For over twenty years, Regional Economics Studies Institute (RESI) has invited business
leaders, politicians, notable speakers, and educators to provide thoughtful commentary
and dialogue on the state of Maryland’s economy.
October 19, 2017
The 2017 Economic Outlook Forum focused on building, scaling, and sustaining a true
entrepreneurship ecosystem in Maryland.
8:00–8:45 AM: Networking and Breakfast
8:45–9:00 AM: Welcome Remarks
Dr. Kim Schatzel, President, Towson University
Will Anderson, Executive Director, Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce
9:00–10:00 AM: 2017 Economic Outlook Presentation
Presented by Dr. Daraius Irani, Towson University
Q&A led by Will Anderson, Executive Director, Baltimore County Department of Economic
and Workforce Development
An in-depth look at the state of our economy. From proposed cuts to Maryland agencies
and programs by the Trump administration to critical occupational shortages and a
low unemployment rate, the forecast addresses how economic and political forces impact
each of us. Dr. Irani's insight and commentary helps state and local agencies, businesses,
and individuals in Greater Baltimore make more strategic economic decisions.
10:00–10:15 AM: Break
10:15–10:30 AM: Entrepreneurship in Maryland
R. Michael Gill, Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce
Maryland's economy is strong and continues to outperform our regional neighbors, as
well as the country as a whole. Our state also continues to lead the way in education,
preparing highly educated workers to meet labor demands. Secretary Gill will discuss
how Maryland's strong economy and commitment to an educated workforce supports the
growth of an entrepreneurship ecosystem.
10:30–11:45 AM: Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Forum
Moderator: Tom Sadowski Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, University System of Maryland
Frank Bonsal III Director, Venture Creation, Towson University
Julie Lenzer Associate Vice President, Innovation and Economic Development, and Co-Director, UM
Ventures, University of Maryland
Anthony Williams Vice President and Senior Investment Officer, Meridian Management Company, Inc
From tax credits and grants to incubators and incentive zones, fostering entrepreneurship
has become a core component of economic development across our state. This year's
Economic Outlook Forum focuses on building, scaling, and sustaining a true entrepreneurship
ecosystem in Maryland. Panelists from government, education, and private business
sectors will discuss the challenges and solutions and seek to answer these questions:
What is the primary objective of fostering an entrepreneurship ecosystem?
How can we create an open, entrepreneurial culture that enables growth given our existing
set of policies and systems?
How can various stakeholders, who often have divergent goals, set the context for
Can an equitable ecosystem be created given the socio-economic disparity that exists
in Greater Baltimore?
What initiatives and support structures are currently available for entrepreneurs?
What will be needed for sustainability?
What role does diversity—minority, veteran, or women owned businesses—play in building
an ecosystem that works for all Marylanders?
Are there certain geographic areas that are better suited to catalyze economic development?