The Howard County Economic Development Authority is expected to announce today two new tenants for its high-technology incubator: a2z Inc. and Dot21 Real-Time Systems.
"[The] opening is very, very timely for us, and we are very lucky," said Rajiv Jain, president of a2z. "We need the support and the room, and [the incubator] is there to help us out."
The announcement of the new tenants is scheduled for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the official opening of the incubator this morning. The high-technology incubator, called the Neotech, is on Bendix Road in Columbia. It is expected to house 15 to 20 businesses, which will lease offices ranging from 250 square feet to 2,500 square feet.
Though today is the official opening of the incubator, two companies have already set up shop there: Medisolv Inc., which designs Internet portals for health care businesses, and Syntonics Corp., which develops and builds ultra-stable oscillators, a device for communication systems.
Dot21 is a three-person software firm that develops communications packages for embedded devices and for military systems, said Paul Bade, vice president.
a2z is an Internet software development company whose products range from online trade shows to online learning solutions. Their hottest product is a2zshow, which allows users to preview trade shows and conferences and register for the show online, and allows exhibitors to purchase booths online.
Trade show organizers purchase the software, and a2z provides the server and support. The company maintains the site for a year, the duration of preparing and following up on the trade show, Jain said.
It was founded about two years ago when Jain, working for a trade association in Annapolis, noticed the need for such a product. "There's just a huge potential in these industries," Jain said.
Jain said his four-employee company is quickly expanding, outgrowing its current workspace.
"Right now we are working out of my three-floor townhouse," he said, "where 1 1/2 floors are dedicated to this."