Passion Meets Purpose at Hagerstown Incubator
Western Maryland’s largest and most comprehensive technology-based business incubator, the Technical Innovation Center (TIC), is buzzing with entrepreneurs ready to make an impact with their ideas and innovations. TIC manager Janice Riley said the entrepreneurial employees of TIC member companies are “out to change the world.”
Jason Dumois, Founder and CEO of eLearning Talent LLC, a TIC member company, shares this trending mindset at TIC—he’s going to make an impact on the world. eLearning Talent supports companies’ learning initiatives, including staffing and content development. While eLearning Talent supports the eLearning needs of companies in a variety of industries, the company is on a mission to use its eLearning expertise to educate and inspire around one cause in particular: diabetes. Dumois’ son, who is living with Type 1 Diabetes, is the inspiration behind this mission.
“I don’t have the power to create a cure, but I have experience in eLearning to make a difference without being in the medical field,” Dumois said.
In an effort to create more engaging training about diabetes, Dumois assembled a team of eLearning professionals and diabetes experts (some who have diabetes themselves) to create videos that educate audiences about the disease. For instance, the video below was created to help educate K-12 school personnel about Type 1 diabetes. The company hopes to develop similar training videos in the future in partnership with the American Diabetes Association or another organization that believes in improving diabetes education.
How TIC Helps Entrepreneurs Pursue Their Passion
TIC helps startups transform their ideas from writing on the back of a napkin, to a sustainable business with jobs, Riley says. TIC support comes in the form of workshops, training, office space, and assistance with business planning essentials, such as go-to-market strategy. TIC offers 30 office suites, 11 wet labs, and 10,000 square-feet of manufacturing space on the Hagerstown Community College campus.
While space is critical to many companies’ operations, collaboration and networking are critical to the TIC entrepreneurs as well.
“Peer-to-peer mentoring just happens in the hallway,” Riley said about the camaraderie and networking between staff at TIC member companies.
Dumois called TIC “a big think tank,” saying that entrepreneurs, regardless of what industry they’re in, put their heads together as entrepreneurs to help each other solve problems. “It’s a huge support center,” Dumois said. When asked about his thoughts on entrepreneurship in Maryland, Dumois said: “I see this area becoming the Silicon Valley of the East Coast.”
TIC’s Growth & Impact
Since 2013, TIC has graduated six companies, which have all went on to operate their businesses locally in Hagerstown. These companies employ 60 people and generate more than $50 million in revenue, Riley said. The TIC has acquired 15 new startups since July 2015 and served 72 companies in fiscal year 2016.
Governor Larry Hogan recently recognized TIC with a Governor’s Citation for its ongoing support of growing tech startups from an innovative idea to a sustainable company. Additionally, on November 30, the Regional Manufacturing Institute (RMI) awarded Riley a Champion in Manufacturing award for increasing growth through her visionary leadership.
To learn more about the Hagerstown Technical Innovation Center contact Janice Riley:
To learn more about eLearning Talent contact Jason Dumois: