CoolCAD Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Security Keychain that Locks Your Computer When You Are Away

GateKeeper Chain

CoolCAD Electronics LLC, a University of Maryland-based electronics design company, just launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign for its new GateKeeper Chain security product, a small, colorful key fob that automatically locks your computer when you leave and unlocks it when you return, university officials announce today.

The GateKeeper Chain works over Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth SMART) wireless technology, combining a personal sensor with an encrypted connection that allows only its unique key to unlock your computer. The password is encrypted and stored on your PC, not the GK-Chain—so no one can steal it. The result is effortless security for your computer when you walk away, and easy access when you return.

“Our goal is provide people who use computers with optimal security and convenience,” said Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate Dr. Siddharth Potbhare (M.S. 2005, Ph.D. 2008), who co-founded CoolCAD. “It’s easy to forget to lock your computer when you leave your desk, and it’s a chore to log back in when you get back. GateKeeper takes care of both.”

As an extra layer of security, CoolCAD offers a companion smartphone application that lets you manage and track your keys, but more importantly—warns you when you leave your keys behind.

Initial prototypes work with PCs and Android phones, although the company is creating Macintosh and iOS versions as well.

Rewards for backers of the GateKeeper Chain Kickstarter campaign include access to pre-production-run prototypes, custom gold or silver key fobs, laboratory tours with CoolCAD’s engineers and designers, and up to 50 hours of one-on-one consulting to create customized products, which could include logos, additional branding and optional form factors.

CoolCAD plans to use its Kickstarter funding to take the patent-pending GateKeeper Chain from a fully functional prototype to a 200-unit pilot production run, which the company will use to obtain FCC certification and conduct comprehensive reliability testing and failure analysis tests.

Full production runs for the GateKeeper Chain are slated for June, with an expected delivery of the first 4,000 devices in July.

GateKeeper Chain

CoolCAD’s ten-member team includes Co-Founders UMD Electrical and Computer Engineering and Institute for Systems Research Professor Neil Goldsman, and Vice President and UMD alumnus Dr. Akin Akturk, who earned his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2006.

CoolCAD is a member of the Technology Advancement Program incubator, an initiative of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, whose graduates include Martek Biosciences and Digene Corporation, both of whom were acquired for more than $1 billion. The company’s headquarters are in Mtech’s Technology Ventures Building, located off-campus near the College Park Metrorail station.

CoolCAD has acquired research and development projects and subcontracts totaling over $4 million over the past five years, including Phase I and Phase II SBIRs/STTRs and four Mtech Maryland Industrial Partnerships program grants with two different UMD professors.

Mtech TAP Incubator Graduate Neuralstem Inc. Closes $20 Million Investment

Neuralstem

Neuralstem Inc., a 2001 graduate of the Mtech Technology Advancement Program (TAP) incubator, announced that it closed on a $20 million investment from leading institutional and accredited investors in a registered direct placement of 6,872,859 shares of common stock at a price of $2.91 per share.

neuralstem_logoBased in Rockville, Md., Neuralstem, now a publicly traded biotherapeutics company, features a patented technology that enables the production of neural stem cells of the brain and spinal cord in commercial quantities, and the ability to control the differentiation of these cells constitutively into mature, physiologically relevant human neurons and glial cells.

“We are very pleased to have raised the capital in this offering from leading institutional investors, including dedicated institutional healthcare investors. With the proceeds strengthening our cash balance, we have the resources to further advance our cell therapy and small molecule clinical trial programs,” said Richard Garr, President and Chief Executive Officer of Neuralstem.

Neuralstem’s NSI-566 spinal cord-derived stem cell therapy is in Phase II clinical trials for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Neuralstem has been awarded orphan status designation by the FDA for its ALS cell therapy.

Neuralstem was in TAP from April 1997 to December 2001. The company’s office space was accented with large, white canopies over its desks, creating a neural network-looking appearance when taken in aggregate.

In addition to ALS, Neuralstem is also targeting major central nervous system conditions with its NSI-566 cell therapy platform, including spinal cord injury and ischemic stroke. The company has received FDA approval to commence a Phase I safety trial in chronic spinal cord injury.

