Invest Maryland logo

Governor Announces Winners of Invest Maryland Challenge

photo Governor Martin O'Malley

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley

Joined by hundreds of entrepreneurs and business leaders at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Governor Martin O’Malley awarded $100,000 each to four startup companies in the State’s InvestMaryland Challenge, a national business competition which offered nearly $1 million in cash and in-kind awards as well as opportunities for startups to showcase themselves to potential investors. The grand prizes were funded by the State-run Maryland Venture Fund and the BioMaryland Center, part of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED).

The winner in the Life Sciences category was Brain Sentry, a Bethesda-based company that has developed an innovative helmet-mounted sensor to help identify players of team sports who should be assessed for a concussion. Topping the IT (hardware/software) category was ClickMedix, a Gaithersburg-based global mobile health social enterprise founded by faculty and students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Carnegie Mellon University to increase capacity of physicians and health organizations to serve more patients. The General Industry category winner was New York, NY-based Healthify, a startup out of Johns Hopkins University that is helping health plans and at-risk providers address the social needs of their population. The winner of the new Cybersecurity category was Luminal, which recently moved to Frederick from West Virginia and simplifies and secures cloud computing systems. The Life Sciences, Cybersecurity and Information Technology categories were open only to Maryland companies. The General category was open to all U.S. companies, with the winner required to open a place of business in Maryland and spend at least 51 percent of the funding in the State. To see a list of all of tonight’s winners, click here.

“Congratulations to the winners of the InvestMaryland Challenge, all the companies that participated and the members of Maryland’s vibrant and growing entrepreneurial community that have made the InvestMaryland Challenge such a success,” Governor O’Malley said. “Maryland is more committed than ever to supporting the entrepreneurs and innovators who develop cutting-edge technologies, start new companies and create family-sustaining jobs that will employ citizens of our State for generations to come. I look forward to watching all of the Challenge companies grow and thrive here in Maryland.”

“We are proud to award these top prizes to four deserving companies and are very thankful to the sponsors who donated the additional awards and the judges who offered invaluable feedback and advice to all the companies,” DBED Secretary Dominick Murray said. “The benefits of the Challenge do not end tonight. This competition helps build a pipeline of new investment opportunities for the State’s Maryland Venture Fund and private investors, and forges new bonds across Maryland’s entrepreneurial community, connecting companies to potential advisors, partners and customers.”

Organized by DBED, the Challenge drew 260 entries from around the country, including 29 out-of-state companies from 11 state and Washington, D.C. The field was narrowed over three successive rounds of judging by a panel of more than 80 investors, successful entrepreneurs, business executives and other members of the Maryland startup community.

The first InvestMaryland Challenge awarded $425,000 in prizes. The category winners were RedOwl Analytics (Baltimore, IT), GrayBug (Baltimore, Life Sciences), and i-Lighting (North East, General Industry). In addition to fueling entrepreneurship, the Challenge helps build a pipeline of innovative companies for the State’s InvestMaryland program, the largest venture capital investment initiative in Maryland’s history. Created by Governor O’Malley and passed by Maryland’s General Assembly in 2011, the program raised $84 million to support small, high-tech startups. Two-thirds of the funding – $56 million – is being managed by carefully screened private venture firms that will invest the funds and, if successful, return 100% of the principal and 80% of the profits to the State’s general fund. The remaining third of the InvestMaryland capital is largely allocated to direct investments by the Maryland Venture Fund.

The Maryland Venture Fund is a regionally recognized leader in seed and early-stage investing and a national model for state-supported investment programs. With nearly two decades of experience and numerous successful investments, MVF invests in highly innovative technology companies across the full range of industry sectors including software, communications, cybersecurity and life sciences companies in the areas of healthcare IT, medical devices and diagnostics.

Like this post? Sign up for our Daily Update here.


| Comments are closed.

Engage us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter