TEDCO funds three more ‘economically disadvantaged’ Maryland startups

Maryland Technology Development Corp. will give up to $50,000 in funding to three startup companies that may be overlooked by traditional funding organizations.

This is the second round of startups to receive backing from TEDCO’s Pre-Seed Builder Fund, an investment fund aimed at offering early-stage investments and other support to Maryland-based “economically disadvantaged” startups. The effort is specifically aimed at helping minority and women-owned firms, or any other company that could face some social or economic disadvantage to accessing capital.

In addition to funding, Builder Fund companies receive executive management support, mentorship, team building and business trainings through TEDCO. The goal is to help each company grow to a place where they may have a better chance at accessing follow-on funding from other sources within 18 months. The first cohort of five Builder Fund startups was announced late last year.

“These companies are poised to grow fast and tap into big markets with unique product offerings that are disruptive,” Angela Singleton, co-manager of the Builder Fund, said of the new cohort. “Each presents an opportunity advance TEDCO’s core mission of expanding the pool of diverse companies and innovative ideas that will make a lasting, economic impact in Maryland.”

The recipients of the Builder Fund’s second round of funding are:

  • ScholarMe (Howard County): and all-in-one college financing website that aims to guide students “through the maze” of payment options,” including available scholarships, student loans and government aid.
  • Remodelmate (Prince George’s County): a online real estate marketplace that facilitates buying, selling and managing home renovation services, and allows homeowners to hire pre-screened, highly-rated local contractors with pre-negotiated rates. 
  • EliteGamingLIVE (Baltimore): an eSports platform that blends technological education with competitive gaming, and allows K-12 students to represent their respective schools in scholastic competitions for the chance to win cash, scholarships, medals and trophies. 

The Builder Fund does not focus on funding any particular demographic groups. Instead, applicant companies are able to self-identify as “socially or economically disadvantaged” and explain how they qualify — whether their disadvantage is geographical, racial, gender-based or something else — and what problems they have faced in searching for funding.

TEDCO expects to run Builder Fund cohorts twice a year.

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