Neuralstem also maintains the ability to generate stable human neural stem cell lines suitable for the systematic screening of large chemical libraries. Through this proprietary screening technology, Neuralstem has discovered and patented compounds that may stimulate the brain’s capacity to generate neurons, possibly reversing pathologies associated with certain central nervous system conditions.  The company has completed a Phase I safety trial evaluating NSI-189, its first neurogenic small molecule product candidate, for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). Additional indications might include traumatic brain injury (TBI), Alzheimer’s disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

For more information about Neuralstem, visit www.neuralstem.com or connect with the company on TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn.

Pixelligent Granted Innovation Research Award for Next-Generation OLED Lighting

Pixelligent

Pixelligent Technologies, an Mtech TAP incubator graduate and MIPS funding recipient, recently announced it was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant by the Department of Energy (DOE).

The nine-month, $150,000 program will enable Pixelligent to accelerate the development of its nanoadditives for use in organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lighting, which is used to create digital displays in devices such as television screens, computer monitors, portable systems such as mobile phones, handheld games consoles and PDAs. As part of this program, Pixelligent will partner with OLEDWorks LLC, a leading OLED lighting company.

“As we continue working with the world’s leading electronics and next generation lighting companies, we are excited to partner with OLEDWorks, one of the leading American manufacturers of OLED lighting solutions”, said Craig Bandes, president and CEO of Pixelligent.

The SBIR program, established by the U.S. Congress, supports scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds. The goal of the program, titled Advanced Light Extraction Material for OLED Lighting, is to develop an internal light-extraction structure that will be fully compatible with OLED device manufacturing processes and operating conditions that can expedite the commercialization of white OLED lighting.

“We are honored to receive this highly competitive grant from the DOE that recognizes the significant value our advanced materials can provide in Solid State Lighting (SSL) applications”, commented Dr. Gregory D. Cooper, CTO and Founder of Pixelligent Technologies.

Since 2012, the company has received three SBIR grants from the Department of Energy, totaling $1.3 million, to expedite the development of its advanced materials for commercial use.

Once occupying four wet labs and two offices in TAP from 2005 to 2011, Pixelligent moved to Baltimore in June, 2011. In 2012, the company expanded its footprint to include more than 13,000 sq. ft. and has increased its work force by nearly 150 percent since moving operations to Baltimore. This growth is attributed to the increased demand for its proprietary Zirconia nanocrystal additives and the progress Pixelligent has made in significantly scaling-up its manufacturing capacity. The company is now producing and shipping its nanocrystal additives to customers around the world.

Also in 2005, Pixelligent worked with UMD chemistry and biochemistry Professor Daniel Falvey through a Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) grant on nanocrystal additives for increased resolution in photolithography. The project helped Pixelligent as it transitioned its technology to other applications in semiconductor manufacturing and the electronics industry, according to the company.

In December 2012, The Baltimore Sun reported that Pixelligent was “searching the region for space for a manufacturing facility capable of increasing its capacity to make nanocrystal coatings for electronics and semiconductors by 10 times or more.”

Pixelligent has raised more than $17 million over the past four and a half years.

Pixelligent’s first three employees earned their Ph.D.s from the University of Maryland. Founder & CTO Greg Cooper earned his Ph.D.in Physics, Zhiyun Chen, Vice President of Engineering, earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, and Serpil Gonen Williams, Vice President of Product Development, earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry. Pixelligent also employs three other UMD graduates. Xia Bai and Selina Thomas both earned Ph.D.’s in Chemistry and Lei Zhang earned her Master’s in Material Science and Engineering.

Photos from Maryland Innovation Mpact: Bringing Fearless Ideas to Market, 10/23/13

DC I-Corps Now Accepting Applications for Fall Cohort

The new, NSF-supported program revolutionizes technology transfer from university, federal laboratories.

DC I-Corps Logo

The new DC Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program is now accepting applications for its October cohort.

Open to research teams and technology entrepreneurs from universities, federal laboratories, agencies and the general community in the Mid-Atlantic Region, the free program guides researchers in exploring the commercial potential of their inventions.

