Anne Arundel County’s cwist, Inc., and four other companies based in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County to receive loans totaling $1.05 million
Annapolis, Maryland – (October 22, 2013) – Today, the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation announced that it has approved more than a million dollars in loans to five early stage technology companies in central Maryland. The VOLT Fund, AAEDC’s loan program administered in conjunction with bwtech@UMBC and the Chesapeake Innovation Center, aims to distribute a total of $3.36 million in loans to assist small, minority, veteran, and woman-owned businesses around the state. Particular to the VOLT Fund is a set aside of loans for distribution to entrepreneurs of innovative technology.
“The VOLT Fund’s focus on assisting emerging technology start-ups is truly unique and will help put Anne Arundel County and the State of Maryland in a stronger position to cultivate young technology companies,” said county executive Laura Neuman. “These loans are key to helping these companies reach that next stage of product development and leveraging additional investment.”
“Supporting our entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses is a top priority for Maryland as we grow our Innovation Economy,” said Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Dominick Murray. “The high-tech companies we invest in today will help to create the jobs of tomorrow. We are pleased to work with our partners in Anne Arundel County to fund the most promising companies and give them the support they need to grow.”
The goal of the VOLT Fund technology loans is to help promising early stage companies attract follow-on funding from venture capital firms, angel investors and other sources. Loan recipients include the following:
• cwist, Inc., of Annapolis: cwist is a free digital library of learning activities for kids K-5th crowd-sourced from parents and educators, designed to help kids make a healthy connection between the things they want and the effort it takes to get them
• Light Point Security, LLC, a member of the bwtech@UMBC Cyber Incubator: Light Point Security protects businesses from malicious software spread through web browsers by moving the employee's web browser into the cloud so none of the websites they visit ever touch their computers.
• Milestone US, Inc., a company based in Clarksville, Maryland: Milestone combines low cost sensors and big data tools to offer retailers a new method for targeted advertising.
• SameGrain, Inc., a member of the Emerging Technology Center (ETC) in Baltimore City: SameGrain is a privacy-first social discovery platform that helps people locate, connect with and grow new friendships with others that share similar backgrounds, interests, beliefs, concerns, habits and more.
• Biomedica Management Corporation, a member of the bwtech@UMBC Life Sciences Incubator: This research and development company is currently developing novel treatments in coagulopathy-related conditions with civilian and military applications.
Several factors were taken into consideration in the VOLT Fund technology loan application process. Applicants must be high potential early stage technology companies with a clear path to follow-on funding. Also, teams must be led by an experienced entrepreneur or demonstrate a willingness to acquire needed management talent. Companies must also be at a stage in product development where the cash flow break-even point is expected within 24 months.
The announcement of these technology loan awards is just the latest by the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation after its designation in May as a loan fund manager by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. AAEDC serves as one of three managers of the state’s $7.8 million small, minority and woman-owned business loan fund. The state fund receives 1.5 percent of video lottery terminal revenue from Maryland casinos.
As mandated by the state, half of the fund’s investment is targeted to small businesses located within a ten mile radius of the three Maryland casinos open at the time fund managers were designated, Maryland Live in Anne Arundel County, Hollywood Park in Cecil County and Ocean Downs in Worcester County. The other half is available to businesses located across the state.
To date, AAEDC has approved more than $2.5 million in loans to 18 conventional small businesses and technology companies in six counties around Maryland. More information on the VOLT Fund is available on AAEDC’s website www.aaedc.org.
The mission of the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation is to support business and serve as a catalyst for business growth in Anne Arundel County thereby increasing job opportunities, expanding the tax base and improving quality of life.
Director of Communications and Marketing
Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation/
Chesapeake Innovation Center
2660 Riva Road, Suite 200
Annapolis, MD 21401
(p) 410-222-7410 (f) 410-222-7415 (c) 410-212-4150