Betterfin had a great time as we joined the Maryland SBDC outside of Baltimore on October 24th for the Maryland SBDC Staff Retreat and Innovation Awards. There we learned how SBDCs all across Maryland are helping meet the needs of small businesses in their communities and what they can use to make a bigger impact.

During the 2019 Maryland SBDC Innovation Awards, Betterfin sponsored a $5,000 fund for the Maryland SBDC to use in internal initiatives to further the SBDC mission. Four teams of cross-center groups presented five minute pitches for various projects and efforts that would directly impact the ability of the SBDC to deliver value to clients, expand the SBDC client base, and broaden the services the SBDC offers. The themes presented included Training, Professional Development, Management, and Technology.

Betterfin CEO, Eric Griego, and Head of Marketing, Nick Guercio, sat on a panel with the Maryland SBDC Executive Director and Deputy State Director and together we awarded the team for Training with the Innovation Award. These funds will go towards creating an online training program that will allow SBDCs across Maryland to provide access to SBDC experts & content, broaden the SBDC's relevance to small businesses, and introduce the SBDC to an underserved population.

Paul Bardack, Maryland SBDC Executive Director said, "We've had many changes and challenges, including seeking new ways to unleash the creativity of our amazing team. So we held a "Shark Tank" competition in which groups of our staff, in close collaboration with one another, developed ideas for new organizational initiatives and separately pitched those ideas. The result? A newfound sense of excitement, and funding from Betterfin which over the coming months will allow us to turn a number of staff dreams into realities."

Betterfin is always looking to sponsor SBDC initiatives, including annual innovation funds to fuel projects that will modernize SBDC offices. These awards are an enormous opportunity to support our partners at SBDCs and receive direct input on how we can make the Betterfin platform and SBDC portal an indispensable tool for SBDC professionals.