Prince George's County Tech News

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Prince Georges County – UMD Creates Crowdfunding Site Called Launch UMD To Help Fund Student Projects



Subject: Prince George’s County – UMD Creates Crowdfunding Site Called Launch UMD To Help Fund Student Projects


University of Maryland College Park has launched a crowdfunding platform called Launch UMD. The platform limits financial fundraising to members of the University of Maryland, College Park community which includes students, employees, alumni, and parents. It’s a way for the school to tap into its target market. 



Launch UMD: Startup Shell Innovation Fund

Funds can be raised for anything using this platform but the project has to be tied to the university in some way. Over the last few years, crowdfunding has become a major source of fundraising for the University of Maryland, College Park. The school simply researched, chose a vendor to operate the Launch UMD crowdfunding.

After watching the “Launch UMD: Startup Shell Innovation Fund video, I some questions.

Statement of Fact: UMD, College Park is incubating and growing businesses with the crowdfunding source Launch UMD

Q: Does Launch UMD help the broader Prince George’s County ecosystem of entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses?

Q: If not, how do we fix the disconnect and get rid of the Us vs. Them mentality?  There seems to be a disconnect between the Prince George’s County entrepreneur/startup ecosystem and the UMD, College Park entrepreneur/startup ecosystem. 

Q: Why aren’t both entities collaborating and sharing resources to support the whole community as well as foster a customer base and legislative environment for startups to grow? This would lead to higher retention rates and creative ideas/legislation to retain businesses at least in the first ten years of their existence.



Launch UMD: Make our Makerspace Accessible!

Should concerned residents, social entrepreneurs, small business owners, and startups of Prince George’s County follow UMD, College Park’s lead in finding a vendor to operate a crowdfunding platform that would focus on raising money for projects to benefit investment and solving problems within our County? In the case of UMD, the large organizational structure took the lead in organizing the vehicle but anyone one can do it. Once it is done, there has to be a plan for advertising and alerting the residents and other interested parties that this vehicle is available for use by local businesses and social causes. The link below shows a list of online companies that provide crowdfunding platforms. The devil is in the details such as:
-Is there a monthly charge for the site?
-Is there a per transaction fee charge?
-Does one platform offer more bells and whistles than the next for a cheaper price?



Support the Clark School Alumni Cup - Launch UMD


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Prince Georges County – Cybersecurity And Tech Job Worker Shortage $93K



Subject: Prince George’s County – Cybersecurity And Tech Job Worker Shortage $93K


This story about the skilled worker shortage is reported by WAMU 88.5 Metro Connection’s Jennifer Strong. Since I regularly write blog posts to prompt students, underemployed, and unemployed residents of Prince George’s County to find training and enter the cybersecurity field, I was glad to hear this story. This story lets Prince George’s County residents know the jobs are there if you get the training, certifications, and ask for help in navigating the security clearance process ASAP. The average salary in cybersecurity is $93,000.



SANS GIAC Program (www.giac.org)




(GIAC) Global Information Assurance Certification:  http://www.giac.org/



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Prince Georges County – Amazing - Bill Strickland’s Job Training And Community Arts Program Is Amazing!



Subject: Prince George’s County – Amazing - Bill Strickland’s Job Training And Community Arts Program Is Amazing!

Link to book “Make The Impossible Possible” by Bill Strickland: http://www.randomhouse.com/book/174770/make-the-impossible-possible-by-bill-strickland-and-vince-rause

Bill Strickland is the embodiment of social entrepreneurism. From hearing him speak and observing his demeanor, I think he is uniquely qualified to have taken the journey he speaks of in his presentations. This Pittsburgh native has taken his visions and translated them to actual programs with the help of wealthy donors and dedicated supporters for 22 years at the Manchester Bidwell Center in the heart of a disadvantaged neighborhood in Pittsburgh. 



Look Like the Solution: Bill Strickland's Path to Solving Problems

Through his vision and the help of multiple partners like eBay’s Jeff Skoll, Strickland has replicated an Arts and Technology Job Training Center in multiple cities called the National Center for Arts and Technology (NCAT). I hope Prince George’s County Executive, Public School CEO, and the top business leaders in the County read this blog post and contact Bill Strickland for a meeting. Bringing a project like this to Prince George’s County would be an impactful asset for improving the graduation rate, training students to be educated and competent, and  taking residents off the welfare rolls and training them for industries that have shortages. 



Manchester Bidwell Corporation: Replication

Bill Strickland gets it. He understands how to change behavior. He has proven he knows how to communicate and build up a person which is the first step to producing a solid, contributing citizen. With the current $40M plus in projects happening throughout Prince George’s County, I think all stakeholders collectively have the means to invest in a project that would benefit them greatly for years to come.



Manchester Bidwell: Adult Career Training

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Prince Georges County - Non-Profits - 501 ( c ) (3) Need Your Part Time Controller To Handle Internal Accounting



Subject: Prince George’s County - Non-Profits - 501 ( c ) (3) Need Your Part Time Controller To Handle Internal Accounting

Link to Your Part Time Controller: http://www.yourparttimecontroller.com/default.aspx

I have heard Your Part Time Controller (YPTC) sponsoring shows on WAMU 88.5 for about a year. I finally decided to go to their website to find out what they do and how they service non-profits. I was impressed with the products and services offered on the website and Eric Fraint’s mission as the founder of the organization and a social entrepreneur



Your Part Time Controller

He has dealt with non-profits for so long he knows what they need. He knows they need financial guidance, focus, and stewardship. He knows they need guidance in building internal capacity. He knows there’s lots for non-profits to do and so few hands to do it.



YPTC Training Videos: Unique Elements of Nonprofit Financial Reports

YPTC operates in several markets to include Baltimore and Washington DC. I am hoping that Prince George’s County’s underemployed, unemployed professionals, and students will read this blog post. After reading this blog post, I hope they will see a way to generate income as well as support non-profits. I hope these residents have the drive to barter with a non-profit in the County. They can also check with Prince George's County's One Stop Workforce Employment Center to see if the federal or state Workforce Initiative Act (WIA) will pay for this training.



Who's Watching the Charity Watchdogs?

In exchange for handling the non-profits books for 2 years, the non-profit will pay for them to get the training at Bookkeeper Technician University. The great thing about this training and YPTC is that the organization advertises jobs for Bookkeeper Technician's on their website. I saw jobs advertised for the Baltimore and Washington DC Metro. If you are good, learned the skills they taught you, and are dependable and trustworthy, YPTC can help you find employment.



Washington Business Report (6/1/14): Your Part-Time Controller

In conclusion, more than 8o percent of Prince George’s County non-profits had an annual budget of $25,000 or less. This says to me they need help in building capacity, raising funds, and obtaining grants. Foundations and donors these days want to see benchmarks, data, financial audits, goals, and outcomes. They want to see a Return On Investment (ROI). The services and data YPTC will provide for non-profits is exactly what foundations and savvy donors want. This is probably the best investment a non-profit in Prince George’s County could make.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Prince Georges County – 2.5 Million Middle Skilled Blue Collar Jobs – USA Today’s Where The Jobs Are



Subject: Prince George’s County – 2.5 Million Middle Skilled Blue Collar Jobs – USA Today’s Where The Jobs Are

This October 14, 2014 show explains itself. Tom Ashbrook of NPR’s “On Point” discusses this subject with USA Today’s Jodi Upton. This is an ongoing report in USA Today. Take a listen.


The New Blue Collar Jobs of Tomorrow



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