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Maryland Supports For-Profit to Speed Tech Commercialization

November 07, 2003

With the support of Maryland's Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), BrainChild Maryland was launched this week to identify and capitalize on Maryland's most promising new technologies. The for-profit company will identify university and federal lab technologies that have the greatest potential for becoming viable products and services. BrainChild Maryland will then help to transform these ideas into new spin-out companies and licensing deals.

Through its Challenge Investment Fund, DBED's Investment Financing Group is committed to investing up to $1 million over a four-year period in start-up capital in BrainChild Maryland. The company is raising an additional $1 million to 2 million from private investors. BrainChild Maryland also has formed a close partnership with the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), which is working to increase the number of invention disclosures and patent applications within Maryland's universities.

The business model for BrainChild Maryland is based much on companies such as Zircle, which is trying to get jumpstarted with technology from Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, and the U.K.-based TechTran Group created in 2002. In this model, independent, for-profit companies drive the technology commercialization effort through close, collaborative partnerships with research institutions and public agencies, as well as a strong commitment to economic development. Gov. Bill Richardson projected in May 2003 the Zircle-Sandia partnership would create 2,000 jobs in New Mexico within four years.

BrainChild Maryland will work to bring each technology to market by building and launching a new Maryland-based technology company with seasoned management, seed funding, strong advisors and a concrete commercialization plan. It will provide active, long-term mentoring and support to ensure that each company in its portfolio reaches its full business potential.

More information is available from Brainchild by contacting Jessica Tiller at 410-727-6855.