Archives For September 2012

Tendyne, a Baltimore startup focused on “structural heart disease,” has raised nearly $9 million in a recent offering, according to an SEC filing dated Tuesday.

The news was first reported by Citybizlist.

According to the filing, two-year-old Tendyne raised $8.98 million in the $23 million offering.

The company received about $75,000 from the Maryland Technology Development Corp. (TEDCO) in 2009. The press release announcing that funding states “Tendyne is working with the University of Maryland Baltimore to develop and manufacture medical devices that address the features of structural heart disease. This technology will focus on developing minimally invasive devices.”

Tendyne isn’t the only Maryland company making waves in the investment community. WeddingWire, of Bethesda, announced a $25 million investment by Spectrum Equity on Tuesday.

On the Eastern Shore, the owner of Pickles Pub and Hammerhead’s in Ocean City is opening a brewpub on the beach town’s boardwalk. Construction of the Shorebilly Brewing Co. outpost at 10th Street will begin soon, according to owner Danny Robinson.

(Check out the full story in The Daily Times of Salisbury.)

“This area is already known for great beer,” Robinson told the newspaper. “If we can say, ‘Hey, this is brewed only a few blocks from here,’ bars will be anxious to get this on their taps. It will be available in as many places as I can get it.”

Shorebilly is having a contest on its Facebook page to design the brewery’s logo.

Shorebilly will be Ocean City’s only brewpub, but it’s not alone on the Shore. Evolution Craft Brewing Co. moved to Salisbury in April, taking over a 30,000-square-foot building once home to an ice factory.

Baltimore is more attractive to the graduates of colleges and universities in the area, according to a recent survey by Baltimore Collegetown Network, a local higher education coalition.

(The survey. The story in The Daily Record.)

According to the survey — the 2012 version was conducted in March — 37.7 percent of college students said they will “definitely” or “likely” stay in Baltimore after they graduate, compared to just 19 percent nine years ago. The No. 1 reason they plan to stay? Jobs.

In the survey three years ago, the most common word used to describe the city was “dangerous.” This year, “accessible” edged out “dangerous” for the top spot. More than half the students described Baltimore as “vibrant” and 45 percent said “friendly.”

Some TEDCO news slipped through the cracks here. Earlier this month, the entrepreneurial support organization invested nearly $1.2 million in 16 Maryland startups. The companies range from a Bethesda firm developing a small, portable x-ray scanner to a Rockville biotech startup working on a breast cancer screening and detection product.

“Each of these companies shows great promise and marketability and we look forward to tracking their growth,” said TEDCO President and Executive Director Rob Rosenbaum.

And finally, on the social media front, Twitter may do away with follower counts in favor of a measure of a user’s “engagement,” according to this Washington Post story.

WeddingWire lands $25M investment

Nick Sohr —  September 25, 2012

By Nick Sohr, Managing Editor, MDBIZNews

WeddingWire, which bills itself as “the Yelp of weddings,” has landed a $25 million investment from Spectrum Equity, the company announced Tuesday.

The Bethesda wedding IT outfit offers soon-to-be brides and grooms the ability to search, compare and book more than 200,000 reviewed wedding vendors, from DJs to jewelers, photographers to name-change services. The company also provides vendors with advertising, marketing, management and networking services.

Within the last year, WeddingWire has expanded its service offerings to wedding vendors and branched out into other events with the general site and specific websites such as, and

“We are thrilled to continue our expansion through an investment partnership with Spectrum,” said Timothy Chi, CEO and co-founder of WeddingWire. “This next phase of growth will be dedicated to fulfilling an even bigger mission for the company.”

According to the company, the new investment will accelerate development of products and services for consumers and businesses and fund greater sales and marketing efforts.

WeddingWire made the Inc. 500 list this summer, coming in at No. 309. According to the magazine, the company had revenue of $10.1 million in 2011, a 1,200 percent increase over three years. WeddingWire was founded in 2007 and has 101 employees.

