Outstanding Maryland Businesses Honored at 2016 Incubator Company of the Year Awards

Airphoton; eThink Education; Integrata Security; Kitchology; Phoenix Operations; Sonavex and ZeroFOX recognized

COLUMBIA, Md. (June 22, 2016) – The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), Saul Ewing LLP, Emergent BioSolutions, M&T Bank, Maryland Department of Commerce, RSM US LLP and the Maryland Business Incubation Association (MBIA) announced the winners of the 2016 Incubator Company of the Year Awards on Tuesday 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.

Andy Jones, Managing Director of TECO’s Maryland Venture Fund, addressed the crowd as the event’s keynote speaker.  “Raising capital is a diversion,” he said, “The hard work is actually running your business.”  Jones later advised, “Surround yourself with good people.  Growth is paramount.  Growth is your friend.”

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, John Korpela, former head of the Montgomery County Business Innovation Network was recognized at the awards ceremony with the Robert A. Spar Hall of Fame Award.  John is a lifelong entrepreneur with 20+ years of C level management experience.  He founded several highly successful companies in various sectors, including manufacturing, plastics, design and marketing and has mentored hundreds of technology enterprises.

“The diversity of these winners illustrates the high level of talent and innovation that we have in Maryland,” said John Wasilisin, President and COO of TEDCO.  He continued, “From world class cybersecurity appliances, to an open source Learning Management System, to a cooking platform for those with food allergies, these inventions will improve business function and enhance the quality of life for people throughout the world.”

Co-Chairs Jacque Brooks and Jay Reilly of Saul Ewing LLP congratulate all applicants, and are inspired by their passion and tenacity, stating:  “Each year, the Incubator Company of the Year Awards honor the best within Maryland’s growing incubator community, and this year is no exception.  We salute all of this year’s finalists and look forward to seeing them bring their ideas to market and further establish Maryland as a leader in innovation.”

The categories and winners are:

Best Big Data/Data Analytics Company
Phoenix Operations Group, LLC (bwtech @ UMBC)

Best Consumer Products Company
Kitchology (Montgomery County Business Innovation Network - Germantown)

Best Cyber Technology Company
Integrata Security (Emerging Technology Centers)

Best Education Technology Company
eThink Education (Betamore)

Best Graduate Company
ZeroFOX (Betamore)

Best Med Tech/Life Science Company
Sonavex, Inc. (FastForward)

Best Tech Product/Apps Company
Airphoton LLC (bwtech @ UMBC)

The selection committee this year includes Henry Ahn, TEDCO; Meg Anderson, Oracle Capital Strategies, LLC; Gianna Arnold, Saul Ewing LLP; Tom Arsenau, RSM US LLP; Donna Balinkie, Firedrive Marketing Group; Mary Brightman, Saul Ewing LLP; Jacque Brooks, Saul Ewing LLP; Brian Castleberry, MD Department of Business and Economic Development; Robb Doub, New Markets Venture Partners; E.J. Edelman, RSM US LLP; Chris Fedak, M&T Bank; Yair Flicker, SmartLogic; Mollie Frank, RSM US LLP; Yali Friedman, Journal of Commercial Biotechnology; Kelvin Fu, A Level Capital; Valerie Gaydos, Capital Growth, Inc.; Fulya Gursel, TEDCO; Rosel Halle, Johns Hopkins University; Kurt Herzog; BioHealth Innovation; Terence Hogan, Marsh; Jack Hollerbach, Hollerbach & Associates LLC; David Hurwitz, TriSun Financial Group, LLC; Konstantina Katcheves, Lonza; Richard Kohr, Evergreen Advisors LLC; Pete Kornmeier, Launch Summer Camp; Jacob Licht, Emergent BioSolutions; Behzad Mahdavi, Lonza; Brian Meritt, RSM US LLP; Epidarex Capital; Eric Orlinsky, Saul Ewing LLP; Andrew Parker, RSM US LLP; Jay Reilly, Saul Ewing LLP; Sean Sabre, Nexterus; Michael Salgaller, The Conafay Group; Douglas Schmidt, Chessiecap Securities, Inc.; Matthew Seward, DTZ; Dave Shafer, Saul Ewing LLP; Jae Sly, Strategic BioPharm Consulting, Inc.; Nick Stewart, Saul Ewing LLP; Brittany Sullivan, RSM US LLP; Michael Tangrea, LifeBridge Health Research Institute - Sinai Hospital.