InvestMaryland Challenge winners announced $700,000 in prizes awarded to companies during third competition

BALTIMORE, MD (May 7, 2015) – The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) announced today 28 companies have won a total of $700,000 in awards in the third InvestMaryland Challenge. They include four grand prize winners, recipients of $100,000 grants as the top companies in the competition’s four categories — IT, Defense & Security, Life Sciences, and Sustainability & Exploration. The Challenge is Maryland’s international business competition. It drew 214 applicants from eight states and Washington D.C. as well as two other countries, Brazil and Israel.

“Congratulations to all the winners, and to every company in the InvestMaryland Challenge,” said R. Michael Gill, DBED Secretary. “This was the most competitive field yet and picking only four winners was no easy task for the judges. These companies represent our best and brightest and the next generation of economic leaders and job creators. We are committed to supporting them, and the rest of Maryland’s entrepreneurs, as together we build a stronger, more competitive economy.”

The grand prize winners are:
IT
STAQ
Baltimore

Defense & Security
Bricata LLC
Vienna, Va.

Life Sciences
Harpoon Medical
Baltimore

Sustainability & Exploration
Mercaris
Silver Spring

Click here for a full list of winners of all $700,000 in awards. The top prizes were provided by DBED’s Maryland Venture Fund (MVF) and BioMaryland Center. As in every year of the Challenge, out-of-state winners are required to establish a place of business in Maryland and spend a majority of the prize money here. The nearly $300,000 in secondary awards were contributed by partners and sponsors. They include incubator spaces at the Army Research Lab valued at $75,000 each; opportunities to pitch investors like NAV.VC and Camden Partners; a $10,000 grant from the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center and Rural Maryland Council; $5,000 in preclinical drug development services from Noble Life Sciences; and $10,000 in consulting services from the Johns Hopkins University Innovation Factory.

MVF 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.

About DBED
The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing workforce training and financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the Arts, film production, sports and other special events.

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MEDIA CONCTACT:
Maureen Kilcullen | Deputy Director of Media Relations & Public Affairs
Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development
World Trade Center | 401 East Pratt Street | Baltimore, MD 21202
O: 410.767.1794 | C: 410.206.7171 | E: Maureen.Kilcullen@Maryland.gov