The two CEOs discuss TEDCO’s latest initiative—to create an inclusive tech and start-up ecosystem throughout Maryland

COLUMBIA, Md. (March 15, 2023) TEDCO Talks logoTEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, released a special live edition of the virtual series TEDCO Talks. Throughout this series, TEDCO CEO, Troy LeMaile-Stovall, connects with thought leaders across the state of Maryland.

On the latest TEDCO Talks, LeMaile-Stovall interviews Brian Pieninck, CEO of CareFirst, at the 2023 CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament in Baltimore, Md. During the discussion, Pieninck and LeMaile-Stovall dive into the vast resources Maryland has to offer, what needs to be done to successfully utilize these resources, and, ultimately, Cultivate Maryland, a new initiative TEDCO is spearheading to create a more diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem throughout the State.Brian Pieninck, CEO of CareFirst, talks with TEDCO CEO about Cultivate MD

Throughout the episode, Pieninck explains that large businesses have an economic responsibility. Rather than considering how to attract large businesses to an area, companies, cities and states should focus more on the areas’ economic foundation—successful entrepreneurism and small businesses; “if you do interesting and effective things … people will find you. And the interesting and effective things we can do in a space starts with entrepreneurism and small businesses. If we grow and develop that foundation effectively—if we show that this is a place where small businesses can thrive—[it will become] a place, an ecosystem and an environment that large organizations complementary to those efforts want to be in.” 

Carefirst LogoHence the Cultivate Maryland initiative. Through this initiative, TEDCO is building an inclusive environment for technology and start-up businesses by creating more opportunities for a larger and more diverse workforce through the support and increased creation of opportunities for underrepresented individuals to get involved in high technology-based education, careers and entrepreneurial activities.

“Cultivate Maryland is an initiative that not only promotes groundbreaking changes to the state’s ecosystem, but it’s an initiative we at TEDCO are proud to be a part of,” said LeMaile-Stovall. “And we couldn’t have gotten this far without the support of many individuals, including Brian. It’s time for us to embrace the future, grow our ecosystem, and become a leader in economic growth and competitiveness nationwide.”

Click here to watch the full episode and to learn more about CareFirst, Cultivate Maryland and the importance of embracing change throughout the Maryland ecosystem. Don’t miss out on the next episodes, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel here:


TEDCO, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, enhances economic empowerment growth through the fostering of an inclusive entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. TEDCO identifies, invests in, and helps grow technology and life science-based companies in Maryland. Learn more at

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Tammi Thomas, Chief Development & Marketing Officer, TEDCO,