The InvestMaryland Challenge is a national seed and early-stage business competition hosted by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development in partnership with Inc. Magazine. The Challenge will award $400,000 in grants and a host of business services to companies in the life sciences and high tech industries. Grants are provided by the Department's Maryland Venture Fund and the BioMaryland Center.
Companies also have the opportunity to receive direct investments from venture capital firms and angel investors.
The competition is for independent ventures in the seed, start-up, or early-growth stages. The company must be a duly-organized legal entity and in good standing with the state in which they are legally registered. Sole proprietorships are not eligible. Existing Maryland ventures must have a principal place of business in Maryland. Non-Maryland ventures are expected to establish a place of business in the state either through acquired space or a state incubator. At least 51% of the grant money must be spent within the state. Entrants can only apply for one category. A non-refundable $100 application fee required. Subject to other requirements.
This category covers a broad range of products and services critical to the life science ecosystem including, but not limited to Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices, Diagnostics and Therapeutics (Open to Maryland companies only).
Businesses in industries that development products and services to protect computer and network systems from unauthorized access and attacks including but not limited to information security, data storage, backup and recovery. (Open to Maryland companies only).
Light Point Security
This category is open nationally to all industries and covers a broad range of technologies focused on Maryland’s top industries including, Energy, Agriculture, Aquaculture, Maritime, Clean Tech, IT, Life Sciences and Manufacturing and concepts with high social impact. (Open to Maryland & Non-Maryland-based companies).
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.
Elana Fine was appointed Managing Director of the Dingman Center in July 2012, after joining the team in 2010 as Director of Venture Investments. Elana’s primary focus is leading the Dingman Center in support of its mission and strategic plan. Key responsibilities include oversight of our student venture incubator, Dingman Center Angels investor network, business competitions, and commercialization efforts
Dr. Barker spent 15 years working in the private sector as a management analyst and resource training specialist in the distribution industry. She spent 5 years as a research assistant with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) working in the field of child welfare. She also worked with the Northern Virginia Regional Partnership through Virginia Tech doing economic development analysis. Currently, she is Dean of Business and Information Sciences with Capitol College.
Dr. Liew obtained his Ph.D. in Finance from Columbia Business School. He enjoys teaches Entrepreneurial Finance, Advance Hedge Fund Strategies, Corporate Finance, Wealth Management, and Derivatives at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Dr. Liew currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Portfolio Management and as the Chairman of Board of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Innovation Factory.
Kris Valerio Shock is the Executive Director of the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council (CRTC). Following eight years in New York City, Kris returned to the Maryland area and worked her way through "conventional business" boot camp and spent three years as Vice President of Membership for the Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, and Business Development at the Pomerantz Agency. Kris graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Fine Arts and Communication and is a member of the 2006 Leadership Anne Arundel Flagship Class.
Omar S. Muhammad manages the Entrepreneurial Development & Assistance Center (EDAC) at Morgan State University. Past work experience includes managing a $4M small business loan fund, helping women start businesses and developing content to teach others how to create entrepreneurial ventures. He serves on a state loan committee, on the advisory council of Diversitech and on the board of the GB.TC.
Richard Kohr is CEO of Evergreen Advisors. He has over 25 years of experience advising early stage growth and middle market, companies. He serves on the Board of Directors for: Acuity Mobile, Inc., Butler Capital Corporation, ICAT Logistics, Inc., MetaSource, Pathsensors, Inc., Emerging Technology Council, and held past Board of Directors positions with: e.magination network LLC, Platform Logic Inc., Hi-Tech Fasteners Inc., and Maryland Development Technology Center.
Rob 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.
Sarah Djamshidi is the CEO of Speedshift Ventures. She was most recently the Executive Director of the Chesapeake Innovation Center (CIC) and was able to transform the program into a valuable resource for tech startups. During her tenure, Ms. Djamshidi oversaw all of the CIC’s activities and mentored the member companies. Ms. Djamshidi has also been an adjunct professor and lecturer with the A. James Clark School of Engineering.
