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Butchers Hill web development firm Fastspot adding staff, new services

Butchers Hill web design and development firm Fastspot LLC is expanding. The company is adding a new department in analytics and search optimization to boost its marketing support for clients and will hire four employees to add to its staff of 14 over the next six months. It is looking for web developers and designers and project managers, President Tracey Halvorsen says.
 
The company is also adding new features to its free open source content management system, BigTree, to make it more efficient. The Butchers Hill web design and development company's updated product will be available this summer to the web community through its own website and that of BigTree’s.
 
“Anyone who wants to use it can,” Halvorsen says.
 
Fastspot introduced BigTree as open source software last year, where it turned out to be popular among higher educational institutions and museums. Halvorsen says the new features are being developed but declined to specify them as they are still being developed. She says the company will continue to sell it as part of a project.
 
“But we don’t want clients to feel locked into it and we want to see what others in the design and development community do with it,” she says.

Halvorsen says the company will roll out its new department over that timeframe. The department’s services will be offered on an hourly fee basis. The department comes in response to client request.
 
“After we launch a website, it’s important to know who is coming to the site, is the content performing as well as it should and is the structure of the site working?” she says.
 
Fastspot has a national client base of higher educational institutions, cultural institutions, nonprofits and museums. They include Bucknell University, Tufts University, Johns Hopkins University and the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.
 
Fastspot doesn’t take on projects of less than $50,000. Large projects can cost $200,000 to $500,000 and take from nine months to two years. Most higher education clients’ projects run in the six figures, she says. Fees are based on an hourly rate and annual maintenance contracts are available.
 
Fastspot was founded in 2001. Halvorsen says revenue at the privately funded company has increased by at least 10 percent per year since founding.
 
Source: Tracey Halvorsen, Fastspot LLC
Writer: Barbara Pash



Interactive marketing firm idfive relocates to larger office in Hampden

Interactive marketing and design agency idfive LLC moved its office from downtown to Hampden’s Meadowmill complex this year to accommodate its growing staff.
 
The company will hire four people by the end of the year, in sales, business development and design, and hired three shortly after the move. The company currently employs 16.
 
Andres Zapata, executive vice president of strategy, says idfive left a 3,200-square-foot office on East Redwood Street for a 3,700-square foot office at 3600 Clipper Mill Road. The company has use of a common conference room and facilities.
 
“We were out of space” downtown, he says. “It doesn’t sound like that much difference in square feet but the way the [Meadowmill] office is configured, we have more work space.”
 
The location offers free parking and is close to the Woodberry Light Rail, Zapata says. Zapata says idfive is making the office more eco-friendly by installing two large skylights in the roof. The skylights will bring in more natural light and reduce energy consumption.
 
Founded in 2005, idfive provides web design, social media and traditional advertising with a focus on higher educational institutions and nonprofits. Revenue was in the $5 million to $10 million range last year.
 
Last month, idfive published a book on higher education marketing. The book can be downloaded free through May. “University X: How to Rescue a College Brand from Bland” was written by Zapata, chief creative officer Sean Carton and marketing director Peter Meacham, and edited by creative director Matt McDermott.
 
After May, the book will be sold via Amazon and Google Play, with paperbacks and an iBook coming out as well. The paperback will be priced at $14.95; the digital versions, $6.99.
 
Source: Andres Zapata, idfive LLC
Writer: Barbara Pash

National entrepreneurship program debuts in Baltimore

New York City nonprofit Venture for America, which provides entrepreneurship training for recent college graduates, is adding Baltimore to its roster of cities this year.
 
Venture was founded in 2011 to encourage entrepreneurship through practical experience. It officially launched last year in five cities: Detroit, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Providence, Rhode Island. This year, Baltimore and Cleveland are on board.

In Baltimore, the following companies could get access to talent through Venture: Baltimore Astrum Solar, Parking Panda, Pixelligent, Reify Health, Riskive, SocialToaster and Vigilant Medical.

The fellows, or recent graduates, are recruited from universities nationally, including the University of Maryland at College Park and Johns Hopkins University and, for 2013, University of Maryland Baltimore County and Loyola University of Maryland.

“We send out fellows to cities across the country that have high quality startups and, perhaps, less access to talent than major metropolitan areas,” says Mike Tarullo, vice president of corporate development. “We look for places graduates might not think of going but have great opportunities.”

