ANNAPOLIS, MD—This week, during the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Governor Larry Hogan announced a $2 million investment in the state’s innovative Global Gateway Initiative. Managed by the Maryland Department of Commerce, this first-in-the-nation program helps attract international businesses and ease their transition into the U.S. market by connecting them with local incubators and accelerators.
“As we continue to have one of the strongest recoveries in the world, we want to be as aggressive as possible and kick this initiative into high gear,” said Governor Hogan. “Our state is worth the attention and investment of even more international companies, and now we look forward to making it easier than ever to forge closer ties with partners across the globe.”
There are nearly 20 accelerators and incubators throughout the state currently participating in the initiative, which builds on the state’s Soft Landing Program announced last year during the SelectUSA Investment Summit.
In recent weeks, Maryland has welcomed a number of major international businesses, including railcar manufacturer Hitachi Rail in Washington County, diagnostic test maker Ellume in Frederick, and ZIM Shipping Lines at the Port of Baltimore.
This inaugural investment in the program will fund payments for the first 50 participating companies to assist with incubator rent costs and company registration, enhance marketing for the program, support participating incubators with website improvements, and provide seed funding to launch an innovation lab with L Marks. The funding will also allow the Maryland Department of Commerce to continue offering opportunities for training and market development, as well as one-on-one counseling for participating companies to provide guidance on the business registration process, and ongoing services and resources.
“International companies spend billions on research and development activities in the U.S. every year,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “Enhancing the state’s soft landing program will continue attracting these global businesses to Maryland and keep us top of mind for those looking for a strategic location along the East Coast.”
Maryland businesses are also eligible for the program, allowing them to engage with partner incubators while exploring new markets abroad. Companies can apply for an ExportMD grant for up to $5,000 to help offset the cost of their participation.
Additional information is available at https://commerce.maryland.gov.
Video from this week’s announcement can be viewed below.