Despite the low numbers in Maryland and the nation, Julia Spicer, executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association in McLean, Va., said she is optimistic for the Greater Washington region. Funding for regional startups grew to $17 million and 14 deals in 2012 from $2 million and 10 deals in 2011. Early-stage funding increased to almost $150 million and 70 deals in 2012 from $117 million from 62 deals in 2011, she said
While investment dollars in Virginia dropped to $374 million in 2012 from $617 in 2011, the number of deals rose to 81 from 76, according to the MoneyTree report.
Spicer said much of the drop in regional investment might stem from the falloff in late-stage funding, which typically requires larger deals. Late-stage funding fell to $340 million and 47 deals in 2012 from $700 million and 56 deals in 2011.
“We’re seeing a lot of activity in our seed and early-stage companies,” Spicer said. “We’re pretty encouraged about 2013. We have a robust entrepreneurial community. It’s not easy, but 2012 had strong momentum in the market.”