TEDCO Invests into Tuzmo Through Builder Fund
Maryland-based tourism startup connects consumers with authentic artisans across the world
COLUMBIA, Md. (August 3, 2023) – TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced a recent Builder Fund investment of $200,000 into Tuzmo, a company developing a platform to connect travelers and tourists with authentic local artisans in destinations around the world. The Builder Fund program is part of TEDCO’s Social Impact Funds, which were established to support economically underserved founders and communities across the state.
Based out of Gaithersburg, Md., Tuzmo has developed an app that can easily connect tourists, travelers and home-shoppers with real artisans. The team has built a database of artisans and craftsmen from 47 countries and is continuing to build partnerships around the globe. Earlier this year, Tuzmo was recognized by UNWTO as one of the 30 finalists among 2000+ global startups in the Awake Tourism Challenge in the Local Community Involvement category.Rana Saad, CEO of Tuzmo, a TEDCO Portfolio Company Tuzmo previously received support from the Social Impact Funds in October 2022.
“We’re very grateful for TEDCO’s continued support for our company and mission,” said Rana Saad, CEO of Tuzmo. “Handmade crafts aren’t just objects – they’re embodiments of a person’s life, culture and heritage, often spanning generations. We’re proud to have developed a way for individuals to support artisans across the world, no matter if they’re traveling in another country or at home.”
The global market for cultural artisanal crafts is $665 billion and is poised to grow to 1.34 trillion by 2028.
“Technology has broken down global barriers in so many industries – TEDCO is happy to be a part of this local initiative,” said Jean-Luc Park, senior director of TEDCO’s Social Impact Funds. “In today’s market it can be challenging to identify authentic hand-made crafts from mass-produced pieces sold in tourist shops. With Tuzmo’s innovative product you can not only purchase unique one-of-a-kind pieces, but you can also learn about different traditions and cultures.”
Through the Social Impact Funds, TEDCO invests in and provides hands-on educational support, mentorship and collaboration efforts, and networking opportunities to support socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who are founders of technology-based companies.
For more information about TEDCO’s additional funding opportunities, click here.