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SCALEUP Maryland partners with CAMI to help businesses grow 

A number of programs exist to help people start businesses, but there are few that focus on helping companies that have reached an inflection point.

One such program was created with funding from the Maryland Department of Commerce and the T. Rowe Price Foundation. Put  together by [email protected] and TCV Growth Partners, the SCALEUP Maryland program is designed to help companies that are poised for growth and expansion.

The free four-month program helps companies that typically have between $300,000 and $5 million in revenues.

Launched last year, the SCALEUP program is now on its third cohort. Of the 12 companies taking part, five are cybersecurity-based firms recruited for the session by the nonprofit Cybersecurity Association of Maryland Inc. (CAMI).

Tasha Cornish, CAMI’s executive director, said CAMI and SCALEUP Maryland share advisers and board members who felt a partnership would benefit both the nonprofit and Maryland cyber companies.

“A lot of times folks come to the cyber profession as technicians and are really passionate and mission-driven to create companies, and they do a really great job of creating that technology and getting those initial customers, but it is really hard to step beyond (that),” Cornish said.

Sometimes, Cornish continued, professionals get so caught up in their day-to-day business lives that they don’t take time to work with consultants to create strategic growth plans or to gain the tools needed to execute such plans.

“I hope that people really leave this experience with greater knowledge of their own company,” Cornish said of the SCALEUP Maryland program.
The program focuses on five key elements of scaling a company: sales and marketing, finance, operations, human capital and leadership.

“All of our programming is wrapped in those five pillar areas,” said William Anderson, interim director of entrepreneur services at [email protected] “You need to have your eye on each of those domains to really grow a business from, say, $1 million to $10 (million).”

Anderson said that companies “flocked” to the program when it was announced.

The SCALEUP Maryland cohort meets every Friday to focus on a specific topic, such as understanding and managing cash flow, building trust, mentorship, purchasing and supply chains. Participants are given homework assignments, as well as the opportunity to meet one-on-one with business experts and advisers in an office hours setting.

“The executives that take advantage of these one-on-one office hours are really getting a great deal,” Anderson said. “They are getting super precise advice.” Many of the advisers have worked with [email protected] in the past, with others coming from TCV Growth Partners’ network.

Anderson notes that several program graduates already have doubled their staff size and entered into new partnerships and markets.