To accelerate the growth of trade between Baltimore and Dublin and to promote job creation in the two cities, the Dublin Business Innovation Centre (DBIC) and ETC have agreed to collaborate in attracting technology based companies from their respective countries to open offices in the other’s business incubation centers. Under the agreement, ETC and DBIC’s technology incubator, the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC), will provide “soft landing” business assistance services and office space to technology based businesses who wish to establish an international presence.
One of the more innovative elements of the Agreement is the creation of local Advisory Committees of experienced business people for each company participant. The goal of these Committees is to help the company succeed in the new overseas market by providing relevant business advice and valuable industry contacts to company management. This local network of business contacts will help “anchor” the business to its new community.
DBIC was established in 1988 with private, public, educational and EU support. It assists and provides advice to new business projects and access to seed capital to selected enterprises. DBIC acts as a facilitator to the entrepreneur in finding practical solutions to problems in a responsive, non-bureaucratic way. DBIC has assisted in creating over 341 new businesses with over 4,200 employees; approximately 80% of DBIC-assisted projects survive through their first critical five years.
Client companies of the ETC have come to expect the broadest possible array of program services and network contacts. As part of meeting this need, ETC maintains excellent relationships with area universities, colleges and Federal laboratories. These relationships provide client companies with ready access to mentors, interns and technologies available for license.
ETC is one of the sponsors of the University of Maryland Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship’s “Capital Access Network” program. This is a funding preparation program which provides intensive coaching for start-up entrepreneurs and then connects them with qualified angel investors at monthly breakfasts to present their funding pitches. The ETC actively nominates client companies to present at the Breakfast series.
A 2003 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) establishes a cooperative relationship between ETC and the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground Science & Technology Board (APG). The purpose of this cooperative relationship is to allow ETC to serve as a link between the resources available at APG and the needs of ETC’s client companies.
- Upon acceptance of an ETC client request, APG will make its capabilities, facilities and/or equipment available on a fee-for-service basis.
- Army patents available for licensing will be made available for review to ETC client companies.
Such actions will serve to create economic development opportunities for the City of Baltimore, the greater Baltimore area and the State of Maryland.
To accelerate the growth of Baltimore’s bioscience industry, Wexford Science + Technology – developer of the University of Maryland, Baltimore BioPark Building Two and Three– and ETC have signed an agreement to coordinate incubation and leasing activities for early-stage bioscience companies. Under the agreement, ETC will provide business mentoring and incubation service assistance to early-stage life science and bioscience companies located at the UMB BioPark. In return, the BioPark will promote ETC services to tenants and prospects and offer laboratory space to ETC tenant companies.
Both Wexford and ETC anticipate that the BioPark’s new BioInnovation Center will be of particular interest to early-stage bioscience firms. The BioInnovation Center meets the requirements of the most demanding science environments, while offering short-term leasing arrangements, rapid move-in with pre-built wet lab and office space, lower rental rates that include utilities, shared room for equipment and conference facilities, and phone/internet connectivity. The emerging companies in the BioInnovation Center will have the mentoring muscle of the ETC Affiliate Member Program combined with close proximity to the UMB medical and pharmacy campus.
A 2006 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) implements the Maryland/Israel Incubator Partnership (MIIP) by establishing a cooperative relationship between ETC and the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC). The purpose of the MOU is to promote job creation in Maryland – a mutual goal of both parties. Specifically, ETC and MIDC will cooperate to attract Israeli technology based companies to open offices in the ETC business incubator and to provide the equivalent of six months of free incubator cubicle space and associated program services to the companies. The first Israeli company to enter ETC under the provisions of the MOU did so in January 2006.
ETC also maintains a close working relationship with two vitally important organizations: the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO). Both DBED and TEDCO have a number of excellent early stage funding and assistance programs available to Maryland-based technology companies. ETC hosts a briefing on TEDCO’s programs each quarter.
ETC is a member of both the Maryland Business Incubation Association and the National Business Incubation Association. ETC’s active involvement in these organizations means that client companies benefit from: access to a worldwide incubation network of research and referrals; the targeted expertise of incubators throughout Maryland; and, statewide and national recognition through incubation award programs. Involvement in these industry associations means that ETC’s program undergoes continual improvement through the regular adoption of incubation best practices.
In addition to these important relationships, ETC has a number of unique relationships that enhance the effectiveness of program services available to client companies.