Whether it’s to innovate, expand a team of in-house talent, upgrade technology and infrastructure, or explore new markets and opportunities; tech startups in Maryland need funding. A broad range of Maryland businesses, including tech startups, regularly tap into an array of funding and incentive programs that the state, and other partner organizations offer to fledgling enterprises. But innovation hubs, like the Maryland Innovation Center (MIC), also offer a collage of other support to fledgling businesses.

Tapping Into a Range of Possibilities

Fledgling business ventures have funding requirements during the early stages of their evolution, as well as later, during expansion. Some of the critical funding milestones, required to take the venture from vision to commercialization, include:

– Early-Stage Financing

– Seed Financing

– Pre-launch Funding

– Start-up Financing; and

– 1st-stage Financing

It’s important for tech startups to tap into early-stage Maryland startup funding sources at the most appropriate stage in their evolution. This liquidity positions the fledgling venture to survive and thrive in the formative stages. At that point, the business can tap into additional capital to grow. These include:

– Expansion Financing

– 2nd-stage Financing

– 3rd-stage Financing

These sources of capital ensure the fledgling is well on the way to profitability, and can (hopefully) rely on funding through its own recurring revenue streams. However, there might come a time when even mature businesses struggle, and require a quick injection of funds to tide them through, until an expected stream of revenue comes in. Tech startups in Maryland can turn to Bridge Financing to fulfill such requirements. 

Knowing Where to Turn To

Maryland’s tech business incubator ecosystem has a robust finding, financing, and incentive program that fledgling businesses can turn to: 

– Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) offers seed financing to entrepreneurial business, which may be accessed through a broad variety of programs 

– The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are other financing programs that tech startups can benefit from. These initiatives encourage local small businesses to participate in Federal Research/Research and Development programs that have a potential to eventually move to commercialization

– Other funding opportunities are also offered through the Maryland Entrepreneur Hub that entrepreneurs may pursue at appropriate stages of their businesses’ evolution

Knowing where to turn to, and which type of funding makes the most sense, is hard for fledgling startups to discern – especially if this is their first foray into an entrepreneurial venture. Deciding whether to agree to a loan, a grant, a tax credit, or an equity stake-based funding model, requires a deeper understanding of the business startup process than most first-time business leaders have. And that’s where MIC’s experienced business incubator team can help. 

With a deep understanding of the Maryland startup funding system, MIC experts – many of whom have started and ran their own businesses successfully – guide fledgling businesses from the tech and other sectors. MIC also offers startups rental office space, and shared business premises to get a flying start towards commercialization. New businesses can also tap into other support systems, such as mentorship programs, networking with venture capitalists, and training and education opportunities that help build in-house teams and capabilities.