Brad Phillips is Director of Emerging Company Services with PricewaterhouseCoopers and focuses on start-ups in the technology, life science and clean tech arenas. Brad is an entrepreneurial minded executive that has spent most of his 20-year career providing client leadership in the start-up space while building high performing organizations and businesses. He founded four companies and acts as an advisor to many start-ups in the areas of VC, private equity, business development, market penetration, partnerships, and human capital.
Vernon Lee is Managing Partner at Brightwood Management Partners, an investment and business advisory firm for middle market companies, institutional investors, entrepreneurs, and entertainment partners. Mr. Lee is currently a co-chair of the Venture Capital Access Program (VCAP). He also was a member of a delegation of senior U.S. business leaders that participated in the Committee of 100′s Greater China business conference in Beijing.
Judy York is Principal of Instar Management Consulting and an 18 year veteran in the information technology sector. Previously, she was President & CEO of NETCONN Solutions. York led strategic planning and execution cycles, and positioned the company for sale. Efforts culminated in a successful exit event in July 2011 to General Dynamics. Revenue grew each year, from $10M to $30M under York’s leadership, and established NETCONN as the 3rd largest woman-owned company in Maryland and the Tech Council of Maryland Government Contractor of the year in 2011.
A Nayab Siddiqui is the President CEO of Scientific Systems and Software International Corporation which he founded in 1985, is a leading provider of advanced solutions that deliver timely, enabling technology and information to where it is needed most for our civilian, military, intelligence, state and local, and commercial customers. Siddiqui has a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering couple with several graduate courses in Computer Science and Management. He has over 30 years of Management and Information Technology experience.
Brian is Manager for the Science and Healthcare Team within the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED). Brian assists in attracting new businesses to Maryland and retaining existing businesses within the science and healthcare fields. Prior to DBED Brian held several sales and marketing management positions with Maryland based biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms. Brian holds degrees from the University of Baltimore and the University of Maryland.
Christy Wyskiel serves as Advisor to the President of Johns Hopkins University on matters of innovation, commercialization, & entrepreneurship. Christy is an entrepreneur and investor with 19 years experience in the life sciences and healthcare industries. Previously, Christy was Managing Director at Maverick Capital, a long-short equity hedge fund with $12 billion under management. Christy has co-founded two Baltimore start-ups and has served as advisor to many others.
Ethan Byler has spent his career supporting the growth of entrepreneurial enterprises. Most recently, Ethan was the Manager of Engineering for Global Development at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers where he managed innovation programs that impact ASME’s role in impacting humankind through developing technology solutions that target the 4 billion people living on less than $4 per day.
Gianna Arnold is a partner at Saul Ewing, where she co-chairs the Intellectual Property and Technology practice group. With advanced degrees in science and law and drawing from experience as a scientist, an entrepreneur and a corporate executive, Gianna’s practice is directed to enhancing company value through protecting, leveraging and enforcing intellectual assets.
James Mitchell has over 20 years’ experience working with small and midsized technology companies. After serving as the CEO of AlphaOmega Information Systems. for 8 year Mr. Mitchell served as Business Specialist for the Maryland Small Business Development Centers assisting small technology companies with raising capital, small business loans and grant funding. Additionally, he assisted small businesses and executive management teams with business development, strategic planning, commercialization and tech transfer strategies.
Jane Shaab serves as Assistant Vice President for Economic Development, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Executive Director UM BioPark and Senior Vice President and Secretary of the UM Health Sciences Research Park Corporation. Ms. Shaab served as Senior Director of Business Development for the Office of Research and Development and Senior Director of Corporate Relations for the University before joining the pre-project development team for the UM BioPark.
Dr. Judith Britz is Executive Director of the BioMaryland Center. Previously, Dr. Britz spent 10 years in academia and 25 years in industry-including 15 as an entrepreneur. She raised over $50M million for two startup companies to bring products through the FDA process. Dr. Britz also held positions at Becton Dickinson, Johnson and Johnson and Electro-Nucleonics, Inc. where she developed one of the first commercial blood screening tests for the AIDS virus.
Dr. Thompson joined the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in 2002. She is an Associate Professor in the practice track with expertise in the role of character and human values in business, society, and corporate culture. She is a former Secretariat of the International Society of Business, Economics, and Ethics, sponsor of the quadrennial World Congress of Business, Economics, and Ethics.