“DC I-Corps provides real-world, hands-on training on how to incorporate innovations into successful products,” said DC I-Corps Director Edmund Pendleton. “Our goal is to improve the success rate of technology transfer and commercialization from our world-leading research universities and federal labs by creating new venture or licensing opportunities for program participants.”

DC I-Corps guides participating teams through an intense, seven-week program that emphasizes extensive face-to-face meetings with potential customers, iterating and pivoting in response to resulting insights, and building early prototypes to get customer feedback. During this process, teams constantly adapt as they seek a true product-market fit for their innovations, while also searching for a repeatable and scalable business model.

The program is geared towards innovations coming from engineering fields, medical/health/life sciences, and physical and computer sciences. DC I-Corps builds upon the successful National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps program, but expands its scope to cover researchers and technologists that have no NSF affiliation or support.

What sets the program apart, however, is the fact that the curriculum is designed and delivered by experienced technology startup entrepreneurs, investors, and practitioners.

DC I-Corps incorporates “Lean Startup” principles developed for Silicon Valley startups, but tailors these approaches for technically complex, capital-intensive innovations being created in America’s world-renowned university and federal labs.

“In addition to exploring an invention’s market potential, we also show teams how to do more commercially oriented research from the beginning,” said Pendleton. We hope to inspire participants to be the next generation of technology startup entrepreneurs, whether they become the CEOs of companies or integral parts of a startup team.”

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), DC I-Corps is designed to revolutionize technology transfer and commercialization from university and federal labs. The program, part of the NSF’s National Innovation Network, is jointly offered by the University of MarylandGeorge Washington University, and Virginia Tech.

DC I-Corps Director Edmund Pendleton is also director of the VentureAccelerator Program, an elite initiative of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute, or Mtech, that helps select University of Maryland inventors get their research out of laboratories and into industry by creating successful companies.

For more information and to apply, technology researchers and entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit www.dcicorps.org.

UMD Business Model Challenge Winner Launches First Crowdfunding Campaign, Raises $10,000 in One Week

Shield Boards LLC Set to Raise $25,000 Through Kickstarter to Help Fund the Mass Production of Wheel Shields

By Elena Sten

Chase Kaczmarek, a senior at the University of Maryland and founder of Shield Boards LLC, launched a Kickstarter campaign on August 5 to fund production of his company’s product, Wheel Shields, which eliminates a safety problem called “wheel bite” in skateboarding and longboarding. In just one week on Kickstarter, the company raised over $10,000.

This year’s first-place and $8,000 winner in the 2013 University of Maryland Business Model Challenge, Shield Boards LLC is hoping to raise $25,000 by September 4 to purchase a die cast mold needed to mass-produce and market the company’s injury-reducing skate and longboard accessory, Wheel Shields.

Wheel Shields are rounded covers for skateboard or longboard wheels intended to eliminate the problem of “wheel bite.” This phenomenon occurs during a hard turn when the bottom of the board comes in contact with the top of the wheels, causing the wheels to stop abruptly. This sudden change in speed throws riders to the ground, increasing their risk of injury.

Wheel Shields

Wheel Shields

After suffering from the effects of wheel bite a year ago, Kaczmarek set forth to develop a solution to the seemingly unavoidable problem.

“After experiencing wheel bite first-hand, I was surprised to find that there were no solutions for this problem on the market,” said Kaczmarek. “I began brainstorming ideas to eliminate wheel bite and improve the overall safety of skaters world-wide.”

One year and 20 prototypes later, Wheel Shields are coming to fruition. The patented technology is made from aircraft aluminum, an extremely durable material, and is compatible with most longboard or skateboard wheels under 75mm. A set of four shields weighs less than one pound.

Wheel Shields also provide splash protection when riding through wet terrain and open up new trick possibilities by letting skaters stand directly over their wheels. The newest prototype also covers less than half of the wheel, which reduces the likelihood of rocks getting caught inside and jamming wheels while riding.

WS Benefits

Shield Boards LLC also won first place at UMD’s Pitch Dingman Competition in February 2013, and was voted “coolest booth” at the University’s Cupid’s Cup Business and Innovation Showcase in April, sponsored by Under Armor Founder and CEO Kevin Plank.

