Three local companies Natoya Reid DMD, American Bully Manufacturing and AppleCore’s Bake Shoppe, were awarded a combined total of $25,000 in prize funding after winning a pitch competition in Howard County’s entrepreneur accelerator program, HoCo Higher. 

The program, launched in 2021, is a partnership between County Executive Calvin Ball, M&T Bank and Howard County Economic Development Authority, and provided 10 weeks of training to 17 entrepreneurs. In addition to the pitch competition winners, each participant received $5,000 in seed funding. 

All the entrepreneurs in the class participated in an elimination round pitch competition to determine 5 finalists which included: 

● Natoya Reid, DMD, 1st Place, $15,000, health care

● American Bully Manufacturing, 2nd Place, $5,000, manufacturing

● AppleCore’s Bake Shoppe, 3rd Place, $5,000, retail

● The Eudaimonia Center 

● Vine Technology Solutions   The entrepreneurs followed a curriculum curated by M&T Bank. It included lessons from presenters regarding legal business formation, obtaining certifications, developing business plans, managing business and personal finances, sourcing capital, pricing strategies, risk management and business insurance, and marketing strategies, among other disciplines.