment, and long-term agreements are not necessary. For their services, Factoring agents are paid a fee, which is typically based on a percentage of to accounts receivable.
e. SBA Loans
(i) 7(a) Loan Program. The 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program is one of SBA's primary lending programs. It provides loans to small businesses unable to secure financing on reasonable terms through normal lending channels. The program operates through private-sector lenders that provide loans which are, in turn, guaranteed by the SBA -- the Agency has no funds for direct lending or grants.
(ii) Community Express. Community Express is a pilot SBA loan program that was developed in collaboration with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and its member organizations. Under the pilot, which is available to selected lenders, an SBA Express-like program will be offered to pre-designated geographic areas serving mostly New Markets small businesses. The program will also include technical and management assistance, which is designed to help increase the loan applicant's chances of success.
(iii) CAPLines. The CAPLine is the umbrella program under which the SBA helps small businesses meet their short-term and cyclical working-capital needs. A CAPLines loan can be for any dollar amount (except for the Small Asset-Based Line described below). There are five short-term working-capital loan programs for small businesses under the CAPLines umbrella:
(A) SEASONAL LINE: These are advances against anticipated inventory and accounts receivable help during peak seasons when businesses experience seasonal sales fluctuations. Can be revolving or non-revolving.
(B) CONTRACT LINE: Finances the direct labor and material cost associated with performing assignable contract(s). Can be revolving or non-revolving.
(C) BUILDERS LINE: If you are a small general contractor or builder constructing or renovating commercial or residential buildings, this can finance direct labor-and material costs. The building project serves as the collateral, and loans can be revolving or non-revolving.
(D) STANDARD ASSET-BASED LINE: This is an asset-based revolving line of credit for businesses unable to meet credit standards associated with long-term credit. It provides financing for cyclical growth, recurring and/or short-term needs. Repayment comes from converting short-term assets into cash, which is remitted to the lender. Businesses continually draw from this line of credit, based on existing assets, and repay as their cash cycle dictates. This line generally is used by businesses that provide credit to other businesses. Because these loans require continual servicing and monitoring of collateral, additional fees may be charged by the lender.
(D) SMALL ASSET-BASED LINE: This is an asset-based revolving line of credit of up to $200,000. It operates like a standard asset-based line except that some of the stricter servicing requirements are waived, providing the business can consistently show repayment ability from cash flow for the full amount.
(iv) LowDoc. The SBA LowDoc is a streamlined loan program which seeks to ensure a faster turnaround for businesses in need of financing. The maximum loan is $150,000, and calls for a response from the SBA within 36 hours of receiving a complete application
(v) The Export Working Capital Program (EWCP). The SBA's Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) supports export financing to small businesses when that financing is not otherwise available on reasonable terms. The program encourages lenders to offer export working capital loans by guaranteeing repayment of up to $1 million or 90 percent of a loan amount, whichever is less. A loan can support a single transaction or multiple sales on a revolving basis. Designed to provide short-term working capital to exporters, the EWCP is a combined effort of the SBA and the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The two agencies have joined their working capital programs to offer a unified approach to the government's support of export financing. The EWCP uses a one-page application form and streamlined documentation with turnaround usually 10 days or less. A letter of prequalification is also available from the SBA.
f. Venture Capital - Venture capital organizations can help with starting or expanding a business. Financing through a venture capitalist is different from borrowing from a lender because, instead of earning interest, they take an equity stake (part ownership) in the business, and it might be substantial. The advantage of equity financing is that this infusion of capital does not have to be repaid like a loan. The venture capitalist earns a profit through dividends paid to shareholders of the company and through appreciation in the value of the stock of the company. As a condition of investing funds in a business, venture capitalists often have the right to review management decisions and, in some cases appoint their own managers to oversee certain aspects of the business. While the entrepreneur typically retains day-to-day management control of the company, the venture capitalist has some control over the strategic direction of the business.
g. Loan Packaging - The MDSBDC's team of loan consultants provides lending guidance and loan packaging services at little or no cost. This specific area of consultation includes assistance with financial projections, the statement of sources and uses of funds, the business plan, and the determination of appropriate sources of financing. The MDSBDC works closely with area banks; assists viable clients with business plans and applications process.
Women Only Activate Program
The Activate Program is a year long program sponsored by UMBC to train women with substantial technical or business experience and to help create start-up technology companies from inventions from Maryland research institutions and federal agencies.