For more information on Wheel Shields, or to help fund the company’s campaign, please visit www.bit.ly/WheelShields.

Led and managed by the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), a unit of the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, the UMD Business Model Challenge encourages students, faculty, researchers, staff and recent alumni at UMD and University of Maryland, Baltimore 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.

Meet the Potential Future of Electricity Generation

Redox Power Systems, UMD Develop Breakthrough Fuel Cells that Bring Efficient, Green, Affordable, Always-On Electricity to Businesses and Homes

Redox Power Systems LLC and University of Maryland researchers have partnered to deliver breakthrough fuel cell technologies for providing always-on electricity to businesses, homes and eventually automobiles, at about one-tenth the cost and one-tenth the size of current commercial fuel cell systems, university and company officials jointly announce today.

Those fuel cells, based upon patented technology developed by Professor Eric Wachsman, director of the University of Maryland Energy Research Center (UMERC) in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, are the foundation of a system being commercialized by Redox that provides safe, efficient, reliable, uninterrupted power, on–site and optionally off the grid, at a price competitive with current energy sources.

The promise is this: generate your own electricity with a system nearly impervious to hurricanes, thunderstorms, cyber attacks, derechos, and similar dangers, while simultaneously helping the environment.

“Every business or home should be able to safely generate its own energy,” saidWarren Citrin, CEO and director of Redox. “We currently rely upon a vulnerable electrical grid. The best way to decrease that vulnerability is through distributed energy, that is, by making your own energy on-site. We are building systems to do that, with an emphasis on efficiency and affordability. These should be common appliances.”

Enter Redox’s PowerSERG 2-80, also called “The Cube,” which connects to your natural gas line and electrochemically converts methane to electricity. Just larger than a dishwasher, the system sits comfortably in a basement, outside of a building, or on a roof, and—with no engine and virtually no moving parts—quietly goes about its business of providing power.

The first-generation Cube runs off natural gas, but it can generate power from a variety of fuel sources, including propane, gasoline, biofuel and hydrogen. The system is a highly efficient, clean technology, emitting negligible pollutants and much less carbon dioxide than conventional energy sources. It uses fuel far more efficiently than an internal combustion engine, and can run at an 80 percent efficiency when used to provide both heat and power.

Proprietary technical advances enable Redox to offer the Cube at a tenth of the cost of current systems. Combined with the increasing abundance and falling prices of natural gas, the company plans to offer electricity at prices competitive with current energy sources.

Redox plans to release The Cube in 2014. The first version will be configured to 25 kilowatts, which can comfortably power a gas station, moderately sized grocery store or small shopping plaza.

Additional power offerings will follow. Using different-sized fuel cell stacks, the company can offer The Cube at 5 kW, to provide always-on electricity for an average American home, or up to 80 kW in one system. Cubes can also be combined to provide even more power in a modular fashion.

A Better, Cheaper Fuel Cell: A 25-Year Breakthrough

Wachsman solid oxide fuel cell

View a high-resolution photo of a solid oxide fuel cell developed at the University of Maryland Energy Research Center.

Inside The Cube are stacks of small, ten-centimeter-square, millimeter-thick, solid oxide fuel cells. Like a battery, it has a cathode, an anode and an electrolyte, but the comparison ends there. Fuel cells don’t store electricity, rather, they create it, and they do so chemically, pulling oxygen ions from the air and conducting them through the cell, where they meet and oxidize the fuel on the other side, creating electricity. The materials of the cells are critical, and that’s where Wachsman’s expertise lies.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

View a high-resolution diagram of the Redox solid oxide fuel cell depicting how it works.

With more than 220 publications and eight patents, after receiving theElectrochemical Society High Temperature Materials Division’s 2012 Outstanding Achievement Award and the 2012 Fuel Cell Seminar Award, his election as Fellow to both the Electrochemical Society and the American Ceramic Society, and serving as Editor-in-Chief of Ionics and editor of Energy Systems, Wachsman’s greatest contribution may come after a hurricane rips through the East Coast and our lights are still on.

