MARYLAND — The Maryland Department of Commerce has launched “Innovation Uncovered,” a multifaceted program to highlight Maryland’s innovators, entrepreneurs and small businesses in 2020. Through blog posts, videos and social media promotion, the commerce department will be recognizing ideas, research and technology that spring forth from the state's businesses, universities and federal laboratories.
“While we’ve spent much of this year focused on helping sustain our business community through the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no question that Maryland remains a hub for innovation thanks to our highly-skilled workforce, our federal laboratories and military installations, and our world-class research universities,” said Gov. Larry Hogan in a statement. “We are still open for business, and the ‘Innovation Uncovered’ campaign will highlight why our state will continue to thrive no matter what challenges we face.”
The centerpiece of “Innovation Uncovered” will be the search for the “Maryland Future 20,” a list of innovative Maryland startups with the potential to become the state’s next major business success story. Members of Maryland’s business community and the general public can nominate a startup on the Innovation Uncovered website.
“These ‘hidden innovators’ may be working in a campus lab, a business incubator or in a garage or basement. But they might be the next big thing in Maryland business,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “We need your help to identify them so we can put them in the spotlight and help show the world that Maryland is the place for innovative ideas and businesses to take root and thrive.”
Commerce will begin accepting nominations for the Maryland Future 20 later this summer and the final “Maryland Future 20” list will be announced in the late fall. The nominations will be evaluated by a panel of investors, entrepreneurs and business executives. The state commerce department will continue to use its website and social media channels to promote the winners for the remainder of the year, and the department encourages sharing and promoting stories of innovation from around the state.