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We launched TechFire®, our technology business incubator, in 2013 to support a robust, regional economy through an innovation network that provides targeted business solutions for technology startups and entrepreneurs. TechFire® is an entrepreneur-focused technology incubation program, providing the right services and expertise at the right time, in the right location. With three offices across the state of Maryland, a wide network of expert mentors and advisors, connection with federal labs, commercialization expertise, and services tailored to meet the needs of each individual startup or entrepreneur, TechFire® is the fuel that grows viable, sustainable technology-focused businesses. We envision a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem of support across the state that fuels technology-focused business growth. We achieve our vision by cultivating a collaborative and nurturing ecosystem that provides support and resources to entrepreneurs and technology-oriented businesses. 

Our Goal 

  • Reduce risk for startups and entrepreneurs by providing access to a wide network of support.

  • Assist in technology transfer (T2) efforts, bringing DoD technologies to the commercial market and creating viable businesses from DoD inventions.

  • Serve as a catalyst for new products and services that impact the global marketplace

  • Foster public-private partnerships with entrepreneurs and government sector

  • Enhance quality of life for our employees, companies in incubation, and communities in which we serve

TechFire Model

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The TechFire Model for technology business incubation is a hybrid model that evolved from Emerging Technologies Center (ETC in Baltimore graduated 273 successful businesses in 13 years creating over $1.65 Billion in private equity for Baltimore County) and the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE of Howard County – formerly Neo-Tech with 70 businesses currently in incubation).

TechFire tailored its model for Southern Maryland technology and innovation community, creating a Phased Plan for innovation and incubation for an entrepreneur and technology company.  TechFire mentors and advisors guide entrepreneurs from ideation through initial stages of research and development, while assisting the formation of viable technical business solutions that are scalable.  TechFire will assist you in immediately recognizing a customer base and product discovery process to deliver your product or prototype to a viable marketplace.  In the process, TechFire will guide you through the back-office know-how to thrive in business.

In general, the TechFire Phasing Plan includes the following:

Phase 1 – Admissions: Introductory meeting to review the candidate company’s business plan, market, product, and strategy with TechFire leadership to assess fit, timing and mutually brainstorm the value of incubation for the candidate company (profitability). Phase 1 includes application and admissions review for promising candidates.

Phase 2 – Tailored Services and Connections: Once a candidate company is admitted, TechFire will work with the client to draft a tailored action plan which will include a mentor and services such as: marketing analyses, risk assessments, potential partner introductions, planning reviews with our entrepreneurs in residence, and other connections to our team of local service providers. Our team of serial entrepreneurs, scientists, and technology specialists will assist you in achieving your milestones and goals.

Phase 3 – Incubation-Advanced Mentoring: TechFire will assist our new clients to achieve and track progress with milestones by providing mentoring services, advisory services, and/or connections to knowledgeable service providers.  TechFire will also assist with progress checks, quality connections through the TechFire innovation network, and even link clients to service providers who can help with back-office service provisions such as (but not limited to):  accounting, HR, financial, legal, marketing, sales, technical and even engineering services.  TechFire will work closely with our companies to help set up a board of advisors, and a schedule that is both productive and meaningful for positive growth.

Phase 4 – Graduation Prep: Once all incubation milestones have been reached, TechFire will assist in preparation for graduation, press releases, and the next stages of our client company’s growth and independence.  If desired, this phase also includes advising our client companies on real estate or other professional lease agreements in the region.

Phase 5 – Alumni Services: TechFire network will be your ally and advocate going forward, where we will continue to champion and celebrate the continued success of our clients. Graduates of TechFire will be invited to join our entrepreneurial eco-system, where they can assist and advise younger client companies in the TechFire system. As alumni of TechFire, our graduates will have access to the Techfire resources and network.