Tammi Thomas

Fueled by talented entrepreneurs and a supportive business environment, Maryland is advancing toward becoming a powerhouse technology hub. This progress is bolstered by economic development entities like TEDCO, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, a unique resource supporting early-stage startup companies in the state.

“We have a growing number of technology and life science-based companies,” said Troy LeMaile-Stovall, TEDCO CEO. “As a prolific resource for entrepreneurs, TEDCO is pleased to do our part in this expansion, supporting a variety of businesses, diversifying the innovation environment and supporting a more sustainable statewide ecosystem.”

How TEDCO helped these 6 Prince George’s County startups thrive

This technological expansion can be seen throughout the state and, as such, so can TEDCO’s support. In particular, there have been numerous investments in startup companies located in Prince George’s County.

“A fundamental element of Prince George’s County’s economic development strategic plan is growing, supporting and retaining startup enterprises, specifically in the technology sector,” said David Iannucci, president and CEO of the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation (PGCEDC). “TEDCO’s investments in these county-based companies is critical to PGCEDC’s ability to achieve that goal. We celebrate their place in the Prince George’s County technology economy.”

How TEDCO helped these 6 Prince George’s County startups thrive

Ensemble Government Services: Streamlined government solutions

Ensemble Government Services, LLC (Ensemble), is a Hyattsville-based digital consultancy service for government agencies, universities and corporations. With TEDCO’s 2023 Seed Funds investment, Ensemble continues toward delivering value to clients while growing new capabilities, including a pioneering space weather analytics capability to support the government and commercial space sector through Ensemble Space Labs.

“Thanks to TEDCO’s investment, we can continue driving R&D that helps accelerate the digital transformation of the public sector,” said Michael Contreras, founder and president of Ensemble.

Medcura: Revolutionized bleeding control technology

In Riverdale, Maryland, Medcura, Inc. is working to pioneer affordable bleeding management solutions in surgery, for military and trauma response and more. Designed to control bleeding during surgery, Medcura’s LifeGel is an absorbable surgical hemostatic technology that has received breakthrough designation from the FDA. Medcura’s antimicrobial core biopolymer can be leveraged into many formats, revolutionizing surgical procedures by minimizing blood loss and improving patient outcomes.

Throughout their development, Medcura received investments from TEDCO’s Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) and Seed Funds before receiving a $1 million investment from TEDCO’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) in 2022.

LeMaile-Stovall noted, “With this latest infusion of SSBCI funds, TEDCO can continue to scale unique and socially responsible Maryland companies like Medcura, bringing innovation to market and generating a more equitable future and potential for new job creation in the surrounding community.”

Escalate USA: Talent crisis mitigated

Escalate’s proprietary, white-labeled platform provides frontline workers with customized opportunities to learn and grow in their fields. Their goal is to increase employee retention, helping to halt the current talent crisis and saving U.S. enterprises billions of dollars annually.

The Silver Spring-based company received an investment from TEDCO’s Social Impact Funds in 2023.

“Escalate is focused on solving the current talent crisis that we are seeing in frontline positions across the nation,” said Sean Segal, co-founder and CEO of Escalate. “Thanks to TEDCO’s investment, we are able to continue growing our company and work to support our mission.”

Haystack Solutions: Tackling a talent shortage with data insights

College Park-based Haystack Solutions noticed a shortage of cybersecurity talent, and realized choosing the right candidate could be as challenging as “finding a needle in a haystack.” Through collaboration with U.S. Department of Defense partners, they developed technology to support smarter and more efficient communities, empowering hiring organizations to make data-driven decisions. By leveraging Haystack Solutions’ assessment and consulting services, government agencies and businesses alike can optimize operations and reduce costs, ultimately improving the lives of citizens.

Haystack Solutions received funding from TEDCO’s MII, a program designed to accelerate promising technologies with significant commercial potential to market.

“MII fills a critical gap in the early-stage funding space that really changes the odds of a technology surviving the transition from a nurturing university environment to the violent winds of unmitigated commerce,” said CEO Doug Britton. “The MII diligence process during the company formation stage can be parlayed into additional private investment, because other investors will get confidence from the rigorous analysis and stamp of approval.”

Ovalz: Connecting the delivery process

Ovalz' proprietary Connected Delivery Status was developed to streamline operations and optimize routes, providing a seamless experience for both businesses and their customers. Ovalz StatusFlow web and app-based shortage monitoring platform currently integrates with Shopify, Google Sheets and QuickBooks Online, helping connect every dot in the delivery process to unlock new levels of productivity, reduce costs and deliver exceptional service.

Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, Ovalz received an investment from TEDCO’s Seed Funds as well as relief funds from the Rural and Underserved Business Recovery from Impact of COVID-19 (RUBRIC) program supported by former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

Airgility: Taking drone technology to new heights

Soaring to new heights in Prince George's County, Airgility is an early-stage company specializing in unmanned drone solutions. Their comprehensive suite of services combines engineering, performance, effectiveness, adoption and manufacturing for flying indoors without GPS. Airgility's skilled team uses cutting-edge autonomous drone technology to capture high-resolution data and imagery, providing valuable insights for a vast range of applications, including collapsed structures, hazardous areas and first-response situations.

Over the years, Airgility has utilized several TEDCO programs and resources, including MII, RUBRIC and the SBIR/STTR Proposal Lab enhancing their chances of success and growth.

“A company like ours requires a lot of effort in the early stages of developing research (and) needs fuel,” said Airgility co-founder and CEO Pramod Rahjea. “TEDCO provided that fuel to our fire.”

Committed to excellence

From leveraging talent to taking flight, these businesses demonstrate the transformative potential nurtured by TEDCO's investment opportunities and guidance. This selection of TEDCO-backed companies in Prince George's County exemplifies Maryland's entrepreneurial excellence. As TEDCO fosters innovation and inclusivity across the state, evidence of the state’s robust entrepreneurial ecosystem will be observed in every county.

Source: The Baltimore Business Journal