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Maryland launches pro-entrepreneur initiative

Maryland hopes to encourage entrepreneurs and prospective business owners with the launch of a new statewide initiative dubbed Startup Maryland, recently launched through support from the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship. The goal of the program is to help connect entrepreneurs from across the state to each other, as well as the resources and support networks needed to start new businesses. "The heart of innovation is diversity," explained a co-chair of Startup Maryland. "Sometimes when you get in with a community it's the same old faces everywhere you go. Having thoughts from outside the community is good always improves on innovation."

While programs such as Startup Maryland are aimed to assisting entrepreneurs, Business formation in Maryland still comes with a number of legal challenges. This makes it useful for individuals wishing to start, restructure or expand a business in Maryland to seek legal assistance from a qualified attorney specializing in business and commercial law.

The primary feature of Startup Maryland is a three-week bus tour that will travel through the state in order to celebrate startup businesses and provide entrepreneurs with networking opportunities. This includes a contest in which entrepreneurs can record a short video pitch for a business idea, with the top eight pitches being entered into a statewide competition called Pitch Across Maryland. Those entered into the competition have a chance at winning business mentorships and other valuable prizes. Throughout the contest, competitors will also have the opportunity to meet legal teams, PR professionals, angel investors and other like-minded entrepreneurs.

Startup Maryland's organizers hope the initiative will help entrepreneurs who live in parts of Maryland that do not have strong existing support networks for emerging businesses, but say that even more developed communities like those in Baltimore or other metropolitan areas can benefit from the opportunity to connect with current and prospective business owners in other areas of the state.

Source: Baltimore Business Journal, "Startup Maryland tour begins for entrepreneurs," Sarah Gantz, Sep. 11, 2012

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