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Credit MEDICA 2013

Credit MEDICA 2013

A growing number of firms in the medical device industry call Maryland home. But this week, a select group has ventured across the globe to participate in MEDICA, the world’s leading trade fair for medicine and medical technology.

Between Nov. 20 and Nov. 23, international medical market leaders, including 4,641 exhibitors from 66 countries, are descending on Dusseldorf, Germany for a range of MEDICA events. The BioMaryland Center, through the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, is a state exhibitor, promoting Maryland’s medical-friendly business environment and also sponsoring attendance from participating companies.

“It really is a global event. We’re going to have probably over 150,000 visitors to our state booth,” said Carey Esslinger, regional manager over Europe, Russia, FSU, Latin America and the Balkans for Maryland DBED.

Maryland companies in attendance include Harmans-based AIV Inc.; Hanover-based BTE Technologies; Ijamsville-based BioAssay Works, LLC; Frederick-based BioElectronics Corporation; Annapolis-based Compass Languages; Westminster-based ImmunO4; Bethesda-based Dimetek Digital Medical Technologies Ltd.; Landover-based Man & Machine, Inc.; Germantown-based Medispec Ltd.; Rockville-based Tetracore, Inc.; and Pasadena-based Moss Inc.

Roughly half of the companies are showing in the Maryland booth, while others have “graduated” to become individual exhibitors, Esslinger said.

In recent years, Maryland’s participation in the show has planted the seeds for exporting agreements and foreign investment deals.

“It’s a perfect platform for Maryland companies looking to expand their sales internationally,” Esslinger said. “We have a number of Maryland companies attending the show this year, including manufacturers such as Man & Machine, who design water-proof keyboards used in hospitals, and Tetracore, which has developed a field testing kit for biological agents.”

The state, now considered a regular on the show floor, has developed a global reputation.

“Maryland’s strengths—such as proximity to federal facilities like the FDA, state of the art medical institutions like Johns Hopkins University and a highly educated workforce—are recognized and respected internationally,” he said.

Credit MEDICA 2013

Credit MEDICA 2013

Credit MEDICA 2013

Credit MEDICA 2013

The next time you’re filtering through airport security, consider that the equipment scanning you and your luggage was likely produced right here in Maryland.

Smiths Detection, with its U.S. headquarters in Edgewood, is the world’s leading supplier of an array of tools used to detect weapons, explosives and chemical threats.

“Talk to any of our employees, we take great pride in keeping people safe,” said Mike Castek, site head of the Edgewood plant. Smiths Detection employs roughly 230 Marylanders, about 10 percent of the global division’s workforce, operating within United Kingdom-based Smiths Group.

While the majority of Americans will interact with a Smiths Detection scanner or x-ray machine at an airport, products also cater to elite security groups like the United Nations’ Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Weapons inspectors used Smith Detection products during their most recent investigation of chemical warfare in Syria. The group’s mission helped secure them the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

The focus on chemical weapons detection is part of the rationale behind its Edgewood location. Aberdeen Proving Ground, just a stone’s throw from the plant, houses the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, which uses several Smiths Detection products. Military and first responders to chemical threats have utilized the company’s unique Chemical Biological Protective Shelters.

“It’s crucial to be close to our customers and to be able to get the products to the right place as quickly as possible,” said Brian Boso, chief scientist at the plant.

Leadership at the Maryland location also take advantage of their proximity to Washington, D.C.

“We talk to the CIA, TSA, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals and the Department of Defense on a constant basis, trying to work with them to figure out what the future threats are and to develop new techniques,” Boso said.

“Unfortunate events” have contributed to Smiths Detection’s rapid growth in recent years, company leadership said.

Prior to Sept. 11, 2001, threat detection equipment represented a very small portion of Smiths Group’s global operation. Through acquisition of another company, it then produced 100-150 desktop explosive detectors per year. Three months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, however, the Transportation Security Administration placed an order for 6,000 desktop explosive detectors to be issued at airports across the nation.

“It’s a very event-driven industry. As the terrorists change their mode of operation, we have to adapt,” Boso said.

Increased demand for security equipment caused Smiths Group to name Smiths Detection a separate division in 2003. In recent years, the Edgewood plant’s footprint and workforce has doubled.

Smiths Detection was at the forefront of developing on-site detection tools for “white powder incidents,” often suspected of involving anthrax, he said. More recently, the company has developed a scanner for liquid, which will enable TSA to restrict only threatening liquids carried on by passengers, clearing harmless ones.

The Edgewood plant’s workforce reflects the changing face of new-age manufacturing, where the laboratory is as important as the factory floor.

A large number of employees are electronic test technicians, who typically have a two-year associates degree with an electrical engineering focus. Members of the research and development staff tend to have advanced degrees.

“It can be a challenge sometimes to find highly technical scientists, but we’ve been able to take advantage of Maryland’s educated workforce and also attract people here,” Castek said.

As opposed to historic perceptions of a dangerous factory, Smiths Detection’s next-generation manufacturing methods focus on protecting the employee.

“The workplace is designed around the people as much as it’s designed around the equipment, which was not the case years ago,” Boso said.  “We pride ourselves that our products help keep people safe, so we certainly don’t want anyone getting hurt building our products.”

Smiths Detection is poised for growth in Maryland. Already, its technology is used at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, BWI Fire & Rescue Department and fire departments in Harford County, Cecil County, Prince George’s County and Baltimore City. Multiple courthouses and federal buildings in Maryland also use Smiths Detection weapons scanners.

Boso said the company is well integrated with governmental and public safety institutions across the country, but there are new opportunities emerging in commercial and critical infrastructure markets.

Corporate headquarters, schools, mass transit stations and prisons are becoming customers for threat detection equipment, including x-ray machines, metal detectors, scanners used to secure checkpoints.

“We see a fair amount of expansion in those areas, for sure. Smiths is optimistic about the future market,” Boso said.


November 14, 2013 (Baltimore, MD) – Governor Martin O’Malley announced today that EnerTech Capital Partners and Foundation Medical Partners (FMP) have been selected to receive funds through the State’s $84 million InvestMaryland program. The venture capital firms will invest $10 and $7 million each in young, innovative Maryland companies. As part of the agreement, the firms will return to the State’s general fund 100 percent of the principal and 80 percent of the proceeds from successful investments. Created by Governor O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly in 2011, InvestMaryland is a historic initiative to fuel Maryland’s Innovation Economy, support entrepreneurs and stimulate job creation.

“Maryland is committed to investing in the entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses that will soon become the leaders of our growing Innovation Economy and we are excited to have EnerTech and FMP join us in that effort,” Governor O’Malley said. “InvestMaryland leverages the capital and expertise of the private sector to support young Maryland businesses as they grow and create family-sustaining jobs for the people of our State.”

“Venture capital and knowledgeable investors can mean the difference between success and failure for young companies, even those built around promising ideas and innovative technologies,” Business and Economic Development Secretary Dominick E. Murray said. “InvestMaryland is just one more advantage Maryland has in the life sciences, social media, cybersecurity, big data, green energy and other high-tech fields. We look forward to working with EnerTech and FMP as they make their investments.”

“EnerTech has been investing in Maryland since shortly after our founding in 1996. We are delighted to be selected by the InvestMaryland team and welcome their participation in our final close of EnerTech Capital Partners IV,” said Tucker Twitmyer, Managing Director of EnerTech. “The State has an impressive track record in our sector and we look forward to helping Maryland’s workforce create the next generation of real energy solutions — for Maryland and for the world.”

EnerTech invests in early to growth-stage companies that offer products or services that make energy production and consumption more efficient, reliable, and cost-effective. The firm has managed about $500 million since its founding in 1996. Its current fund, in which InvestMaryland is a participant, is approximately $120 million. EnerTech’s portfolio ranges from Tangent Energy Solutions, a company that makes industrial sites more energy efficient, to n-Dimension Solutions, a cybersecurity firm focused on critical infrastructure.

FMP invests in the healthcare technology sector, focusing on transformational technologies and services that enable value-based healthcare and leverage wireless, data and analytics technologies. Its portfolio includes a diverse set of companies specializing in healthcare informatics, medical device development and innovative diagnostic technologies. FMP is still in its fundraising phase and could not comment on its new fund.

InvestMaryland is the largest venture capital investment in history by the State. Last year, $84 million was raised for the program through an online auction of tax credits. Of that funding, two-thirds will be managed by private venture firms like EnerTech and FMP. So far, $48 million has been committed to seven firms. The remaining third is being invested by the state-run Maryland Venture Fund (MVF).

The MVF was seeded with $25 million and over its 17-year existence invested in hundreds of start-up and early stage technology and life sciences companies, generating a $67 million return, 2000 jobs and more than $1 billion in private investment. Returns from MVF investments are reinvested in the program.

