Category: News


Governor Larry Hogan Announces Excel Maryland Initiative to Grow…

Governor Larry Hogan Announces Excel Maryland Initiative to Grow Life Sciences and Cyber Startups

Touts Administration’s Success Making Maryland “Open For Business” at Inaugural Governor’s Business Summit

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today opened Maryland’s inaugural Governor’s Business Summit before a crowd of more than 700 business, education, and community leaders at the Hilton Baltimore. The day-long economic development conference hosted by the Maryland Marketing Partnership highlights the issues and industries driving Maryland’s economy, including developing workforce through innovation training, protecting businesses from cyber threats, tapping into global markets, and attracting venture capital, among other key topics.

Governor Larry Hogan
Governor Larry Hogan

Governor Hogan described how the administration’s commitment to making Maryland “Open for Business” has delivered positive results around the state. Since January 2015, Maryland has added nearly 100,000 jobs and has successfully recruited major new investments from companies like Amazon, Lidl, Under Armour, and Pinnacle Foods. Notable job creation wins include the announcement of Marriott’s $600 million new headquarters complex in Bethesda; the retention of McCormick’s headquarters in Baltimore County; Morgan Stanley’s 800-job expansion in Baltimore City; and $100 million in new investment by Northrop Grumman, which directly supports more than 10,000 jobs in Maryland.

“Saying we are ‘Open for Business’ isn’t just a catchy slogan on road signs – it actually defines our mission, and it’s why I ran for governor,” said Governor Hogan. “We said we were going to help our businesses grow, put more Marylanders to work, and turn our economy around, and we have been doing exactly what we said we would do. Maryland’s economy is stronger than it’s been in more than a decade.”
To build on the progress of the last two years, Governor Hogan announced that the administration is launching a new comprehensive, statewide economic development strategy called Excel Maryland. The initiative will be focused on developing new collaborative strategies to accelerate growth in the life sciences and cybersecurity industries, which are already flourishing in the state.

A steering committee includes officials from the Maryland Department of Commerce and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, in partnership with Johns Hopkins University and the University System of Maryland, along with the Maryland Economic Development Corporation. The committee is being led by Dr. Susan Windham Bannister, the founding president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, who helped drive Massachusetts to become a leading state for life sciences employment per capita.

“With the launch of our comprehensive, statewide economic development strategy called Excel Maryland, we will focus on new collaborative strategies to accelerate growth in some of the sectors where Maryland already leads, including the life sciences and cybersecurity industries,” said Governor Hogan. “Excel Maryland will help pool the talents of our state agencies, our universities, and our private sector industry experts to help us create an environment in Maryland where more companies can start up here, and never stop growing here.”

The initiative will culminate in a report by the end of August, which will serve as a roadmap to securing Maryland’s position as the epicenter of cybersecurity and advancing Maryland’s leadership position in biohealth and life sciences.

The Excel Maryland steering committee co-chairs include Bob Caret, chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM) and Ronald J. Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University. Steering committee members are Dr. Bahija Jallal, executive vice president, MedImmune and AstraZeneca; Stephanie Hill, vice president and general manager, Lockheed Martin; Daniel J. Abdun-Nabi, CEO of Emergent BioSolutions and chair of the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board; Tom Geddes, CEO of Plank Industries; Ron Gula, president of Gula Tech Adventures and co-founder of Tenable Network Security; Peter Barris, managing general partner of New Enterprise Associates; Bill Niland, CEO of Harpoon Medical; Larry Letow, president and CEO of Convergence Technology Consulting; Robert Lord, CEO of Protenus; Wendy Perrow, CEO of AsclepiX, Therapeutics; and Paul Silber, founding principal of Blu Venture Investors.

“The USM is a major contributor to the Maryland we know today, its economic vitality and its world-class standard of living,” said Chancellor Caret. “We are proud to partner with Governor Hogan and our colleagues at Johns Hopkins to realize our tremendous economic potential, as we continue to develop the best and brightest minds, leverage the transformative ideas coming out of our institutions and grow the most dynamic, inclusive and resilient economic future for Maryland.”

“As one of the nation’s leading states for university research and development, we have an enormous opportunity to help transform our state’s great assets in advanced industries into a compelling, visionary strategy that will ultimately accelerate economic development,” said President Daniels. “Through the Excel Maryland initiative, we want to create a true public-private partnership of ideas and resources that will provide a compelling vision for the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland.”

The summit also features remarks by Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson; and a presentation on Maryland’s economy by Maryland Economic Development Commission Chair and CEO of Sage Policy Group, Anirban Basu and Banks Contracting Company CEO Ken Banks, who also serves on the board of the Federal Reserve. The summit will conclude with remarks from Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.

For more information about the Governor’s Business Summit, click here.



Hundreds Celebrate FastForward 1812’s Promise to Support Innovation

Hundreds Celebrate FastForward 1812’s Promise to Support Innovation

On April 26, hundreds of people came to East Baltimore for the grand opening of FastForward 1812. The event, billed as a celebration of a new physical space to support innovation, was just as much a celebration of the innovation hub’s promise to impact the future of Johns Hopkins, the city of Baltimore and people around the world by helping bring life-changing technologies to market.

“[This space is] a physical manifestation of our commitment to bringing together the necessary ingredients of innovation,” Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels said during the celebration’s opening remarks.

President Ronald J. Daniels

Daniels added that FastForward, a coordinated suite of resources designed to efficiently move technologies from startup to marketplace, acts as “a launching pad for entrepreneurs from not only Hopkins but also, in fact, from across Baltimore.”

In addition to 8,000 square feet of office, co-working and meeting space, FastForward 1812 features 15,000 square feet of dedicated and shared wet lab space, a much-needed startup resource in Baltimore. But the specs of the innovation hub don’t tell a complete story.

“We’re providing more than physical space,” said the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Executive Vice President Dr. Landon King at the grand opening. “We’re providing a network of mentors and other resources to move ideas forward.”

Dr. Landon King

The myriad resources FastForward 1812 provides—including its affordable space, mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders, legal and accounting support, funding opportunities and access to Johns Hopkins’ core facilities—are designed to help startups reach their potential, set roots in Baltimore and, eventually, help establish the city as a leading space for innovation.

For too long, Baltimore lacked the resources startups needed to develop into successful businesses. This lack of support forced them to move their promising businesses to more fertile innovation ecosystems. Now Baltimore has a number of accelerators located around the city, including three FastForward innovation hubs.

Like the leaders at Johns Hopkins, Pugh foresees a future where the startups supported within FastForward will move into their own offices and become a part of Baltimore’s economy.

(Left to right) Dr. Jennifer Elisseeff, Dr. Landon King, Pres. Ronald J. Daniels, Mayor Catherine Pugh and Christy Wyskiel

“These kinds of tech and biotech companies will create new jobs and help bring manufacturing back to Baltimore,” Pugh said. “They will start here, grow here and be part of the city’s economy.”

“When you think about the innovation and the technology and the biotech companies that can grow right here … it doesn’t get much better than that,” she said before officially opening the innovation hub by lighting a sign with the words “Start Here.”

Want to learn more about FastForward 1812? Click here!


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