At TEDCO we strive to carry ourselves with the highest regard for moral, ethical and inclusion standards as we support innovation and our Maryland entrepreneurial ecosystem.
As a strategic direct investor for the state, we are focused on early-stage investing—a process that is based on trust and relationships. At TEDCO, this trust is built by our team consistently exemplifying honesty, reliability and clarity. Intrinsically, this makes integrity the cornerstone of our business.
I am honored to be able to lead investments in advancing technologies for TEDCO’s Seed Funds, supporting intrepid entrepreneurs across our Life Sciences, Cybersecurity, Technology Commercialization and GAP funds. However, as our wise CEO Troy LeMaile-Stovall often says, “this [business] ain’t linear.” When (not if) things get challenging throughout the investment process and there is no script to follow, integrity is our compass.
Early-stage investing is a high stakes environment where actions are visible and closely related to consequences. Having integrity as a core value is the only way to operate. Our reputation precedes us in every investment that we pursue, and that reputation is built on our integrity.
By aligning ourselves with integrity, TEDCO strives for fair and transparent processes, ensuring our evaluation process remains as consistent and balanced as possible. This begins with an application, an application that every one of the hundreds of portfolio founders seeking investment funding from TEDCO has answered. These responses undergo the same scrutiny from the collective of our investment team, helping us to remain as consistent and fair as possible.
Because of our longstanding presence in the ecosystem, TEDCO generates a lot of interest. However, I find it lucky that we have a phenomenal organization at our back. Through TEDCO, the investment team can offer opportunities for entrepreneurs to interact with other programs and resources, allowing founders who are not investment ready to continue to grow. The successful existence of 1TEDCO’s programs—from TEDCO’s MII to E3 to Women Entrepreneur Leadership Programs to our DEI initiative and more—demonstrates in action that we do what we say when it comes to supporting our mission.
It should be mentioned that integrity is also a key trait for those on the other side of the table to have as well; a startup founder has the difficult charge of toeing the line between being ambitious and overreaching. Big visions and exciting pitches, confidence projecting in the public eye, and leading the team when cash flows are uncertain are daily aspects of the job, but a founder’s integrity is paramount in the investors’ eye; it is essential that trust goes both ways. Moreover, sacrificing integrity isn’t necessary. In fact, the best path forward often boils down to honesty and focus.
Without integrity residing at the heart of all that we do at TEDCO, the growth and diversification we are working to promote would never come to fruition. Every individual in the organization exemplifies integrity, and this collective is the foundation that we build upon as we work towards early-stage technology growth and entrepreneurship development in Maryland.