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Md. entrepreneurship roundup: Shark Tank comes to Salisbury, firms get funding and more

(ml12nan /

(ml12nan /

If you want a chance to impress Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner or any of the other Shark Tank sharks, your next opportunity might come this April.

Salisbury University’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business and television station WMDT will host one of this year’s four casting calls for the ABC show this April. Contestants could get picked for the chance to pitch the sharks themselves.

The April 18 casting call will be the third Salisbury has hosted and the first since 2015.

Registration for the casting call will take place from 9-11 a.m. Pitches are limited to 90 seconds or less. More information is available at

Here’s some more news from the world of entrepreneurship in Maryland this month:

McAfee acquires Light Point Security

Cybersecurity giant McAfee announced Monday that it had acquired Catonsville cybersecurity firm Light Point Security.

Light Point helps protect internet users from ransomware and other malware by letting users browse in isolation, preventing parts of the sites they are visiting from ever reaching their computer.

McAfee plans to integrate Light Point Security’s browser isolation technology into McAfee Secure Web Gateway. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

USM Maryland Momentum Fund invests in another company

The University System of Maryland Momentum Fund invested $250,000 in InferCabulary, an education technology startup based in Towson University’s Incubator.

The application hopes to help address illiteracy by helping learners infer deep meanings of nuanced words for themselves by analyzing and interpreting the common thread among carefully chosen images and provided captions.

The seed round also included funding from Andrew Morrison, Arcady Bay Partners, Bonsal Capital, City Light, and Kingdom Focus. InferCabulary plans to use the funding for sales executives, marketing and advertising, and technology and operations.

Up/Start names finalists

Maryland Institute College of Art named the finalists for its fifth annual UP/Start Venture Competition. For the first time, the competition will also be a part of MICA’s new Ratcliffe Center for Creative Entrepreneurship.

At stake is seed funding totaling $100,000, funded by the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation. The competition is open to MICA classes of 2019 and 2020 students and alumni.

The competition will conclude with a finale event April 14 at the Brown Center.

Finalists for this year’s competition include (company descriptions provided by MICA):

  • Hadassah Dowuonaa Ghanaian-American textile and graphic designer who uses textiles and graphic design to promote cultural awareness, unite Africans and the African Diaspora and to celebrate black heritage through fashion;
  • M Strickland Designan equity-based human centered design studio that helps social service organizations design more impactful products, programs and services.
  • Makers for Humankind, a shoemaker whose signature product is is an all-in-one shoe, both sneaker and sandal;
  • The Maryland Institute Black Archive uncovers The Maryland Institute College of Art’s (MICA) Black History with a collection sharing the stories of the college’s first black artists, and the accomplishments of those who attempted to study from 1896 to 1954 but could not because of the color of their skin;
  • Photo Story Workshop, an educational platform for youth to learn the language of photography and visual storytelling in order to express themselves, amplify voice and build agency from an early age;
  • Puraan ecommerce company that designs, manufactures and sells sustainable, skincare-oriented products;
  • Small Island Clothing,  a genderless tie company designed specifically for transgender and gender nonconforming people who are tired of having to choose between binary clothing options for “men” or “women;” and
  • STITCH AND DESTROY, a punk clothing business committed to sustainability and reducing textile waste.

Shore Hatchery program calls for applicants

Salisbury University’s Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Shore Hatchery entrepreneurship program called this week for applicants to the program.

Startups across the mid-Atlantic apply for a share of $200,000 in funding for an academic year.

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