FounderTrac Demo Day funded startups working in biotech and barber shops - Baltimore


Nov. 19, 2018 11:44 am

FounderTrac Demo Day funded startups working in biotech and barber shops

On November 6 in Annapolis, College Park–based Leon Scientific was named pitch competition winner. Plus, Live Chair received a $175K investment after moving to Maryland.

Live Chair CEO Andrew Suggs pitches at FounderTrac Demo Day in Annapolis on Nov. 6, 2018.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

FounderTrac closed out the second cohort of the accelerator in a year earlier this month with a demo day in Annapolis, and news of an investment for a company that recently opened a headquarters in Maryland.

The November 6 event at the state capital’s Loews Hotel concluded the three month program for 11 startup founders, who met regularly for sessions on building a business in Annapolis and received guidance from a “Sherpa,” or experienced executive in the community. The program began in 2017 as a partnership between LAUNCH! Annapolis, MCVC Partners, the Maryland Tech Council, then got funding from TEDCO for 2018.

At the event, College Park–based Leon Scientific was named the winner of the pitch competition. Led by Founder and CEO Deborah Hemingway, the UMD startup is commercializing cellular imaging technology invented by Giuliano Scarcelli.

Following Hemingway’s pitch detailing new ways of discovering information about biological samples, the biotech company won $3,000 with the pitch competition win, funded by LAUNCH! Annapolis, MCVC Partners and MTC.

“The company has millions of dollars in sales pipeline and is addressing a trillion dollar market with patented technology that is helping scientists and doctors eradicate deadly diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and sickle cell anemia to name a few,” said FounderTrac’s Ryan Sears. “It’s a wonderful business and an amazing mission with great leadership.”

Leon Scientific CEO Deborah Hemingway (second from left) won FounderTrac's fall pitch competition. (Courtesy photo)

Leon Scientific CEO Deborah Hemingway (second from left) won FounderTrac’s fall pitch competition. (Courtesy photo)

The night also featured a second big check for Live Chair. The startup received a $175,000 equity investment from MCVC Partners. The deal was highlighted at the event to “showcase active investors supporting and attracting high-quality startups in our region,” Sears said. Live Chair recently opened an office in Hanover, and is looking to expand.


The company makes an app for barbershops that allows customers to view open slots and check-in, as well as manage operations functions, said founder Andrew Suggs. The startup is also seeking to raise awareness about health in city neighborhoods.

“We help our Barbers run a more efficient business with scheduling and customer relationship tools. Then we empower them to help their clients be aware of one of the silent killers in the community we serve – hypertension,” Suggs said.

The company is supplying blood pressure cuffs so barbers can conduct screenings.

“In Maryland, we are shipping our first blood pressure cuffs to barbers while also developing our follow-up care model that will include clinicians,” Suggs said, adding that the app is currently being used by barbers in Baltimore city and Baltimore County.

Suggs said the company is currently hiring in tech and business roles, and is looking to bring on 10 people in the coming months.

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