Mtech News, Opportunities and Events

Mtech News, Opportunities and Events
May 19, 2012

Special Winners' Edition

Winners: 2012 University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition

Graduate Student, Faculty and Researchers Category


zeroK Nanotech, a team developing ion source technologies that enable the precise machining, analysis, and imaging of materials on nanometer-length scales, took first place and $10,000. Pictured, from left to right: Clark School Dean Darryll Pines; Adam V. Steele, post-doctoral researcher, Maryland NanoCenter; Brenton Knuffman, post-doctoral researcher, Maryland NanoCenter; and Smith School Dean G. “Anand” Anandalingam.


RedOx, a team developing power generation technologies for a variety of applications, took second place and $7,500. Pictured, from left to right: Clark School Dean Darryll Pines, RedOx's Bryan Blackburn, and Smith School Dean G. “Anand” Anandalingam.


Diagnostic anSERS, a team developing a system for detecting contaminants such as pesticides, explosives, and toxins in food products, ground water and other liquids, took third place and $2,500. Pictured, from left to right: Clark School Dean Darryll Pines; Sean Virgile, Ph.D. student, Fischell Department of Bioengineering; Eric Hoppmann, Ph.D. student, Fischell Department of Bioengineering; and Smith School Dean G. “Anand” Anandalingam.

Recent Alumni Category

Discrete Secrete Solutions

Discrete Secrete Solutions, a team developing an effective, hands-free, concealable, and quiet breast pump that allows women to discreetly pump in the presence of others, tied for first place and $5,000. Pictured, from left to right: Clark School Dean Darryll Pines; Kathleen McDowell; Susan Thompson, alumna, mechanical engineering (2006); Angela Jillson; Andrew Thompson, alumnus, mechanical engineering (2006); and Smith School Dean G. “Anand” Anandalingam.


Sonify Biosciences, a team developing a novel melanoma treatment based on non-chemical, non-ablative ultrasound technology, tied for first place and $5,000. Pictured, from left to right: Clark School Dean Darryll Pines, Miriam S. Boer, alumna, biochemistry (2011), and Smith School Dean G. “Anand” Anandalingam.

Undergraduate Category


Archon Medical Technologies LLC, a team developing suturing devices for gastrointestinal surgery that improve surgeon performance and patient outcomes, won first place and $15,000. Team members include Bryan Huang, business information systems, Hien Nguyen, Sohail Zahid, Daniel Peng, Stephen Van Kooten, Leslie Myint, Ang Andy Tu, Anvesh Annadanam, Luis Herrera, Haley Huang, and Adam Clark.

Warren Citrin Social Impact Award

  • (to be determined) RedOx
  • $10,000: Discreet Secrete Solutions

Maryland Biotechnology Center Award

  • $10,000: Sonify Biosciences LLC

Peoples' Choice Award

  • $2,000: The ColorCarton Group is developing new packaging for milk cartons that show how fresh the milk is and when it has spoiled.
    Team: Tom Blackmon, finance and economics; Jonathan Chang, Fischell Department of Bioengineering; Amy Cheng, biology; Tiffany Jen, biology; Hannah Kravis, business and Japanese; Raishay Lin, English; Michael Lu, finance; Erin Ong, neurobiology and physiology and psychology; Tanya Pakzad, nutritional science; Nima Sarfaraz, Fischell Department of Bioengineering; Yvonne Shiau, finance and English; Jacklyn Wong, marketing and finance

Speed Pitch Award

  • $2,000: Synapsis Business Networking, LLC
  • $1,000: Plan C Bikes
  • $500: Wesk Medical

Read more about the finals»

Finals photos»

Finals video»

BPC 2012 videos

Winners: $100K ACC Clean Energy Challenge


Mesdi Systems Inc., a company founded by a team of six students from the University of Central Florida (UCF) developing precision electrospray modules to accelerate and improve the production of lithium-ion battery components, won the first annual ACC Clean Energy Challenge and the Department of Energy’s $100,000 grand prize. Pictured, above: Medsi team members Johan Rodriguez and Brandon Lojewski. Mesdi now moves on to represent the southeast region in the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Finals in Washington, D.C., on June 12-13, 2012.


