The Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC) announced that it has awarded a loan of $100,000 to the first small business to benefit from its VOLT Growth Fund (VGF): Crownsville-based Plus Up, LLC.
“It’s exciting to see such an innovative business be the first beneficiary of the VOLT Growth Fund” said AAEDC CEO Ben Birge. “Plus Up aligns well with the program’s goal of helping local companies establish innovative products like Goodtimer in the market and create jobs. It’s certainly a unique way for AAEDC to deploy a portion of the state’s Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) funding.”
“This loan gives us the capital we need to keep our momentum and our strategic growth going,” echoed Adam Ashley, who founded Plus Up and co-created Goodtimer with his wife, Stephanie. “We couldn’t have discovered the VOLT Growth Fund at a better time, and applying for it couldn’t have been a more straightforward or efficient process.”
Ashley has already begun putting the VGF capital to work by purchasing the additional inventory required to meet growing consumer demand for Goodtimer, an electronic educational toy backed by neuroscience that encourages kids to form healthy habits using positive reinforcement, tangible incentives, and family participation. With an eye toward the back-to-school and holiday season, he has also invested in several marketing initiatives that will help build on the momentum of Goodtimer being named one of just 14 national finalists in the 2021 Amazon Launchpad Innovator of the Year contest.
“We’ve definitely grown quickly, having launched Goodtimer a little less than two years ago, but our goal is to build a brand that will be recognized as a true market leader in providing modern families with positive parenting tools and resources that will help their children establish a foundation for success,” said Ashley. “We’re excited to pursue this goal with the help of our VGF funds and are incredibly proud to be the first recipient of them.”
Created by AAEDC, which saw a unique funding niche to fill, VGF aims to help Maryland-based high-growth innovative and technology product companies implement a go-to-market strategy and accelerate sales. The program offers flexible underwriting standards and payment terms that allow for revenue growth, workforce expansion, and future equity investment. The fund is part of the state’s VLT program that uses 1.5% of proceeds from video lottery terminals (slots) to assist small, minority, and women-owned businesses located in targeted areas surrounding Maryland’s six casinos as well as throughout the state.
AAEDC began managing the VLT on behalf of the Maryland Department of Commerce in May 2013 and has directed over $14,389,057 in total funds to 112 businesses since.
To learn more about the VOLT Growth Fund or the general VOLT Fund, visit: