91 EnTERPreneurs Enter, Nine Remain

University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition Finalists Unveiled

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Eric Schurr
301 405 3889

COLLEGE PARK, Md.—The Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) today announces nine finalists for the University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition. Now in its twelfth year, the competition has spurred the commercialization of university technologies and served as a launch pad for multi-million-dollar companies.

Finalists were selected among 28 semi-finalists and 91 initial entries. Submitted as full business plans, entries were judged based upon their value proposition, competitive advantage, target market, business model, intellectual property, and clarity.

Finalists will present their companies in-person during the University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition finals, held on April 20 at the Riggs Alumni Center, during which a panel of judges from the regional venture-building community will decide which teams win a share of $75,000 in prizes.

Finalists, listed after the technologies they are developing, include:

Graduate Student, Faculty and Researchers Category

  • Contaminant Detection: Diagnostic anSERS is developing a system for detecting contaminants such as pesticides, explosives, and toxins in food products, ground water and other liquids.

  • Advanced Power Generators: RedOx is developing power generation technologies for a variety of applications.

  • Precision Nanometer-Length Machining: zeroK Nanotech is developing ion source technologies that enable the precise machining, analysis, and imaging of materials on nanometer-length scales.

Undergraduate Student Category

  • Precision Suturing Devices: Archon Medical Technologies LLC is developing suturing devices for gastrointestinal surgery that improve surgeon performance and patient outcomes.

  • Freshness-Indicating Milk Cartons: The ColorCarton Group is developing new packaging for milk cartons that show how fresh milk is and when it has spoiled.

  • Accurate and Better-Fitting Blood Pressure Cuffs: CROME Solutions is developing new blood pressure cuffs that are more accurate and fit patients' arms more precisely.

Recent Alumni Category

  • Hands-Free, Concealable, Quiet Breast Pumps: Discreet Secrete Solutions is developing an effective, hands-free, concealable, and quiet breast pump that allows women to discreetly pump in the presence of others.

  • LED-Powered Visibility Vest: Seke LLC is developing an LED-powered visibility vest for recreational, professional, and military applications.

  • Non-Chemical and Non-Ablative Melanoma Treatment: Sonify Biosciences LLC is developing a novel melanoma treatment based on non-chemical, non-ablative ultrasound technology.

Judges for the business plan round of the competition included: Zvi Band, founder/CEO, Contactually and co-founder, DC Tech Meetup, ProudlyMadeinDC, DC Tech Meetup and ProudlyMadeinDC; Bill Bellows, partner, One White Pixel and adjunct professor, University of Maryland; Jim Bodycomb, former telecommunications executive; Leslie Bradshaw, president and COO, JESS3; Peter Corbett, Founder and CEO, iStrategyLabs; Joseph Mortati, lecturer; Howard Pedolsky, CEO emeritus, Ukram Industries; Jesse Thomas, CEO and founder, JESS3; and Dave Troy, CEO, 410Labs.

The University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition is administered by the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), an initiative of the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Previous winners include five multi-million dollar ventures, including Squarespace and Lurn, both of which were named to the Inc. 500 list for the second straight year.

The competition encourages students, faculty and researchers at the University of Maryland to leverage their talent and ideas to create tomorrow's leading companies. The competition process, its mentors, partners and cash prizes have helped many students, faculty and researchers build their own companies.

Sponsors of the 2012 competition include Fish & Richardson P.C.JESS3Lockheed Martin, the Maryland Biotechnology CenterNixon Peabody LLP and Warren Citrin.

For more information about the University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition finalists and the finals event, visit

About Mtech (
The mission of Mtech is to educate the next generation of technology entrepreneurs, create successful technology ventures, and connect Maryland companies with university resources to help them succeed. Founded in 1983, Mtech has had a $27.8 billion impact on the Maryland economy and helped create or retain more than 7,000 jobs. Top-selling products such as MedImmune’s Synagis®, which protects infants from a deadly respiratory disease, and Hughes Communications’ HughesNet®, which brings satellite-based, high-speed Internet access to the world, were developed through or enhanced by our programs. Billion dollar companies such as Martek Biosciences and Digene Corporation graduated from our incubator. Mtech offers three experiential learning programs and 21 entrepreneurship and innovation courses, served to 865 enrollees in 2011, at the pre-college, undergraduate, graduate and executive education levels.

About the A. James Clark School of Engineering

The University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering is a premier program, ranked among the top 20 in the world. Located just a few miles from Washington, D.C., the Clark School is at the center of a constellation of high-tech companies and federal laboratories, offering students and faculty access to unique professional opportunities.

Our broad spectrum of academic programs, including the world’s only accredited undergraduate fire protection engineering program, is complemented by a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, early hands-on educational experiences, and participation in national and international competitions.

The Clark School is leading research advancements in aerospace, bioengineering, robotics, nanotechnology, disaster resilience, energy and sustainability, and cybersecurity. From the universal product code to satellite radio, SMS text messaging to the implantable insulin pump, our students, faculty, and alumni are engineering life-changing innovations for millions. Learn more at



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