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.”