Outstanding Maryland Businesses Honored at 15th Annual Incubator Company of the Year Awards

Avhana; BlueNovo; Gemstone Biotherapeutics; Milestone Sports; SocialToaster; Redox Power Systems; Social Solutions and Vheda Health recognized

COLUMBIA, Md. (June 5, 2015) – The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), Lonza Group LTD, Saul Ewing LLP, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), McGladrey LLP, M&T Bank, BioMaryland Center and the Maryland Business Incubation Association (MBIA) announced the winners of the 15th annual Incubator Company of the Year Awards on Thursday evening at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Md. The awards, chosen by a selection committee of regional industry leaders and early-stage investors, recognized the achievements of current and graduate companies within Maryland’s incubators.

“The Maryland Incubator of the Year Awards recognize the drive and dedication of the innovative companies in
Maryland’s business incubators,” said DBED Secretary Mike Gill. “Developing and commercializing technologies in our State is one of the keys to economic development. We congratulate this year’s honorees and are proud of their contributions to Maryland’s future economic success.”

Winning companies were selected based on their goals and success in achieving their objectives. Judges considered factors such as technology or product development, intellectual property, increase in employee numbers, growth in revenue or earnings, engagement of significant customers and strategic partners, receipt of awards or grants, attraction of outside investors, innovation, self-sufficiency, impact on the region and usage of the incubator’s services.

In addition to the Incubator Company of the Year awards, the late David Freschman, managing partner of Innovation Capital Advisors and the Delaware Innovation Fund, was recognized at the awards ceremony with the Robert A. Spar Hall of Fame Award for his contributions to entrepreneurship and tech startups through out the East Coast. Mr. Freschman, known for his commitment to the regional tech community, was the founder of Early Stage East, an angel venture fair, and an adviser to Walt Disney Co.’s ABC hit show “Shark Tank” from its first season in 2009. In 2009 he founded FashInvest, a news resource for the intersection of fashion and technology that he proudly promoted.

“The 2015 Incubator Company of the Year winners represent the most outstanding group of startups in the State,” said Rob Rosenbaum, president and executive director of TEDCO. “Having provided entrepreneurial support to many of the honored companies, TEDCO is proud to see their continued success. We congratulate this year’s winners and look forward to watching them grow.”

"This year’s winners serve as prime examples of what companies can achieve with the support of Maryland’s incubator network," said Robert Snyder, president of MBIA and Incubator Manager of Bethesda Green. "We congratulate all of the 2015 ICOY winners for gaining this competitively won recognition."

Co-Chairs Gianna Arnold and Jacque Brooks of Saul Ewing LLP congratulate all applicants, and are inspired by their passion and tenacity, stating: “the continued growth of strong applicants and success stories of past applicants illustrate the entrepreneurial spirit within Maryland and the strong support provided through our incubators and state institutions.”

The categories and winners are:

Best Consumer Goods Company
Milestone Sports (Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship)

Best Environment/Energy Company
Redox Power Systems, LLC (MTECH Technology Advancement Program)

Best Graduate Company
Social Solutions Global, Inc. (ETC)

Best Health Technology Company
Vheda Health (Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship)

Best Life Sciences Company
Gemstone Biotherapeutics (Johns Hopkins FastForward)

Best New Incubator Company
Avhana Health (BioHealth Innovation)

Best Technology Company
SocialToaster (ETC)

Best Technology Services Company
BlueNovo (Silver Spring Innovation Center)

Application finalists and category winners are chosen by a group of regional industry leaders and early-stage investors. The selection committee this year includes Henry Ahn,TEDCO; Meg Anderson, Oracle Capital Strategies, LLC; Gianna Arnold, Saul Ewing LLP; Donna Balinkie, Firedrive Marketing Group; Mary Brightman, Saul Ewing LLP; Jacque Brooks, Saul Ewing LLP; Gregory Cangialosi, Joey Tsu-Yi Chen, Saul Ewing LLP; Martha Connolly, University of Maryland; Brian  Darmody, University of Maryland, College Park; E.J. Edelman, McGladrey; Linda Ellerton, DBED; Donald Fallon, Valens Therapeutics, Inc.; Chris Fedak, M&T Bank; Yair Flicker, SmartLogic; John Fortin, Lonza America Inc.; Yali Friedman, Journal of Commercial Biotechnology; Elizabeth Good Mazhari, Johns Hopkins University; Andy Guckert, M&T Bank; Fulya Gursel, TEDCO; Rosel Halle, Johns Hopkins University; Umar Hameed; Kurt Herzog; Kathryn Hickey, Saul Ewing LLP; Terence Hogan, Willis of Maryland, Inc.; Jack Hollerbach, Hollerbach & Associates LLC; Maura Kahn, Noxilizer, Inc.; Richard Kohr, Evergreen Advisors LLC; Alastair Mackay, Maryland Venture Fund; Behzad Mahdavi, Lonza; Brian Meritt, McGladrey LLP; Matthew Miessau, Epidarex Capital; Eric Nass, Physicians Inpatient Care Specialists; Eric Orlinsky, Saul Ewing LLP; Anthony Raley, II, Silicon Valley Bank; Jay Reilly, Saul Ewing LLP; Michael Salgaller, The Conafay Group; Douglas Schmidt, Chessiecap Securities, Inc.; Amita Shukla, Vitamita; Paul Silber, Silber Associates; Jae Sly, Strategic BioPharm Consulting, Inc.; Allen Stott, Chesapeake Corporate Advisors; Michael Tangrea, LifeBridge Health Research Institute - Sinai Hospital.