Most recruits are just getting their undergraduate degree in a variety of majors while others may have already spent a year or two in the workforce.
 
Tarullo calls the selection process “competitive,” with a written application, grade transcripts and interviews on the telephone and in person with board members in New York City. About 10 to 15 percent of applicants are admitted to the program.
 
“We are looking for a high potential for entrepreneurship,” says Tarullo of the fellows, who commit to spending two years in their assigned company and at a fixed salary of $38,000 per year that the company pays.
 
Last year, Venture placed 40 fellows in the five original cities. This year, it is placing 70 fellows in the seven cities. The number going to each city depends on how many companies participate in the program and the “match” between fellows’ interests and startups’ field.
 
“We are hoping 10 fellows come to Baltimore but it depends on the number of startups that are hiring. We don’t have a limit on the number of fellows at each startup but typically it’s one, maybe two,” Tarullo says.

Tarullo says each city to which Venture sends fellows has a different focus. Baltimore is strong on cybersecurity, biotechnology and education technology, he says. “We’re excited to be coming to Baltimore.”

Tarullo credits the Abell Foundation, which gave more than $100,000, for bringing Venture for America to Baltimore. The Maryland Technology Development Corp. (TEDCO); Betamore, the work space for startups in Federal Hill; and the incubator Emerging Technology Center in Canton are helping Venture connect with the startup community.

 
Source: Mike Tarullo, Venture for America
Writer: Barbara Pash
 
 
 
 
 
 

Three new companies join UMBC cybersecurity incubator

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Northrop Grumman Corp. last month expanded their Cync cybersecurity  program with three new companies, including the program’s first international one. The three firms joined the five companies currently at [email protected] Research and Technology Park in Catonsville.

The folowing three companies entered the Cync program:
  • iWebGate is relocating its headquarters from Perth, Australia, to Maryland. It is developing a multi-tenant security-tested network between private networks and the Internet;
  • DB Networks, of Silicon Valley provides behavioral analysis of database security equipment. It intends to grow its mid-Atlantic region; and,
  • Baltimore's Light Point Security, which is working on protecting corporate networks from web-based malware.

Northrop Grumman and UMBC jointly select the companies for the 18-month long Cync program, which began in 2011.
 
Chris Valentino, director of contract research and development for Northrop Grumman Information Systems in Annapolis says the program is for early-stage companies to grow and develop their cybersecurity products. He identified global security, data analytics and technology as areas that are of particular interest. Valentino says he also considers how the product fits into Northrop Grumman’s portfolio.
 
Northrop Grumman pays for Cync program companies’ office space and equipment at the UMBC incubator. Its own entrepreneur-in-residence at the incubator works with the companies on business plans and marketing.
 
Valentino says the Cync program is getting requests from companies outside the U.S. and elsewhere in the country. “They wanted to expand to Maryland specifically for the Cync program and to work with federal government,” he says of the companies.
 
Northrop Grumman provides a link to potential customers in the federal marketplace. “Our intention is to partner with the companies,” he says.
 
Ellen Hemmerly, executive director at [email protected], says there are more than 100 companies in the research and technology park. Of these, two-thirds are early-stage companies that are participating in one of its three incubators. Bwtech’s cybersecurity incubator has 35 early-stage companies and another 10 companies that are more mature businesses.
 
Of the 35 early-stage companies, eight are participating in the Cync program. She says that when the Cync program was established, there was not an absolute number set on the number of companies that could participate.

"We projected five to six companies at any one time, and we are staying within that framework.”
 
Sources: Chris Valentino, Northrop Grumman Information Systems; Ellen Hemmerly, [email protected] Research and Technology Park
Writer: Barbara Pash

Canton's EntreQuest reaches out to universities to promote entrepreneurship

Canton business consulting firm EntreQuest is in talks to partner with three universities and foundations around the country this fall to promote entrepreneurship as it expands its reach in the higher education market.
 
“We want to leverage our assets and use their platforms to add value to their members, clients and students,” says CEO Joe Mechlinski, who is also a best-selling author. He declined to name the universities and foundations until deals are finalized, which  he anticipates this fall.

EntreQuest first entered the university space last December, when it launched the Growth University, an online training and certification courses downloadable from its website. Courses range from sales to leadership at a fee of $297 to $497 per individual course, or a corporate fee of $30 per month per person.
 
Mechlinksi says more than 200 people have downloaded Growth University courses since its launch. He also says that entreQuest this year plans to introduce the Growth Factor, video webinars that feature interviews with business leaders.
 
