HAGERSTOWN, MD (March 29, 2023) – The Washington County Board of County Commissioners announces Jonathan Horowitz, Director of the Department of Business Development, has joined the Innovation Fund as an Investment Committee Member. Other business leaders from the County joining Horowitz as Committee Members include:
  • Frankie Corsi – Investor in Local Businesses, President of Beachley Furniture Company
  • Basheer Azizi – Founder & President of OPSMART
  • Herb Melrath – Business Consultant with the Maryland SBDC
  • Austin Colby – Hearty Pet of Ship Simply Co-Founder
  • Chuck Ernst – TEDCO Western MD RBII Business Mentor
  • Faisal Nisar – Founder & Managing Director of ZRF Partners
Three Schurz/Antietam employees will round out the Committee, they include:
  • Chris Dautel, VP of Strategic Planning & Corporate Development, Schurz Communications  
  • Tony Heaton, Director of Media Services, Antietam Broadband
  • Randy Berlin, Director of Business Services, Antietam Broadband
The Innovation Fund is designed to support local entrepreneurs and inject capital into the business development ecosystem to help start-ups get to the next level. The total of the Fund is $1 million over 4 years. The success of the Fund will mean new job opportunities in the County and further establish Washington County as a technology hub. Information on the Innovation Fund can be found at: https://www.antietambroadband.com/antietam-innovation-fund.  
The Committee will recommend investments in Washington County based businesses with a focus on:
  • Viability, potential, growth and return characteristics that would create jobs in Washington County for the digital universe.
  • Consideration will be given to women, people of color, people with disabilities, community contributors, and members of other minority groups who have met basic investment criteria, and businesses that support those groups. 
  • The Investment Committee will make public, at least annually, a report on all firms that receive Innovation Fund investments and the local community impact.  
“We are pleased that Jonathan will represent the County on this committee and advance the County’s Business Development roadmap. The Innovation Fund is an example of the incredible work being done across the county to grow and expand businesses in the digital age. Antietam Broadband’s Innovation Fund and the willingness of business leaders to participate in the Investment Committee are the types of partnerships that create a pipeline of talent and opportunity,” said Washington County Commissioner President John Barr.
“The County supports the Innovation Fund because of the potential business and job growth we can see developing from these types of investments.  Areas of technology are the job drivers of the future, and the county will support in any way we can the development of our digital universe,” said Jonathan Horowitz, Director of the Washington County Department of Business Development.
“We are really pleased that Jonathan is joining the Investment Committee. He understands the challenges and opportunities ahead for Washington County and will be an invaluable voice in guiding investment resources where they will have the most impact for aspiring entrepreneurs,” said Brian A. Lynch, Antietam Broadband President.  
An applicant’s business should be focused on technology, innovation, or businesses with a technology angle that can take advantage of broadband technology.  The fund has the latitude to look at all kinds of businesses that meet the investment criteria.  Examples of these businesses could be digital media, artificial intelligence, cyber security, IOT, cloud, gaming etc. to create/keep well-paying jobs in the ecosystem in Washington County.