Archives For Innovation & Tech

Startup Maryland's Pitch Across Maryland 2014 tour will kick off on Sept. 15 and continue through Oct. 3.

Startup Maryland’s Pitch Across Maryland 2014 tour will kick off on Sept. 15 and continue through Oct. 3.

Opportunity is knocking close to home for Maryland entrepreneurs. Startup Maryland’s Pitch Across Maryland 2014 tour will kick off on Sept. 15 and continue through Oct. 3 with stops across the State. In its third year, Startup Maryland is teaming up with the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) as a full-tour sponsor.

Pitch Across Maryland tour stops—from Hooper Island to Cumberland—bring information and resources directly to local entrepreneurs. Business mentors, industry leaders and active angel/VC investors provide coaching, guidance and support. On the tour bus, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch their business or plan in the UpStart Show video studio. Videos are then loaded onto YouTube where viewers can vote and share the pitches. The eight Best Ventures for High Growth Potential Finalists will be chosen to present at the TEDCO Entrepreneur Expo on Nov. 12.

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Maryland is the nation's epicenter for cybersecurity.

Maryland is the nation’s epicenter for cybersecurity.

Two Maryland cybersecurity companies are among a select group to have earned Cyber Incident Response Assistance (CIRA) accreditation from the National Security Agency (NSA) Information Assurance Directorate (IAD).

Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions and Maddrix, LLC, a startup cybersecurity firm in Baltimore, earned the accreditation through an assessment in 21 focus areas, including protection of critical consumer information and defense against cyber attacks. Only seven companies nationwide have completed the program.

“Lockheed Martin was honored to be designated as one of the first participants in NSA’s cyber incident response initiative, which further reinforced our commitment to customers and our cyber posture delivering Intelligence Driven Defense,” Darrell Durst, vice president of Cyber Solutions for Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions, said in a statement. “We support the CyberMaryland program for its efforts with industry and government to enhance education and training programs, technology and innovation.”

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To date, more than 40 percent of Maryland’s sole proprietorship and general partnerships are filed through the Central Business Licensing and Registration Portal.

Licensing and registering your Maryland business just got even simpler. The State of Maryland has released an updated version of its popular Central Business Licensing and Registration Portal (CBL), NIC Maryland announced Wednesday.

“The portal is truly a ‘one-stop shop’ for conducting business in Maryland,” Governor Martin O’Malley said in a statement. “We’ve simplified the registration process to ensure that entrepreneurs can spend more time growing and running their businesses and less time sifting through paperwork.”

Governor O’Malley launched the CBL Portal in early 2013 as part of his Maryland Made Easy initiative. The system provides an online platform for registering a new business, creating legal entities, filing trade names and establishing state tax accounts. NIC Maryland developed the platform at no cost to the State through a self-funded e-government services contract.

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Maryland is the nation's epicenter for cybersecurity.

Maryland is the nation’s epicenter for cybersecurity.

A new State-supported funding resource is now available to help bolster Maryland’s cybersecurity community. The Maryland Technology Development Corporation‘s (TEDCO) Cybersecurity Investment Fund (CIF) will provide investments of up to $100,000 to Maryland companies seeking to develop and commercialize new cybersecurity products, TEDCO announced this week.

Eligible companies may represent all facets of the cybersecurity industry. Products may include devices or software that address digital network protection and computer or critical infrastructure security. Applicants must employ fewer than 16 full-time employees must have received less than an aggregate of $500,000 in equity investments from sophisticated investors.

CIF investments are expected to lead to follow-on investment and job creation, according to TEDCO.

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Marlin Steel Wire Products has been located in Baltimore since 1999.

Marlin Steel Wire Products has been located in Baltimore since 1999.

With assistance from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), Baltimore-based Marlin Steel Wire Products has made a major equipment upgrade, DBED Secretary Dominick Murray announced Wednesday.

Marlin Steel has a history of adapting its manufacturing technology to meet market demands. When the company first moved to Baltimore in 1999, it largely produced wire baskets for bagel shops. The company later expanded into wire hooks and shelves and now services customers including Toyota, AstraZeneca, Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

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With help from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), Rockville-based Triumfant plans to further develop its innovative cybersecurity services. The company has earned a $750,000 Maryland Venture Fund (MVF) investment, using InvestMaryland program funds, DBED announced Wednesday.

Triumfant is a leading provider of advanced threat detection for large commercial enterprises and government entities. The company uses mathematical theory, patented analytics and precision remediation capabilities to protect against next-generation malware attacks. Their technology stops breaches before they become full-scale attacks, and automatically repairs the machine and all collateral damage within minutes of the attack.

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Baltimore-based NV3 designs and manufactures mobile phone charging kiosks.

Baltimore-based NV3 designs and manufactures mobile phone charging kiosks.

Mobile phones are more popular than ever, with vendors projected to ship 500 million more mobile phones in 2016 than in 2014, according to the International Data Corporation Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. But how will these mobile phones of the future get recharged?

A Maryland startup seeking to address that need is Baltimore-based NV3, which designs and manufactures mobile phone charging kiosks.

The company sells an array of charging ports, from a portable desktop display to solar-powered models. Most of its kiosks include a light-emitting diode (LED) screen that can be used for advertising and marketing messages, making them popular at tradeshows, festivals and conventions. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the University of Maryland Medical Center, college libraries and corporate lobbies are among locations already using NV3 systems. The company has also developed a mobile charging trailer with more than 70 charging ports that could be deployed quickly to help people displaced after a natural disaster.

NV3 stresses the clean and efficient power of its units. Many charging ports continually feed electricity and power equally into any phone attached to it, which may cause certain devices to overheat or degrade. NV3 takes a different approach. Its charging ports adapt to every device, feeding just the amount of power necessary to safely charge the device.

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Two high-growth Maryland companies found so much success through the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED)’s Maryland Venture Fund (MVF), they have qualified for another round of follow-on InvestMaryland funding, Governor Martin O’Malley and DBED announced Tuesday.

KoolSpan, which develops hardware-based mobile security encryption, earned $400,000, while BrainScope, which is revolutionizing traumatic brain injury assessment, received $300,000 in funding from the State.

According to KoolSpan CEO Gregg Smith, rapid growth in consumer demand is driving his company to more than double its workforce. The company caters to companies and government agencies looking to protect data and voice communications against theft over network-connected devices. It’s TrustChip product can be found in more than 50 countries and powers Samsung’s S1 mobile and voice security and also AT&T’s encryption platform. KoolSpan has earned a total of $700,000 in MVF funding.

“This investment from MVF is a testament to the growth that we are experiencing globally in the mobile security market, and the demand for mobile hardware security solutions from an increasingly large pool of customers seeking the best data protection available,” Smith said. “We grew over 1000 percent last year and expect to continue on an accelerated growth path, moving from our current 45 employees to around 100 by year end. To put that number in perspective, just two years ago we had 8 employees.”

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The Chesapeake Regional Tech Council recently hosted “Mapping the Maryland EdTech Landscape.”

How do you build an industry that barely existed two years ago?

That was the challenge before about several dozen people involved in education, technology and economic development who gathered recently for a forum put on by the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council titled “Mapping the Maryland EdTech Landscape.”

Maryland, and Baltimore specifically, have become a hotbed in recent years for startup companies developing “apps” to help with teaching, learning and school administration. The people involved in the industry foresee a day when edtech could employ thousands here as technology makes deeper inroads into classrooms and homes. And people in a position to take big bets on that prospect are taking notice: Nationally, nearly $740 million in venture capital was invested in education-related companies last year and the first quarter of this year outpaced that all-time record, according to Pitchbook. Ask “why here?” and people involved point to a collaborative technology community and a history of successful education companies such as Sylvan Learning, Laureate International Universities and Prometric testing.

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High school students participate in the 2013 Maryland Cyber Challenge.

Students participate in the 2013 Maryland Cyber Challenge.

Maryland’s reputation for excellence in cybersecurity will be showcased to the world this fall in Baltimore.

Scheduled October 29-30 at the Baltimore Convention Center, the fourth annual CyberMaryland Conference promises to bring together the innovators, educators, companies and resources developing cyber defense in Maryland, Governor Martin O’Malley announced on Thursday. The conference’s main sponsor is the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

“Here in Maryland, our investments in our 21st century digital infrastructure have helped strengthen the security of our nation, address emergent cybersecurity challenges, and pave the way to create more jobs,” Governor O’Malley said. “CyberMaryland 2014 brings together entrepreneurs and established leaders in cybersecurity and information assurance, colleges and universities, and our partners in federal, state and local government to showcase Maryland as the nation’s epicenter of cybersecurity.”

Why should you consider registering? Here are ten reasons.

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Out of the roughly 2 million Americans suffering from degenerative heart disease, only about 50,000 of them receive life-saving mitral valve surgery. This is primarily because the most common treatment, an open-heart procedure, can last between three and six hours and is extremely complex and high-risk.

Maryland-based Harpoon Medical plans to revolutionize that process with a new device that could reduce the procedure to just 60 minutes. Using their device, a patient’s chest would remain closed and the heart would continue beating during the procedure. It would cut recovery time from weeks to days and reduce risk factors significantly.

CEO Bill Niland chose Maryland as the company’s launching pad and base for continued research, development and marketing.

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The Easton Aphena Pharma Solutions location specializes in liquid and topical manufacturing and packaging.

The Aphena Pharma Solutions location in Easton specializes in liquid and topical manufacturing and packaging.

Maryland’s manufacturing industry has found allies on the State’s Eastern Shore. A unique partnership between State, county and local government in the region will assist a pharmaceutical manufacturer and others, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) announced Tuesday.

Aphena Pharma Solutions is slated to receive a $134,000 State grant on the condition that it retains a minimum of 100 jobs in its location in the Town of Easton for at least five years. The Town is also providing a $13,400 matching grant for the company, and both the Town and Talbot County Council have agreed to abolish the Town’s personal property tax for all qualifying manufacturers. Salisbury PewterJasco USA and Chesapeake Publishing, among other Easton manufacturers, are also expected to take advantage of personal property tax savings.

“By working with our partners in Talbot County and the Town of Easton, as well the leadership of Aphena Pharma Solutions, we are preserving highly-skilled jobs and ensuring that this company will continue to grow and invest in Maryland,” said DBED Secretary Dominick Murray. “I applaud the County and Town for working with Aphena to develop a creative solution that not only spurs economic development, but helps grow manufacturing in Maryland.” Continue Reading…