Judy Costello is Deputy Director of the BioMaryland Center. Previously, Judy worked for 15 years at the Business Alliance organizing venture pitch forums, tech transfer showcases, educational seminars and other programs connecting entrepreneurs, innovators, students and industry leaders. Prior to the Business Alliance, Judy worked in economic development, financial services marketing and university public relations. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, and holds a MBA from Loyola University in Maryland.
Dr. Connolly is the Director of the Maryland Industrial Partnerships, an award winning program of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute at the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. The Maryland Industrial Partnerships program accelerates the commercialization of technology in Maryland by providing matching funds for collaborative R&D projects between companies and University System of Maryland faculty.
Mojdeh Bahar, Assistant Administrator for Technology Transfer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Mojdeh Bahar was recently appointed to ARS Assistant Administrator for Technology Transfer. She was the Chief of the Cancer Branch at the Office of Technology Transfer, NIH where she leads a group of Licensing and Patenting Managers responsible for patenting and licensing NIH and FDA inventions in the areas of cancer, gene therapy, and biological response modifiers. She also serves as the Chair of the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC).
Onur Unal manages the BioMaryland Center’s BioEntrepreneur resources program, which includes the market research databases. Mr. Unal has a diverse background that includes marketing and product management, molecular biology research and IT software. He also has experience in entrepreneurship as a founder of a software company. Mr. Unal holds a M.S. in Pharmacology and a M.B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University.
Richard Bendis is founding President and CEO of Innovation America (IA), a Global Innovation Intermediary focused on accelerating growth of America’s entrepreneurial innovation economy. He is also President and CEO of BioHealth Innovation, engaged in commercializing innovations from Federal Labs, Universities, Industry spinouts and Entrepreneurs in the region.
Selma C. Kunitz has 35 years of experience applying innovative methodology, technology, and organization to clinical studies. She currently serves as the Senior Research Scientist and Former President for several NIH contracts and in this role leads KAI efforts to develop quality assurance guidelines, checklists for investigator conduct of clinical trials, data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs). She has a B.A., in Economics from the University of Rochester, an M.S., in Management Information Systems and Organization Development from American University and a Ph.D., in Public from Johns Hopkins University.
Steve Dubin is a Senior Advisor to DSM Nutritional Products advising on mergers and acquisitions. He also chairs the Maryland Economic Development Commission and is a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering.
Wyatt Somogyi is an Associate at Rock Spring Ventures—an early-stage, life science venture capital fund in Bethesda. Mr. Somogyi focuses on conducting due diligence on investment and partnership candidates for RSV’s strategic investors. He holds an M.S. in biotechnology from Georgetown University and graduated from Connecticut College in Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology. Mr. Somogyi is also a graduate of the Bridge Program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Youseph Yazdi is the Executive Director at Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design, Program Director at Johns Hopkins – Coulter Translational Partnership, and Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins Department for Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Yazdi has over 26 years of experience focused on early-stage medical technology development. Since joining Johns Hopkins University in 2009, Dr. Yazdi has led several programs focused on early-stage medical innovation.
Deepa Narayanan is a Program Director in the SBIR Development Center at the National Cancer Institute. Deepa has extensive experience with research, development and commercialization of scientific and medical instrumentation and molecular imaging agents. Previously she was the Director of Clinical Data Management at Naviscan where she managed FDA-regulated clinical trials for 510(K) clearance and phase IV post marketing studies. Prior to Naviscan, Deepa was a Scientific Associate with the Molecular Imaging laboratory at Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Peter J. Davis is a partner with Whiteford, Taylor & Preston in Baltimore, MD. He specializes in IP strategy, patent litigation, and mission critical patent prosecution. Mr. Davis also has extensive experience with intellectual property-related due diligence, technology transfer and licensing, and patent validity, infringement, and freedom to operate opinions. He has worked in virtually all areas of technology, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, electronic devices, software, business methods, and heavy machinery.
