At the 2021 SelectUSA Investment Summit, Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz announced a new program to match international prospects with local incubators throughout the state. The Maryland Soft Landing Program will be an effort to promote existing “soft landing” programs in the state’s various business incubators, while growing the state’s hub of international companies.

The announcement was made during the virtual SelectUSA Tech pitch competition at the annual SelectUSA Summit, which attracts thousands of participants from more than 70 foreign markets, including high-potential startups in the medtech, cybersecurity, aerospace, cleantech and fintech industries. The Maryland Department of Commerce participated as a SelectUSA Tech sponsor.

Soft landing programs provide international companies with the opportunity to test out new markets at an affordable rate, with access to business resources, educational programs, mentors and advisors, and/or networking events. By enabling foreign companies to locate in Maryland for up to three months at an office or co-working space, the department hopes to convert these prospects into permanent residents of Maryland’s business community.

In addition to the promotion of local incubators, Maryland Commerce will support the soft landing programs by offering matchmaking meetings and one-on-one counseling for participating companies to provide guidance on the business registration process, Commerce’s services and resources, and more.

The department is also working on agreements for soft landing programs in other countries, which would allow Maryland businesses to explore new markets if interested in opening an additional office abroad. To learn more, contact Jessica Reynolds at [email protected] or visit