Archives For Maryland Made Easy

The second annual InvestMaryland Challenge is in full swing. If your business is in need of a jump start, check out this site for more information about the national business competition. The Challenge offers applicants free admission to networking events, social media promotion, scoring and feedback from judges, exposure to venture capital firms and angel investors and the chance to compete for more than $600,000 in prizes. Winners of the Life Sciences, IT, Cybersecurity and General Industry categories will each win $100,000 awards. Others will take home smaller grants, incubator space, consulting services and other cash and in-kind prizes. Applications are due by Dec. 6.

Judges include a distinguished lineup of industry leaders and experts in a variety of fields. Meet a selection of judges below.

Meet The Judges:



Robb Doub joined New Markets Venture Partners in 2003. Robb is the lead administrative partner and serves as a board director for eCoast Sales Solutions and Appfluent Technology, and is lead partner or board observer for K2 Global, Kroll Bond Ratings, Navtrak, Three Stage Media, CSA Medical and TidalTV. He also serves on the board of Egeen International and the Conflicts Advisory Board of the off-shore hedge funds.


Daphne Dufresne joined RLJ Equity Partners from Parish Capital Advisors, where she was a Venture Partner managing the direct investment and co-investment program. Formerly, Ms. Dufresne was a Principal at Weston Presidio Capital with $3.4 billion of assets under management. She also served as Associate Director in the Bank of Scotland’s Structured Finance Group. Ms. Dufresne received her B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.


Christy Williams Wyskiel is an entrepreneur and investor with 20 years of experience focused on the life sciences and healthcare industries. Previously, Christy was Managing Director at Maverick Capital, an equity hedge fund with $12 billion under management. She co-founded GrayBug, an ophthalmic drug-delivery company. In 2012, Christy joined the Johns Hopkins Alliance, a board charged with evaluating the commercial viability of research projects at JHU.


Frederick J. Ferrer has over three decades of experience in the National Security, Intelligence Community (IC), Homeland Defense and Cyber. Mr. Ferrer holds a Master’s of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University and serves in a number of leadership capacities, including the Maryland Commission on Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence; National STEM Consortium Advisory Committee; and Chesapeake Regional Tech Council.


As the Executive Director and President of the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore, Ms. Tillett is responsible for management of budgetary, administrative, programmatic functions and strategic planning. Prior to joining ETC, Ms. Tillett served as president and co-founder of Immersive 3D, LLC, a technology start-up providing web-based 3D computer gaming solutions for K-20 education and offering contract-based technology services.

See the full list of judges and submit your application on


GrayBug won the $100,000 grand prize in the life sciences category of the InvestMaryland Challenge.

Entrepreneurs often follow a rough road to success, but on Monday evening, state officials and business sponsors proved there is help along the way.

The first-ever InvestMaryland Challenge culminated with the announcement of the three $100,000 grand prize-winning companies and presentations of in-kind awards worth a combined value of over $125,000. Participating companies represented some of the most innovative early-stage operations from Maryland and beyond.

Find a full list of winners here.

Governor Martin O’Malley, who welcomed grand prize winners to the stage inside the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Brown Center, said he identified with the start-up spirit of contestants.

“I’m an entrepreneur trapped in a public servant’s body. I believe in doing the things that work. I don’t have time for ideology. I don’t like bureaucracy. I’m not into process and I’m not into hierarchy. I’m into doing things that work, less of the things that don’t and putting together common platforms that allow people to come together and collaborate and innovate,” O’Malley said.

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Finalists in the information technology category of the InvestMaryland Challenge represent some of the most innovative start-ups in Maryland and beyond.

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Finalists in the general industry category of the InvestMaryland Challenge represent some of the most innovative start-ups in Maryland and beyond.

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Move your business to Maryland

Learn why you should move your business to Maryland.

Are you thinking about moving your business to Maryland?

For locals, the benefits are fairly obvious, but if you happen to be an out-of-stater, here are five reasons to consider making Maryland your business’ new home.

  • Funding incentives: Did you know there are state and federal loans and grants available to businesses in nearly every sector of the economy? And don’t forget state-sponsored investment contests offering hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants and services. Find more information here or call the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development’s Office of Business & Enterprise Development at 410-767-6978.
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From Governor Martin O’Malley’s blog.

by Karen Glenn Hood, DBED Marketing and Communications

The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) unveiled the first phase of a new interactive tool that allows businesses and citizens to map the State’s key business assets and resources.  MDbizMap, housed on DBED’s website, provides users with a unified mapping application to access information in several categories and subcategories, including Maryland’s jobs, top employers, education, incentive zones, public services, transportation and point of interests, either by a single map or by layering several maps together.

MDbizMap was created in-house by the State’s GIS Coordinator Julia Fischer and Web application developer Padmini Gorty and consolidates into a central location dozens of pages of separate maps that existed on the website. A second phase of the MDbizMap will debut this Spring with maps on taxes, demographics and utilities, with additional phases planned. 

“MDbizMap gives our businesses and citizens a one stop shop of the most requested data on everything from where schools and top employers are located to where new jobs are being created,” said DBED Secretary Christian S. Johansson. “Once the MDbizMap has been operational for a few months, we plan to survey the business community to identify what maps they would like to see us incorporate.”

MDbizMap is the most recently introduced component of Maryland Made Easy, an ongoing interagency initiative to streamline procedures, simplify regulations and improve communications where business and government intersect. Launched by Governor O’Malley in January 2011, Maryland Made Easy has reformed State Highway Access permit process, unveiled an interactive one-stop shop web site, created a “Fast Track” concurrent permit review application, and awarded a contract to begin converting more than 400 licenses and permits to a web-based application by the end of 2012.