Why three CEOs picked Maryland for their tech startups

A former U.S. Navy Seal says proximity to the region's technical talent and security-minded customers were among the reasons Maryland attracted his start up firm, Silent Circle.

Silicon Valley may be the mecca for startups. But Maryland state officials earned welcome attention this week when the founders of three technology startups, including one launched by a former Navy Seal, sang the praises of setting up shop in and around Baltimore.

Mike Janke of Silent Circle, Gregg Smith of KoolSpan and Guy Filippelli of Red Owl Analytics, said the proximity to the region’s technical talent were among the key attractions to launching companies in Maryland.

That was especially true for Janke, a former Navy Seal, who started his mobile privacy company in Maryland in 2012, according to a report in the Baltimore edition of


Janke spoke at a CyberMaryland panel, titled “Building a World Class Start-Up in Maryland,” which was partially sponsored by the publication.

Proximity to the federal government was also a crucial part of the decision. “We said, let’s go right into the belly of the beast. Let’s do a private communications firm, start right out of D.C.,” Janke said. “We get it was absolutely critical to secure information in the privacy world to actually come to D.C., get the conversation going.”

Silent Circle has employees in eight countries now and is technically headquartered in Switzerland, with offices in National Harbor, Maryland, near the nation’s capital.

Red Owl cofounder Renny McPherson in a Huffington Post op-ed praised Baltimore as the best place to launch their firm because of its access to a large pool of potential employees via Interstate 95 and other arteries.


Read more at Baltimore.

Latest Podcasts