Published 11/23/21 on Enterprise Talk

TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced its recent round of funding, including investments in 12 start-up companies and funding to 36 university projects through the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII).

Established in 2012, the MII program was created as a partnership between the State of Maryland and five Maryland academic research institutions: Johns Hopkins University; Morgan State University; University of Maryland, Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and University of Maryland, College Park. The program’s mission is to accelerate promising technologies with significant commercial potential to market while leveraging each partner University’s strengths.

“This past year has seen a record breaking number of applications across various industry sectors for new innovative technologies,” stated Dr. Arti Santhanam, MII executive director. “We are always seeking new opportunities and we’re committed to continue growing our portfolio companies and advancing their technologies to the next level.”

The fund invested $150,000 each in the following 12 companies through the Company Formation Phase of the program:

  • BLOCKsyncop, located in Highland, is a Johns Hopkins University spinout, developing a monitoring device that provides an objective measurement to quantify controlled delivery and effectiveness of neural blocks on pain.
  • Capsulomics, located in Baltimore, is a Johns Hopkins University spinout, resolving diagnostic and prognostic uncertainty to help prevent, detect, and treat gastrointestinal diseases.
  • Empower Therapeutics, located in Baltimore, is a University of Maryland, Baltimore spinout, a digital therapeutics company that utilizes functional targeting for noninvasive neuromodulation of pain sensitivity.
  • Evincis Bio, located in Baltimore, is a Johns Hopkins University spinout, solving therapeutic challenges in Urology with innovative medical technologies.
  • Geminus Therapeutics, located in Baltimore, is a University of Maryland, Baltimore spinout, developing best-in-class Artemisinin (ART714) for treating leukemia.
  • Geothermal Technologies, located in Bel Air, is a Johns Hopkins University spinout, developing the technology to provide clean, economically competitive energy.
  • Haystack Solutions, located in College Park, is a University of Maryland, College Park spinout developing a revolutionary assessment for cybersecurity talent identification and human capital optimization.
  • Kubanda Cryotherapy, located in Baltimore, is a Johns Hopkins University spinout, providing affordable cancer care for pets through a novel, low-cost cryoablation device.
  • ML4Cyber, located in Baltimore, is a University of Maryland, Baltimore County spinout developing machine learning cybersecurity solutions.
  • PreSquared, located in Cockeysville, is a University of Maryland, Baltimore County spinout that builds products to help health organizations prioritize patient care based on levels of risk.
  • Silvec Biologics, located in Rockville, is a University of Maryland, College Park spinout, producing a commercial solution to mitigate deadly citrus tree diseases.
  • Synteris, located in Rockville, is a Johns Hopkins University spinout, developing first-in-class precursor powders for 3D printing of high temperature ceramics.

A full list of funded companies can be viewed on the MII website. Visit TEDCO’s YouTube Channel to view an MII highlight video: https://youtu.be/2rxq9EcjQNQ.

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The program also funded a total of 36 grants for FY21 for its technology assessment projects. These projects reflect the technological excellence and diversity in our Maryland partner universities, including:

  • From Johns Hopkins University, developing cryptoplasmic transfer cell (CTC) therapy for retinitis pigmentosa
  • From University of Maryland, College Park, developing capacitive touch cuffs to track hand and finger gestures
  • From University of Maryland, Baltimore County, creating safe and flexible alkaline rechargeable Zn batteries (RZB)

A full list of the grant awardees can be viewed on the MII website.

As start-up companies join TEDCO’s MII portfolio, they also have access to a range of TEDCO resources—from mentors and CEO roundtables to loaned executives. These companies receive the assistance and support they need as they move through team building, balancing the funding elements, and negotiating deals.

“Over the last nine years, the program has shown the impact it can have on Maryland’s entrepreneurial community,” said Robert Hallenbeck, MII board chairman. “MII’s latest round of funding is an excellent example of the innovation we have in the state and we’re committed to helping these companies through the next stages of development.”

In the nine years since its launch, MII has disbursed $43M, de-risked 276 unique technologies and created 119 start-ups. MII’s portfolio of start-ups have gone on to raise over $571.5M in follow-on funding and resulted in seven exits thus far. In addition to being a vital part of the Maryland start-up ecosystem, these companies have created economic value by creating full-time employment for highly skilled tech employees with an average salary of $100,000.

“For nearly a decade, MII has supported the commercialization of innovative research from Maryland’s world-class universities,” stated Renee Winsky, Leadership Maryland CEO.  “We, MII board members, are all grateful to play a part in the stewardship of this remarkable program.”

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