The Program is comprised of three phases. The first phase is developed to assist participants in conducting an opportunity analysis whereby two person teams are formed to review and analyze the viability of potential business opportunities. Those teams with the best presentation to a review committee of their opportunity will advance to the second phase. The second phase assists the teams in creating a developed business plan, along with additional team members to be presented to the review committee for consideration. The final phase is to assist those finalists with the best presentation from the second phase and assist them in commercializing and marketing their business plan.
To participate women with business or technical experience need to apply to the class. For more information on the program, please visit http://www.umbc.edu/activate
National Association of Women Business Owners
National Association of Women Business Owners (“NAWBO”) is a national organization with several local chapters that is intended to provide additional resources to assist women business owners in obtaining greater economic, social and political success.
NAWBO events include both general networking, speakers’ series and other educational seminars. There are annual conferences, online communities and directors, leadership development and other membership discounts and benefits.
There are various levels of membership;
(i) At-Large Member (Voting Member) Business and residence are located outside of a local chapter’s organization territory (45 mile radius)
(ii) Individual, partner or stockholder who exercises the power to make policy decisions and is actively involved in the day-to-day management of the firm Files a schedule C or F, receives IRS Tax Form 1099 from client(s), or files corporate or partnership tax returns Maintains an office (including home offices) or a business facility
(iii) Established Business Owner (Voting Member) Owns an equity interest and actively participates in a business as a sole proprietor, an active partner of a partnership or active member of a limited liability company, an independent contractor, or a 5% or greater shareholder in a corporation Files a schedule C or F, receives IRS Tax Form 1099 from client(s), or files corporate or partnership tax returns Maintains an office (including home offices) or a business facility Is involved in the policy-making process and overall day-to-day management of the business Has been a business owner for more than two (2) years Emerging Business Owner (Non-Voting Member) - A first time business owner with a new business less than two (2) years old, or who has not yet started her business
(iv) Sustaining Member (Voting Member) Owns an equity interest and actively participates in a business as a sole proprietor, an active partner of a partnership or active member of a limited liability company, an independent contractor, or a 5% or greater shareholder in a corporation Files a schedule C or F, receives IRS Tax Form 1099 from client(s), or files corporate or partnership tax return Maintains an office (including home offices) or a business facility Is involved in the policy-making process and overall day-to-day management of the business Has been a business owner for more than two (2) years Wishes to support the organization in a larger monetary way
(v) Supporting Member (Non-Voting Member) A non-business owner who subscribes to the objectives of NAWBO and wish to lend support to NAWBO through membership (vi) Student Member (Non-Voting Member) An individual who is registered full time at a school or university who subscribes to the objectives of NAWBO and intends to start a business Proof of full-time student status is required
Membership Dues range depending upon the category of member, with local chapter dues for the Baltimore Region of $90 and national dues between $150 and $350 annually. Renewals of membership are frequently discounted. For more information on the local Baltimore Region Chapter, please contact:
NAWBO Baltimore Regional Chapter 2400 Boston Street Suite 102 Baltimore, MD 21224 Voice: 410-876-0502 Fax: 410-522-5889 L. Content McLaughlin, President Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore
The Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore is a great resource for those looking to develop a strong, women-led business in the Baltimore area.
Loyola College in Maryland The Sellinger School of Business and Management Baltimore, Maryland http://www.loyola.edu/sellinger
Morgan State University School of Business and Management Baltimore, Maryland http://www.morgan.edu/School_of_Business_and_Management.html
Salisbury University Perdue School of Business Salisbury, Maryland http://www.salisbury.edu/perdue/
Towson University College of Business and Economics Towson, Maryland http://wwwnew.towson.edu/cbe/
University of Baltimore Merrick School of Business Baltimore, Maryland http://www.ubalt.edu/template.cfm?page=1440
University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business College Park, Maryland http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/
Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School Baltimore, Maryland http://carey.jhu.edu/
Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship
The Dingman Center is a globally recognized entrepreneurial institute housed in the the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. The center provides early business support in idea creation, execution, and financing. Additionally, the center is home to entrepreneurs and angels in residence that provide guidance and capital to start-ups.
Digman Opportunities: Pitch Dingman - Every Friday UMD students may pitch their ideas to entrepreneurs in residence and twice a semester students may compete for $2,750 in start-up funds. UMD Cupid's Cup - Annual nationwide student business competition sponsored by Kevin Plank - founder of Under Armour - for up to $70,000 in cash prizes. Dingman Jumpstart - 5 day bootcamp open to students, alumni, and local entrepreneurs that teaches the venture creation process.
Speaker Series 
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