Stewardship
By Terry Rauh

As Maryland faces economic, ecological, and technological challenges—many of which, like COVID-19, tend to arrive with little warning and immense consequence—we should remember that solutions and progress will come from companies throughout our state and region whose leadership reflects sound, proper, and effective investments of money, time, and people.

In short, the challenges we face demand stewardship—the concept of giving “time, talent, and treasure” in service of others. As one of TEDCO’s core values, stewardship means connecting technology to people to solve shared problems. 

I’ve seen such connections evolve, personally and professionally. For example, advancements in stem cell technology may soon be able to help my nephew Cooper learn to talk. Cooper has polymicrogyria—a condition that impacts his cognitive skills and speech. Companies like Baltimore’s 3Dnamics Inc., which TEDCO has invested in, are at the forefront of advancing stem cell science. The neuroscientists from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who founded 3Dnamics steward its efforts to improve human health through innovative applications that use stem cells to drive the discovery and development of new therapeutics and medicines for diseases like polymicrogyria, Alzheimer’s disease, and others. In the future, this innovation and stewardship may well allow Cooper to say, “thank you.” 

Stewardship is central to TEDCO’s mission—and to moving Maryland forward. Through our programs, we provide people and companies with opportunities to develop innovative technologies that can potentially improve our economy, environment, and quality of life. A few more examples of stewardship in action include: 

  • Plum Dragon Herbs in Chester, Maryland, is led by CEO Lisa Ball. She founded Plum Dragon in part to battle her own auto-immune condition, Hashimoto's thyroiditis. A Rural Business Innovation Initiative (RBII) pre-seed investment of $25,000 by TEDCO helped Lisa streamline manufacturing and inventory processes for pure, high-quality, potent herbs. Additionally, stewardship and mentoring from Iris Sherman, an experienced biotech and pharma executive, has helped her company grow.
  • Remodelmate, a Maryland-based remodeling marketplace, is investing and stewarding people, ideas, and technology. Founder and CEO Chad Hall is using a $525,000 seed-round investment to develop simple-to-start, easy-to-manage remodeling experience. Some of the funding for this venture comes from TEDCO’s Builder Fund, which provides financial and business support to grow Maryland entrepreneurs and startups affected by socio-economic factors that may hinder traditional capital investments and executive networks, early on.
  • Aqua Animal Health, which is licensed by Johns Hopkins University as part of a collaboration with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, focuses on biotechnology that improve feeding efficiency, accelerate growth, increase size, and strengthen survival rates of aquaculture. Led by UMBC professor Yonathan Zohar and with $125,000 in funding from TEDCO’s Maryland Innovation Initiative, this fish tale illustrates an Eastern Shore-area catch with far-reaching potential.

From stem cells to herbs and kitchens to aquaculture, TEDCO will continue to steward the development of technology companies, products, and leaders, for the good of Maryland and beyond. 

Terry Rauh (trauh@tedco.md) is the Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer at TEDCO, where his blend of finance, operations and process design experience helps people and organizations grow, evolve and scale their efforts.