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, formerlly 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 and growing community of entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, and mentors.
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).
See a current Company Directory.
|iCat vs. Incubator
Why 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.
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
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
- Industry expertise and introductions
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