Three Maryland businesses received pre-seed funding this quarter from a program designed to help minority entrepreneurs get their tech startups off the ground.
The Maryland Technology Development Corp. (TEDCO) and The Harbor Bank of Maryland Community Development Corp. announced the awards for the three companies from the Minority Business Pre-Seed Fund, each of which will receive up to $40,000.
“These minority-founded businesses represent the audacious ideas that make Maryland such a thriving technology ecosystem,” said George Davis, CEO of TEDCO, in a statement. “(The fund) is competitive, and only the best ideas supported by a thoughtful commercialization plan receive an investment – these awardees are among the best of the best.”
The companies selected for funding are:
- kweliTV, a streaming platform that shares content about the African Diaspora experience. That content includes independent film, news, web shows, kids programming and documentaries produced by filmmakers and journalists. KweliTV is based in Silver Spring.
- PYT Funds, Inc, an online, financial services firm focused on increasing access to last-mile student loans. PYT’s platform lets friends and families help by vouching for the student and supporting the student with small gifts. PYT (Pay Your Tuition) calls this alternative date, which allows the company to work with lenders to leverage a lender loan approval. PYT is based in Rockville.
- PyroDex, LLC, a business-to-business biotech company that offers a quick turnaround for detection of fever-causing contaminants called pyrogens in injectable or implantable medical drugs and devices. The company says it can return test results in 2 days for a premium price or in less than 5 days for its standard price. PyroDex is based in Baltimore.
“The Harbor Bank of Maryland Community Development Corp.’s investment into these companies represents our commitment to supporting the best ideas and entrepreneurs in the region,” said John Lewis, the community development corporation’s executive vice president. “We know that catalytic investment is vital to the growth of the local economy.”
The Minority Business Pre-Seed Fund accepts applications and makes awards every quarter. The fund is currently accepting applications for its next round of awards.