Pneuma and True View Dental were named winners as eight local startups compete for cash prizes
Catonsville, Md. (May 16, 2023) – On Monday, May 8, eight teams representing local technology startups faced off in a pitch competition hosted at bwtech@UMBC. The event marked the conclusion of the 2023 Maryland New Venture Fellowship program – a partnership between bwtech@UMBC, UMBC, and the University System of Maryland that aims to accelerate the launch of Maryland-based tech businesses.
Each team consisted of one technologist, one graduate student/fellow from UMBC, and one mentor, who worked together over the course of 15 weeks to develop a new technology and design a business launch plan to bring it to market. The teams were guided through a curriculum facilitated by bwtech@UMBC and featuring presentations from local business and technology experts to learn more about the market research, financing, sales, marketing and other aspects required to launch a successful startup.
At the Pitch Night competition, each fellow had five minutes to present their team’s launch plan to a panel of judges, who awarded cash prizes to the teams with the most promising ideas and well-designed plans.
Two teams were awarded $5,000 grand prizes:
- Pneuma: this startup is developing hardware and software that offers neurotechnology to detect and treat substance use disorder. The team consisted of technologist Ramana Vinjamun, fellow Pranay Narava and mentor Ellington West.
- True View Dental: this startup is developing a small, flexible dental camera that delivers clear images; allowing dentists better visualization and two free hands while completing exams and procedures. The team consisted of technologist Ankit Goel, fellow Neha Chama and mentor Tom McCabe.
In addition, Neha Chama from the True View Dental team was awarded the Outstanding Fellow Award and received a prize of $1,000.
“We are extremely proud of the teams who participated in this year’s Maryland New Venture Fellowship program, and Pitch Night is the perfect way to showcase the great talent and innovation that exists not just at UMBC, but within Maryland’s tech community,” said Aaron Miscenich, Executive Director, bwtech@UMBC. “These teams spent months preparing for these presentations, and we hope the knowledge and insight they gained in the program has them primed to launch successful companies.”
The judges for Pitch Night were Kimberly Mentzell, Director of Cybersecurity and Aerospace at Maryland Department of Commerce; Darlene Ugwa, Director of the Maryland Business Innovation Center; and Jack Miner, Chief Investment Officer at TEDCO.
The other participating teams included:
- Alirtify, including technologist: Kwabena Okrah, fellow Bhanu Reddy, and mentor Hillel Glazer.
- Sentinel Forge, including technologist Colin Hamill, fellow Harish Krishnamoorthy, and mentor James Faison.
- Xeddy, including technologist Basil Udo, fellow Sreya Negineni, mentor Brandon Mason.
- SEEe, including technologist lee boot, fellow Charan Duggirala, and mentor Bill Anderson.
- SOHIVE, including technologist Chris Schilstra, fellow Sanju Biju, and mentor Donna Ruginski.
- Virtual Apprentice, including technologist Ellie Giles, fellow Rahul Podugu, and mentor Lily Bengfort.
The Maryland New Venture Fellowship is funded by a Venture Challenge grant awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), which supports organizations and programs fostering entrepreneurship and accelerating the growth of technology-based companies. In addition, the 2023 program was sponsored by The Citizens of Baltimore County, Whiteford Taylor Preston, LLP, and TCV Growth Partners.
About bwtech@UMBC Research & Technology Park
bwtech@UMBC is the Research & Technology Park for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and is dedicated to enabling companies to start, grow, and stay in Maryland. The organization offers three incubators – Cyber, GovTech, and BioTech – that promote the progress of companies at all stages of development. In addition to receiving the space they need to grow their companies, bwtech@UMBC members also benefit from the guidance of Entrepreneurs in Residence who can help them transform innovative ideas into scalable businesses. bwtech@UMBC houses 131 companies and organizations that employ nearly 1,900 people and have generated $700M in labor income and business sales. To learn more, please visit https://bwtech.umbc.edu/