The company plans to move into a new corporate headquarters in Chevy Chase by the end of the year.

“WeddingWire has been a remarkably innovative company since its founding five years ago and has now established a leadership position in the wedding vertical, while reaching profitability and demonstrating scale in its business model,” said Ben Spero, managing director of Spectrum. “We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with an exceptional management team on this next phase of rapid growth. WeddingWire is uniquely positioned to pursue this sizeable and still largely untapped market.”

Spectrum, a private equity firm with offices in Boston and Menlo Park, Cali., joins Catalyst Investors and Southern Capitol Ventures as institutional investors in WeddingWire.

By Nick Sohr, Managing Editor, MDBIZNews

BrainScope, a Bethesda company developing technology to quickly diagnose traumatic brain injuries, was awarded the first $250,000 investment from the state’s InvestMaryland program, Gov. Martin O’Malley announced Monday.

“We believe in the potential,” O’Malley said. “We believe in the need and we believe in the job creation.”

The governor also launched on Monday the InvestMaryland Challenge, a business competition that will award three $100,000 grants to promising young companies in information technology, life sciences and a general, open category.

“We are searching the country for some of the most promising small businesses — and small business ideas — that are willing to create jobs here in Maryland, including Maryland companies that want to be a part of this,” O’Malley said.

The IT and life sciences categories are open to only Maryland-based companies. Those outside of Maryland may compete in the general category, but must move their business to the state if chosen for the top prize.

The winners will be announced in March.

The twin announcements Monday mark major milestones for InvestMaryland, the largest-ever single infusion of capital into the state’s economic development efforts.

Approved by the General Assembly last year, InvestMaryland raised $84 million by auctioning tax credits to insurance companies in March. That money will be invested in seed- , early and growth-stage Maryland companies.

The Maryland Venture Fund Authority is in the process of picking private venture firms to invest two-thirds of the money — the state will receive all of the principal and 80 percent of the profits of successful investments — and the Maryland Venture Fund will invest the bulk of the other one-third of the funds, including the $250,000 for BrainScope.

State officials expect the program to make investments in hundreds of Maryland companies and attract billions of dollars in private, follow-on venture capital.

Economic Development Secretary Christian Johansson said the program would help the state take advantage of the wealth of research and development done in Maryland and spin those discoveries into businesses.

“InvestMaryland was really created with companies like BrainScope in mind,” Johansson said.

The announcement Monday brings the state’s total investment in BrainScope to $500,000. The Maryland Venture Fund also invested $250,000 last year.

BrainScope, just six years old, employs 25 and has received “upwards of $10 million” in contracts from the Department of Defense, said Michael Singer, BrainScope’s president and CEO.

The company’s aim is to create a small, highly portable, non-invasive scanner that will allow soldiers, doctors, medics and first responders to diagnose and gauge the severity of brain injuries on battlefields, in hospital emergency rooms and in other settings.

“What we’re using the money for is to further develop the technology and for clinical trials. That’s what it’s all about for us, is clinical proof,” Singer said. “Beyond the military we have a substantial amount of interest in the civilian world, both for emergency room use, as well as for sports.”

By Raquel Guillory
Director of Communications

Yesterday, Governor O’Malley joined Startup Maryland and dozens of local entrepreneurs and small business owners for the first-ever “Pitch Across Maryland Bus Tour.” The two and a half week tour is designed to connect entrepreneurs to our robust infrastructure of incubators, colleges, small businesses and research facilities while at the same time helping them highlight and promote their business ideas.

Before Governor O’Malley joined everyone at BWTech@UMBC he hopped on the bus and did an interview with the co-chairs of Startup Maryland. We wanted to share his behind-the-scenes interview where he talks about why Maryland is one of the best places for entrepreneurs to start a business. Watch the video to learn more.

