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Maryland officials are preparing to dole out the first investments of the $84 million InvestMaryland program this summer, but they must first whittle down a list of 37 venture capital firm applicants to about half a dozen.

The funding will essentially make the state a limited partner in five to eight VC firms, which will be tasked with routing the funds back into Maryland tech and biotech startups in a traditional VC role. A list of recommended firms is due to be released later this month.