TEDCO and Harbor Bank CDC Pilots New Minority Pre-Seed Fund for Tech Entrepreneurs

COLUMBIA, Md. (February 15, 2017) – The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and The Harbor Bank of Maryland Community Development Corporation (HBCDC) announced today the launch of a pilot program, the Minority Business Pre-Seed Fund (MBPF). The MBPF will provide pre-seed capital and mentorship to underrepresented tech entrepreneurs in Maryland.

“The Minority Business Pre-Seed Fund is designed to be TEDCO’s initial attempt to grow entrepreneurship in underrepresented communities with the goal of fueling innovation and economic development in Maryland,” stated TEDCO President and COO John Wasilisin. “By partnering with Harbor Bank, a top-rated African-American-owned financial institution whose mission aligns with the MBPF, TEDCO’s initial effort is aimed to broaden the resources available to African-American tech entrepreneurs.”

TEDCO’s mission is to facilitate the creation of tech businesses and foster their growth throughout the State through the commercialization of technology. Nationally known as more than a seed/early-stage funding and support resource, TEDCO has invested in more than 400 seed investments over 14 years through 8 funding and 6 mentoring and education programs. TEDCO’s $22 million awarded to start-ups resulted in $1 billion follow-on funding.

Harbor Bank started in 1982 with a mission to serve the urban market, and in particular African-Americans who were disproportionately rejected by majority institutions. Even today, a study conducted by TEDCO in 2016 indicates the African-American community lacks access to early pre-seed funds, traditionally known as the “friends and family round.” The MBPF pilot program will provide 10 African-American entrepreneurs with up to $40,000 each to test initial business assumptions and build a prototype.

“This pre-seed funding partnership with TEDCO is a continuation of Harbor Bank’s work to address an unmet need in the community. Nearly 35 years ago, The Harbor Bank of Maryland was founded to address the need for access to capital and financial services in Greater Baltimore,” stated Joseph Haskins Jr, Chairman, President and CEO of the Harbor Bankshares Corporation.  “We continue to be innovative in our support of small businesses and entrepreneurs to drive economic development in the state.”

The Harbor Bank of Maryland Community Development Corporation’s recent showcase of African-American technology companies led to approximately one million dollars in early-stage commitments for the firms involved. HBCDC is also developing a co-working space at its Baltimore headquarters to support underserved entrepreneurs.

MBPF information sessions are scheduled for February 22, 2017 at TEDCO in Columbia and March 1, 2017 at The Harbor Bank of Maryland’s 25 West Fayette Street branch in Baltimore from 5-6:30 p.m.

TEDCO plans to begin accepting applications for the MBPF program on March 1, 2017.  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 eighteen 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.


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