By Johnetta Hardy
University of Baltimore

I’m brand-new to the University of Baltimore, in charge of its Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Merrick School of Business. I came to this university because it places a remarkable amount of faith and resources in what I believe is a crucial area: future talent — specifically, the entrepreneurial talents of our students and alumni. Why “crucial”? Because if we don’t step up our game in creating and supporting vast new sectors of our economy, especially in the realm of small business, our state and our nation run the risk of slipping down in the global economy of the 21st century.

Truly, everything today is connected: Maryland does an incredible job of supporting basic research and development — we’re very close to the top nationally in this area, and that’s a fundamental when it comes to being prepared for this new economy everybody is talking about. But we have a lot of work to do if we’re going to make all that wonderful R&D run hand in hand with our efforts in entrepreneurship: The state ranks #33 in that area, according to a recent Kauffman Foundation report. What’s the connection between those two – top 3 and #33? I look at it like an optimist would: If we’re doing that well in research and development, imagine where we’d be if we made sure our entrepreneurs were a fully-vested partner in that effort! These things are working together, whether we recognize it or not. My goals, and the goals of the great folks at Start Up Maryland, are to strengthen those connections and make them add value to our state.

That’s why I’m at Merrick. This school, and the city of Baltimore in which it lives — they’ve always believed in the idea of connections. Our alumni, by the thousands, run some of our region’s most successful small companies. Our students — many of whom are stepping up for the Pitch Across Maryland competition — are beyond excited to bring their business dreams to reality. When they’re not trading ideas with each other and with their professors, they’re out networking with potential investors. When they’re not in class, they’re building their websites. When they’re not writing a paper, they’re checking inventory. I’m constantly in awe of the amount of real, tangible work these folks are doing. They are in “output” mode, in a big way.

To me, being an entrepreneur is much more than just that person plugging away at an invention down in the basement, hoping someday to sell it and make a fortune. It’s about finding a pathway for your passion. It could be a high tech device the likes of which we’ve never seen, or it could be a coffee shop down the block. In a way, it doesn’t matter what the entrepreneur is focused on – just as long as he or she is focused, and encouraged, they will do things that amaze us all.

This is not to say that innovation doesn’t matter. It does to me and the School of Business — it’s in our center’s name. But innovation has a habit of showing up not just in your fantastic product — but in the ways you learned to get your business off the ground. Steve Jobs liked to talk about how overmatched his little company was by IBM when it came to dollars devoted to innovation. But it wasn’t about having the blank check — it was recognizing how Apple could innovate, where that could happen, and who could get it done for the company. “Overmatched” is a word that does not apply when it comes to innovation.

I like to think that Maryland can be a recognized national, even global, leader in entrepreneurial activities of all sorts. I believe we can sustain a business culture in our state that, from elementary school on, encourages young entrepreneurs to build their dreams right here. I know we have the talent — I see it in the halls of my school every day.

What are we waiting for? Sometimes I think even full-grown adults like me need “permission” to move ahead, to strive toward greatness. We need people with some savvy and a bit of vision – somebody who can reassure us that, even when the economic outlook is unclear and our recovery is taking too darn long, it’s going to be all right. Go ahead — be bold, be risk-friendly for a change. Be ready to learn from success and failure; they both have some good lessons tucked inside.

That’s the entrepreneurial spirit, right there. That’s the spirit that I see in the Pitch Across Maryland bus tour. And that’s the future of our state: independent, innovative, and INTO IT.

Let’s go, Maryland!

Johnetta Hardy serves as director of the University of Baltimore’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Merrick School of Business. The school is hosting a Pitch Across Maryland bus tour stop on Sept. 20

The Baltimore Sun’s Gus Sentementes has the latest on where to find Maryland’s rolling symbol of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The bus has its own video recording studio built into it, where entrepreneurs are recording their business pitches.

People can vote for the best business pitches online and the top 8 vote-getters will get to pitch their businesses — in person — at the Maryland Entrepreneur Expo in November. Two winners will be chosen then, and they’ll receive invitations to the Mid-Atlantic region’s top venture capital conferences.

For more on where you can catch the Startup Maryland bus, check out Gus’s article.

