Maryland is a powerhouse entrepreneurial ecosystem
COLUMBIA, Md. (March 20, 2017) - The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) impacted the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). TEDCO and startups funded by TEDCO’s Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) were recipients of AUTM awards at the national meeting held in Hollywood, Florida.
Stephen Auvil, TEDCO’s Senior Vice President for Technology Transfer and Commercialization, received AUTM’s Service Award and Volunteer of the Year Award. The latter accolade is awarded annually by AUTM and recognizes leadership and outstanding contributions to the association.
“It is wonderful to be able to contribute to AUTM, which provides so much support to the technology transfer profession all over the world,” stated Stephen Auvil. “It is also humbling to be recognized among the many talented people that volunteer to support AUTM’s various programs and activities.”
“TEDCO’s mission is to facilitate the creation of tech businesses and foster their growth across Maryland through the commercialization of technology,” stated TEDCO President John Wasilisin. “We, at TEDCO, are pleased to see Stephen’s contributions to the tech transfer community recognized at a national event by his peers, and are proud to have him in a leadership role at TEDCO.”
Another component of the annual meeting was the Pitch and Play – the AUTM Venture Challenge, where academic-affiliated startup companies pitch their business opportunity to a panel of seasoned venture investors for a $10,000 cash prize. Four Maryland companies reached the stage of final presentations at the AUTM conference, with LifeSprout named the winner. All of the startups hailed from either Johns Hopkins University (JHU) or the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) and have received funding from TEDCO’s MII program:
- Grip Boost produces a quick-drying gel that is applied to athletic gloves to increase tackiness. Grip Boost’s original product was marketed towards football, but they have since expanded to golf and baseball. TEDCO invested $200,000, across two programs, in the company. The intellectual property was licensed from UMCP.
- LifeSprout, which was the winner of the competition, is developing soft tissue filler that can be utilized in plastic surgery techniques such a breast reconstruction. LifeSprout’s technology offers more natural soft tissue restoration with superior biointegration when compared to current products on the market. MII invested $115,000 for technology validation. The intellectual property was licensed from JHU.
- PathoVax is developing a vaccine for human papillomavirus(HPV). Unlike current HPV vaccines, PathoVax’s technology would protect against all HPV strains that are known to cause cancer. MII invested $100,000 for technology validation. The intellectual property was licensed from JHU.
- MouthLab is developing a medical device to monitor patients at home with chronic diseases such as congestive heart failure. MouthLab will rapidly take a patient’s vitals from one source (the mouth) and report this data in real time to the patient’s healthcare providers. MII invested $100,000 for technology validation. The intellectual property was licensed from JHU.
“With four MII companies in the finals, and one winner, this demonstrates that great things happen when the universities, faculty entrepreneurs and economic development work together,” stated Jennifer Hammaker, Maryland Innovation Initiative Director at TEDCO. “A lot of groups, including Tech Transfer, Site Miners, Reviewers, and Advisors have supported these teams, and to the credit of the entrepreneurs, they have executed on their plan and are doing the hard work every day to make it happen.”
MII 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 College Park, University of Maryland Baltimore and University of Maryland Baltimore County.) The program is designed to promote commercialization of research conducted in the partnership universities and leverage each institution’s strengths.
AUTM is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing research to life by supporting and enhancing the global academic technology transfer profession through education, professional development, partnering and advocacy. AUTM’s more than 3,200 members represent managers of intellectual property from more than 300 universities, research institutions and teaching hospitals around the world as well as numerous businesses and government organizations.