The Maryland Department of Commerce has launched “Innovation Uncovered,” a multifaceted program to highlight Maryland’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in 2020. Through blog posts, videos, and social media promotion, the Department of Commerce will be celebrating the bold new ideas and cutting-edge research and technology that spring from our unique businesses, universities, and federal laboratories.

“While we’ve spent much of this year focused on helping sustain our business community through the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no question that Maryland remains a hub for innovation thanks to our highly-skilled workforce, our federal laboratories and military installations, and our world-class research universities,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “We are still Open For Business, and the ‘Innovation Uncovered’ campaign will highlight why our state will continue to thrive no matter what challenges we face.”

The centerpiece of “Innovation Uncovered” will be the search for the “Maryland Future 20,” a list of innovative Maryland startups with the potential to become the state’s next major business success story. Members of Maryland’s business community and the general public can nominate a startup on the Innovation Uncovered website.

“These ‘hidden innovators’ may be working in a campus lab, a business incubator, or in a garage or basement.  But they might be the next big thing in Maryland business,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “We need your help to identify them so we can put them in the spotlight and help show the world that Maryland is the place for innovative ideas and businesses to take root and thrive.”

Nominations for the Maryland Future 20 will be accepted later this summer, and the final Maryland Future 20 list will be announced in the late fall. The nominations will be evaluated by a panel of investors, entrepreneurs, and business executives.

The Department of Commerce will use its website and social media channels to promote the winners for the remainder of the year, and the department encourages sharing and promoting stories of innovation from around the state.