Dozens of entrepreneurs—ranging from seasoned business leaders to first-time startup launchers—sat down to breakfast together this week in Baltimore.
The Maryland Entrepreneur Breakfast, sponsored by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, honored Maryland’s Inc. 500 I 5000 fastest-growing private companies and showcased representatives of the state’s vibrant and diverse entrepreneurial community.
In total, 19 Maryland companies made the top 500 of Inc. magazine’s 2013 list, several of which were recognized during the event.
Ellicott City-based GiftCardRescue.Com ranked 151st on the list with 2,518 percent growth and $6.6 million revenue in 2012. CEO Kwame Kuadey praised Maryland’s investment in early stage companies.
“The first five years, as we know, are critical, and for me, even at this stage, having gone on five years, you still have different challenges at the level you get to, especially if you’re growing, and to have resources and incubators in the area that can help startups that are promising, I think is critical,” Kuadey said.
Jessup-based TheraPearl, which ranked 210th on the list, experienced 2,017 percent growth and $5 million revenue in 2012. CEO Daniel Baumwald spoke about the role of state agencies in the company’s expansion effort.
“DBED has been fantastic for us with our global launch. I’m in talks with a lot of the folks down there about all of our globalization, and how we can take [TheraPearl] to Europe, to Asia, Australia, etc.,” Baumwald said.
Maryland DBED Secretary Dominick Murray emphasized that attendees were the evidence behind the state’s No. 1 ranking for entrepreneurship and innovation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“At DBED and the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore and the GBC and the Greater Washington Board of Trade—all of us are able to talk about our No. 1 status in this realm, and that’s because of what you guys do,” Murray said.
Find video highlights from speakers in the above video.