TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, continues to elevate and build on its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work with a series of new initiatives, including a DEI webpage, a TEDCO diversity rider and a company registration process. TEDCO is committed to ensuring its programs and funds are utilized by a broad array of under-represented innovators and entrepreneurs – while also providing an exceptional work environment and enhanced organizational results.

TEDCO’s diversity rider, modeled after the version launched by Act One Ventures in 2020, is a call-to-action focused on increasing opportunities and access to venture capital wealth for under-represented communities. Firms adopting the rider language pledge to bring people from these communities into deals as co-investors, thus incorporating diversity into the deal-making process. TEDCO has committed to including the diversity rider into all of the deals it leads. 

As part of an updated company registration process, TEDCO will be collecting race and ethnicity data. The aggregate data will then be used in planning and prioritizing TEDCO’s new programs or making program modifications, with the goal of better serving stakeholders and ensuring TEDCO’s programs and policies fairly and equitably serve the needs of all diverse groups – and are in compliance with the requisite antidiscrimination laws, regulations, and policies.

Elizabeth Good Mazhari, who was named TEDCO’s DEI Advisor in December 2021, helped spearhead the new initiatives, working closely and collaborating with TEDCO team members.

“It was essential that TEDCO put strong DEI programs in place, as well as the right tools to track our progress and share our DEI commitment with Maryland startups and the public,” said Mazhari.