MC Square

MC Square is a set of new and expanding programs to build the County’s innovation ecosystem and foster entrepreneurship through strategic public private partnerships. It includes a new Health IT accelerator to be launched in fall 2015, a new partnership with DC’s tech incubator 1776, and a new venture mentoring program with the Tech Council of Maryland, and an expanded “entrepreneurship toolbox” that provides opportunities to showcase the county’s entrepreneurs, access funding and technical assistance, and benefit from other supportive resources. Further information can be found here. Contact DED’s Acting Director Sally Sternbach for more details at

Summary of Progress

  • Relevant Health: This month, BioHealth Innovation, a very successful public private partnership supported by the County, launched Relevant Health, the first accelerator in Montgomery County. This highly selective health IT-focused accelerator is currently hosting the first class of 7 companies for 5-months where they will work to launch viable health tech products ready for market traction, bringing minds to market.
  • Venture Mentoring Service: MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service is now active in Montgomery County and is available to the County’s entrepreneurs. Our thanks to the Tech Council of Maryland who is leading this program, which is starting with 15 founding mentors who represent the County’s serial technology entrepreneurs, angel and venture capitalists, seasoned professional services providers, and government contracting experts. The Venture Mentoring Service has been used in 50 communities worldwide and has shown stunning outcomes in the 15 years since it was started.
  • 1776 Partnership: The formal partnership between Montgomery County and 1776, DC’s tech hub, is now live. This partnership will give County businesses access to 1776’s resources and expertise and allows companies with public-serving technologies to test and deploy them in real-life settings. Our thanks to Councilmember Riemer for championing this effort.

Health IT Accelerator

Relevant Health, a new health IT Accelerator, provides early-stage companies focused on health IT with a product-focused curriculum to “accelerate” their business, while leveraging regional assets. During an intensive 5-month period, founders grow their companies to the point at which their products will be ready for further investment. These early stage companies not only benefit from hands-on business support, but also from connections with research support networks at the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute of Science and Technology, and the National CyberSecurity Center of ExcellenceBiohealth Innovation (BHI) is leading this effort with support from Montgomery County.

You can read more about Relevant Health in a recent article from the Washington Business Journal: A new health tech accelerator is launching in the region.

Venture Mentoring Program

The Venture Mentoring program is a partnership between the Dept. of Economic Development and the Technology Council of Maryland modeled after MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service. It is a model that has been successfully applied across the country and will provide the County’s burgeoning tech entrepreneurs with mentors who know how to make entrepreneurial ventures succeed. More information can be found here.

1776 Partnership

1776 is one of the most exciting and strongest forces behind the DMV’s emerging tech scene. This energy is now being tapped to expand the range of services the Dept. of Economic Development offers its entrepreneurs. DED, the County’s innovation lab (Thingstitute), and 1776 will partner to establish testbeds for 1776 companies and will sponsor 1776’s global Challenge Festival.

You can read more about this exciting partnership in a recent article from the Washington Business Journal: Montgomery County teams up with tech incubator 1776 to leverage innovation.