The second annual InvestMaryland Challenge is in full swing. If your business is in need of a jump start, check out this site for more information about the national business competition. The Challenge offers applicants free admission to networking events, social media promotion, scoring and feedback from judges, exposure to venture capital firms and angel investors and the chance to compete for more than $600,000 in prizes. Winners of the Life Sciences, IT, Cybersecurity and General Industry categories will each win $100,000 awards. Others will take home smaller grants, incubator space, consulting services and other cash and in-kind prizes. Applications are due by Dec. 6.

Judges include a distinguished lineup of industry leaders and experts in a variety of fields. Meet a selection of judges below.

Meet The Judges:



Robb Doub joined New Markets Venture Partners in 2003. Robb is the lead administrative partner and serves as a board director for eCoast Sales Solutions and Appfluent Technology, and is lead partner or board observer for K2 Global, Kroll Bond Ratings, Navtrak, Three Stage Media, CSA Medical and TidalTV. He also serves on the board of Egeen International and the Conflicts Advisory Board of the off-shore hedge funds.


Daphne Dufresne joined RLJ Equity Partners from Parish Capital Advisors, where she was a Venture Partner managing the direct investment and co-investment program. Formerly, Ms. Dufresne was a Principal at Weston Presidio Capital with $3.4 billion of assets under management. She also served as Associate Director in the Bank of Scotland’s Structured Finance Group. Ms. Dufresne received her B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.


Christy Williams Wyskiel is an entrepreneur and investor with 20 years of experience focused on the life sciences and healthcare industries. Previously, Christy was Managing Director at Maverick Capital, an equity hedge fund with $12 billion under management. She co-founded GrayBug, an ophthalmic drug-delivery company. In 2012, Christy joined the Johns Hopkins Alliance, a board charged with evaluating the commercial viability of research projects at JHU.


Frederick J. Ferrer has over three decades of experience in the National Security, Intelligence Community (IC), Homeland Defense and Cyber. Mr. Ferrer holds a Master’s of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University and serves in a number of leadership capacities, including the Maryland Commission on Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence; National STEM Consortium Advisory Committee; and Chesapeake Regional Tech Council.


As the Executive Director and President of the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore, Ms. Tillett is responsible for management of budgetary, administrative, programmatic functions and strategic planning. Prior to joining ETC, Ms. Tillett served as president and co-founder of Immersive 3D, LLC, a technology start-up providing web-based 3D computer gaming solutions for K-20 education and offering contract-based technology services.

See the full list of judges and submit your application on

Dozens of entrepreneurs—ranging from seasoned business leaders to first-time startup launchers—sat down to breakfast together this week in Baltimore. 

The Maryland Entrepreneur Breakfast, sponsored by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, honored Maryland’s Inc. 500 I 5000 fastest-growing private companies and showcased representatives of the state’s vibrant and diverse entrepreneurial community.

In total, 19 Maryland companies made the top 500 of Inc. magazine’s 2013 list, several of which were recognized during the event.

Ellicott City-based GiftCardRescue.Com ranked 151st on the list with 2,518 percent growth and $6.6 million revenue in 2012. CEO Kwame Kuadey praised Maryland’s investment in early stage companies.

“The first five years, as we know, are critical, and for me, even at this stage, having gone on five years, you still have different challenges at the level you get to, especially if you’re growing, and to have resources and incubators in the area that can help startups that are promising, I think is critical,” Kuadey said.

Jessup-based TheraPearl, which ranked 210th on the list, experienced 2,017 percent growth and $5 million revenue in 2012. CEO Daniel Baumwald spoke about the role of state agencies in the company’s expansion effort.

“DBED has been fantastic for us with our global launch. I’m in talks with a lot of the folks down there about all of our globalization, and how we can take [TheraPearl] to Europe, to Asia, Australia, etc.,” Baumwald said.

Maryland DBED Secretary Dominick Murray emphasized that attendees were the evidence behind the state’s No. 1 ranking for entrepreneurship and innovation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“At DBED and the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore and the GBC and the Greater Washington Board of Trade—all of us are able to talk about our No. 1 status in this realm, and that’s because of what you guys do,” Murray said.

Find video highlights from speakers in the above video.

Maryland government agencies have a history of funding worker training projects, but never before has training been made so widely available across an entire industry.

Under the direction of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) Maryland Workforce Training Initiative is now offering an unprecedented opportunity for business leaders to form partnerships and offer the type of training needed to significantly increase worker productivity.

The first step is filling out an EARN Maryland Planning Grant application, which first became available on Oct. 15 and must be submitted by Nov. 12, 2013. Lead applicants will apply for $25,000 to fund the creation of a Strategic Industry Partnership Workforce Training Plan. There is no limit to the number of these grants the state will issue.