By Nick Sohr, Managing Editor, MDBIZNews

The cabinets, armoires, dining room tables, side tables, ottomans, lounge chairs, sconces, sofas and settees in various stages of assembly in the converted strip mall tucked beside Interstate 97 in Millersville are all descendants of a single chandelier that found its way to Memphis in 1978.

Eleanor McKay and her husband, Joe Niermann, were museum curators. A nonprofit from New Orleans asked them to restore a chandelier. Instead of cash, McKay and Niermann received permission to reproduce the piece.

It became the first product sold by Niermann Weeks, a “museum-quality” furniture and lighting design and manufacturing outfit that has since made its home in Anne Arundel County.

Over the last 34 years, the catalog has grown to about 500 standard designs and an infinite combinations and customizations.

“We created this business as a way to create museum-quality lighting and furnishings that people can have in their own homes without worrying about the immense cost or the fragility of an original,” said McKay, the CEO of Niermann Weeks.

The company moved to Maryland in 1994 and has supplied furnishings for movie stars, business titans in New York and political heavyweights in Washington D.C. Niermann Weeks made a pair of night tables for the Clintons to use in the White House and decorated them with the presidential seal and alto and tenor saxophones for the sax-playing commander in chief.

The sweet spot for Niermann Weeks the 18th Century, but designs dreamed up by the daughters of Niermann and McKay — Eleanor and Claire Niermann — have a more modern look.

The business exploits an inescapable truth of the high-end furniture world — there just aren’t enough antiques to go around.

Joe Niermann, in addition to his curating duties, spent time as an antiques buyer, McKay said.

“At that period, you could still buy 18th Century antiques,” she said. “They were not yet so abnormally expensive that you wouldn’t use them. The 18th Century didn’t produce enough stuff for all of us in the 20th and 21st centuries to use. All those [antiques] are in museums or private collections. Companies like ours create something where you’ve got the look without the expense and without the fear.”

The Niermann Weeks products are all handmade. The metal components come from a subcontractor in Upper Marlboro and everything else, the woodworking, upholstery, painting, finishing and nearly ubiquitous strands of crystals and beads draped from the arms of Niermann Weeks chandeliers, is done by the 40 employees in Millersville.

McKay said the company ships about 60 products a week.

The company’s strength remains in its lighting fixtures, the families of chandeliers and sconces that still include the design that launched Niermann Weeks more than three decades ago.

“It’s still a significant seller for us,” McKay said. “That showed us that you don’t have to work for other people and you don’t have to be a curator. You can make things that look like they should be curated, but they don’t have to be.”

Biz pitch bus tour hits Annapolis

Nick Sohr —  September 17, 2012

By Nick Sohr, Managing Editor, MDBIZNews

The Pitch Across Maryland bus outside the State House in Annapolis.

Riding a bright yellow bus wrapped in a Maryland flag design and sporting custom Chuck Taylors in Maryland red, white, yellow and black and a pair of candy apple red stilettos, the organizers of Startup Maryland rolled into Annapolis Friday morning, searching out entrepreneurs and their newest, greatest ideas.

The spot just outside the historic State House was the ninth stop for the group’s Pitch Across Maryland tour that kicked off just three days prior.

The startup group is collecting business pitches from entrepreneurs as the bus zigzags the state. The pitches — videotaped in a cozy, makeshift studio in the back of the bus — will be put online for public voting before a group of experts, including other entrepreneurs and financiers, winnow the group to eight that will receive support from Startup Maryland and its partners.

“Maryland is an amazing state. We’ve got amazing innovation. We’ve got amazing people. We’ve got amazing resources,” said Julie Lenzer Kirk, co-chair of Startup Maryland and wearer of the red stilettos. “We’re really just trying to pull it all together and get it working together. We do a lot on our own but imagine what we can do coming together around entrepreneurship in the state. It’s amazing.”

The Startup bus parked in front of the Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and a Blue Angels fighter jet.

