Civic News
Awards / Biotechnology / Cybersecurity / Quantum

From quantum to biotech, meet this year’s Maryland Tech Council ICON nominees

The trade association’s annual awards includes a new category named after late EcoMap Technologies CEO Pava LaPere.

The Maryland Tech Council's 2023 ICON Awards. (Courtesy)

This story is a part of’s Thriving Tech Communities Month. See the full 2024 editorial calendar.

The spotlight will shine on executives and companies from Maryland’s main tech sectors — especially those concerning life sciences and government services — when they convene Thursday in North Bethesda for the latest version of a special industry celebration.

The Maryland Tech Council’s (MTC) annual ICON Awards recognize innovation, achievement and leadership within various parts of the regional industry. Following the trade group’s main priorities, the 36th edition of the awards, like prior years, highlights a handful of the state’s dominant tech ecosystems: among them, biotechnology, cybersecurity and pharmaceuticals.

The ICON Awards also recognize accomplishments in other emerging or noteworthy subsets of Maryland’s tech industry, like quantum computing, government-related SaaS product development, and youth STEM development.

Geographically, the 41 nominees cover a footprint that largely stretches around the state’s main population centers of Baltimore, Columbia, the DC suburbs (including DNA Alley near Gaithersburg) and the MTC’s hometown of Frederick.

This year also features a new category: The Pava LaPere Award, which an announcement said “will recognize outstanding contributions to innovation and excellence within Maryland’s technology and life sciences communities.” This award follows two recently signed state bills, the renaming of Johns Hopkins University’s student entrepreneurship center and the PLACE Builders Fellowship in honoring the late CEO of Baltimore-based EcoMap Technologies.

“Each year the ICON Awards recognize the companies and leaders that are taking excellence to a new level,” said Kelly Schulz, the MTC’s CEO and a former Maryland Secretary of Commerce and Labor. “This year’s awards ceremony will have added significance as we remember and honor the memory of Pava LaPere, who embodied the very best that Maryland’s technology community has to offer.”

The ceremony comes after an active year for the MTC, including inducting new members like Blackbird Laboratories and Google; organizing the 5th Annual Technology Transformation Conference; partnering on a new biotech tuition benefit program with Georgetown University; and a similar initiative with St. Mary’s University.

Here are this year’s ICON Award nominees:

Technology Company of the Year

  • IonQ
  • Xometry
  • Floreo
  • Curbio

Life Sciences Company of the Year

  • AstraZeneca
  • Regenxbio
  • Arcellx
  • Kerecis

Government Contracting Company of the Year

  • Red Alpha
  • Strativia, LLC
  • N4 Solutions, LLC
  • MetaPhase Consulting, LLC
  • RealmOne

Emerging Technology Company of the Year

  • NanoBioFAB
  • Clym Environmental Services, LLC
  • Trinity Cyber
  • Dwellwell Analytics

Emerging Life Sciences Company of the Year

  • DELFI Diagnostics, Inc.
  • Glyscend Therapeutics
  • Luminoah, Inc.
  • Cellphire Therapeutics, Inc.
  • RoosterBio

C-Suite of the Year

  • Tom Shelly, Chief Operating Officer, Red Alpha
  • Chuck Mosser, Chief Financial Officer, IntelliGenesis, LLC
  • Robert Charles, Chief Financial Officer, Digital Harbor Foundation
  • Jesse Damsker, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer, ReveraGen BioPharma

CEO, Technology

  • Xiaonao Liu, NanoBioFAB
  • Andrew Coy, Digital Harbor Foundation
  • Dr. Elizabeth P. Clayborne, NasaClip

CEO Life Sciences

  • Elaine Haynes, KaloCyte
  • Neal Piper, Luminoah, Inc.
  • Hafiz Ahmed, GlycoMantra
  • Benjamin Holmes, Nanochon

CEO Government Contracting

  • Anil Sharma, 22nd Century Technologies, Inc.
  • Delali Dzirasa, Fearless
  • Frank LeQuang, N4 Solutions, LLC
  • Neal Frick, CyberCore Technologies, LLC

Deal of the Year

  • RealmOne
  • IMB/eIntelligent Partners
  • JMI

Buy tickets for the 2024 ICON Awards

This article mentions Fearless, a client. That relationship had no impact on this report.

Companies: EcoMap Technologies / Curbio / IonQ / Floreo / Delfi Diagnostics / Xometry / Fearless / Maryland Tech Council / Regenxbio / Digital Harbor Foundation / AstraZeneca
Series: Thriving Tech Communities Month

Before you go...

Please consider supporting to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!


Philly startup Burro aims to revolutionize farming with robots

Philly is ranked one of the world’s best places to found a startup, climbing to No. 25 globally

Duolingo’s viral taco shop brought in an eye-popping $700,000 last year

A startup using AI to flag pathogens and contaminants just raised an $8.5M Series A

Technically Media