Two main problems have plagued solid oxide fuel cells: high operating temperature and high cost. Wachsman solved both.

Conventional solid oxide fuel cells operate as high as 950 degrees Celsius to run effectively. At this high temperature, the system can’t be easily turned on and off, performance degrades, and the balance of the system requires expensive, high-temperature alloys that drive up prices.

Wachsman decreased the operating temperature of solid oxide fuel cells to 650 degrees Celsius, with future reductions likely to 300 degrees. At these lower temperatures, the system can turn on much more rapidly, operate with greater reliability, and Redox can build out The Cube with conventional stainless steel parts rather than expensive alloys.

But Wachsman didn’t stop there. Drawing upon scores of graduate and undergraduate students over two and a half decades, millions of dollars in research funding and a state-of-the-art laboratory at the University of Maryland, he created fuel cells that generate ten times the power at these lower temperatures than anything else on the market, cutting the system’s cost by a factor of ten.

He did this by tackling nearly every aspect of the cell. He developed dual-layer electrolytes using new materials and dramatically improved the anode so it can withstand cycling the system on and off. No part escaped his expert touch, and the entire family of materials he created allows Redox to build systems for a wider range of applications.

“Over a 25-year time period, we have achieved major advances in both the composition of fuel cell materials and the micro and nanostructure of those materials,” said Wachsman. “Putting these together has resulted in a cell that has an extremely high power density, on the order of two watts per square centimeter.”

Citrin recognized the breakthrough. More power means you need less cells to do the same work, which also means the systems that contain them can be smaller.

“Wachsman’s advances allow us to build systems that are literally an order of magnitude smaller, an order of magnitude lighter, and an order of magnitude less expensive than anything that has gone before,” said Citrin.

Big Research Meets Big Business

Warren Citrin and Eric Wachsman

View a high-resolution photo of Redox CEO Warren Citrin, left, and Professor Eric Wachsman, Director of the University of Maryland Energy Research Center.

Wachsman started working on solid oxide fuel cells as a graduate student in the 1980s. He always intended for them to make it to market.

As far back as 2005, he and then-Ph.D. student Bryan Blackburn began exploring the idea of forming a company. In early 2012 they entered theVentureAccelerator Program, an elite initiative of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute, or Mtech, that helps select University of Maryland inventors get their research out of laboratories and into industry by creating successful companies.

After just three months, a record for the shortest time in the program, Wachsman and Blackburn teamed with Citrin and fellow entrepreneurs David Buscher and Robert Thurber to form Redox Power Systems.

The team of five, all members of the board of directors, garnered exclusive rights to Wachsman’s patents. Redox contracted research to UMD to further refine and improve the fuel cells.

Previously, Citrin, Buscher and Thurber built Solipsys, a radar technology company, which was acquired by Raytheon 2003. Collectively, the trio launched 13 additional companies, including Gloto, a company that provides innovative products and services to drive consumer engagement experiences across ads, social, mobile, and interactive TV.

In the future, Redox plans to produce fuel cell systems for automobiles, which the company claims could triple the gas mileage you get from your car.

But for now, they will be happy if, after the next Snowmageddon or Hurricane Sandy or after a vicious cyber attack, we all still have power.

Resensys LLC’s Technology Helps Prevent Bridge and Building Collapses

Pictured: A Resensys sensor installed on an Interstate 495 bridge.

Pictured: A Resensys sensor installed on an Interstate 495 bridge.

By Elena Sten

Nearly six years following the bridge disaster in Minneapolis, structures keep failing, including the I-5 bridge in Washington and buildings in both Philadelphia and Bangladesh.

Each of these could have been prevented with Resensys LLC’s real-time, comprehensive, wireless, low-cost and low-maintenance structural health detection system.

“In most cases, before a bridge or building collapses, measureable, meaningful changes occur on the structure,” said Resensys President and CTO Mehdi Kalantari. “Our technology provides a strong tool for the early and efficient detection of these changes. Whether some portion of the structure is overstrained or deformed, irreversible shifts or transformations can be detected with our technology way ahead of an actual failure so that repairs, and/or adjustments, can be made.”

Comprised of small, networked sensors installed strategically on a bridge or building, Resensys’ system monitors a broad range of factors, including strain, acceleration, vibration, displacement, deformation, tilt, inclination, temperature and humidity, to ensure that a structure is sound.

Each networked sensor quietly and continuously gathers data, after which it is aggregated and sent wirelessly to a data center, where it is continually analyzed.

When a structural issue is detected, alerts are sent out to maintenance or repair engineers at the first hint of a problem.

Resensys’ sensors can be energy self-sustained, drawing their own power from ambient light and radio waves, or battery-operated. Both types of sensors last, maintenance-free, for decades.

More than 20 companies throughout the U.S., Canada, Indonesia, and Japan have deployed Resensys’ sensors on a wide variety of structures. In the Mid-Atlantic region, they monitor buildings and bridges along I-495.

“We believe Resensys sensors provide very useful information about the structures where they have been deployed,” said Marcus Schmieder, industrial engineer, lean consultant and NDT specialist at Vancouver, Canada-based Metro Testing Laboratories Ltd. “The ease of installation, long life cycle and low cost of these systems convinced us to use Resensys sensors for all of our structural health monitoring projects.”

Since the American Society of Civil Engineers published its first report card for America’s Infrastructure back in 2008, the U.S. has yet to receive an overall grade higher than a D+. More than 71,000 bridges in the U.S. are structurally deficient, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s Our Nation’s Highways 2011 report.

While structural health monitoring is core to Resensys’ product development, the company’s sensors are now being used for a far wider range of applications, including utilities and aviation.

Resensys received a $75,000 Maryland Technology Transfer Fund award from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation in 2008. In 2009, the company won both a $165,000 Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) grant and $25,000 through the SAIC VentureAccelerator Competition. The company has also received Small Business Innovation Research grants from the National Science Foundation, a $100,000 Phase I in 2009, $500,000 Phase II in 2010, and $230,000 Phase II-B  in 2013.

A portfolio company of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) Technology Advancement Program in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, Resensys is also an Mtech VentureAccelerator graduate and former UMD $75K Business Plan Competition winner.

The company has three patents pending.

Resensys

UMD’s Mtech Pronounces: Business Plan Pitches Are Dead

UMD students working with a business model canvas

The six student and faculty finalist teams in the new University of Maryland Business Model Challenge won’t be writing business plans or making investor pitches.

Instead, they are assessing the product/market fit of their technologies by talking to prospective customers—lots of customers. The teams then integrate this real-world feedback into their business models, dramatically increasing their value to customers.

It’s hard, frustrating, work but immensely productive and rewarding. What’s more, they are mentored by the university’s Mtech Ventures team in their customer discovery efforts and given money to travel to customer sites and conduct the necessary interviews.

Finalist teams will have interviewed a minimum of 25 potential customers.

UMD students working with a business model canvas

At the final presentations on Friday, April 26, the team that makes the most progress and displays the most ingenuity in integrating their findings into their business model will be awarded additional funding to continue their work and expand their product validation interviews.

“Business plans have their place, just not at the startup phase,” said Craig Dye, Director of Mtech’s Venture Programs. “The overarching purpose of this approach is to find a repeatable, scalable business model based upon customer feedback. We’re excited to be able to provide UMD students and faculty the opportunity to take their new ventures through a proven process that puts them on a more stable path to success.”

Eleven teams, divided into Beginning/Intermediate and Advanced categories, were invited to participate in the Business Model Challenge process from a pool of 44 initial applicants. Up to six teams will present what they learned during the customer development and business model workshop to a panel of judges at the competition finals, held at the University of Maryland on Friday, April 26, from 1-3:30 p.m., in room 1115 of the Computer Science Instructional Center. The event is open to the public (register here).

