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Innovation Catalyst (iCat)

Innovative residents create their own workspace

Entrepreneurs need a place to call home, whether as a live-in resident or through community affiliation, where they can connect to find the resources they need to start and grow. The Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship's Innovation Catalyst (iCat) program, formerly the NeoTech Incubator, provides just that.

The iCat provides emerging technology and IP-based companies with new and innovative programs providing them access to an ever-expanding set of resources and growing  community of entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, and mentors.


iCat Includes:

Residents with a dedicated office;
Businesses connecting remotely as Affiliates, 
Entrepreneurs who connect with our advisors and mentors, Leaders who attend a program or just hang out in our cafe.

We encourage you to check out our entrepreneurial community served by a dedicated team of experts and  gsd@mce  (get  shtuff   done at the MCE).

iCat vs. Incubator

No IncubatorWhy the name change from an  incubator to the  iCat? An incubator is a warm protective environment which shelters fledgling beings until they are strong enough to stand on their own. While important, sometimes businesses need more than just protection - they need a push...a catalyst...an  Innovation Catalyst (iCat).


Based in Columbia, Maryland, (see map) the 25,000 square foot facility that houses the MCE provides space for startups to work, meet, and connect. With an abundance of common space and engaged entrepreneurs, the energy is always a-buzz.

People in Cafe MCE Exterior  MCE Conference

Some highlights include:

  • Office space with flexible lease terms and office sizes to accomodate your growth
  • Six conference rooms, four with presentation media capability
  • Mail room with private mail boxes, copier, and binding equipment
  • The Innovation Cafe, with comfortable seating, gourmet coffee, and free wi-fi
  • A break room including a pool table for blowing off steam as well as a refrigerator, coffee maker, and microwave


9250 Bendix Road NORTH
Columbia, Maryland 21045

Main Phone: (410) 313-6550







The approach taken by the MCE staff and extended team of advisors and mentors goes far beyond that of just a landlord. Our passion is helping you reach your entrepreneurial business goals and we take our commitment to your success seriously.

First, the tenure of companies in our facility is designed to be long enough for them to become "sustainable" - meaning having sufficiently consistent revenues required to enter into a standard commercial lease. For most companies, that usually requires an incubation period of 2-4 years.

Once accepted into the iCat program, our team of advisors (staff and EnCorps members) meets with companies to determine what sustainable means for them and works backwards from that to develop milestones needed to reach that goal. Once milestones are established, the team works together to determine the resources needed to reach each milestone. Sample resources might include:

  • Funding
  • Personnel
  • Industry expertise and introductions
  • Partnerships

Once the plan is set, the team meets formally twice a year (minimum) but informally as often as necessary to keep the company moving forward and accessing the resources they need to be succesful.


Howard Tech Council

The Howard Tech Council is at the epicenter of the local tech community. Our active and engaged membership base spans a variety of industries, providing members with access to a diverse collection of organizations.

Innovation Catalyst (iCat)

The MCE incubator program, called the Innovation Catalyst (iCat) helps companies accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies.