Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute

June 17, 2002

Two University Start-Ups Receive Maryland Incubator Companies of the Year Awards

COLLEGE PARK, Md.—Chesapeake PERL Inc. and Advanced Thermal and Environmental Concepts Inc. (ATEC), two early-stage companies in the University of Maryland's technology incubator program, netted top prizes in the Biotech/Life Sciences and Best New Incubator Company categories during the 2002 Maryland Incubator Company of the Year Awards ceremonies on June 12.

The awards, sponsored by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), Saul Ewing LLP and American Express Tax and Business Services, represent the highest public recognition of incubator start-up companies in the State. The awards were established to recognize the achievements of current clients and graduates of Maryland incubators.

PERL and ATEC, both members of the University of Maryland's Technology Advancement Program (TAP), were selected among 23 finalists in six categories. Winners were chosen by a committee of venture capitalists, government representatives and business leaders based on each company's goals and its success in achieving its objectives, as well as for factors such as increase in number of employees, growth in revenue or earnings, technology transfers, and the ability to attract outside investors.

"We're delighted to receive this award," said Jeff Turner, marketing manager for PERL, a recombinant protein manufacturing company and winner in the Biotech/Life Science category. "It's a great honor, and will certainly help us gain stature as we talk to investors, potential customers, and future business partners. It reflects well upon us and all of the people who have helped us along the way."

The award follows a successful year for PERL, during which the company oversubscribed its Series A funding, acquired millions in investment capital and research grants, and entered a cooperative research agreement with the U.S. Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center to create recombinant antibodies. The company also licensed a multi-million dollar facility for manufacturing, developed its own insectory and began selling its products to customers.

For ATEC's CEO Michael Ohadi, the award validates his company's products, as well as its accomplishments during the past year. "This brings us recognition from experts in the field as well as from investors who believe our technology is promising," said Ohadi.

ATEC, which has trademarked a process for spot cooling high-power electronic devices such as lasers, radar, sensors and detectors, has already earned $1.2 million in revenues. "We are not only profitable, but we have also invested every penny we have made back into the company," Ohadi said.

ATEC has already signed contracts with the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, and is working with companies from the private sector as well. The company has attracted top talent, including company president and technical director John Lawler, who holds a doctorate in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has more than 15 years experience in research and project management.

The Technology Advancement Program, part of the Engineering Research Center at the University of Maryland, has the longest successful track record of any incubator in Maryland, with more than 80 percent of its companies still in business five years after graduating. Its companies have received more than $314 million in investment funds, and have created over 700 full-time jobs in the State of Maryland. TAP offers space and support services for early-stage companies engaged in developing technology-based products or services with commercial potential.





Eric Schurr
(301) 405-3889


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