Between November 2013 and April 2014, the funding will assist the lead applicant in forming a partnership with fellow key players in their industry. Many will take advantage of professional membership organizations that already join business leaders together according to their shared interests. Through conferences, meetings and training sessions, they will determine the type of training needed most among workers in their industry and submit their requests for training programs.

By May 2014, DLLR will award implementation grants for approved Strategic Industry Partnership Workforce Training Plans.

The lead applicant for the initial $25,000 planning grant can fall into any of the following categories:

• Employer
• Nonprofit organization
• Two- and four-year institution of higher education
• Local Workforce Board
• Industry association
• Labor union
• Local government
• Local or regional economic development entity

While the initiative is the first of its kind in Maryland, similar programs have succeeded in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and have already assisted workers in industries including aerospace, healthcare and clean energy. More information on their best practices is available through DLLR.

Those seeking more information should consider watching webinars on the program through DLLR’s website or attending a statewide Pre-Proposal Conference at 1 p.m. on October 18 at the Anne Arundel Community College, Robert E. Kauffman Theater, 101 College Parkway, Arnold, MD 21012.

Keep up with the latest Maryland business news.

Are you a 20-steps-or-less Rubik’s Cube master, or do you enjoy the more time consuming guess-and-check method? While puzzles make for popular toys, they also reflect the way we confront everyday societal needs like energy security.

The Maryland Clean Energy Center will present the Maryland Clean Energy Summit, held Oct. 15-16 at the Marriott Inn & Conference Center in Hyattsville. The summit is themed, ”Solving the Distributed Energy Puzzle: Microgrids & Other Smart Solutions,” with an emphasis on energy security.

Expert presenters will discuss clean renewable power, transmission, distribution and resiliency. “With the application of communications technology to manage this critical infrastructure for cost savings, reliability, security, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions, the ‘democratization of the grid’ is becoming a reality,” according to the event website.

Online registration continues until Oct. 15, with entry cost for selected events starting at $150.

Industry and government leaders gathered Oct. 8-9 for CyberMaryland 2013, sponsored by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. The event showcased the state’s growing cybersecurity industry, challenged professionals and students and fostered networking. Find more information on the conference here, as well as the winners of the Maryland Cyber Challenge here.

Mikra Krasniqi is an economist at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

The federal government shutdown will have an adverse effect on the entire United States economy and especially the Washington, D.C. area. While federal government civilian and military spending makes up about 4 percent of U.S. economic output and federal employment contributes with about 2 percent of all jobs, the effects of the shutdown might have far-reaching consequences given the tenuous state of economic recovery from the recession.

Figure 1 Federal Civilian Employment by State

Source: DBED, BEA 2012

With 6 percent of all jobs in the state, Maryland’s share of federal employment is higher than most states. Over 80 percent of Maryland jobs are in private sector firms across the state, while state and local government make up the remaining 14 percent of jobs in Maryland.

Figure 2 Composition of Employment and Earned Wages in Maryland

Source: 2012 Employment and Wages, DLLR

The Washington, D.C. area is not only the center of federal employment, it is also the largest recipient of federal contracting dollars. The value of federal government contracts was about $104 billion in 2012, according to a report by Bloomberg Government which was based on the locations of headquarters of the 200 largest contractors. This amount represents about 20 percent of all federal contracting, which stood at $517.6 billion in 2012 according to

Of the total 2012 federal spending, firms received federal contracts to perform $27.3 billion worth of work in Maryland, making Maryland the fourth largest recipient of federal procurement dollars. The largest federal contractor, Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Corp., which was awarded contracts valued at $1.8 billion in Maryland and a total of $36 billion nationwide, employs about 5,000 people in Montgomery County alone.

Figure 3 Federal Procurement Top 10 States 2012

Source: DBED,

While large contractors like Lockheed dominate in terms of the share of employment and spending in the state, there are more than 14,000 Maryland firms that contract with the federal government. Nearly half of those are small firms receiving federal contracts as prime contractors. The halt in federal economic activity means that these firms may not be as well-cushioned as other big businesses are during a prolonged shutdown, which may result in cancellations, investment delays, reduced spending and possible layoffs under a cloud of ongoing uncertainty.

Impact on Workers and Families

While the exact number of furloughed workers from the state is unknown, about 315,000 state residents work for the federal government. Most of those live and work in Maryland, but at least a third of them work in the District of Columbia or Virginia.  These workers earned a total of $25.6 billion in wages and salaries in 2012.

