I’m taking a sidebar this week to talk about early stage fundraising, which applies to businesses of all types. This topic was recently brought to my attention from a client of mine, who is in the process of securing business funding from the State. With that being said, I wanted to mention a few programs here in Maryland that are designed to benefit your start-up or emerging business.
To start off our list, there are many programs that are administered by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (“TEDCO”), which can provide funding during various stages of a business lifecycle. For more information on these program, visit TEDCO’s funding page for more details.
Following TEDCO is the Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program (“MIPS”), where nascent businesses can go to apply for funding by submitting proposals including business plans, financial forecasts and market analysis. Application information can be found here.
The University of Maryland also has the Mtech Ventures program, which runs under the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute. This is more of a consultative and mentorship program, but part of the focus is on financing, including small business grant procurement at the federal level.
Maryland also offers a number of economic incentive programs to entrepreneurs, such as tax credits, investments, loans, credit offerings, and enterprise zone benefits designed to facilitate economic growth at the local level. A high-level overview of many of these programs can be found on the PDF from the Maryland Department of Commerce. There is also a finance tracker tool available, where you can look for industry-specific incentives, as well as incentives of various forms (e.g., tax credits). Many incentives are offered specifically to certain classes of businesses, such as women- or minority-owned.
There are more programs out there, depending on the stage you’re in and your overall funding needs. With that being said: what are your needs? If you’re just starting out, you might need seed funding. Many government programs as those described above and their out-of-state counterparts provide the funding needed to start and build your business to the point where you have a legitimate product or service offering that allows you to test the market.
If you are successful, you will enter the growth stage and need Series A funding. At this point you know your market and the capital you need to scale. Once you secure Series A funding and have established a customer base, you will need Series B funding. If you are successful at raising these funds and executing on your business plan, you will likely be interested in more significant investments from venture capital sources and the like, or you may even be positioned for a merger or acquisition. If you are far enough along and have the resources, taking your company public is another option.
In almost all cases, you will give something up to procure funding. If you receive a loan, you will pay interest back, or maybe give up some equity. Venture funds will want equity. Either way, make sure you have a legal review of your agreements.
For more information on this topic, please contact Scott Lloyd at email@example.com.
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Scott Lloyd is a registered patent attorney who specializes in intellectual property counseling and commercialization work. He has served as a technology commercialization specialist and advisor to companies in a diverse array of markets, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food and beverage, specialty chemicals, technology, and engineering. In addition, Mr. Lloyd spent ten years as in-house general counsel to small and mid-sized companies, where he managed corporate matters and resolved commercial disputes in addition to intellectual property strategy, and now serves in the same capacity for entrepreneurial clients. He serves as counsel to small and mid-sized business owners seeking to implement growth strategies and succession plans.
While in house, Mr. Lloyd has also contributed to the successful formation of international affiliates of domestic businesses as well as a $400,000,000 business acquisition.
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