Columbia-based TEDCO has launched the Open Institute for Black Women Entrepreneur Excellence in collaboration with the Howard County Government.

In an alliance with Maryland’s four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), TEDCO and Howard County are creating a community of entrepreneurs to support each other and provide a best-in-class entrepreneur leadership development program focused on building critical skills that foster resilience.

“This pilot program is setting the stage for us to implement this initiative throughout the rest of the state,” said Linda Singh, executive director for TEDCO’s Women Entrepreneur Leadership. “We look forward to seeing the growth of these entrepreneurs and the future successes for a one-of-a-kind program focused on mitigating challenges Black women entrepreneurs face.”

The pilot program kicks off in Howard County at the Maryland Innovation Center (MIC), and will bring together 25 entrepreneurial leaders in a cohort to develop a network of peer advisors and a community that seeks collaboration. The HBCUs will determine the needs of these entrepreneurs at the intersection of research, tech transfer and education. Maryland’s HBCUs include Bowie State UniversityCoppin State UniversityMorgan State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

To be eligible for the cohort, applicants must be a founder, co-founder, or CEO whose company is at a minimum of pre-seed to growth stage and a maximum of pre-series A. The application deadline is May 2, 2022 and is limited to 25 participants.

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