Delayed paychecks for Maryland-based furloughed workers means delayed spending and consumption, which has ripple effects for hundreds and thousands of families, individuals, schools, hospitals, and businesses across the state and industries. It is estimated that a two-week loss of income to federal workers might reduce spending on taxable goods by more than $145 million. In other words, there will be about $15 million in lost economic activity during each shutdown day.

The fallout from the shutdown will also affect government revenues. The Maryland Department of Budget and Management estimates that a two-week loss of income for federal workers in Maryland could reduce state tax revenues by as much as $51 million or about $5 million in state revenue loss for each shutdown day.  And the effects will only get worse as the stalemate continues.  According to Moody’s Analytics, if the shutdown lasts for 10 days and 40 percent of federal workers are furloughed, it would cut 1.2 percent from fourth quarter state GDP growth, owing to the higher concentration of federal employees. In addition, federal workers earn about $92,000 annually compared with about $73,000 in the rest of the country.

Mike Binko, President & CEO of Kloudtrack, Julie Lenzer Kirk, Author and Entrepreneur and Governor Martin O’Malley speaking about the strength of Maryland’s innovation economy on the Startup Maryland Pitch Across Maryland Bus Tour.

Mike Binko, President & CEO of Kloudtrack, Julie Lenzer Kirk, Author and Entrepreneur and Governor Martin O’Malley speaking about the strength of Maryland’s innovation economy on the Startup Maryland Pitch Across Maryland Bus Tour.

Stretching into its second week, the federal government’s shutdown is looming over Maryland businesses.

Governor Martin O’Malley’s blog has featured three accounts of successful Maryland companies now threatened by the budget gridlock in Congress.

  • Baltimore-based Fyodor Biotechnologies Corp. was forced to place an important medical research project on hold after the shutdown prevented them from processing a National Science Foundation grant. The project could be shuttered permanently. Read more here
  • M. Luis Construction in Baltimore, which performs many paving and road construction projects across Maryland, is facing stalled bidding processes and possibly postponed payments as result of the shutdown. Read more here.
  • Kloudtrack, with offices in Rockville and Annapolis, is an information technology subcontractor within the Defense Information Systems Agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security. They’re now uncertain how long they can continue to provide their high quality product without the promise of future payment. Read more here.

Tell us how the shutdown is impacting your business on the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Facebook page.

Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Dominick Murray presents a proclamation during MEDA's fall conference.

Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Dominick Murray presents a proclamation during MEDA’s fall conference.

Looking to boost your community’s economy? Consider sprucing up the town’s welcome sign, organizing an outdoor farmers market or printing T-shirts with the town name on them.

These actions and more, shared during Tuesday’s Maryland Economic Development Association fall conference in Frederick, may not directly translate into new jobs, but the sense of place they create will help deliver sustainable long-term growth. Experts—ranging from a innovative mixed-use land developer to a social branding consultant—spoke on the importance of improving place to attract higher skilled workers, foster entrepreneurship and increase an area’s overall quality of life.

“Why would anyone invest in a city that doesn’t want to invest in itself?” asked keynote speaker Ed McMahon, Senior Fellow for Sustainable Development at the Urban Land Institute.

McMahon discussed the importance of basic aesthetics. “Every single day in America, people make decisions about where to live, where to work, where to retire, based almost entirely on what communities look like,” he said.

Frederick Mayor Randy McClement said he hoped the backdrop of his city would help inspire fellow community leaders to devote resources to place making.

Developing Frederick’s unique character has been a conscious ongoing effort for the city, which boasts a growing selection of restaurants, outdoor markets and festivals, following a sort of “Mayberry theme,” McClement said.

“You’ve got to find that niche, that thing people would want to come see, whether it’s that hometown charm we have here in Frederick, or maybe the excitement of more urban aspects. You need to find what’s good for you, but we can share the example of building on what you have,” he said.

Keasha Haythe, vice president of MEDA and Director of Economic Development of Dorchester City, said she hoped the conference would inspire fellow MEDA members to improve the perception of their own communities.

“Creating a sense of place is extremely important to economic development because that is what the residents and the business community draw on. That’s how they attract new investment,” Haythe said.

She praised MEDA for providing a platform to spread innovative ideas within the state’s business leadership community. “Events like this bring all the players together, the right policy makers and panelists and business leaders. Today was truly a great conference and we had a great turnout,” she said.

On behalf of Governor Martin O’Malley, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Dominick Murray presented a proclamation to MEDA, recognizing its support of Maryland’s third annual Economic Development Week.

“It’s such a pleasure to work with all of you as a team—we’ve got a tremendous team. All of us are dedicated to doing things that make Maryland a better place to live and work, it’s my honor and privilege to work with all of you,” Murray said.