States and Feds Have Money for Tech Startups
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Pssst, Virginia and Maryland have even more money for tech startups. Here’s a few to check out:
Montgomery County has an economic development grant and loan program for tech and manufacturing companies. Funds range from $5k to $100k and go to companies that have projected employment growth within one to three years of receiving funding.
Maryland also has its Economic Adjustment Fund, which helps small businesses upgrade their manufacturing operations, develop commercial tech applications or enter new markets. The loan can be used for machinery and equipment, building renovations, real estate buys and site improvements.
The Maryland Venture Fund invests in tech companies in software, communications, cybersecurity and life sciences. Investments range from $100k to $1M and requires companies to be based in Maryland or have plans to move to the state.
Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (above) has its GAP Funds, which include the BioLife Fund for seed-stage life sciences companies; the GAP Tech Fund for seed-stage IT firms; and the Commonwealth Energy Fund for high-growth “commercially available” energy ventures. All companies that get funding have to be based in Virginia.
CIT also runs the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund, which has $3.4M to invest in tech research, development and commercialization. Since the fund started in 2012, it's invested in over 180 projects.
Let’s not forget about the feds. The Small Business Administration has its SBIR program, which involves participation by 11 federal agencies that set aside a portion of their budget each year to fund this R&D program. The R&D has to align with one of the participating agencies and each proposal is reviewed for technical merit, qualifications and potential benefits to industry and society. Funding ranges from $150k to $1M. Companies must be fewer than 500 employees, based in the US, and independently owned and operated.