Mechlinksi’s first book, “Grow Regardless,” was published last February. That same month, it hit No. 3 on The New York Times list of best-selling business books, No. 1 on Barnes & Noble.com and No. 5 on Amazon.com.

EntreQuest offers help in sales, staffing and strategy to businesses. The entreQuest team spends 30 days at the client-company interviewing stakeholders and surveying employees, according to Mechlinksi, who says entreQuest has consulted with about 400 companies around the country since its founding in 2000. The fee depends on services and size of the client.
 
The client receives a detailed action plan for the next year. For an extra fee, entreQuest will stay on site to recruit staff, provide training and fill any other client requests.
 
EntreQuest has offices at the incubator, the Emerging Technology Center at Canton. Its staff also mentor other incubator tenants. The company has 11 employees and is currently hiring three, including a director of products, recruiting director and senior business consultant.
 
Source: Joe Mechlinski, entreQuest
Writer: Barbara Pash

UMd. researcher makes breakthrough discovery about life on Mars

A University of Maryland research team led by Shiladitya DasSarma last month revealed a type of organism that may survive on Mars and other extreme environments. The discovery is a breakthrough in methods of survival under the cold and dry conditions found in Antarctica -- and Mars.

DasSarma’s research for NASA focuses on Halorubrum lacusprofundi, a microbe that was discovered in Deep Lake, a very salty lake in Antarctica.

“It’s a good model for surviving in conditions like Mars,” he says of the microbe whose adaptations allow it to live in a cold, salty environment that is considered similar to some environments on Mars.

The National Space and Atmospheric Administration is funding the research, which was published in a professional journal, with an ongoing multi-year grant for nearly $500,000.                     

DasSarma says there is so much interest in the question of life on Mars because Mars and Earth are sister planets. Both are within the “habitable zone,” close enough to the Sun to sustain life if liquid water is present.

“Mars is much drier and colder than Earth,” he says, but photographs show seasonal flows of brine, or salty water, down the sides of a crater on Mars. “There are probably pools of brine under the surface of Mars.”

DasSarma says the NASA grant is intended to answer basic biotechnology questions.

“NASA is asking, could any organism survive under Mars’ conditions? What molecular adaptations are necessary for survival? Our research determined that certain organisms can survive,” says DasSarma, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, in downtown Baltimore. DasSarma is also a research scientist with the university’s Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology at the Inner Harbor.

DasSarma and his team have long studied organisms that grow in unusual environments. “Our specialty is understanding how they are able to survive in very dry and salty conditions,” says DasSarma, the key finding being that they have adaptations that allow them to hold onto water.

DasSarma says the microbe he is studying for NASA won't  be found on Mars necessarily. But if life is one day discovered on Mars, “they will be a salt-loving type of organism,” he says, “possibly something like it.”

DasSarma says his research may lead to the development of novel biotechnological applications for use on Earth.

Source: Shiladitya DasSamra, University of Maryland School of Medicine and Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology
Writer: Barbara Pash
 
 
 
 
 
 

New Hampden marketing company seeking education industry clients

Recently formed marketing company Kalix Communications LLC is going after independent schools, education and corporate clients.
 
The company has already landed two clients in the educational field. One is Notre Dame Preparatory School, a Catholic middle-high school in Towson, for which Kalix created a social media marketing campaign. It also bought radio ads and conducted market research on behalf of the school.
 
Kalix is also working with two divisions at Towson University. It conducted social media training for Towson’s Center for Professional Study’s clients, and formulated a social media strategy for Towson’s Division of Innovation and Applied Research.
 
Kalix partner and president Jonathan Oleisky formerly headed Media 924, a social media consulting firm. Ruth Eve, Kalix partner and executive vice president, was formerly vice president at Green and Associates, a media buying agency.
 
“Baltimore has many strong marketing agencies. Our challenge is how we differentiate ourselves,” says Oleisky.
 
He says Kalix has chosen to do so by subcontracting with 12 “strategic partners,” senior-level executives who are assigned to teams depending on clients’ requests, and by having a flexible fee structure, from retainer to project-based.
 
Oleisky says Kalix focuses on brand development, creative direction, social media strategy and implementation, media buying and planning and public relations. Besides the two educational institutions, Kalix’s clients include Consolidated Insurance Center, Prezmed and My Directive.
 
