HCEDA CEO Jennifer Jones, center left, and Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, center right, cut the ribbon on The Accelerator, a versatile space that gives Howard County entrepreneurs room to grow. (TBM / Jason Whong)

Entrepreneurs and startups in Howard County have the opportunity to rent a newly-opened space for meetings, collaboration, classes, events and other business activities.

The Accelerator, a 1,056 square foot main area connected to a 500 square foot training room, was unveiled by the Howard County Economic Development Authority on April 30.

Located on the first floor of HCEDA’s headquarters at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive in Columbia, the unveiling took place during a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and HCEDA CEO Jennifer ones.

“This space expands our ability to offer a wide range of services for all businesses from entrepreneurs to established companies, providing a modern, collaborative environment to nurture their growth and innovation,” Jones said.

The Accelerator boasts an open floor plan, vibrant colors and modern materials that create an approachable, positive and energetic environment.

“The idea is that these rooms give entrepreneurs and startup businesses more room to grow without the need for investing in their own space,” said Jesse Trahan, HCEDA spokesperson.

The Accelerator further enhanced by works of art from local Maryland artists that are on display and available for purchase.

Oshean Blu Bey, center, discusses her art, called “Beyond Tangled,” with HCEDA CEO Jennifer Jones, left, and Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, at the grand opening of The Accelerator. “My art is called ‘Beyond Tangled.’ … I believe that everything in the universe is constantly moving. Everthing is in constant state flow.” She answered a call for artists whose work would appear in the new space. (TBM / Jason Whong)

The HCEDA engaged Laura Bacon, CEO of The 3rd, to reach out to the creative community and refer artists who were looking for display space.

“That’s another way we’re supporting our local entrepreneurs,” Trahan said. “It’s a little harder for us to come across opportunities to help the creative space, so this was an a perfect opportunity to highlight them.”