Winning second place and $15,000 was University of Maryland team SafeLiCell, which is developing a noncombustible, flexible, polymer electrolyte material called Lithium Flex that would replace the highly flammable liquid electrolyte and bulky battery packaging found in most lithium-ion batteries. Pictured, above, from left to right: Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BioE) sophomore Mian Khalid, BioE professor Peter Kofinas, and chemical and biomolecular engineering graduate student Aaron Fisher.

Read more about the finals»

Finals photos»

Finals video»

ACCNRG 2012 videos

TAP and MIPS Company TRX Systems Inc. Closes Investment from New Dominion and DBED

TRX SystemsTRX Systems Inc., an award-winning developer of precise, infrastructure-free, indoor tracking products, announced investment from New Dominion Angels, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, and several other investors. The company, which makes software and products that locate, map and track people when indoors and in areas where GPS is not reliable, raised more than $650,000. TRX will use the funding to make additional investments in product development and sales.

"TRX will use this new funding to scale our business," said Carol Politi, president and CEO of TRX Systems. "The market for indoor location is growing rapidly and this funding, complemented by our sales revenues, will allow us to increase investments in sales, marketing, and application-specific development."

TRX Systems raised the majority of the funding from two sources, including $475,000 from New Dominion Angels and $150,000 from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development's Maryland Venture Fund.

A graduate of Mtech's Technology Advancement Program incubator and former Maryland Industrial Partnerships funding recipient, TRX also recently announced that it was one of 18 companies to receive the Tibbetts Award, presented to companies in the SBA's Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) that represent "beacons of promise and models of excellence in high technology." Criteria for selecting winners included: economic impact of the technological innovation; practicing diverse participation in technological innovation; and increasing the commercialization of federal research.

TRX Systems also recently won the Innovator Award, presented by the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council (CRTC) at its annual TechAwards 2012 event. The Innovator Award is given to a company, located in the Washington/Baltimore/Annapolis region, that best exemplifies the entrepreneurship and innovative style it takes to keep the technology industry cutting-edge and forward-moving.

TRX Systems delivers precise, infrastructure-free, indoor tracking of personnel in areas where GPS is not reliable or is unavailable. TRX Systems' indoor location system uses sensor fusion and mapping technology to deliver precision personnel location in indoor environments without pre-installed infrastructure. This technology delivers safety to first responders and navigational support for soldiers and urban training operations in locations that are GPS-denied.

Gryphn Co-Founder Bobby Saini Speaks to EIP Students

Bobby SainiBobby Saini, co-founder of Gryphn Corporation, a mobile security company and creator of ArmorText, which enables secure text messaging, spoke recently to Mtech's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program freshman class, EIP 144, Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

Saini detailed a career path that includes a leadership role at RDB's South Asian music label Three Records and a government consulting company he started while attending George Mason University.

"I thought he was a real down-to-earth guy and not that much older than us so I could see me being in his shoes," said EIP student Allan Nicholas. "I liked how he went into the music business first. It was really interesting to see his journey and how he helped create a really cool product and put the power in the sender when sending messages."

Saini emphasized to students that they should broaden their view when considering career paths.

"Working for "the man" is great, but the vibe and creative freedom you have when working at a startup is amazing," said Saini. "I've also found that students in the D.C. region feel they have to go to the West Coast to work for a cool start-up. That is absolutely wrong! There are great companies being formed in D.C. everyday, and overall the tech vibe is awesome here. We are just miles away from the most powerful city in the world. They can knock on hundreds of doors of agencies and companies to help them solve problems in innovative ways. It's easy to get involved in the tech scene here in D.C. I got started by attending a few events in the area: Bootstrap Maryland, which is hosted at UMD's College Park Campus and was started by UMD Alumn[nus] Jared Goralnick, DC Entrepreneurship Week, where I re-connected with Navroop Mitter, co-founder and CEO of Gryphn, and MoDevDC, put on by Pete Erickson, where Navroop met our third co-founder, Aaron Huttner."


