Rachael Kalinyak

hagerstown startup week

When Hagerstown, MD hosts its annual Startup Week activities in a few weeks, TEDCO will be front and center as a significant driver behind the best and brightest businesses and entrepreneurial leaders to be featured during the week. Hagerstown Startup Week is a free business conference for entrepreneurs and small business owners, offering countless opportunities to network with fellow founders, collect resourceful information and learn best practices from industry experts.

Chuck Ernst, TEDCO’s Rural Business Innovation Initiative (RBII) MentorTEDCO’s Rural Business Innovation Initiative (RBII) Mentor, Chuck Ernst, is extensively involved in helping to grow the companies throughout the entire Western region of Maryland. Ernst covers one of the four rural regions in the state, providing technical and business assistance to small and early-stage companies.

Not only is TEDCO a proud sponsor of the event, but it has also extended its unique support to three CEOs who are set to receive the prestigious 2024 ‘Spark’ awards. This initiative, designed to foster big ideas in small communities, offers free business planning, supply chain, manufacturing, and technical assistance to underrepresented business communities across the state of Maryland.

Daphney Smith, Daryl Staveness, and Ji Hoon Lee will all be honored during the startup week festivities.  Smith’s Broker Builder Solutions, Staveness’ ExciPlex, and Lee’s Luminescent MD have earned regional recognition for startup excellence in human resources, agriculture, and healthcare solutions, respectively, all while pacing western Maryland business growth in critical industries.

“ExciPlex has been on the wet lab side of the David W. Fletcher Incubator since late 2021, which has been a great space to perform our research and development of agricultural diagnostic technologies,” said Staveness, ExciPlex Founder and CEO. “It is an honor to be recognized with a SPARK award at this year's Hagerstown Startup Week, and it is just another example of the creative ways in which the Incubator and Washington County as a whole are supporting entrepreneurship and small businesses. Having TEDCO integrated with our Incubator events and mentorship opportunities further reinforces the idea that we can bring value to the State of Maryland even though we are many miles away from the main hubs.”

Click here for more information on Hagerstown Startup Week. Click here to learn more about TEDCO’s RBII program, and connect with your regions mentor today.