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Tom Dann Named Maryland Venture Fund Managing Director

Baltimore, MD (July 10, 2012) –Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) Secretary Christian S. Johansson today announced that Thomas S. Dann has been named Managing Director of the Maryland Venture Fund. Dann, the founder and managing director of CastleHaven Advisors and venture capital veteran, will oversee the 17-year-old State Venture program, which has invested into hundreds of start-up and early stage companies, generating a $61 million return, 2,000 jobs and more than $1 billion in private investment. He will also direct investments through the State’s InvestMaryland program, which raised $84 million in funding earlier this year to be deployed to seed and early-stage companies  through the Venture Fund and private venture firms.

“As a successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist,  Tom understands that investing in our Innovation Economy will help the State create thousands of jobs over the next 10 years and position us as a leader in science, security, health, discovery and information technology,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “We are fortunate to have someone with Tom’s experience and valuable insights to help guide InvestMaryland and continue the growth of innovation in Maryland.”

“Governor O'Malley's innovative InvestMaryland program has the potential to be a real game changer for innovative companies in Maryland, and I'm excited and honored to have this opportunity to be a part of it,” said Dann. “There is a major funding gap for startup companies, and this program can make a significant contribution to filling that gap, both by direct investment and by leveraging more investments from private venture firms.” 

“Entrusting the responsibility for such a critical investment vehicle necessitates a leader who will bring sound judgment as well as creative thinking to this new and important role, both skills which Tom Dann most certainly possesses,” said Julia Spicer, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Venture Association.  “Tom’s prior direct experience as an active and respected venture investor in our region and beyond will serve him and our greater community well.”

“I am delighted with Tom’s appointment,” said Brian Darmody, Maryland Venture Authority board member and University of Maryland Associate Vice President of Research and Economic Development and Director of Corporate Relations. “Having someone with his sector experience matches up well with the new financing tools and policy reforms the State and Maryland research universities are implementing to encourage more technology and venture development.”

"I think Tom’s appointment is great news,” said James Pastoriza, Managing Partner at Telecom Development Fund. “He has been on both sides of the public and private processes of company creation so he is perfectly suited to this new opportunity.”

Dann’s professional career has been focused on private equity, venture investing and public and private initiatives to foster entrepreneurship and job creation. In addition to serving on the Maryland Venture Fund Board since 2004, Dann founded ECentury Capital Partners in 1999 and served as the managing director and general counsel until 2011. Prior to that he was a partner at a Washington D.C. law firm Hewes, Gelband, Lambert & Dann from 1989 to 1999 and served as Chairman and Organizer of the Development Bank of Washington from 1989 to 1991.

Dann received a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University and a Juris Doctorate from the American University Law School. He is a member of the Maryland Bar, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland Bar, District of Columbia Bar and the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Maryland Venture Fund is a state-funded seed and early-stage equity fund that receives annual allocations from the Maryland State Legislature and invests in promising companies. Approximately 60 percent of the Fund is invested in technology companies in the areas of software, communications, and IT security, and 40 percent of the Fund is invested in life sciences companies in the areas of therapeutics, medical devices, and diagnostics.

ABOUT DBED: The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing workforce training and financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State's many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the Arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit www.ChooseMaryland.org.

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