The Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp. (AAEDC) announced that five local technology companies have been approved for loans through its Next Stage Fund, the signature component of its Arundel Defense Tech Toolbox. The announcement translates into allocations totaling more than half of AAEDC’s initial investment of $1 million when it launched the program in July 2017.

“We created [the Next Stage Fund] to assist companies at the mezzanine stage of growth; a business that has launched and invested in themselves in the early stage and has had initial success, but needs support to scale up,” said Julie Mussog, CEO of the AAEDC.

The Next Stage Tech Fund offers 0% loans from $50,000 to $250,000. Loans can be structured with flexible payment terms between one to five years to accommodate a company’s cash flow. Companies benefitting from this finance program include the following.

• Penacity, Pasadena: A veteran-owned small business, this cybersecurity company specializes in social engineering, cyber threat analysis, penetration testing and cyber technology integration penetration testing.

• Applied Information Technology, Annapolis Junction: An information technology (IT) and security firm, [it] has clients in the government and commercial space. CEO Gwen Greene is currently in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.

• Netrias, Annapolis: Supports projects within the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The company’s work focuses on applying Artificial Intelligence and machine learning techniques to cybersecurity and life sciences problems.

• Xona Systems, Annapolis: Xona Systems provides a secure gateway for remote access to business applications. CEO Bill Moore is an IT networking and security professional and has developed civilian and DoD business for FireEye.

• XentIT, Crofton: A certified minority-owned business, XentIT specializes in managed/co-managed security operations center services; cybersecurity and compliance advisory services; and IT resale and integration services.

To access the toolbox, businesses must be located in Anne Arundel County or have a signed lease demonstrating their intent to move into the county. For more information, contact AAEDC Business Development Associate Sarah Purdum at 410-222-7410 or by email at [email protected].