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ADVANCE Maryland

​​​ADVANCE Maryland, in partnership with the National Center for Economic Gardening, is a program for second-stage entrepreneurs that helps businesses address their unique challenges and identify new opportunities. Economic Gardening is a "grow from within" strategy targeting existing growth companies and offering them critical strategic information customized to their needs. This information can be key to propelling the company to its next phase of growth. ADVANCE Maryland is Maryland's adaptation of economic gardening.

ADVANCE Maryland provides a research team that analyzes information in five key areas - your core strategy, market dynamics, qualified sales leads, innovation and temperament. The research team mines sophisticated databases and leverages a number of high-end business development tools related to search engine optimization, social media marketing and geographic information systems. The team will work closely with selected companies to identify the scope and goals of their research. The proce​​ss is conducted using private conference calls and secure online workspace.

Applications are currently being accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Who Should Apply?

Participants must:

  • Be a for-profit, privately-held company headquartered in Maryland.
  • Generate annual revenue or working capital of between $1 million and $50 million.
  • Employ between 10 and 99 full-time employees.
  • Demonstrate growth in employment and/or revenue during two of the past five years.
  • Provide products or services beyond the local area to regional, national or global markets.
  • Be referred by a participating economic development agency or Entrepreneur Support Organization.​​

​Learn more about the program rules and apply here​

What to Expect

  • Fees: No cost to selected companies. Costs are covered by regional or state organizations.
  • Time: Accepted companies spend 8 to 12 hours collaborating with their research team. The team, in turn, works through the project plan and develops recommendations and next steps for your company.
  • Potential Projects: Identifying and prioritizing sales leads and business opportunities; refining your core strategies and business model; and using social media to connect with customers and create buzz about your products or services.
  • Logistics: All communications are handled through the phone and a secure online portal where a workspace will be assigned to your company


To learn more about ADVANCE Maryland, including how to find a participating organization, how to become an Entrepreneur Support Organization, or how to refer a company, contact:

​Jayson Knott​
Program Director, Business Development