  • New Online Entrepreneurship Program this Summer for High School, Undergraduate, and Graduate Students
  • Free Legal Services on Intellectual Property and Related Matters for Entrepreneurs and Emerging Tech Companies
  • Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Fund: Financing Available for Qualifying Green Companies

Upcoming Mtech Events

  • June 4-8, 2012: Biopharmaceutical Production Workshops
  • June 12: Free, Open Entrepreneur Office Hours for University of Maryland Students, Faculty and Staff, and Regional Entrepreneurs with Tech-Based Startups or Ideas

Partner Opportunities and Events

  • May 21: Expertise Monday: How to Fail Less with Steve Blank
  • May 23-24: Capital Connections 2012
  • May 24: TechBUZZ '12
  • May 24: Tech Cocktail Sessions DC - Relationships Matter with Scott Case and Rohit Bhargava
  • May 25: Dingman Center Angels Review Day
  • May 31: TEDCO 2nd Annual ICE Awards
  • June 1: DC Tech Meetup #14: Explore Digital Dupont
  • June 7: MEDA Summer Conference: Workforce Development; Developing the Skills Industry Needs
  • June 8: TEDCO Funding Briefing


New Online Entrepreneurship Program this Summer for High School, Undergraduate, and Graduate Students

Develop your entrepreneurial skill set and knowledge to make a positive impact on your career goals.

Work online on your own schedule, without interrupting day-to-day summer activities or compromising your learning experience.


  • How to develop a business plan.
  • What are the principles of entrepreneurial opportunity analysis and decision-making?
  • What do customers really value?
  • How to effectively position in the market.
  • What is right type of financial capital for your venture and how to acquire it?

High school, undergraduate and graduate programs are available. There are no academic pre-requisites necessary to enroll.


For more information, contact:
Entrepreneurship Essentials Online Program
Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech)

Free Legal Services on Intellectual Property and Related Matters for Entrepreneurs and Emerging Tech Companies
The Maryland Intellectual Property Legal Resource Center (MIPLRC), which offers free legal services on intellectual property and related matters to entrepreneurs and emerging technology companies and explores relevant legal, ethical and policy issues in the high technology and intellectual property areas, is now at the university and Mtech. MIPLRC's legal services are available at no charge to university faculty and students, as well as to regional entrepreneurs and startup companies. The MIPLRC is part of the University of Maryland School of Law. For more information, visit

Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Fund: Financing Available for Qualifying Green Companies
If your company or technology could improve air or water quality around the Chesapeake Bay area, consider applying for investment from the Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Fund. Supported by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and administered by Mtech, the fund will invest $250,000 annually over a three-year period into Maryland-based startup companies with innovative technologies that may help improve air and water quality in the Chesapeake Bay area. Fund recipients are jointly selected by Mtech and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. More»

Upcoming Mtech Events

June 4-8, 2012: Biopharmaceutical Production Workshops

Biopharmaceutical Production Workshops

Are you interested in advancing your career in biopharmaceutical processing? Learn how to produce and purify biopharmaceutical products at the University of Maryland from June 4-8, 2012.

Offered through the university's Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) Biotechnology Research and Education Program, this hands-on, one-week training features two distinct sessions, a Fermentation and Microbiology Workshop from June 4-5, and a Downstream Processing & Protein Purification Workshop from June 6-8.