In Annapolis, entrepreneurs pitched businesses that have developed an organic shaving foam, a business efficiency app and computer hardware designed for harsh environments. Other pitches centered on high-end acoustic and electric guitars, an app to compile building surveys on mobile devices and a sensor that, when inserted in a football helmet, can determine when a player has been at risk for a concussion.

Robert Benzinger, founder of eco-armour, the company that developed the organic shaving foam, said his participation in the bus tour was “a great experience.”

“I think it’ll do a lot,” Benzinger said. “Our hope is, obviously, that we’ll get more exposure, we’ll gain more customers from it, but also that we’ll get advice and funding. Funding is huge.”

Formerly an international logistics expert, Benzinger’s foray into organic bath and body products began two years ago as he sought an answer for nicks, cuts and other hazards of shaving.

“I read the label and of course I didn’t understand what any of the ingredients were in mainstream shaving foams,” he said. “So when I researched it and found out what all these 17-letter names actually meant, I was horrified. There are a lot of toxic ingredients and some of them are flammable, which is why it says “flammable” on the can. ‘I thought no wonder my face burns when I shave. This stuff is flammable.’”

Entrepreneurs were given three to five minutes to make their pitches in front of Startup Maryland’s camera. Organizers said they could collect more than 100 by the time the tour wraps up on Sept. 28.

Having already covered the Eastern Shore, the bus heads next to Southern Maryland, the northeast corner of the state, Baltimore, the D.C. suburbs and Western Maryland before an entrepreneurial celebration at Merriweather Post Pavilion puts a period on the two-and-a-half week tour.

“Our expectations for this bus tour have been greatly exceeded,” Kirk said. “The bus attracts a lot of attention, but entrepreneurs are just thankful for the opportunity to promote their businesses, the opportunity to connect to resources. The response to the bus has been overwhelming.”

By Nick Sohr, Managing Editor, MDBIZNews

Gov. Martin O’Malley championed Maryland’s economic development strategy on Wednesday, arguing investments in innovation and education build on the state’s long-standing strengths and put the state in a prime position to succeed in the global, knowledge-based economy.

“In this changing global economy, the states, countries and, yes, companies that succeed in leveraging innovation for job creation, opportunity and growth will of course succeed in making their children net winners in this new economy,” O’Malley said. “And that’s our great challenge.”

The governor spoke to business leaders, educators and business students as part of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School’s Leaders + Legends lecture series Wednesday morning. For more than 30 minutes, he outlined the state’s efforts to support its business community and the steps his administration has taken to help Maryland companies start, grow and succeed.

O’Malley described a “three-part formula” that Maryland has used to spur growth and recover from the Great recession.

The formula starts with the highly educated people who run and work for the companies that make Maryland’s economy hum.

“Another [economic development] tool that we’ve been using is that modern investment that we can only make together in public education,” O’Malley said. “They are the investments that allowed us to build the best public schools in America for an unprecedented four years in a row, according to Education Week magazine.”

The second ingredient in O’Malley’s recipe calls for the state to take advantage of the wealth of research facilities in the state, including those at the National Institutes of Health, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the public and private universities that call Maryland home.

This spring, at O’Malley’s urging, the General Assembly created the Innovate Maryland program. It was funded with $5.8 million that will be used to help commercialize at least 40 discoveries and innovations a year from university labs and spin them into companies.

Third, said O’Malley, the state makes “the smart investments necessary to enable, spark and accelerate job growth.”

The state launched an $84 million spark last year called InvestMaryland. Through InvestMaryland, that $84 million will be invested in young, promising Maryland companies in information technology, cyber security, biotechnology and other high-tech industries.

Citing Innovate Maryland and InvestMaryland programs, among other Maryland strengths, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in June named Maryland the best state in the country for entrepreneurship and innovation.

“We can compete. We can also win,” said O’Malley. “We as a state have tremendous competitive advantages and these competitive advantages are the answers to those challenges I mentioned —life science, clean tech, green tech, health care, information technology, cyber security, space, aerospace, global trade and advanced manufacturing.

