Showcase provides platform for startups to learn, grow, and connect

BALTIMORE, MD (March 28, 2023) — The Maryland Department of Commerce is leading a delegation of local startup companies next month to the Startup Grind Global Conference in Silicon Valley, California. Held on April 11-12, the conference attracts a variety of attendees, including emerging high-growth startups, investors, and major national and international brands.

“Now in its 10th year, the Startup Grind Global Conference will bring thousands of individuals together to experience the next big ideas and products destined for the marketplace,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kevin A. Anderson. “We believe this event can provide countless opportunities for our local startups, and help attract additional investors to Maryland’s innovative business community.”

The eight companies participating in the Maryland delegation are:

  • AGED Diagnostics, a North Bethesda team that is developing the first accurate blood test for liver disease;
  • Astek Diagnostics, Inc., a medtech startup in Baltimore that developed a system for rapid antibiotic sensitivity testing for urinary tract infections;
  • BLYNK, a Baltimore-based recruitment company providing solutions for unemployment, diversity hiring, and the labor shortage;
  • Celcy Technologies, a food tech Eldersburg startup that patented a countertop robotic device that provides on demand, quality meals without human interaction;
  • Keep Company, a Bethesda tech-enabled group coaching platform used to help employees and employers thrive;
  • Medcura, Inc., a commercial-stage medical device company in Riverdale whose products work to stop uncontrolled bleeding;
  • Pathotrak, a College Park startup that is developing rapid detection kits for foodborne pathogens; and
  • ReBokeh, a Towson healthtech company that created smartphone assistive technology to assist those with moderate visual impairments.

Four of these companies – Astek Diagnostics; Keep Company; Medcura; and Pathotrak – were also selected by Startup Grind to participate in its Accelerate Program taking place before the conference.

Astek Diagnostics says that by locating in Maryland, the startup has been able to scale its business with help from the state’s talented workforce, impressive biotechnology infrastructure, and proximity to top rated hospitals. Joining the Startup Grind delegation will allow Astek to further its mission in identifying infections and preventing complications, including sepsis.

“We are deeply committed to revolutionizing infection detection and treatment, and we believe our one-hour antibiotic sensitivity test is a vital step in that direction,” said Mustafa Al-Adhami, PhD, CEO of Astek Diagnostics. “We are honored to represent Maryland at Startup Grind, and we are driven by the belief that our work can help prevent devastating outcomes like sepsis, ultimately saving countless lives and sparing families from unimaginable grief. This event serves as a powerful platform to raise awareness and inspire action in the fight against life-threatening infections.”

Participating startups were required to be based in Maryland with less than 50 employees, with an innovative product and demonstrated track record of success. They were also required to be tech-focused, with the potential to scale nationally or globally. Participants were selected by a panel including industry specialists from the Maryland Department of Commerce, leaders of the local Startup Grind chapters, as well as TEDCO and other early-stage investors.

About Maryland Commerce

The Maryland Department of Commerce stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing 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. For more information, visit

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