Advancing innovative technologies from lab to market.



The Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) expanded to include opportunities at two additional comprehensive universities—Frostburg State University and Bowie State University. The collaborative efforts with these two additional universities will allow MII to expand its reach, working to bring more research to the market.

Frostburg State University 

frostburg university

Bobcat Innovation Launch Pad

The Bobcat Innovation Launch Pad, managed by FSU in partnership with Deloitte, will encourage student teams from multiple disciplines to develop commercially viable technology-based solutions to vexing societal challenges, with a focus on climate change and renewable energy. Structured as a three-day event that blends elements of a traditional hackathon with that of a business pitch competition, the program will attract approximately 50 students with a draw of a small cash prize to foster development of the winning ideas. MII’s funding will help launch this innovation and entrepreneurship initiative.

Past Events

Regional Cyber Operations Center Feasibility Study

A Regional Cyber Security Operations Center (RSOC) is an entity that provides continuous operational IT security by monitoring, assessing, preventing, and responding to threats to protected IT systems. FSU in partnership with Deloitte, seeks to study the feasibility of establishing a RSOC for Western Maryland, which will serve to protect the region’s businesses, non-profit organizations, and local government entities from the threat of cyber breaches. The study will explore the resources needed for the launch and the potential educational workforce and economic impact of an RSOC which will strengthen the role of FSU as an anchor institution for the region. Results will be used to further develop a pilot program for Western Maryland that could be replicated in other parts of the State.

Bowie State University

bowie state university

Entrepreneurship XTreme Pilot

The BSU Entrepreneurship XTreme Pilot will provide students with an immersive experiential learning opportunity and offer a variety of technical support services to startup founders and existing businesses interested in tech-based ventures. Under this pilot program, a team of eight BSU students will be matched with interested founders and business owners for 2-to-3-month projects, which may entail website development, software development, software testing, and other tech-based support services. With the MII’s investment, the program aims to jumpstart 2 to 3 companies and use the lessons learned to build out the program for scale.

HBCU+ Entrepreneurship Conference

· The HBCU+ Entrepreneurship Conference is an opportunity to celebrate, inspire, and unlock the boundless possibilities that arise when passionate individuals collaborate to further academic excellence and educational empowerment. The conference is based on a foundation rooted in the exponential growth, innovation, and success that collaboration fosters within the academic entrepreneurial ecosystem. It’s focused on empowering HBCU entrepreneurs by highlighting the immense value of collaborative efforts and proving that it is more than a means to an end—it is a catalyst for transformative change in the realm of education.

Past Events 

Technology Validation Program

  • The Technology Validation Program is designed to run as part of the Pilot Program for Bowie State University and Frostburg State University with the purpose of expanding opportunities for technology validation, entrepreneurial development, and industry engagement at each university.
  • The Technology Validation Program is a $50,000 grant award available to full-time faculty that includes two distinct components which are to be completed within a 6-month project period: a Technology Development Report and a Market Assessment.
    • The Technology Development Report component consists of awards up to $40,000 to conduct proof-of-principle studies that validate a technology’s use for a specific commercial application and advance it to a point where it might generate a strong Intellectual Property (IP) and/or be attractive to a prospective licensee.
    • The Market Assessment component consists of awards of up to $10,000 to support a market analysis and the development of a Commercialization Plan (defined below) for a technology.

For more information on how to apply, please refer to the following RFA:

Technology Validation Program RFA

  • Dates for rolling application submissions
    • Open: 3/15/2024
    • Close: 6/30/2024