Maryland Venture Fund Authority Swearing-In
August 31, 2011
As Prepared for Delivery
Welcome everyone to the inaugural meeting of the Maryland Venture Fund Authority.
Thank you to Authority Chair Peter Greenleaf, and to all the members, who we will introduce during the swearing-in.
It is not a Democratic or a Republican assertion, but an economic fact and truth that for modern economies to create jobs, modern investments are required.
Together, we have cut more spending over these last five years than in any other period in our State’s history. Our balanced approach has maintained our Triple A bond rating. Our 7.2 percent unemployment rate is still far too high, but lower than many other states, and 20 percent below the national average. Last month, Maryland businesses created 10,400 new private sector jobs – the sixth best private sector job growth of any of the 50 states and DC in July.
But we cannot create jobs, as a people, simply by cutting, especially not while our global competitors are investing more in the skills and the education of their workforce; investing more in their own infrastructure; investing more in taking larger shares of global markets from competitors here in Maryland and in the United States.
Fortunately for us, in this changing world, Maryland’s economy is an Innovation Economy. And fortunately for us, we in Maryland have also chosen to invest: to invest in job creation; invest in expanding opportunity; and invest in future growth.
Again: to create jobs, a modern economy requires modern investments. We have more Ph.D scientists and engineers per capita than any other state in the nation. We rank #1 in federal research and development investments per capita. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce listed Maryland as one of the top five states for growth. The Milken Institute says we are one of the top two states for science and technology, and the Kauffman New Economy Index ranks us among the top three.
Our collective assets – private and public as well as federal – are the envy of almost every State in the Union. And yet while we rank #1 in research and development investments per capita, the Kauffman Institute ranks us 37th in terms of commercialization of that research. While Milken ranks us #2 in science and technology assets, they also rank us 14th in the availability of venture capital in our State. We ought to be able to do better than that.
Together, we know that when we harness the potential of our federal labs, universities and industries, helping them translate their new ideas into new products, new services and new businesses – we create jobs.
So we created InvestMaryland, the single largest infusion of venture capital into our State’s economy, to get venture capital flowing once again. Together, by investing at least $70 million in venture capital, we can help businesses create thousands of jobs and inject hundreds of millions of dollars into our State’s economy.
We’re here today to launch the Maryland Venture Fund Authority, the group that will oversee the development of this monumental investment in our Innovation Economy.
Its nine members’ backgrounds include work in IT, Bioscience, cyber, manufacturing, financial, education, agriculture, transportation and the non-profit sector.
They will serve as our subject matter experts, our advisors and independent best practice executives to jump-start InvestMaryland and build the best mechanism for success.
Working together with our Department of Business and Economic Development and other stakeholders, they will guide our efforts to attract and grow early stage investment entrepreneurs and companies, expand our Innovation economy, and create jobs right here in Maryland.
We welcome their leadership, and thank them for their service and commitment to our State.