Five Cyber Companies Receive Next Stage Fund Loans From the Arundel Defense Tech Toolbox

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC) today announced that five local technology companies have been approved for loans through its Next Stage Fund, the signature component of its Arundel Defense Tech Toolbox. Today’s announcement translates into allocations totaling more than half of AAEDC’s initial investment of $1 million when it launched the program in July 2017.

“The Next Stage Fund is an innovative way that an economic development organization like ours can really make an impact on small businesses, particularly in the technology sector which is a high growth industry in Anne Arundel County and in Maryland,” said Julie Mussog, CEO of the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation. “We created this program to assist companies at the mezzanine stage of growth; a business that has launched and invested in themselves in the early stage and has had initial success but needs support to scale up. We are pleased that our Arundel Defense Tech Toolbox has resonated with many of these innovative entrepreneurs and that they are attracted to the vital resources we offer to support businesses in Anne Arundel County.”

The Next Stage Tech Fund offers zero percent loans from $50,000 to $250,000.  Loans can be structured with flexible payment terms between one to five years to accommodate a company’s cash flow.  Companies benefitting from this finance program include the following:

  • Penacity – A veteran-owned small business, this cybersecurity company specializes in social engineering, cyber threat analysis, penetration testing, and cyber technology integration penetration testing.
  • Applied Information Technology (AIT)   – This Annapolis Junction based information technology and security firm has clients in the government and commercial space. Its CEO Gwen Greene is currently in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.
  • Netrias – Located in Annapolis, Netrias currently supports projects within the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The company’s work focuses on applying AI and machine learning techniques to cybersecurity and life sciences problems.
  • Xona Systems – Annapolis-based Xona Systems provides a secure gateway for remote access to business applications. Xona’s CEO Bill Moore is an IT networking and security professional with more than 20 years of experience in the high tech industry, including developing civilian and DoD business for FireEye.
  • XentIT – A certified minority-owned business headquartered in Crofton, XentIT specializes in Managed/Co-Managed Security Operations Center Services; Cybersecurity & Compliance Advisory Services; and IT Resale & Integration Services.

“Having access to capital is very important to the small business owner,” said Gwen Green of Applied Information Technology. “The Next Stage Fund loan has allowed us to take advantage of business opportunities and ensure we are ready to bring on additional IT team members.”

Says Xona Systems’ Bill Moore “This funding will serve as a bridge to expand our marketing efforts.  It will allow us to further develop our product as we help protect IT enterprises as well as our nation’s critical infrastructure including the Utilities, Transportation and Manufacturing sectors.”

The Arundel Defense Tech Toolbox is aimed at assisting technology companies with gross revenue of less than $5 million and fewer than 100 employees. In addition to the Next Stage Fund, the toolbox offers other valuable resources to growing technology businesses:

  • AAEDC’s current workforce training grant program which offers a reimbursable grant of up to $1,000 per employee.
  • Complimentary consultations with prominent experts in the fields of commercial technology marketing, federal contracting and intellectual property.
  • Accessing travel awards through the Runway to Success Powered by Southwest Airlines. This AAEDC program awards a qualified business with two Southwest Airlines one-way e-passes for the purposes of sales and marketing opportunities and employee training.

To access the toolbox, businesses must be located in Anne Arundel County or have a signed lease demonstrating their intent to move into the county. Businesses interested in the Arundel Defense Tech Toolbox should contact AAEDC Business Development Associate Sarah Purdum at (410)222-7410 or by email at



The mission of the AAEDC is to serve as a catalyst for business growth in Anne Arundel County thereby increasing job opportunities, expanding the tax base and improving quality of life. It provides investment and technical assistance and fosters community revitalization initiatives.  AAEDC plays a vital role in enhancing commercial districts, improving county infrastructure, increasing agriculture-based business and promoting high-value business sectors such as technology and national defense. News and updates are available on the corporation’s website

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