Johns Hopkins, Baltimore Mayor Invest Millions to Boost City’s Innovation Ecosystem

March 12, 2015

Last week, Johns Hopkins University released an action plan to cultivate and support a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the university and the Baltimore region. The implementation plan, which represents $40 million in new university investments in innovation initiatives over five years, is a response to the 22 specific recommendations for university innovation included in a May 2014 innovation report. The initiatives included in the implementation plan will be carried out by Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, a new organization that encompasses technology licensing, corporate and industry relations, and FastForward, the university’s business accelerators.

Read the press release here…

In her State of the City speech on March 9, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced pieces of her small business and entrepreneurship plan, including a $1M innovation fund to promote growth in high-tech businesses. The plan includes 20 specific action items along four key goal areas: increasing resources for small businesses, cultivating the innovation economy, promoting an inclusive economy, and making Baltimore more business-friendly.

Although details on the $1M fund have yet to be finalized, it is expected to primarily provide incentives through loan programs with some grants potentially made available.  The city is also implementing a new software platform that assists small business owners in navigating the licensure process and utilizing the resources available to them by both Baltimore and the state of Maryland, and a separate software program to identify real estate properties and economic development projects. The budget of Baltimore’s Small Business Resource Center would double under Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s plan to $466,000, and is expected to include additional programming for minority and immigrant populations.

Read the press release here…