In 2009, I began working toward a dream to create software with a soul to improve lives. I started Fearless with $6,000 in my mom’s basement.

At Fearless, we believe good tech isn’t enough – good people are needed to drive impact. We work with organizations such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help people access health care. We worked with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture to create the first digital platform to tell the African American story.

This year we will hit $100 million in revenue and provide jobs for more than 400 employees and subcontractors, but this growth and success did not come without the support of many. From my technical and entrepreneurship training at UMBC to my first cubicle at bwTech and our first small suite at Spark coworking space in downtown Baltimore, various organizations have helped us along the way.

With intentionality and connections, we can help more companies build and scale here in Maryland.

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This is why I am excited about Gov. Wes Moore’s announcement of the creation of the Maryland Economic Council. The Council will be charged with providing the governor with policy advice and recommendations to drive economic growth in the state.

Connections shouldn’t happen by accident. We have succeeded in the highly competitive federal marketplace because of programs that have provided the tools and access to resources we needed.

We have to grow our economy with purpose. Our state is rich with assets and resources, but we have to develop a strategy that leverages these to attract and grow businesses that align with our values in Maryland.

Every day I hear about something new happening in this state, and it’s inspiring. We have so many organizations and leaders who are laser focused on building our state’s economy, but we need collaborative and authentic leadership to combine these forces in an impactful way.

We have everything we need to create a strong, diverse economy, and with the collaborative strategy driven by this new Economic Council, Maryland is poised to be one of the nation’s greatest comeback stories.

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Delali Dzirasa, Baltimore

Delali Dzirasa is the CEO of Fearless, a full-stack digital services firm based in Baltimore.