High-end automaker BMW has reached a five-year deal with the Port of Baltimore.

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Maryland business successes:

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Governor Martin O’Malley welcomes students back at the beginning of the school year.

Students across Maryland will find expanded access to new technology and resources thanks to $4.9 million in grants. The grants are aimed at fostering long-term economic growth in the State, Governor Martin O’Malley announced Thursday.

Nine Maryland school systems have been awarded $3.5 million toward their second round of Digital Learning Innovation Fund grants. The grants will enable students to interact with new and emerging technologies with an emphasis on workplace skills.

Additionally, the State has issued $1.4 million to four school system postsecondary education partnerships through the Early College Innovation Fund. The program promotes collaboration between local school systems and higher education institutions with the purpose of expanding college access.

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The InvestMaryland Challenge is back. In its third year, the State-sponsored competition will again award $100,000 prizes to Maryland’s top early-stage businesses, Governor Martin O’Malley, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) Secretary Dominick Murray announced Wednesday.

The 2015 InvestMaryland Challenge will launch four new categories—Information Technology; Defense and Security; Life Sciences; and Sustainability and Exploration—making the contest more inclusive than ever. Grand prize category winners will each receive $100,000 grants. Applicants are also eligible to win other prizes, including cash grants, incubator space, marketing and legal services, and opportunities to pitch investors. All applicants will have opportunities to network with fellow entrepreneurs, judges, potential customers and partners.

Past winners have experienced rapid growth after completing the Challenge. Frederick-based Luminal, a grand prize winner in 2014, raised $10 million in additional investment and tripled the size of their staff. Likewise, North East-based i-Lighting, a grand prize winner in 2013, doubled the size of their facility, doubled their staff and launched several new product lines.

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BWI services roughly 60,000 travelers per day.

Few states can compete with Maryland’s diverse transportation network. Whether your business relies on the movement of people, products or both, Maryland has the resources to address your needs. The State, including the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), is also working to grow its world-class infrastructure and create new construction jobs.

Several transportation facilities are adding value and attracting new companies across the State, including the following.

The Port of Baltimore 

  • The Port of Baltimore is one of only two Eastern ports in the United States where the main shipping channel reaches a depth of 50 feet and a width of 800 feet. With the recent construction of a 50-foot container berth and four super-post-Panamax cargo cranes, the facility can now service some of the largest container ships in the world. The port’s convenient location is connected to six interstate highways, including the East Coast’s major thoroughfare, the Interstate 95 system and two Class I rail lines. The port also recently recorded record-breaking cargo hauls and is servicing more cruise ship passengers than ever.

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Diversified Packaging Products, Inc. is based in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland.

A veteran-owned company has received a helping hand from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) through a $20,000 interest-free loan, DBED Secretary Dominick Murray announced Monday.

The loan was awarded to Grasonville-based Diversified Packaging Products, Inc., an Eastern Shore wholesale distributor that supplies barware and beverage accessories. The Military Personnel and Veteran-Owned Small Business No-Interest Loan Program is administered by DBED in consultation with the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA).

The company plans to use the funds to help the company finance equipment upgrades, including a new server, information management system and desktop computers. These are important components of the company’s ongoing expansion, according to James McCrea, a former captain in the United States Air Force. He and Mary Ellen McCrea founded the Diversified Packaging Products nearly 30 years ago, selling their original beer and wine gift boxes throughout the United States and internationally. They have recently expanded their product line to include various barware supplies and customizable accessories for the beverage industry.

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Maryland business successes:

The Port of Baltimore is a major asset for Maryland exporters.

Over a dozen Maryland companies have earned ExportMD grants to support their expansion in foreign markets, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) Secretary Dominick Murray announced this week.

DBED awarded grants to 15 small and mid-sized companies this month alone. Since 2011, DBED has awarded a total of 115 grants. The program provides matching grants that are capped at $5,000, as well as up to 40 hours of marketing consulting from DBED’s Office of International Trade and Investment. The ExportMD grant program plays a key role in furthering Governor Martin O’Malley’s Maryland Export Initiative, in line with President Barack Obama’s National Export Initiative. The next bimonthly ExportMD application deadline is scheduled for Oct. 1.