Stewart Gold has built startups to IPO’s or Private Sale in IT and Healthcare. Employed innovative methods to achieve exceptional sales growth and market leadership. Recruited and managed the performance and management teams that created first to market software, services and healthcare delivery products. Achieved consistent profits that supported double digit equity growth.
Bel Leong-Hong is the Founder, President, and CEO of Knowledge Advantage Inc., a business specializing in delivery of IT And Knowledge Management Solutions. As a former career flag-equivalent senior executive in DOD, Ms. Leong-Hong has held a number of high-level positions in DOD including Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for (C3I) and the Principal Director and CIO at the Defense Security Service (DSS).
Ellen Hemmerly is Executive Director and President of the UMBC Research Park Corporation and Special Assistant to the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at University of Maryland Baltimore County. She is responsible for overseeing a 520,000 SF technology research and technology park (bwtech@UMBC) which includes three incubators, an accelerator and research park, and two technology commercialization programs (ACTiVATE, INNoVATE).
Eric Chapman is the Senior Director of Corporate and Government Relations at the University of Maryland, College Park. He also concurrently serves as the Deputy Director of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2). Previously Eric served as the National Security Advisor for Senator Barbara Mikulski from 2007-2011. He began his career as an intelligence analyst for the Department of Justice in 2004. Eric holds an MA from The Johns Hopkins University and a BA from Syracuse University.
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.
G. Reza Djavanshir, Doctor of Science in Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, joined the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in 2002. He is an Associate Professor with expertise in the areas of Global Sourcing and Supply Chains, Technology Transfer & Strategic Planning, Technology Institutionalization, Auto-poetic Meta-Systems Design, and Systems Integration strategies. He was also the winner of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010.
CEO and a founding partner of Smartronix, John Parris has 24 years of experience in the Department of Defense Information Technology industry. His diverse background and successful history in business operations, strategy development, and Government contracting has assisted him in establishing Smartronix as one of the fastest growing companies in the Washington DC metropolitan area
Patrick B. Donovan is the Chief Technical Officer of the Office of General Supply and Services (GSS) within the General Services Administration (GSA). As the CTO, Mr. Donovan ensures the strategic alignment of enterprise-wide IT implementation efforts, provides expert guidance and insight on increasing customer accessibility to cutting-edge IT solutions, and monitors GSS’s unique technology needs and requirements.
With a background of 25 years’ experience in strategic business development, Patrick brings excellent leadership to his role as Program Director to the Howard County Tech Council. Patrick was the Managing Director at the CSO Breakfast Club; Vice President of Business Development at Sabera; and the National Sales Director for Lawson Software at Ernst & Young Technologies. Patrick currently holds an inactive Top Secret/SSBI Clearance.
As Vice President, Customer and Government Relations at Northrop Grumman, Mr. Porter oversees marketing, business development, research, analysis and strategy with the sector's primary customer groups. Mr. Porter joined Northrop Grumman in 1980 and held positions involving radar, electro-optics/ infrared, electronic warfare, missile systems and air combat systems. Mr. Porter received a bachelor's degree in history and economics from the University of Richmond and completed the General Manager's Program at Harvard University.
Tom Sadowski joined the Alliance in 2006 to manage the Region’s response to the 2005 Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative. Tom has helped create initiatives like InvestMaryland, and new tech transfer and commercialization efforts at Johns Hopkins, the University of Maryland and federal institutions. He serves on numerous Boards including the Governor’s Federal Facilities Advisory and CyberMaryland Advisory Boards.
H. Victor Hess is a Cyber Entrepreneur in residence at bwtech@UMBC. He has served in senior positions in management, marketing, sales, business development, and technical disciplines. These roles have been implemented in a variety of business entities, all the way from the launch and growth of a number of entrepreneurial startups to the creation, development, and direction of the executive team in several midsize and Fortune 1000 companies.
Cherie Nichols directs a program at the Johns Hopkins Carey School of business to develop an applied entrepreneurship training program for life science professionals interested in bringing innovation to the marketplace. Now in its third year, the INNoVATE Program is a highly sought-after training program, which has produced award-winning companies in science and technology, and a robust network of community business relationships.
