Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford Visits The Innovation Center Alongside County Executive Calvin Ball

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) hosted Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford and County Executive Calvin Ball on September 10, 2019 for a guided tour of the newly-renovated Innovation Center led by HCEDA’s CEO, Larry Twele. While visiting, the Lt. Governor met the team at HCEDA and learned more about the new resources within the Innovation Center designed to cultivate an innovative cyber and technology community.

“The Innovation Center is here to keep Howard County on the cutting edge of technology and innovation by providing business coaching, educational services, and vital resources to thrive in a modern, collaborative environment,” said Lawrence Twele, CEO of HCEDA. “It was a pleasure to host the Lt. Governor in his home county as HCEDA continues to build new opportunities for the region’s business community.”

“I was pleased to visit the Howard County Innovation Center and learn more about the Howard County Economic Development Authority’s efforts to cultivate an active cyber and technology innovation community in our region,” said Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford. “Maryland is proudly known as the cyber capital of the world, and we are committed to supporting the growth of this industry in our state.”

During the tour, the Lt. Governor and County Executive visited resident partner MITRE Viking Lab and resident company RFID READY for a demonstration of the different technology being developed at the Innovation Center. MITRE Viking Lab is operated by Trimia, Inc., a Howard County company whose mission is to create solutions to critical infrastructure challenges through the transfer of intellectual property to local companies. Resident company RFID READY is a division of rfidCollect committed to developing leading-edge sensor technology while offering a wide range of professional consulting and integration services in every aspect of technology, hardware, and software.

“On my 100th day in office, I signed a memorandum of understanding to make the Howard County Innovation Center a reality and create a global business beacon right here in our community. Only a few months have passed, but we have already made incredible progress on this 63,000 square-foot space,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “This project continues to be a remarkable example of collaboration to support small businesses, attract great ideas, and help our entrepreneurs succeed.”

As HCEDA continues to make progress on the Innovation Center, the project has gained the attention of local, state, and federal officials who are interested in learning more about the new space. HCEDA looks forward to hosting additional local, state, and federal officials to highlight the impact which their support has made on the Howard County business and entrepreneurial community.

The Lt. Governor previously visited the former Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE) in 2016 for an episode of ABC reality show SharkTank featuring Hungry Harvest, an agriculture-based company from Howard County. The tour of the new Center provided Lt. Governor Rutherford with the opportunity to see the progress HCEDA has made since relocating its operations to the Columbia Gateway building.

The Innovation Center is a new initiative of HCEDA designed to be a nexus of innovation and collaboration for the businesses and entrepreneurs of Howard County and the surrounding region. The facility, located at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, houses the MCE, HCEDA’s administrative offices, the Howard Tech Council, and small business resource providers, Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE).

HCEDA also manages the Catalyst Loan Fund as part of Maryland’s Video Lottery Terminal Small, Minority and Woman-Owned Business Account initiative. The Catalyst Loan Fund is used to finance start-ups and expanding businesses statewide whose projects will create permanent jobs and leverage private sector investment in the region.

Individuals interested in learning more about the Howard County Innovation Center, click here.


About HCEDA and the Innovation Center:

HCEDA is a public-private partnership whose primary goal is to promote economic growth and stability by supporting new and existing businesses and attracting innovative, high-growth potential companies to Howard County. HCEDA launched the Innovation Center in response to County and Statewide initiatives to cultivate an active cyber and technology innovation community in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor. Phase One of construction, completed in late May 2019, brought a newly designed space with an abundance of meeting, co-working and gathering spaces as well as the relocation of the MCE, the County’s only business incubator. Phase Two of construction has commenced and will yield updates to the lobby, conference and meeting spaces, and HCEDA’s administrative offices. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Innovation Center will be hosted in 2020.

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