Authority Oversees Implementation of InvestMaryland
by Christine Hansen
The authority that will oversee the implementation of InvestMaryland, the largest venture capital investment initiative in Maryland’s history, was sworn-in today by Governor Martin O’Malley at the World Trade Center in Baltimore.
“Our economy is an innovation economy, therefore it makes more sense here than any place else to invest in a program like InvestMaryland,” Governor Martin O’Malley said. “The Maryland Venture Fund Authority will play a key role in carrying out our comprehensive, long-term strategy for job creation, investment and venture capital growth in Maryland.”
Peter Greenleaf, President of MedImmune, was named Chairman of the Authority. Composed of venture capital investors, small business owners, business executives and educators, the other eight members include: Gina Dubbe, Managing Partner & Co-founder of Walker Ventures; Michael J. Howard, Chairman and Managing Member of MJH Group, LLC; Andrew Jones, Vice President of Corporate Strategy for High Street Partners; Elizabeth Good Mazhari, Director of Ventures for the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Stephen Tien Wong, Chairman and CEO of Lore Systems, Inc.; Goodloe E. Byron Jr., Founder and President of Potomac Investment Services; Brian Darmody, Associate Vice President of Research & Economic Development for the University of Maryland; and Michael G. Miller, Principal of the Arundel Group.
On July 1, 2011, the InvestMaryland legislation took effect, which aims to help fuel venture capital investments in Maryland’s startup companies. Through the legislation, Maryland’s Department of Business and Economic Development’s Enterprise Fund and Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA) will receive $70 million in total funding for fiscal years 2012 through 2014.
The Authority will oversee the development of the InvestMaryland program’s bidding mechanism that will raise investment capital for seed and early-stage companies. The Authority will also select the private venture capital firms that will receive the funding and make investments through the program.
“Maryland has an impressive legacy of creating an environment that cultivates and advances innovative thinking across many business sectors,” Greenleaf said in a statement. “I am honored and inspired to serve as chair of the Maryland Venture Fund Authority, which marries investment to visionary ideas that can become reality and, eventually, strong economic drivers for the State.”
The funding is provided through a tax credit for insurance companies that make qualified contributions to the program through premium tax credits. The Department can award a maximum of $100 million in tax credits. If qualified investments made under the program are successful, money will be returned to the State.