The training sessions include:

June 4-5, 2012: Fermentation Microbiology Workshop
This session features hands-on instruction with various fermentation systems and acquaints attendees with the techniques, methodologies, principles and applications of aerobic bacterial and fungal fermentation. The workshop provides an opportunity for participants not only to learn the principles of bacterial and fungal fermentation scale-up at the bench, but also covers recent advances and up-to-date applications of this methodology.

June 6-8, 2012: Downstream Processing & Protein Purification Workshop
This workshop features hands-on laboratory exercises and classroom instruction on recovery and purification strategies for biotechnology products, especially proteins. Participants will integrate theory with practice in areas such as cell separation, cell disruption, chromatography theory and systems, sample preparation, columns and packing, adsorptive chromatography, and elution optimization.

Don't miss this opportunity for hands-on instruction in producing biopharmaceuticals from the state's leading experts!

Visit for more information and to register.

June 12, 10 a.m.-noon: Free, Open Entrepreneur Office Hours for University of Maryland Students, Faculty and Staff, and Regional Entrepreneurs with Tech-Based Startups or Ideas
Location: Room 1103, Technology Advancement Program building
Cost: Free
Mtech is hosting free office hours to help aspiring and current entrepreneurs with tech-based startups or ideas get advice on how to:

  • build and finance a startup company
  • develop and protect intellectual property
  • navigate the technology transfer process
  • refine your business strategy for rapid growth
  • tap into other entrepreneurial resources

Representatives from the following organizations and groups are typically on hand to speak with you one-on-one regarding any questions you might have about starting a company:

Read more and register at:

Partner Opportunities and Events

May 21, 2-3 p.m.: Expertise Monday: How to Fail Less with Steve Blank
Location: webinar
Cost: membership
Join Steve Blank for a webinar on How to Fail Less. Whether your company is a raw startup with three people in a basement or a Fortune 100 firm striving for disruptive innovation and growth, Steve Blank’s Customer Development methodology is a proven tool for success. The Harvard Business Review recently named Steve an “Innovation Master,” one of twelve people (including Thomas Edison) who have brought the greatest clarity to innovation. Steve will explain why startups are not small versions of large companies, and why they require processes and guidelines all their own. He’ll describe the detailed Customer Development process for building scalable startups and explain how Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas provides a framework for conceiving the innovator’s business model and monitoring the Customer Development progress.
More information»

May 23-24: Capital Connections 2012
Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Cost: $0-$1,695
Capital Connection, one of the nation’s most respected industry conferences, brings together high-growth and innovative technology companies from some of the most noted technology sectors and couples them with top business resources, including one of the largest concentrations of private financing sources of venture and private equity investors in the country. The event is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA) and will be held on May 23-24 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. More than 800 attendees from throughout the United States attend each year to connect with other established companies and aspiring entrepreneurs and peers who share a common focus on building, investing, or serving some of the country’s most promising companies. For 25 years, Capital Connection and now TechBUZZ, have brought together a high-powered cross section of the nation’s technology-based, high-growth ecosystem. Attendees include senior players from across the industry – investors across the continuum of capital, professional advisors, technology product and service firms, and, at the center of it all, innovative entrepreneurs.

More information»

May 24, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.: TechBUZZ '12
Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Cost: $0-$750
Over the past few years, the Mid-Atlantic region has emerged as the birthplace of some of the hottest ideas, game-changing innovations and applications of cutting-edge technologies in the United States. Whether these ideas are developed by design or by trial and error, they are being invented, created and developed in our area. TechBUZZ was launched in May 2011 as a half-day conference preceding Capital Connection in response to the growing impact start-ups and seed-stage companies are having in recent years on the investment ecosystem overall. MAVA is dedicated to continuing to foster and celebrate this vital area of our membership by bringing together investors and entrepreneurs in a dynamic and meaningful format.
More information»