Dawn R. Medley is the Economic Development Incentive (EDI) Fund Manager at Prince George’s Financial Services Corporation. She has over 15 years of experience in small business lending, commercial real estate lending and asset management. She began her career with Fannie Mae and National Cooperative Bank. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Public Policy from the University of Maryland University College.
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.
Dion D. Banks is Director of Governmental Affairs of Cambridge International. He has been responsible for the development of Cambridge Environmental Technologies, positioning Cambridge as a supplier in the gasification market and the development of a self-cleaning electrostatic precipitator.
Greg Cangialosi is an entrepreneur and early stage investor based in Baltimore, MD. Most recently Greg is a co-founder of Betamore, a Baltimore based urban campus for technology and entrepreneurship. Prior to that his company, Blue Sky Factory, a leading email marketing service provider was acquired by WhatCounts. Greg is also currently the managing director of both the Baltimore Angel’s and Nucleus Ventures.
James Keeratisakdawong joined the Maryland Venture Fund as a Principal in 2012. He held various roles at Longstreet Partners, LLC, a DC area investment and advisory services firm. Keeratisakdawong also has direct involvement in the founding of two technology startups, one focused on collaborative consumption and the other on paid search keyword bid optimization. He has a B.S. in Marketing from George Mason University and a MBA from Babson College.
Julie Lenzer Kirk is the Director of the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship which is focused on igniting entrepreneurial culture and bringing together the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the state. She is also the former CEO of the Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a nonprofit that helps women expand economic opportunity by starting and building growth-oriented businesses.
Kirby Fowler is President of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Inc., a nonprofit working to make Downtown Baltimore a destination of choice for businesses, employees, residents, and visitors. During his tenure, The Partnership has promoted new housing and retail, retained and attracted employers, implemented new transit strategies, and launched an initiative to reimagine Pratt Street, Baltimore’s main boulevard.
Mike Thielke has been a lifelong entrepreneur, starting his first business at the age of 23 in 1977. Mr. Thielke is currently the Executive Director for the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center. His entry into nonprofit activity, and most rewarding life experience, began with the Schooner Sultana project in Chestertown, MD as the founding Executive Director responsible for creating the organization and capital campaign.
Owner and president of Ausley Associates Inc., Ausley specializes in unmanned air systems and fighter aircraft acquisition and engineering management. The company has over 100 employees with program management, system engineering and logistics expertise. The former U.S. Navy Flight Officer has 15 years of management experience in the defense industry.
Rob Rosenbaum is a finance and operations executive with a 30 year history of building and managing high performance organizations. As Executive Director of TEDCO, he is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership to ensure its position as a national leader in technology transfer from academic and federal research labs, as a seed and early-stage investor and as a provider of entrepreneurial business assistance.
Tucker has invested in energy technology and services companies for 13 years with an emphasis on technology enabled efficiency, development, services, and products companies across the electricity, oil, and gas industries. He previously sat on the boards of Enerwise, FuelQuest, Advent Solar, Welldog and observer to Comverge, Clean Air Power, 6th Dimension, Sagemaker and Altela. He is a board member and former President of Wharton Private Equity Partners, Chairman of the IMPACT 2012 Cleantech Track, and advisor to the Skolkovo Foundation.
Michael P. Binko is president/CEO and a member of the Board of Directors for kloudtrack — a leading provider of cloud-based GRC data and process management technologies and solution services which was recently named one of 12 Hot Companies to Watch in the Federal IT Sector by Federal Computer Week magazine. A serial entrepreneur and active angel investor, Binko founded and currently still serves as Managing General Partner of GeminiVenture, a private investment and venture capital firm concentrating on seed-stage companies in the software, SaaS | cloud, cyber, mobile computing, clean | green, social networking, data-driven innovation, analytics, new media and related IT sectors.
Steve Greenfield is Montgomery College’s Instructional Dean for Business, Information Technology and Safety where he oversees small business, entrepreneurship, leadership & technology training programs. Steve joined Montgomery College in May of 2005 after 12-years with Montgomery County workforce and economic development division. Most recently, Steve helped form Montgomery College’s partnership with the Lockheed Martin Corporation to offer cyber security courses.
