Years of planning have come to fruition and tech entrepreneurs have found a new home at the Eastern Shore Innovation Center (ESIC), the Eastern Shore’s first full-service business incubator. February 29, 2016 was the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the ESIC.
The ceremony began with opening remarks from the Director of the Dorchester County Economic Development Office (DCED) Keasha Haythe. “I want to thank each and every one of you for your commitment to come together to create a stronger and more prosperous community.”
Pastor Anthony Short from the Tri Life Christian Center followed with the invocation. The Honorable Victoria Jackson-Stanley, Mayor of the city of Cambridge said, “This is a wow situation. I’m very proud to be the mayor and be in partnership with the county as well as with so many in the community who made the vision come to reality.”
Addie Eckardt followed with the presentation of a citation and said, “Good things come to those who wait.” Eastern Shore Innovation Center Manager Steve Dolbow spoke next and said, “This is not only a physical facility with top-notch, first-class business facilities for our tenants, but it is a place where additional partners can come together, and help those tenants figure out how you take that inspiration that so many people have and turn it into real progress.” Mike Ross, president of Cambridge Federal, LLC and Lee Simms CEO of Quevera, both anchor tenants of the ESIC, spoke about the vision finally becoming a reality.
Debbie Bowden, senior business development representative with the Maryland Department of Commerce and the President and COO of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), John Wasilisin spoke next. Then the Honorable Ricky Travers, President of the Dorchester County Council said, “Here in Dorchester, water moves us to sail in a positive direction,” he thanked Haythe and her staff for the vision of the facility.
The Honorable Peter Franchot, State of Maryland Comptroller followed and said, “On behalf of the great state of Maryland, I convey my sincerest congratulations and best wishes for continued success to the Eastern Shore Innovation Center.” A ribbon cutting ceremony immediately followed with networking and facility tours.
Construction on the 13,500 SF facility began last June and was completed on schedule in January 2016. Through several partnerships the Dorchester County Economic Development Office (DCED) saw the project through completion. Willow Construction was awarded as the construction firm on the project, and Crosby and Associates served as the architectural firm. The Maryland Department of Commerce provided $1.2 million dollars in funding and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) provided $1 million for the project.
The incubator will strengthen Dorchester County’s economy by creating the infrastructure, environment and the network to help entrepreneurs and small businesses owners start or expand their businesses. The purpose of the ESIC is to spur sustainable economic vitality in the region through high-growth entrepreneurship and innovative practices in the business community. Start-up businesses entering the incubator will have the opportunity to grow and take advantage of business resources until they graduate out after two years.
The following businesses are the founding tenants of the ESIC: Cambridge Federal, a company with four lines of business that include Information Technology (IT), Investigations and Security (I&S), Base Operations and Energy Efficiency (BOEE) and Business Consulting (BC); Quevera, a custom software engineering firm that provides services across the entire spectrum of the software development lifecycle; Dalcom, a company that provides critical research and development, software development, and technical services to Aberdeen’s defense contractors; Mapping Technologies Inc. (MTI), an aerial computer-assisted mapping company, providing photogrammetric engineering services, and digital aerial data acquisition; and Garvey Environmental, a construction management and environmental engineering firm with services that include environmental site assessments, investigations and compliance assistance, and wetlands construction and restoration.
For more information on the Eastern Shore Innovation Center please call Susan Banks.