May 24, 6:30-9 p.m.: Tech Cocktail Sessions DC - Relationships Matter with Scott Case and Rohit Bhargava
Location: 1800 L Street, 7th Floor, Washington, D.C.
Cost: $10-$30
Starting a business is hard. Building it into a successful company is even harder. What if you could learn firsthand from the entrepreneurs who have already done it? Already had failures, successes? Sessions, Tech Cocktail’s new speaker series, brings the experiences of successful entrepreneurs to you so you can learn to succeed yourself and learn lessons for your startup. Hear their stories in their own words and ask them your questions in an intimate setting. Please join us for our next Tech Cocktail Sessions DC Event, Relationships Matter: Harnessing The Power of Your Network to Build Your Startup, with Keynote Speakers Scott Case and Rohit Bhargava.
More information»

May 25, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Dingman Center Angels Review Day
Location: Van Munching Hall, University of Maryland
Hear company presentations by local startups seeking funding from Angel Investors. Learn the lingo, hear comments regarding startup strategy, learn about entrepreneurial financing options, and get presentation tips from the investor feedback.
More information»

May 31, 9-11 a.m.: TEDCO 2nd Annual ICE Awards
Location: Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel, 10207 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, MD 24011
Cost: Free

Join TEDCO for the 2nd Annual ICE AWARDS to celebrate the breadth of TEDCO's 300+ portfolio of seed/early stage companies, some of the coolest of Maryland's entrepreneurial community. The ICE Awards are presented to the most outstanding samples from TEDCO's portfolio in the categories of Innovation, Corporate Excellence and Entrepreneurship (ICE).
More information»

June 1, 7 p.m.: DC Tech Meetup #14: Explore Digital Dupont
Location: Dupont
Cost: Free
The June DC Tech Meetup is something new. No content. No single venue. Just one Digital Dupont for you to explore. Startups, incubators, accelerators, and digital agencies will be opening their doors for you to drop in on them from 5-9 p.m.
More information»

June 7, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.: MEDA Summer Conference: Workforce Development; Developing the Skills Industry Needs
Location: Harford Community College
Cost: $65-$85
The national and state employment statistics are showing signs of improvement, but unemployment remains a real issue. There are currently millions of job openings around the country, yet the traditional employers are saying they cannot find the skilled workers they need to meet their needs. This conference examines the national and statewide situation from the perspective of the employers needing to fill open positions to grow their businesses, as well as the service providers who are partnering with them to address the skills issue. Solutions will be a winning proposition for everyone.
More information»

June 8, 2-3:30 p.m.: TEDCO Funding Briefing
Location: TEDCO, 5565 Sterrett Place, Suite 214, Columbia MD 21044
Cost: Free

TEDCO Funding briefings provide detailed information about TEDCO's primary funding programs for seed stage companies, including:

  • Maryland Technology Transfer Fund (MTTF)
  • TechStart
  • Johnson and Johnson Joint Investment Program
  • University Technology Development Fund (UTDF)
  • Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF)
  • Rural Business Initiative (RBI)
  • Federal Technology Insertion Initiatives

Attendees will learn about eligibility requirements, proposal submission guidelines, review processes, award conditions, reporting requirements and payback (MTTF, UTDF, and WCLF only). These briefings should be of interest to economic development professionals, angel investors, entrepreneurs, small technology-based businesses, small defense contractors and university faculty inventors. Briefings are free, however registration is required.
More information»

Thanks to Our Sponsors!
Sponsors of Mtech's programs include: Fish & Richardson P.C., JESS3, Lockheed Martin, the Maryland Biotechnology Center, Nixon Peabody LLP, SAIC, and Warren Citrin. Mtech's partner organizations are the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, FounderCorps, and Social Matchbox.

E-newsletter archives are available at:

Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech)
A. James Clark School of Engineering
University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742


Mtech Sponsors

Fish & Richardson

Lockheed Martin logo

Maryalnd Biotechnology Center

Nixon Peabody


Warren Citrin

JESS3 logo

Partner Organizations

Dingman logo


Social Matchbox

Follow Us