Baltimore, Md. (PRWEB) October 04, 2012
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has announced that BrainScope, a Bethesda-based medical neurotechnology company developing a device to assess Traumatic Brain Injury, has received the first investment through the State’s InvestMaryland program. The program, which was created by the Governor and passed by Maryland’s General Assembly in 2011, is funded with $84 million to invest in innovative Maryland startups in targeted industries such as life sciences, cyber security, information technology, advanced manufacturing, communications and green energy.
“In Maryland, we choose to make the modern investments a modern economy requires: educating, innovating, and building for our children’s future,” Governor O’Malley said. “We know that our greatest assets are the talents, skills, creativity and ingenuity of our people. InvestMaryland is an important part of our overall strategy to nurture the State’s Innovation Economy by investing in our competitive advantages like science and technology and encouraging entrepreneurship. Our investment in BrainScope demonstrates that we believe in aspiring entrepreneurs and Maryland’s ability to compete and win in the New Economy.”
InvestMaryland is the largest venture capital investment initiative in Maryland’s history. The program is being run through the Maryland Venture Fund Authority and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. In March, the State raised $84 million for the program through an online auction of tax credits to Maryland insurance companies. While other states have sold tax credits to fund similar venture capital initiatives, Maryland is the first state to use an online auction to raise the capital for such a program.
“InvestMaryland was created with companies like BrainScope in mind,” said Christian S. Johansson, Secretary of the Department of Business and Economic Development. “Our role is to nurture entrepreneurialism in Maryland and ensure that innovators can become company founders, job creators and industry leaders.”
BrainScope’s portable, non-invasive devices will help military personnel and first responders more quickly diagnose and begin to treat concussions and other Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The company has received about $10 million in military contracts and plans to later pursue opportunities in the civilian arena, putting its devices in emergency rooms and sports complexes. In addition to its applications in improving outcomes for soldiers who suffer TBI’s, BrainScope’s technology may also be used to assist in sports-related brain injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur each year.
“We are truly honored to be the first recipient of venture capital funding through InvestMaryland,” said Michael E. Singer, BrainScope President and CEO. “Traumatic Brain Injury remains one of the very top health issues for our servicemen and women, and concussion is a national topic of concern and conversation. These funds will support the development of our medical device to help first responders assess head-injured patients. We thank the State of Maryland, in particular the Maryland Venture Fund, the Department of Business and Economic Development and the Governor, for their support as we work to develop these important products.”
The State’s investment in Brainscope is the first of what is expected to be hundreds of InvestMaryland investments in promising start-up and early-stage companies. Two-thirds of the InvestMaryland funds will be managed by carefully screened private venture firms, who will invest the funds with a commitment to return 100% of the principal and 80% of the profits to the State’s general fund. The remaining third of InvestMaryland funding will be invested by the state-run Maryland Venture Fund (MVF). Over its 17-year existence, the MVF has invested $25 million into hundreds of start-up and early stage technology and life sciences companies, generating a $61 million return, 2000 jobs and more than $1 billion in private investment. The Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA) will also receive a portion of funds for investment. Returns on the funds invested through the MVF will be reinvested in the program.
Among its benefits, InvestMaryland has the potential to create thousands of jobs in Innovation Economy sectors – life sciences and biotechnology, cyber security/IT and clean/green tech – and to attract billions of follow-on capital. It mirrors many aspects of a federal program to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship nationwide, The Startup America Partnership, which President Barack Obama launched year.
The program is one of a number of initiatives Governor O’Malley has introduced to spur innovation and entrepreneurship in Maryland. Earlier this year, the Governor created the Maryland Innovation Initiative, an historic partnership between the State and its research universities to advance cutting-edge research to the commercial marketplace.
Backed by Revolution LLC (created by AOL co-founder Steve Case), Alafi Capital, Brain Trust Accelerator Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Portage Ventures and ZG Ventures, BrainScope is a medical neurotechnology company that is developing a new generation of hand-held, simple-to-use, non-invasive instruments designed to aid medical professionals in rapidly and objectively assessing brain function. BrainScope devices in development are based on a proprietary technology platform, which integrates databases of brainwave recordings with advanced developments in digital signal processing, sophisticated algorithms, miniaturized hardware and disposable headset sensors. BrainScope’s initial focus is on traumatic brain injury (TBI) and its milder forms known as concussion. BrainScope’s unique device is being developed to meet a long-standing clinical need for improved early identification, staging and triage for head-injured patients. BrainScope devices under development for use in the United States for assessment of traumatically-induced head injury and concussions are for investigational use only and have not been submitted to FDA for premarket review. For more information, visit http://www.brainscope.com