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Invest Maryland board takes shape (access required)

Gov. Martin O'Malley installed a nine-member board Wednesday to oversee the state's planned venture capital fund that, if all goes as planned, will pump at least $70 million into young, high-tech companies. "For a modern economy to create jobs we need to make modern investments," O'Malley said before swearing in the Maryland Venture Fund Authority board members. Invest Maryland was O'Malley's top economic initiative in the past legislative session and, according to the Department of Business and Economic Development, is the largest economic development program in Maryland's history. It is designed to enable entrepreneurs to capitalize on the research done at government and university labs in the state. "It will get venture funding flowing again," O'Malley said. Peter Greenleaf, the president of MedIummune Inc. in Gaithersburg and the chairman of the authority board, called Invest Maryland "a progressive opportunity and one that not every state is capitalizing on." MedImmune is touted by state officials as a modern Maryland success story to be emulated by beneficiaries of Invest Maryland. The company was started with a venture investment in the early 1980s and has grown to 3,500 employees worldwide, with the vast majority in Frederick and Montgomery counties.