The privately financed Kalix launched its website this week. Oleisky projects first year sales of $500,000 to $750,000 and, based on that projection, expects to hire two to three staffers in project management and account services later this year.
 
Source: Jonathan Oleisky, Kalix Communications LLC
Writer: Barbara Pash
 

Johns Hopkins Spinoff Readies Medical Device For Sale

Clear Guide Medical LLC is readying its first product, a medical device used in minimally invasive ultrasound surgeries that will be for sale in early 2014. Federal and state grants received this year aided the commercialization process for the Johns Hopkins spinoff, which hopes to receive another state grant early next year. 
 
The Baltimore life sciences company received a total of $550,000 from the federal National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, in 2011 and 2012, and $125,000 from the Maryland Technology Development Corp. in 2010 and 2012. It is waiting to hear about another grant from the latter, for $100,000.
 
“We are developing a medical device that will lower health care costs by allowing [procedures] to be done quickly and at less cost,” COO Dorothee Heisenberg says. The device clips onto an ultrasound probe and provides guidance to surgeons before and during minimally invasive procedures like needle biopsies, needle nerve blocks and vein catherizations. The device provides such information as the angle to hold the needle and how far to push to reach the nerve or vein.

Heisenberg says the advantage of the device is that it makes it easier for surgeons to learn how to use ultrasound, for which they need special training. She also sees a benefit for rural areas or areas where there aren’t a lot of medical facilities. Local physicians and clinics may be able to do a biopsy, and then consult with medical experts for a diagnosis.
 
Heisenberg expects Clear Guidance’s device to cost in the $12,000 to $15,000 price range. 

Clear Guide Medical was founded in 2010, a spinoff from the Johns Hopkins Department of Computer Science and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s radiology department. In 2012, it was the first company to move into the Johns Hopkins accelerator, located on the Homewood campus, Heisenberg says.
 
The company has five employees. It is in the midst of applying for a worldwide patent that covers the US, nations in Europe, Japan, Canada and Israel – countries that are most likely to develop competing devices. Johns Hopkins is paying the patent filing and application expenses, about $80,000, for which Clear Guidance will pay back in time.
 
“We want to sell our product without complications,” Heisenberg says.
 
Source: Dorothee Heisenberg, Clear Guide Medical LLC
Writer: Barbara Pash

DoublePositive Helps Colleges Find Students

Sales and marketing firm DoublePositive is hiring as many as 20 within the next six to nine months to work in its Baltimore and Tempe, Ariz., offices.

It seeks expertise in business and marketing analysis, senior network engineering and software development to add to its 60-person staff.

The Canton online marketing firm opened a new sales leads division in August, helping online colleges and universities find new students. The division helps the institutions find students for their certificates and bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and it adheres to recently-enacted federal regulations with regard to new student recruitment. The regulations are aimed at keeping the recruitment process transparent and assuring that the programs are legitimate, according to Jodi Swartz, DoublePositive's director of corporate marketing.
 
The leads division follows on the heels of another new division DoublePositive opened in December. The mobile division focuses on mobile pay per call that links consumers to companies via apps. Swartz says the division has grown by more than 1,000 percent in the first three quarters of 2012, its first revenue producing year.
 
Founded in 2004, DoublePositive moved to its present Canton office in 2008. In January, the company relocated to a larger office in the same Canton building. The new office totals 14,000 square feet, double the size of its previous office.  The company maintains an office in Tempe, Ariz., which also recently doubled in size, to a total 7,000 square feet.
 
Besides the two new divisions, DoublePositive specializes in online display and telephone transfers. Its 125 clients include Comcast, The Home Depot, Rosetta Stone, 21st Century Auto, Kaplan, Sylvan and Education Management Corp. (EDMC).  The company’s mobile division is located in Tempe, home to EDMC.
 
Last month, DoublePositive started an internship program for college students and recent graduates who want experience in online marketing. Interns are paired with senior-level managers for real-world experience. It's accepting up to 10 interns per semester and the program is offered for college credit or for pay.
 
Source: Jodi Swartz, DoublePositive
Writer: Barbara Pash




Abell Foundation Funds Community College Scholarships

Baltimore City Community College and the Community College of Baltimore County are initiating new scholarship programs this fall semester thanks to grants from The Abell Foundation. The scholarships are open to 75 low-income graduates of Baltimore City public high schools at BCCC and at CCBC each.
 