Mark Wozniak is Director of Research & Development and Chief Operating Officer at Sterilex. Dr. Wozniak also held a positions at J.M. Huber Corporation including Director of Quality and Senior R&D Manager. At Sterilex, Dr. Wozniak guides Sterilex’s R&D initiatives into safer, more effective anti-biofilm and antimicrobial technologies. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Michigan and a Ph. D. in Inorganic Chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University.
Jeffrey Wells is the Executive Director of Cyber Development at the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development. Jeffrey has formed and led many profitable businesses and his background includes interaction with international corporations, state and local governments, trade missions and economic development offices. He was Chief of Operations and Lead Analyst for Innovent, the innovation arm of Nokia, where he developed insight, strategies, and innovation methodologies to commercialize new technologies.
Brian Darmody is Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Director of Corporate Relations, and Special Assistant Vice Chancellor for Technology Development, University System of Maryland. He is responsible for developing linkages with private and government sectors, and developing projects funding opportunities and policies to support these initiatives.
Vice President and Director of Business Development for the Direct Energy and Radiological Detection Research Operation at SAIC, Molino leads marketing efforts across the government funded research customer set. He also works with the company’s customer base to develop plans to transition research projects to operational use both commercial and inside the Department of Defense.
Jason is a self-described dot connector and maker of things! He’s also the founder of WhoGlue, an online network that’s in stealth.
Chuck Cullen is one of six General Partners at Grotech Ventures. Grotech is an early-stage, information technology venture firm here in Maryland that has raised eight funds totaling over $1.3B. The firm’s 2007 fund is the second best performing fund for all venture and private equity funds greater than $100M raised from 2006 through 2010. Chuck has been with Grotech for the past 14 years and has helped the firm raise $335 million for its last two funds in the past seven years, while also working as an investor and CFO for the firm.
Dr. Chin is Chief, Materials Manufacturing Technology Branch, Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, Army Research Laboratory. Dr. Chin leads the vision in promoting academic collaboration and incubating innovative processing science for novel materials, developing industrial partnerships to advance agile low-rate-production manufacturing for weapon systems and system integration, and accelerating tool maturation to facilitate rapid and affordable R&D transition to acquisition and life cycle management for the Army and DOD.
Mr. David Christ is the Army Research Small Business Advisor responsible for assisting government and industry on matters related to contracts and Army Small Business Programs. Mr. Christ is a retired Army Acquisition Officer with 27 years’ experience in developing material and system requirements for the U.S. Army Counter Rocket, Artillery, Mortar System (C-RAM), testing and evaluation of major defense systems, and fielding of weapons & command control systems in combat, and the supervision of Defense Contracts as a Contracting Officer Representative.
Frank Bonsal is Towson University’s Director of Entrepreneurship, Director at TowsonGlobal Business Incubator, and Venture Partner with New Markets Venture Partners where his focus is on early stage investments in education technology and service companies. Frank is the Board Director at Calvert Education, Questar Assessment and Think Through Learning, and Board Observer at BetterLesson, Kickboard, PresenceLearning and Starfish Retention, and Moodlerooms.
Sheila D. Walcoff, J.D., is a health and science attorney and the founding principal of Goldbug Strategies LLC, a consulting and law practice offering business strategy, federal legislative and regulatory advocacy, and legal counsel related to personalized medicine and FDA regulated medical products. Her senior government service includes counselor for science and public health policy to US HHS Secretary Michael O. Leavitt and associate commissioner for external affairs at the FDA.
Dr. Franaszczuk is a Senior Scientist in Neuroscience at the the U.S. Army Research Laboratory performing research on computational methods of signal analysis and neural modeling. He has been a reviewer in over 10 scientific journals and serves as grant reviewer on several National Institutes of Health scientific review panels. He received a Master of Science degree in physics and his Ph.D in physics from the University of Warsaw, studying the application of advanced signal processing and mathematical modeling methods to investigation of brain activity.
Dr. Kott serves as Chief, Network Science Division, Army Research Laboratory headquartered in Adelphi, MD. He oversees projects in network performance and security, intrusion detection, and network emulation. Research under his direction brings together government, industry and academic institutions working toward an understanding of interactions, interdependencies, and common underlying science among social/cognitive, information, and communications networks, including science for cyber. From 2003 to 2008, Dr. Kott served as Defense Advanced Research Programs Agency (DARPA) Program Manager.