“To create jobs, a modern economy requires modern investments — educating, innovating and rebuilding for our children’s future. And that’s not a Democratic or Republican idea. It is, however, a historic and economic and American truth. It was true for our parents and grandparents and it is the truth that has built our state and the truth that has built our country and the truth that will build an economy that will last if only we have the courage to return to it.”

By Nick Sohr, Managing Editor, MDBIZNews

A man rests his hand on the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland.

Tommy Przybylski didn’t have a choice.

When the recent transplant from Detroit heard the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland was nearby, he knew he had to be there Tuesday morning.

“It’s the closest I’ve ever been to the tragedy since it happened,” said Przybylski, the new manager of Kona Grill, just a short walk from the memorial at the base of the World Trade Center in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. “Knowing it was here, it was something that had to be done, to pay my respects. It’s something I just needed to do. There was no way I was going to miss it.”

The memorial backed by features from Baltimore's skyline — the Transamerica building, 100 E. Pratt St. and The Gallery.

The memorial was installed last year and dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Three twisted, mangled steel beams from the World Trade Center in New York sit atop a white marble base, forming the centerpiece of the memorial.

A man takes a picture of the twisted, torn steel columns at the center of the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland.

Dozens, including Przybylski, gathered there Tuesday morning and more stopped by throughout the day.

Passersby visited the memorial throughout the day Tuesday. Some left mementos, flags and flowers.

The monument is situated so the trade center building acts as a sundial once a year on the anniversary of the attacks, its shadow striking notches in the stone at the times the planes crashed and the towers fell.

The shadow of the World Trade Center falls across the third notch, marking the time Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.

The base is marked with seven notches:

8:46 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11 crashes into the World Trade Center North Tower.

9:03 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 crashes into the World Trade Center South Tower.

9:37 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon.

9:59 a.m. The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.

10:03 a.m. United Airlines Flight 93 crashes near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

10:15 a.m. Pentagon wall collapses.

10:28 a.m. The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.




Three blocks of limestone from the Pentagon’s west wall and three black granite blocks commemorating the Shanksville, Pa. crash site sit to one side.

The reflection of a bicyclist in the granite slabs representing the Shanksville, Pa., crash site.

Above, on the 28th floor of the World Trade Center, the names of the victims are etched into the north-facing windows.

Marylanders, 68 in all, were killed at all three sites.

The names of the 9/11 victims on the windows of the World Trade Center's 28th floor.

Said Gov. Martin O’Malley: “On Sept. 11, 2001, we told one another that we would never forget.  Today and every day, we remember the men, women, and children — 68 of them Marylanders — who lost their lives 11 years ago, as well as their loved ones who still grieve for them.  We remember the courage of those who risked everything to save others that day.  And we pay tribute to the brave men and women who provide for our nation’s defense each and every day, because freedom isn’t free.

“Each and every year on this day of remembrance, we should look to our neighbors and rediscover all that unites us and has made our nation a beacon of hope and human dignity to the world.”

By Nick Sohr, Managing Editor, MDBIZNews

Gov. Martin O’Malley will lead a delegation of Maryland business leaders, educators and government officials to Israel in November, marking his third such trip abroad in the last two years.

The announcement came Monday afternoon, but O’Malley hinted at the trip Monday morning during the grand opening of ELTA North America’s headquarters in Fulton.

“I’ve traveled to Israel a couple times,” O’Malley said, addressing the crowd gathered to celebrate the opening of the American offshoot of a subsidiary of Israeli Aerospace Industries. “I look forward to traveling there again. The reason we go is because this sort of greater engagement with the markets and innovation and the innovators around the world are the things that create jobs here at home.”

ELTA will hire 100 workers to start, but Chairman Nissin Hadas said that figure “is the beginning only.”

“It is our intention to use this facility to manufacture this product, not only for the U.S., but also for the Israeli use,” Hadas said.

ELTA Systems Ltd., ELTA North America’s parent company, is the fourth-largest radar company in the world and produces a wide range of detection and targeting systems. The company developed the radar system used in the “Iron Dome” rocket defense batteries used in southern Israel.

The state, through the Maryland/Israel Development Center, started discussions with the company about establishing its U.S. presence in Maryland in 2010. DBED extended the company a $300,000 conditional loan and Howard County is offering the company a tax credit.

Earlier trade missions played a role in landing the company as it searched for a U.S. home — Congressman C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger said Maryland beat out five other states.

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown met with ELTA officials during his trade mission to Israel in 2010, and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman met with IAI executives during his own trip to Israel last year.

“ELTA is exactly the kind of company that we wanted here in Maryland,” Brown said. You’re producing some of the best, most cutting-edge defense technology in the world.”

Added Brown, a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, “Having spent 28 years in the armed forces, the work that you do to protect the warfighter and to make sure they have the most capable equipment to perform their mission, but more importantly, to get home safely to their families, is invaluable.”

The governor is scheduled to meet with ELTA executives in his upcoming trip to Israel, which will stretch over eight days starting in late November.

O’Malley will also meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, host a breakfast reception for high-tech Israeli entrepreneurs, speak at the Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy and Innovation Conference with Israel Chief Scientist Avi Hasson and tour the Yad V’Shem, Israeli’s Holocaust memorial.

The full itinerary and delegation list is not complete.

The governor led delegations to Asia — China, South Korea and Vietnam — and India last year.

By Nancy McCrea, Research Director, Department of Business and Economic Development

A recent report from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation disputes the notion that information technology jobs have been lost to offshoring and the bursting of the dot-com bubble. From 2001 to 2011, a decade characterized by recessions and “jobless recoveries,” employment in IT occupations grew more than 29 percent, faster than employment as a whole, which grew by only 0.2 percent. And over the course of the Great Recession, the country actually added IT jobs. The number of IT jobs grew by 6.8 percent between May 2007 and May 2011 while the number of jobs in the U.S. declined 4.5 percent.

Using the report’s methodology, the Department of Business and Economic Development examined IT occupations in Maryland for the same period. The state’s IT sector fared better than the national average. From 2001 to 2011, Maryland employment in IT occupations grew more than 34 percent, compared to 2 percent for all occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 742,000 new IT jobs were created in the U.S. From 2001 to 2011. Maryland added over 25,000 IT jobs during that time. And between May 2007 and May 2011, Maryland added 8,360 IT jobs, growing by 9 percent while the number of jobs overall declined by 3 percent.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics (occupational employment and wage estimates, national cross-industry estimates, May 2001, May 2011)

Changes in specific occupations reflect the changes in IT skills as the technology changes. The ITIF analysis includes only those occupations that have retained the same or similar titles in the BLS classifications between 2001 and 2011. The growth in IT jobs is coming not only from growth in the jobs that have been around a decade or more, but new types of jobs that didn’t exist at all or in great numbers until recently. Much of the growth in Maryland’s IT occupations is in information security analysts and computer network architects—classifications that did not exist in 2000. There were 9,040 employed in these occupations in 2011 in Maryland.

Other changes reflect the effects of offshoring and the global IT market. While there are 2,230 fewer computer programmers in Maryland than there were a decade ago, there are 2,280 more software developers. ITIF notes that while computer programming jobs in the U.S. declined over the last decade — presumably much of it to due to offshoring — programming jobs represent the lower-value, lower-paid end of software production. The higher-value end, occupied by software developers who design the underlying systems behind the software, require higher-skilled workers and are less likely to move to low-wage nations. Software developer jobs paid $100,000 on average in 2011, 28 percent more than computer programmers making an average of $78,000.

ITIF expects there will be more potential for IT job growth as the U.S. economy grows ever more dependent on IT for innovation, productivity growth, and quality of life improvements. With its specialization in highly skilled IT workers and concentration of cyber security assets, Maryland is well poised to be a part of this job growth.