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Connecting the Ecosystem

In order to foster business creation and growth, the right resources must be brought together into an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Those resources which must exist in a symbiotic and mutually supportive relationship are innovators, entrepreneurs, supporters, and investors as depicted below.  It is the vision of the MCE to develop programs and provide support for connecting the members of the ecosystem. The goal is to help build trust amongst the diverse members to facilitate better connections long before the need for a transaction between them occurs.


Maryland is rich with entrepreneurial resources and a partnership approach is a crucial element of MCE's strategy for tapping into these resources. (Show picture of metal Maryland?)

Programs and Services

Where gaps or opportunities exist, additional programs and services have been designed to support connecting the ecosystem including:

  • Howard Tech Council: The Howard Technology Council (HTC) works to provide value to all members of the technology community, including firms that support technology companies, as well as firms that leverage technology via networking, educational programs, and direct connections.

  • Innovation Catalyst (iCat) EnCorps© Program: A crucial component of the iCat incubation approach is the entrepreneurial corps, or EnCorps program. The EnCorps program brings together successful entrepreneurs and mentors with MCE clients (both resident and non-resident) to leverage their experience and connections to help them drive better outcomes, build partnerships, and  connect into the ecosystem.

  • Race for Innovation Program: Brings entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors together to turn ideas into business concepts in an afternoon.

  • Startup Maryland: Startup Maryland, a state-wide initiative FOR entrepreneurs BY entrepreneurs,  is a regional initiative of the Startup America Partnership. Created to ignite and celebrate entrepreneurship, Startup Maryland works across organizational and county boundaries to bring act as the connective tissue across the entrepreneurial community and ecosystem in Maryland. HCEDA actively supports Startup Maryland through participation on the organizing board and through financial support of the Pitch Across Maryland state-wide bus tour.

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.