There’s a certain kind of camaraderie that comes with entrepreneurship. We’ve seen it in individuals, across companies and even across geographic regions.
Part of the reason for that is that it’s darn difficult to be an entrepreneur. Starting a business from scratch and nurturing it to the point that it actually adds jobs and wealth to the economy is a 24/7 endeavor — and then some.
There’s no time to reinvent the wheel. That’s why most entrepreneurs we know are generous when it comes to sharing learned experience with other entrepreneurs. And that’s why as an organization devoted to building the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Oklahoma, we are constantly on the lookout for best practices and good ideas from other states.
Here’s a brief recap of some things that have been happening lately.
- The Maryland Technology Development Corp (TEDCO) recently awarded $1.2 million to 16 area startup firms.
The funding is from Maryland Technology Transfer and Commercialization Fund (MTTCF), the Maryland Technology Development Corp.’s signature program
The Maryland fund’s primary focus is to move technology from Maryland’s research universities and federal labs into the private sector. Investments are made in the form of a five-year convertible note at 8 percent interest
The program has provided more than $11 million to more than 169 Maryland companies which, through downstream funding from VCs, angel investors, government grants and sales, have leveraged the state’s investments $42 to $1.
The Maryland Technology Development Corp. is an independent entity established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1998 to facilitate the creation of technology-based businesses and their growth.
- The State New Economy Index reports that Tennessee ranks 15th in terms of entrepreneurial activity and 8th in federally funded research, yet the state is 41st in the number of jobs created from research dollars. (Oklahoma ranks 14th, 48th, and 42nd respectively.)
The state-funded Tennessee Technology Development Corp has a new five-year initiative called Launch Tennessee to improve the state’s leverage of the federally funded research and entrepreneurial activity taking place in the state.
The idea is to leverage licensing of invention and research from the state’s premier institutions like Oak Ridge National Lab, Vanderbilt University, St. Jude’s Hospital and University of Tennessee .
Launch Tennessee will provide co-investment funding for in-state startups and corporations commercializing new technologies. The organization will also seek to attract early-stage high-growth companies outside of Tennessee that might have a strategic reason to move operations to Tennessee.
- The Arkansas Development Finance Authority’s (ADFA) Arkansas Seed & Angel Capital Network has been expanded to include making risk capital investments to Arkansas-based seed and angel capital funds.
The ADFA board approved a $250,000 investment in Gravity Ventures Arkansas and a $500,000 investment in TriStar Technology Ventures II of Nashville, Tenn. The investments are pending approval from both firms.
The Arkansas Seed & Angel Capital Network follows the fund of funds investment model with the goal of creating a network of angel investors in Arkansas.
These investments mark the first investments in organized funds.