TEDCO’s Maryland Innovation Initiative Portfolio Company

COLUMBIA, Md. (July 12, 2021)TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced today that Astek Diagnostics Inc. (Astek), a Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) portfolio company was accepted into the Y Combinator (YC)

“It felt surreal to be chosen to participate in YC,” said Mustafa Al-Adhami, CEO, Astek. “It is incredible when your idols become your mentors and we are so grateful for the chance to learn from them.”

Astek LogoAstek, located in Baltimore, is a University of Maryland, Baltimore County spinout that is building a platform (Eugris) that guides physicians in prescribing appropriate antibiotics for patients with bacterial sepsis in one hour. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that affects more than 1 million patients a year in the United States and even more patients around the globe and is one of the leading causes of death. For patients suspected of sepsis or septic shock, rapid initiation of the correct antibiotic therapy is crucial: Every hour of delay increases mortality by 7-8%. A proof-of-concept prototype of the Astek diagnostic platform has been verified using commercial blood and archived clinical samples. The Eugris is projected to launch in the market 2023. 

“We’re excited to work with Mustafa as he develops Eugris. Sepsis -- which is the leading cause of death in US hospitals -- is an incredibly important problem to tackle and we're impressed with the progress he’s already made to validate the technology,” said Surbhi Sarna, YC.

YC is a startup accelerator, based in San Francisco, working with companies to refine their pitch to investors. A highly competitive program, the YC has an approximate 3% acceptance rate. After a three month long program, the startups present their companies at the final Demo Day. Y Combinator has invested in over 3,000 companies including Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, Reddit, Instacart, Docker and Gusto. The combined valuation of YC companies is over $300B.

“Astek received a $165,000 in grants from the MII Technology Assessment Phase to de-risk the technology followed by a $150,000 investment through MII’s Company Formation Phase in 2020. We couldn’t be more pleased to see their successes continue through this valuable program.,” said Dr. Arti Santhanam, executive director, TEDCO’s MII. “We always want to see our portfolio companies taking the initiative to continue to grow and the Y Combinator program is going to be invaluable to the future growth of this Maryland start-up.”  

To learn more about the Y Combinator program, visit

For more details on eligibility and application requirements and to view MII’s 2020 Annual Report please visit

# # #


TEDCO, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, enhances economic empowerment growth through the fostering of an inclusive entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. TEDCO identifies, invests in, and helps grow technology and life science-based companies in Maryland. Learn more at

Media Contact
Tammi Thomas, Chief Development & Marketing Officer, TEDCO