“In today’s competitive global economy—with 95 percent of the world’s consumers residing outside of the United States—businesses of all sizes need to think about innovative ways to tap into new opportunities for growth,” said Secretary Murray. “Making the move to expand internationally can be that much easier with the funding and expert assistance ExportMD Program offers.” Continue Reading…

Stevensville-based Harpoon Medical Inc. has earned a $500,000 Maryland Venture Fund investment, part of a Series A $3.75 million financing round led by Maryland-based Epidarex Capital, Governor Martin O’Malley, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) Secretary Dominick Murray announced Wednesday.

Harpoon Medical plans to revolutionize how doctors perform life-saving mitral valve surgery. Out of the roughly 2 million Americans suffering from degenerative heart disease, only about 50,000 of them receive life-saving mitral valve surgery. This is primarily because the most common treatment, an open-heart procedure, can last between three and six hours and is extremely complex and high-risk.

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Startup Maryland's Pitch Across Maryland 2014 tour will kick off on Sept. 15 and continue through Oct. 3.

Startup Maryland’s Pitch Across Maryland 2014 tour will kick off on Sept. 15 and continue through Oct. 3.

Opportunity is knocking close to home for Maryland entrepreneurs. Startup Maryland’s Pitch Across Maryland 2014 tour will kick off on Sept. 15 and continue through Oct. 3 with stops across the State. In its third year, Startup Maryland is teaming up with the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) as a full-tour sponsor.

Pitch Across Maryland tour stops—from Hooper Island to Cumberland—bring information and resources directly to local entrepreneurs. Business mentors, industry leaders and active angel/VC investors provide coaching, guidance and support. On the tour bus, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch their business or plan in the UpStart Show video studio. Videos are then loaded onto YouTube where viewers can vote and share the pitches. The eight Best Ventures for High Growth Potential Finalists will be chosen to present at the TEDCO Entrepreneur Expo on Nov. 12.

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Apply now for BioMaryland’s Biotechnology Development Awards.

The BioMaryland Center’s Biotechnology Development Awards have returned, offering a total of $1 million in prizes toward life sciences projects, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) Secretary Dominick Murray announced Monday.

The FY 2015 competition will give preference to projects that improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs. For the first time since the awards program launched in 2010, DBED’s BioMaryland Center will partner with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and the Center for Medical Technology Policy (CMTP) to incorporate improved health care quality and cost reduction into the program criteria. Individual awards will range from $50,000 to $200,000. Winning teams will receive ongoing advice and support from the BioMaryland Center, DHMH and CMTP toward technical, scientific, regulatory and reimbursement issues.

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Catch up on the latest Maryland business news.

Maryland business successes:

  • Take a moment this week to cast you vote for the winners of the 2nd annual Baltimore Innovation Awards. Learn more about the awards on Baltimore.
  • Congratulations to the six Maryland companies in Black Enterprise’s ranking of the nation’s 100 largest black-owned businesses, including Radio One Inc., Adams Communication & Engineering Technology Inc., TV One LLC, Health Resources Inc., K. Neal International Trucks Inc. and Systems Application and Technologies Inc.
  • The Daily Record profiles Maryland’s fastest-growing private company, Team Extreme Marketing.
  • Congratulations to Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions and Maddrix, LLC, a startup cybersecurity firm in Baltimore, on earning Cyber Incident Response Assistance accreditation from the National Security Agency Information Assurance Directorate, MDBIZ News reports.
  • Pete Pappas & Sons has moved from Washington, D.C. to Maryland and plans to hire 70 new workers, thanks to assistance from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, MDBIZ News reports.

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Maryland is the nation's epicenter for cybersecurity.

Maryland is the nation’s epicenter for cybersecurity.

Two Maryland cybersecurity companies are among a select group to have earned Cyber Incident Response Assistance (CIRA) accreditation from the National Security Agency (NSA) Information Assurance Directorate (IAD).

Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions and Maddrix, LLC, a startup cybersecurity firm in Baltimore, earned the accreditation through an assessment in 21 focus areas, including protection of critical consumer information and defense against cyber attacks. Only seven companies nationwide have completed the program.

“Lockheed Martin was honored to be designated as one of the first participants in NSA’s cyber incident response initiative, which further reinforced our commitment to customers and our cyber posture delivering Intelligence Driven Defense,” Darrell Durst, vice president of Cyber Solutions for Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions, said in a statement. “We support the CyberMaryland program for its efforts with industry and government to enhance education and training programs, technology and innovation.”

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