TEDCO and Harbor Bank CDC Announce Recipients of Inaugural Minority Business Pre-Seed Fund for Tech Entrepreneurs

COLUMBIA, Md. (June 20, 2017) – The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and The Harbor Bank of Maryland Community Development Corporation (HBCDC) today announced the three recipients of their inaugural Minority Business Pre-Seed Fund (MBPF) for tech entrepreneurs: Implicit Solution, Game ChangeHer, and Panacea Company.

“We are thrilled with the caliber of not only the recipients of this inaugural fund, but also the entire group of applicants,” stated John Wasilisin, President and COO of TEDCO. “The depth and breadth of MBPF interest shows we are serving a critical need in growing our innovation economy.”

First announced in February, the MBPF provides capital and mentorship to African-American tech entrepreneurs in Maryland to fuel innovation and economic development in the state. The fund’s goals harken back to the founding of both TEDCO and HBCDC; TEDCO focused on facilitating the creation of Maryland tech businesses and fostering their growth through the commercialization of technology while HBCDC’s founding mission was to serve the urban market, and in particular African-Americans disproportionately rejected by majority institutions.

Joseph Haskins Jr, Chairman, President and CEO of the Harbor Bankshares Corporation continued, “Harbor Bank CDC is excited to reach this milestone in our partnership with TEDCO. For 35 years, The Harbor Bank of Maryland has provided access to capital for extraordinary businesses in Greater Baltimore. We look forward to continuing that important work in Maryland’s tech sector.”

The MBPF’s first round of applications opened on March 1st and closed on April 1st. With a total of 120 applications coming from Anne Arundel County; Baltimore City; Baltimore County; Frederick County; Howard County; Montgomery County; Prince George’s County; St. Mary’s County; Salisbury; Mobile, Alabama; Chicago; and New York. Out of those applications, ten finalists were selected to interview in-person with HBCDC and TEDCO, with three eventual recipients:

  • Implicit Solution – Run by CEO Bridgette Davis, Implicit Solution is an e-learning platform designed to change unconscious bias in the mind. Their novel approach, informed by 20 years of psychological research on unconscious bias, uses games, exercises and virtual reality simulations to disrupt unconscious bias by creating immersive experiences that encourage inclusive social and professional interaction. Implicit Solution is located in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
  • Game ChangeHer – With Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer H. Taylor Walls at the helm, Game ChangeHer’s product is called FANz Play. FANz Play is a dynamic, interactive mobile sports and entertainment app that allows fans to compete against each other real-time on game day in the most historic rivalries in sport; it is the game within the game! Game ChangeHer is located in Ellicott City, Md.
  • Panacea Company – Located in Baltimore, Md. by way of Chicago, CEO Lyndon Jackson’s Panacea Company is a mobile bank for SNAP (food stamp) recipients that allows them access to their EBT card balance and transaction history by using their smartphones.

TEDCO and HBCDC are already preparing for their next round of applications, which are currently open and will close on July 1st followed by October 1st and January 1st (2018) deadlines. Those interested should stay tuned as they will be holding information sessions soon for people to come and learn more about the program.

Fund investment terms and conditions can be found online at www.tedco.md/program/minority-business-pre-seed-fund-mbpf.  For more information about TEDCO and HBCDC’s Minority Business Pre-Seed Fund, contact McKeever Conwell at mconwell@tedco.md, 410-715-4180, or Calvin Young at cyoung@theharborbank.com, 443-923-0534.

The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) is the go-to source for entrepreneurial support and guidance for technology start-ups and early-stage companies engaged in bringing innovative ideas to market. For over nineteen years, the organization has provided funding, mentoring and networking opportunities to support Maryland’s innovation ecosystem. It is frequently ranked as one of the most active seed/early-stage investors in the nation. The organization plays a key role in bringing research created in Maryland’s educational institutions and federal laboratories into the commercial marketplace. For more information on TEDCO and its programs and resources, visit www.TEDCO.md.

Harbor Bankshares Corporation (HBC) is the only African–American owned and managed depository institution in Maryland and counts among its assets the Harbor Bank of Maryland (HBM) and the Harbor Bank of Maryland Community Development Corporation (HBCDC). HBC manages 20 funds with new markets tax credit authority. Its allocations have attracted over $1.2 billion in investment in companies and projects responsible for creating over 3,600 jobs. HBM was founded in 1982 and is a Maryland chartered commercial bank. It also holds the U.S. Treasury designation as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Minority Depositary Institution, and an SBA 7(a) lender. HBCDC is a U.S. Treasury certified CDFI with a dual focus of creating affordable housing opportunities and increasing access to capital. HBCDC makes investments throughout the capital structure of projects and small businesses through a loan fund and principal investments in the form of mezzanine, equity, and other structured investments. It provides comprehensive services to its patrons.  Visit www.theharborbank.com for more information.


Media Contact
Tammi L. Thomas (TEDCO), tthomas@tedco.md
Rhonda Overby (HBCDC), rhonda@camerareadyinc.com

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