The Abell Foundation grants of $218,000 to each school establishes the BCCC Aspiring Scholars program and the CCBC Strive For Excellence program, according to Stan Brown, BCCC’s dean of special projects and Hope Davis, CCBC’s director of media relations.
 
Both programs are one-year pilot programs that provide stipends of up to $1,000 per student per semester for a total of 150 qualifying students. The scholarships are performance-based, meaning that students must maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average each semester.
 
The BCCC and CCBC programs are modeled after similar community college programs in other states, where they have proven successful in encouraging students to stay in school.
 
Over the summer, BCCC actively recruited students for the program via its website, mailings and social media. BCCC has so far awarded scholarships to close to 60 students, with the remainder to be awarded in the spring semester.
 
Brown says students can renew their scholarships each semester, up to three continuous semesters. The program is to full- and part-time students, who may enroll in either a certificate or an associate degree program.
 
Brown says The Abell Foundation approached Dr. Carolane Williams, BCCC president, with the program. Over the past two years, BCCC has increased foundation and corporate funding support by 49 percent, and increased student graduation by 28 percent over the same period.
 
Both BCCC and CCBC have hired a full-time academic advisor to oversee their programs and to mentor the students who receive the scholarships so they can maintain the stipends.
 
Sources: Stan Brown, Baltimore City Community College; Hope Davis, Community College of Baltimore County
Writer: Barbara Pash
 
 
 
 

Minorities Sought For Careers In Environment, Marine Science

The Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center  is recruiting minority students for careers in marine and environmental science. Scholarships are available for college graduate students this fall for the 2012-2013 school year. In addition, applications for paid internships for high school and college students are available beginning in January.
 
A consortium of college and universities are involved in the program. The University of Maryland Eastern Shore leads the consortium, which partners with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency on the recruitment program.
 
“We are the pipeline to the program,” says Rose Jagus, associate professor at the Institute of Marine and Enviromental Technology (IMET) at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in downtown Baltimore. Jagus is also director of IMET's marine resources center.
 
The mariner resource center's paid summer internships are 10-week-long projects for recent high school and college graduates. The focus is on fisheries, from habitat to aquaculture. The number of interns depends on funding. This summer, there were eight interns, some of whom are engaged in testing the water at the Inner Harbor.

Faculty members oversee interns’ research projects from June to August. Internships are eligible for college credit and applications can be accessed online. There is also one master’s degree student and four doctoral students who are receiving scholarships and stipends. Of these students, four are enrolled in the University System of Maryland although there are other university options.
 
The recruitment program began about 10 years ago, and is intended for African-American, Hispanic and Native American students. Funding is awarded competitively every five years. The institute's marine center's currently gets $2.7 million per year. Since the minority recruitment program began, three doctorates and four master’s degrees have been awarded and more than 100 paid internships have been funded.
 
 
Source: Rose Jagus, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Writer: Barbara Pash

Loyola Teams With California VC Firm to Fund Startups

Loyola University Maryland is partnering with a California venture capital firm to fund new startups and help grow existing businesses in the Govans area of York Road. Loyola and Wasabi Ventures formed a business accelerator with an office in Govans, a neighborhood in Baltimore City.

Karyl Leggio, dean of Loyola’s Sellinger School of Business and Management, says the accelerator will help revitalize the nearby York Road business corridor.

Leggio says the university bought and renovated a two-story building in Govans that is serving as the local office of Wasabi Ventures and out of which the accelerator is operating. Loyola University faculty are offering advice on business plans and marketing. About 20 Loyola students per semester serve as interns at the accelerator.

Wasabi Ventures was co-founded by T.K. Kuegler, general partner and a Loyola graduate. Wasabi is providing professional staff to manage the accelerator. Through Wasabi Ventures and its partnering organizations, funding is available for startups companies, although funding amounts have not yet been established.

Leggio said funding would be based on the level of need. She said, for example, that Loyola has funded student ideas up to $25,000 in cash and services. However, startups and businesses that use the business accelerator may need more funding than that.

Leggio said that the accelerator is interested in technology concepts and startup companies that want advice and assistance to reach the development stage, as well as existing companies in the area that want to grow.

The accelerator is starting with seven staffers, and Leggio says it may hire additional staff as the need arises.

“We are looking to help any kind of business that is willing to locate in the Govans/York Road area, not necessarily technology,” she says.
 
