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bwtech imageSocial Solutions' Journey from Tech Incubator to Global Profile

Social Solutions started back in 2000 with a handful of talented people and a vision to improve the effectiveness of social services by using data-driven software to measure outcomes.

The journey took them to a technology incubator in Baltimore, with the company growing to 36 employees by 2006. Social Solutions hatched from the incubator and nested in White Marsh. Today, they have a global profile and by the end of this year expect to employ over 300 people and clear well over $40 million. Social Solutions client list includes federal and local government agencies and major non-profit organizations around the world. 

“One of the reasons we’ve been successful here is the proximity to major non-profits, public institutions and universities. Having these elements so close together keeps ideas fresh and allows the entrepreneurial spirit to flourish, which is critical as we move to become an enterprise-class software company,” said Social Solutions CEO Scott Johnson.

Social Solutions has won Baltimore County’s New Directions Award, which honors a company that represents the future of the County’s business community, and recently received the Maryland Incubator Company of the Year Award as a graduate of the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore City.

This is how incubators and entrepreneurship should work – nurture while young and developing, give tools to help companies become independent, then let them run free to grow.

Maryland has long understood that visionary entrepreneurs need the room to be creative and thrive in an environment where they can benefit from other young companies, shared resources and mentorships. Baltimore County is home to two incubators, Towson University’s TU Incubator, which recently expanded into a larger facility and bwtech@UMBC, the second largest incubator in the State. Annual economic impact of bwtech@UMBC tenant operations supports 2,472 jobs in the Baltimore regional economy with associated income of $159 million.  Businesses enjoyed total 2014 sales or revenue of $328 million because of bwtech@UMBC tenants, according to a study by Sage Policy Group. 

Will Anderson, Baltimore County Director of Economic and Workforce Development, talks about the relationship between our colleges and incubators. “Having our incubators embedded in our college campuses not only offers a vibrant quality of life, but puts an invaluable network of resources to work, generating good ideas destined for success. We’re seeing a steady stream of businesses thrive in this setting and beyond.”

When companies are ready to hatch from the incubator, Baltimore County is ready to back them up. Six incubator companies recently received working capital loans from the Baltimore County Boost Fund, a program designed to help small, minority, woman and veteran owned businesses. The list includes up-and-coming companies Lesson Cast Learning LLC, RedShred, LLC and Light Point Security, LLC, each finalists in the Invest Maryland Challenge business competition for innovative startups.    

So the next time you’re strolling through the campus of UMBC or Towson University, keep your eyes peeled for empty shells on the ground. It just might be a sign that an incubator firm is hatching as the next global company.   

By Bryan Dunn, Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development

conceptual rendering of Towson Square Fronda Cohen
 Baltimore County Office of Communications

Towson is one of the most exciting suburbs in America.  Easy for us to say, but don’t just take our word for it.  A new survey by Business Insider ranks Towson #11 in the U.S.  The survey ranked nearly 140 suburbs across the country by what they call “excitement factors,” looking at:

  • Nightlife per capita (bars, clubs, comedy, etc.)
  • Live music venues per capita
  • Active life options per capita (parks, outdoor activities, etc.)
  • Fast Food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better)
  • Percentage of restaurants that are fast food (the lower the better)

Towson has more than 60 restaurants, including new downtown destinations Cunningham’s and Oyster Bay. Towson’s 55,000 residents can go for a run around the Towson University or Goucher campus, through welcoming neighborhoods, around the Towson Y, in one of four County parks, and soon at the new L.A. Fitness in Towson Commons.  New bike lanes will make cycling easier throughout Towson. Turn up the music at a WTMD live lunch at Olympic Place, in Towson University Center for the Arts and Stephens Hall, or Goucher’s KraushaarAuditorium. This summer, Towson Square adds 15 Cinemark movie theatres and eight new restaurants to downtown Towson. 

Not hard to see the excitement here!

Read more at Business Insider

graphic image of two turkeys in football gear with school logosJordan Fish
Baltimore County Office of Tourism & Promotion

As families around Baltimore gather for the day of feasting and revelry, many will also be heading to join the red or blue cheering sections assembled for the big game. Around here watching the annual Turkey Bowl is as much a part of Thanksgiving as pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and shaking-your-head when your uncle says something cringe-worthy at the dinner table.

With the Ravens playing the Steelers Thanksgiving night, the 2013 Turkey Bowl will be played at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium between Loyola Blakefield and Calvert Hall. The intimate atmosphere and convenience for many fans in Baltimore County should make for a great game and great event regardless of your rooting interests.

Just for some context, the formation of the League of Nations, the beginning of prohibition, and the Red Sox trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees -  all of these events occurred the same year as the playing of the first Turkey Bowl in Baltimore. Now entering its 94th year, a new chapter is about to be written in the rivalry between the Loyola Dons and the Calvert Hall Cardinals.

 If you have never attended this great Baltimore tradition, make sure to experience the energy and fun, or at the very least, watch the 10 a.m. game on ABC. Tickets can be obtained at the Towson University Union Ticket Office and from Calvert Hall and Loyola Blakefield.


Revised April 6, 2016