St. Mary’s County announced Wednesday an important first step in establishing a business incubator in the county. Business incubators, which are usually managed by entrepreneurs and growing small firms, help nurture start-up firms during their early months or years. The firms receive affordable office space, management training, mentoring, marketing support and access to capital resources.
According to a St. Mary’s County press release,
St. Mary’s County will receive $1.9 million through the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) from the Technology Transfer Office of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWC-AD). The seed money will be used to establish and operate the incubator. The Technology Transfer Office allocated the funding to TEDCO because of its expertise in establishing incubators and helping small firms and entrepreneurs. The incubator will focus on commercialization of Navy technology and Unmanned Autonomous Systems (UAS) work.
The St. Mary’s County Regional Airport will be home to the incubator. Some of the advantages of the site are its close proximity to the University of Maryland’s UAS Test Site, its runway access and the neighboring Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, which plans to construct a new building. A primary focus of the new building will be research and development of UAS.
“This is an exciting development for the county as we continue to diversify our economy,” said Commissioner President Randy Guy. “St. Mary’s County is pleased to stand up the incubator and assist small businesses get their footing and grow into profitable ventures.”
The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County have also accepted a donation of land and agreed to a three-year lease of a soon-to-be constructed building at the airport for $90,000 which will house the incubator.
“Having a business incubator is a vital part of our economic development strategy to diversify the economy by creating an ecosystem of innovation and technology,” said Chris Kaselemis, Economic Development director. “Helping aspiring entrepreneurs create new businesses will help diversify our economy and over time, reduce our reliance on military spending.”
Read the full press release for more information.