Source: Karyl Leggio, Dean of Sellinger School of Business and Management, Loyola University Maryland
Writer: Barbara Pash
 

State Establishes New Tech Transfer Fund

The state and five universities are spending upwards of $5.8 million to help startups move from a concept to a company.  

Senate Bill 239/House Bill 442 establishes the Maryland Innovation Initiative Fund under the aegis of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, or TEDCO. The bill passed the Maryland House and Senate and awaits the signature of Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is expected to sign it. 

“Maryland has premiere research universities but it ranks low on technology transfer,” Brian Levine, vice president, government relations, Tech Council of Maryland, says of the fund, which is intended to remedy that situation.
 
To participate in the fund, five universities are contributing to it. Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland College Park and University of Maryland, Baltimore will each contribute at least $200,000 per year. The University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Morgan State University will contribute at least $100,000 per year. The state has allocated $5 million to the fund, which will begin operating July 1.
 
Calling the fund “a great benefit for the state,” Rob Rosenbaum, TEDCO’s president and executive director, says. “We have so much research but commercialization is needed. We have to stimulate that activity.”

TEDCO is establishing an office to administer the fund. The fund helps technology concepts reach the startup phase by providing marketing and supporting the the technology transfer offices that already exist at the participating universities.
 
Rosenbaum says the fund intends to work with 40 projects per year that will result in 12 to 15 new companies. Startup companies initially generate 2.5 jobs on average, with salaries the first year of more than $75,000 per job.
 
Rosenbaum says that “all policies of the fund have not yet been defined” but the hope is that the startups it helps stay in Maryland.
 
Ronald Wineholt, vice president of government affairs of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, says the legislation provides better coordination of the universities’ transfer efforts. “Now that it’s under TEDCO, it’s a state-wide effort rather than an individual university,” he says.
 
Sources: Brian Levine, Tech Council of Maryland; Rob Rosenbaum, Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO); Ronald Wineholt, Maryland Chamber of Commerce
Writer: Barbara Pash

UMd. Launches New Econ Degree For Working Professionals

The University of Maryland has begun a new master’s degree program in applied economics for working professionals looking to advance their careers. The program is designed to train people in the economic analysis of policy issues.
 
After completing core courses, students choose a specialty in environment economics, health economics, law economics, marketing design and game theory, and program analysis and evaluation, says Marianne Ley Hayek, executive director of professional masters programs at the University of Maryland College Park’s department of economics.
 
“Any government agency increasingly has to justify and measure results,” says Hayek.
 
The program is designed to be convenient for working professionals. Classes are held at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., near a metro stop. Classes are offered in the evenings and are taught by people with “real-life experience,” she says.
 
The first class in the program enrolled 25 students. Hayek expects the program to grow but class size will be kept small.  
 
Candidates for the program must have a bachelor of arts degree, taken two economic courses during their undergraduate years and meet other requirements. The 15-month-long program consists of 10 courses, at a fee of $2,750 per course. There is no difference in the fee for in-state and out-of-state students. The University of Maryland issues the diploma.
 
The fall 2012 program is accepting online registration by June 1.

Source: Mariane Ley Hayek, executive director of professional masters programs, University of Maryland, College Park department of economics
Writer: Barbara Pash

Hagerstown Community College Opening $25M Science and Tech Center

Hagerstown Community College, in Washington County, is turning itself in the high tech center of Western Maryland. Next month, the college will open a $25 million complex that includes the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Building, laboratories and a classroom building.
 
The new STEM building will house the college’s biotechnology, alternative energy technology, cybersecurity, math and engineering degree programs. In the fall the college will begin offering its science classes online, and is in the process of getting approval for online degree programs.
 
The college campus is also the site of the Technical Innovation Center, a self-sustaining entity that promotes technology development and the creation of technology jobs in the area.
 
Toxpath Specialists, a toxicological pathology firm, is the latest graduate of the Technical Innovation Center. It left the business incubator this year for commercial space, creating 10 new jobs in the county’s biotechnology community.
 
P. Chris Marschner, manager of the Technical Innovation Center, says the center currently houses 15 companies, among them medical software, wireless technology, biotechnology and cybersecurity. Since the center began in 1994, 50 to 60 startups have graduated, creating a total of over 400 jobs in the Western Maryland region.
 
Sources: Elizabeth Stull, Hagerstown Community College; P. Chris Marschner, Technical Innovation Center
Writer: Barbara Pash
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