WHO’S GETTING FUNDED
The bigger companies in Columbia continue to make it rain.
Columbia-based Message Systems raised $27 million in new funding, Washington Business Journal reported. The email infrastructure company says it sends 20 percent of the world’s “legitimate” email via large providers like Comcast, Facebook, Twitter and Salesforce (just to name a few). It launched a cloud-based platform called SparkPost in November, which the new money will help develop. Earlier this month, the company wrapped up an acquisition of Port25, which makes a software called PowerMTA that sends email for small and large companies alike.
New Enterprise Associates was once again among the nation’s VC heavy hitters. According to CB Insights, the Timonium-based firm was fourth in 2014 among venture firms when measured by how many exited companies it backed.
Peach, which offers a warranty marketplace for gadgets, wrapped up a $500,000 seed round, Baltimore Business Journal reports.
WHO’S MAKING MOVES
Towson University’s incubator completed a move to a new space. It’s now located at 7400 York Road on the second floor, which is about a half-mile from the university’s main campus.
Around the time of their first founders-only event, Startup Soiree launched a podcast. So far, guests have included Max Sobol, Yair Flicker of SmartLogic and Marc DeLeonibus from QuotePie, among others.
The rollout for Johns Hopkins’ Fast Forward East incubator was a who’s who of state players at the intersection of health, science, tech, business and policy. Among the speakers on a panel that featured DBED Secretary Mike Gill and University of Maryland-Baltimore VP Jim Hughes, was Rich Bendis of BioInnovation Health. The group is one of a few state organizations positioning themselves to knit together the innovation at the state’s university and government institutions with efforts to commercialize new discoveries. Bendis said BioInnovation Health is in the midst of raising a fund. This week, it also announced a move to expand its existing entrepreneurs-in-residence program at the National Institutes of Health. Most NIH facilities are closer to D.C., but some of the companies could eventually be based in Baltimore.
A new local hackathon is in the works — and it’s focused on medicine. Johns Hopkins’ Innovation Factory is planning MedHacks for a date TBD in 2015. There’s a website, but few other details have been released.
Havas Discovery recently relaunched as Havas Helia. With the move, the marketing agency’s downtown Baltimore office will become a go-to-market brand — and expand by 40 people over the next year. The company, which has offices around the world, specializes in using data to create marketing campaigns.
Ignite is going to Howard County for the first time in April, Terry Owens of the Howard County Economic Development Authority tells us. The event will be held at Jailbreak Brewing in Laurel on April 13, according to a press release. People who live and work in Howard County get first preference as speakers.
WHO’S GETTING BUZZ
The Federal Aviation Administration’s release of new rules for drones “felt like Christmas,” Elevated Element’s Terry Kilby told the Baltimore Sun. Skye de Moya of SkyeCam Productions was also featured in the piece.