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Igniting Innovation

Maryland is teaming with innovation through its proximity to federal labs and world-class research universities.  Assisting in the commercialization of the technologies resulting from these institutions presents an opportunity to expand Maryland's economic base. Collaboration with innovative individuals as well as the region's research institutions and other technology commercialization programs is providing a steady flow of prospective innovation-based startups as well as technologies available for licensing, collaborative research capabilities and technical expertise.


Programs and Services

Some of the programs and services designed to support igniting innovation include:

  • ACTiVATE: ACTiVATE is a technology entrepreneurship program specifically for experienced women. Started at UMBC in 2005, ACTiVATE was licensed to a local nonprofit, the Path Forward Center, and has been operating through the MCE since June 2011.  

  • Race for Innovation: An innovative program that brings entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors together to turn ideas into business concepts in an afternoon.

  • Startup Maryland: Startup Maryland, a state-wide initiative FOR entrepreneurs BY entrepreneurs is a regional initiative of the Startup America Partnership. Created to ignite and celebrate entrepreneurship, Startup Maryland works across organizational and county boundaries to bring act as the connective tissue across the entrepreneurial community and ecosystem in Maryland. HCEDA actively supports Startup Maryland through participation on the organizing board and through financial support of the Pitch Across Maryland state-wide bus tour.

Howard Tech Council

The Howard Tech Council is at the epicenter of the local tech community. Our active and engaged membership base spans a variety of industries, providing members with access to a diverse collection of organizations.

Innovation Catalyst (iCat)

The MCE incubator program, called the Innovation Catalyst (iCat) helps companies accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies.