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Here's How the Maryland Innovation Initiative is Supposed to Work

Friday, July 25, 2014

Jennifer Hammaker
Jennifer Hammaker
Baltimore Business Journal - Jennifer Hammaker has watched biotech company respEQ Inc. grow from an experiment in a Johns Hopkins lab to a fledgling startup now looking for investors.

RespEQ is a prime example of what Hammaker, who leads the Maryland Innovation Initiative, hopes the state’s research commercialization program will produce more of in the future.

RespEQ is using Hopkins research to develop an at-home monitoring system for sleep disorders. The Maryland Innovation Initiative, which is managed by Maryland’s Technology Development Corporation, has invested $215,000 in the company since fiscal 2013. Now RespEQ is raising money from private investors (leaders can't talk to reporters until the round closes), Hammaker said.

The Maryland Innovation Initiative has an annual budget of $5.8 million to invest in research projects with commercial promise and help build them into free-standing startups. The program invests in projects in three stages — pre-commercial research, commercialization planning, and early-stage product development — over the course of at least 20 months. The program works with universities and local incubators to connect researchers with the business and commercialization resources they need to get their ideas out of the lab, even if they personally do not have any entrepreneurial aspirations.

Click here to read more via the Baltimore Business Journal.