Niall Sweeney BE, MBA, has repeatedly grown businesses by delivering innovative medical products. His development of safety needles created a $200MM business for Becton Dickinson and his leadership developing spinal implants delivered $57MM incremental revenue to Stryker Spine. Niall is intimately familiar with all aspects of translating and idea to a commercial reality including invention, opportunity assessment, engineering management, regulatory requirements and marketing strategy. As Principal of Dunkeld Consulting he collaborates with early stage inventors and companies to create compelling investment cases and execute product development.
Dr. Bevilacqua joined the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) in April, 2013, as BioTechnology Branch Chief, where she is responsible for a program involving a multidisciplinary staff of government scientists, post doctoral fellows, contractors, and visiting undergraduate students. The BioTechnology program focus areas include Bio-Systems, Bio-Materials, and Bio-Integration. Management of the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies applied research program for the Army Research Office also resides within the branch. Dr. Bevilacqua is a Biophysical Chemist with 21 years experience and came to the ARL from the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC), Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), MD.
Aden King is a principal at King Partners and served for over 14 years as the internal operating partner at Phillips Foods, one of the leading American seafood manufacturers and restaurateurs. He was the executive in charge to successfully lead, start, or restructures various company and family divisions – starting and overseeing Phillips’ operations in Latin America; creating and operating a successful franchised restaurant concept; and turning around a restructured club and retail sales division. He serves as a board of director for MARBIDCO as well as an advisory board member of Bradmer Foods and Capital Bank and holds a BS from Penn State University.
Scott Sanders recently retired as a Rear Admiral in the Navy. He has significant experience in developmental and operational test for unmanned and energy systems. He is an MIT Seminar Fellow in International Strategic Relations with applied diplomatic experience in the Middle East and East Africa.
|September 5, 2013||Application Submissions Open|
|October 29, 2013||Maryland Entrepreneur Breakfast|
|December 6, 2013||Application Submission Closes|
|December 2013||Judges Boot Camp|
|January 24, 2013||Night Out with the Judges Networking Reception|
|January 31, 2014||Round 1: Application & Business Plan Review|
|February 2014||Top 50 Semi-Finalists Announced|
|February 2014||Round 2: Face-to-Face Interviews|
|March 2014||Finalists Announced|
|April 2014||Finale Awards Ceremony|
Governor’s Cup Awards
$100,000 - IT Hardware/Software
$100,000 - Cybersecurity
$100,000 - Life Sciences
$100,000 - General Industry
Provided by the Maryland Venture Fund
and the BioMaryland Center
$75,000 in Laboratory Incubator Space
from Army Research Lab (Adelphi, MD)
$60,000 in Laboratory Incubator Space
from Army Research Lab (Aberdeen, MD)
$18,000 in Incubator Space
Cash & Grants
$10,000 Rural Entrepreneur Award
from Rural Maryland Council and ESEC
$2,500 Cash Prize
$1,500 Prototype Development & Commercialization Award
from Morgan State University
Consulting & Services
$50,000 Software Services Package
from Microsoft BizSpark
$3,000 in Kauffman Fastrac Tech Venture Course Scholarships
from Montgomery College
$2,500 in SBIR Grant Proposal and Consulting Assistance
from BioHealth Innovation
Logo & Creative Services
from MOS Creative
Consulting & Services
$25,000 Life Sciences R&D Award
from Noble Life Sciences
$5,000 in Legal Services
from Whiteford Taylor Preston
$5,270 in Web design & Development Services
from Buzzquake Marketing
| 2014 applications are no longer being accepted.
Applications accepted September 5th - December 6th 2013
All InvestMaryland Challenge Applicants Receive The Following:
The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development invites you to partner with us on the 2014 InvestMaryland Challenge! As an IMC Partner, you will work directly with Challenge affiliates, applicants, judges, sponsors and other partners to promote, advance and inspire the entrepreneur community in Maryland. In addition to networking opportunities, IMC Partners will receive the following: