Press Releases

September 2016

Maryland Innovation Initiative Fuels Launch of Successful Startups from State’s Research Universities

COLUMBIA, MD (9/19/16) — TEDCO announced today its Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) program has awarded $18 million to more than 180 commercialization projects and 45 start-up companies since its inception in late 2012. Awards were given across a variety of industries, including therapeutic, software, medical devices and engineering.

“MII is the only program in Maryland that supports the transition of technology from the academic research laboratory through product development to commercialization in a start-up company,” says John Wasilisin, President and COO. “The program has been a game changer for innovators at Maryland’s research universities to take the next step in becoming entrepreneurs.”

MII-funded start-up companies have been successful in getting follow-on funding – totaling $21 million from federal funds, angel investors and venture capital firms. Some of the latest examples include;

  • Longeviti – developer of CAD/CAM, laser, and robotic technology, licensed from Johns Hopkins University,  to assist in craniofacial surgery.  The company closed a $2 million Series A in July 2016 and attracted executives from a Fortune 500 company.
  • MF Fire – developer of the Catalyst Stove, the first ultra-clean wood stove – emitting less smoke than a single cigarette, licensed from University of Maryland, College Park. The company recently raised $185,000 through the SEC’s new regulated CrowdFunding provision.
  • Sonavex – developer of the EchoSure/EchoMark system, licensed from Johns Hopkins University that detects clots during surgeries earlier and more reliably than existing modalities. The company received more than $1 million from TEDCO’s Life Sciences Investment Fund and NSF, and currently is raising a Series A round.

“After almost four years of investments, the exciting part is seeing these early technologies and teams move out from the lab, attract talent and close on seed capital investment,” says Jennifer Hammaker, Director of the Maryland Innovation Initiative. “That is a heavy lift and takes the full coordinated effort of our university partners, Site Miners and TEDCO to make it happen. It demonstrates that there are talented faculty and students who are embracing the entrepreneurial culture and doing the hard work necessary to commercialize.”

As MII-funded companies become part of TEDCO’s portfolio, they also get to take advantage of TEDCO’s wide array of resources. From mentors and roundtables to loaned executives, the companies receive the assistance and support they need as they move through team building, balancing the funding element and negotiating deals.

“We are extremely honored to be a part of this business collaboration with Johns Hopkins, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and the MII,” says Jesse Christopher, CEO of Longeviti. “From Longeviti’s infancy, our Chief Surgical Officer and Founder Chad Gordon leveraged his relationship with MII to accomplish a Phase 1 effort – the development of leading edge software that will create increased successes in the surgical arena.  After a lightning-speed start-up, Longeviti has raised $2 million in funding, published a variety of medical articles, attracted top executives from several Fortune 500 companies, created new jobs, and has established several Longeviti offices in and around Baltimore.”

The MII program funnels deals to TEDCO’s later stage funding programs like its Technology Commercialization Fund and Life Sciences Investment Fund. MII has been garnering attention from the angel and venture community by providing them a “first-look” at more than 180 innovative technologies coming out of top research universities in Maryland.

The Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) program was created as a partnership between the State of Maryland, five Maryland academic research institutions (Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, University of Maryland College Park, University of Maryland Baltimore and University of Maryland Baltimore County) and TEDCO. With $5.6 million in annual funding, MII is designed to promote commercialization of research conducted in these Universities through the creation of start-up companies. MII funds up to $265,000 per project through two phases of the program; technology assessment and company formation. For more details on eligibility and application requirements please visit www.tedco.md/MII

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The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) is the go-to source for entrepreneurial support and guidance for start-ups and early-stage companies engaged in bringing innovative ideas to market. For more than 15 years, the organization has provided funding, mentoring and networking opportunities to support Maryland’s innovation ecosystem. While founded by the Maryland General Assembly, TEDCO is an independent entity that makes seed/early-stage investments as well as series A/B investments. It is frequently ranked as one of the most active seed/early-stage investors in the nation. The organization plays a key role in bringing research created in Maryland’s educational institutions and federal laboratories into the commercial marketplace. For more information on TEDCO and its programs and resources, visit www.TEDCO.md