Beginning/Intermediate level teams include:

  • CellTrace: developing an automated data extraction software program designed for researchers in the life sciences.
    Team: Deborah Hemingway, graduate student, biophysics; Frank Hemingway, graduate student, electrical and computer engineering; Joshua Juen, graduate student, University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign, electrical and computer engineering; and Kimberly Stroka, Johns-Hopkins University, post-doc, bioengineering.
  • Destinalo: developing an online booking platform dedicated exclusively to offering accommodations in environmentally friendly hotels.
    Team: Cristina Huidobro, graduate student, urban planning.
  • MotionVibe: developing fitness lifestyle technology solutions that improve training, motivation, and communication between professionals and enthusiasts.
    Team: Nick Gerontianos, student, digital innovation management studies.
  • Proteus: developing 3-D filament recycling solutions that allow users to convert waste plastic and plastic pellets into usable filament for 3-D printers.
    Team (all mechanical engineering undergraduates): Ethan Nusbaum, J. Scott Wheeler, and Kelly Kempf.
  • UMDTutor2Go: developing an online system to provide students with private, online tutoring via Skype, live instant messaging chats and audio broadcasts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    Team: Chandra Smith, undergraduate student, psychology, human development, and technology entrepreneurship; Changudra Smith, undergraduate student, finance, marketing, and technology entrepreneurship.
  • Wheel Shields: developing a skateboarding accessory that solves “wheel bite” (a dangerous safety problem), keeps riders dry and allows riders to stand over their wheels.
    Team: Chase Kaczmarek, undergraduate student, management and entrepreneurship.

Advanced Level Teams include:

  • Kitsune: developing a dynamic enterprise software-updating framework that eliminates downtime and keeps vital services accessible.
    Team: Edward Smith, undergraduate student, computer science; Michael Hicks, Associate Professor, computer science; Jeffrey Foster, Associate Professor, computer science.
  • Maryland Energy and Sensor Technologies (MEST): developing a novel, solid-state cooling technology for air-conditioning, dehumidification, and refrigeration applications.
    Team: Ichiro Takeuchi, Professor, materials science and engineering; Yiming Wu, Research Associate, materials science and engineering.
  • Secure Mobile Devices: developing a technology that strengthens the security of mobile devices by combining physical layer technologies with user biological traits and cyber technologies.
    Team: John Baras, Professor, electrical and computer engineering and Institute for Systems Research; Vladimir Ivanov, Research Associate, Institute for Systems Research.
  • Tauros Engineering: developing a technology for the detection and monitoring of bridge scour.
    Team: Alison Flatau, Professor, aerospace engineering, Associate Dean for Research, Clark School of Engineering; Tyler Flatau, undergraduate student, government and politics; and Adrian Ross, MBA candidate, Harvard Business School.
  • Vasoptic Medical: developing a medical device for the early diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy and other medical conditions.
    Team: M. Jason Brooke, alumnus, University of Maryland and University of Maryland, Baltimore; Abhishek Rege, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University.

UMD students working with a business model canvas

The University of Maryland Business Model Challenge, managed by the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), a unit of the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, encourages students, faculty, researchers, staff and recent alumni at UMD and University of Maryland, Baltimore 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.

Now in its thirteenth year with a new format, the competition was formerly called the University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition. Historically, the competition has spurred the commercialization of university technologies and served as a launch pad for multi-million-dollar companies, including AnthroTronix, RioRey, Alertus Technologies, Squarespace and Lurn.

Sponsors of the 2013 competition include Fish & Richardson P.C.Lockheed Martin, and Nixon Peabody LLP.

For more information about the University of Maryland Business Model Challenge and the finals event, visit www.bmc.umd.edu.

UMD students working with a business model canvas

Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute Startup Recipe

In honor of our official “State Crustacean,” the Maryland Blue Crab, whose scientific name (Callinectes sapidus) translates to “beautiful swimmer that is savory,” the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) is releasing a Startup Recipe inspired by crab feasts. We might note that September (just nine days away) is one of the best months for picking sweet crab meat.

Over the past 29 years, Mtech, an initiative of the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, has carefully assembled a comprehensive ecosystem of programs and resources to promote and foster entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Maryland and in the region.

Coupled with the powerful and vibrant Mid-Atlantic R&D and venture communities, Maryland is ripe with opportunity for a flourishing economy driven by entrepreneurship and innovation.

Click here to view a larger version of the Mtech Startup Recipe.

Note: This graphic was inspired by the Seattle Startup Recipe released by Gist and developed by Column Five.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.