Startups
Cybersecurity / Events / Pitches / Technology / Universities

The 2023 Maryland New Venture Fellowship just awarded $10K to these startup teams

The program from bwtech@UMBC, UMBC and the University of Maryland system pairs cyber researchers and entrepreneurial grad students to form startups.

(L to R) BWTECH@UMBC's MARJIE COTA, TEAM MENTOR ELLINGTON WEST, BTWECH@UMBC's AARON MISCENICH, MARYLAND BUSINESS INNOVATION CENTER's DARLENE UGWA, TEDCO's JACK MINER, TEAM FELLOW PRANAY NARAVA and TEAM TECHNOLOGIST RAMANA VINJARMURI. (Courtesy photo)

This editorial article is a part of State of Local Tech Month of Technical.ly’s editorial calendar.

A Maryland program pairing cyber researchers and entrepreneurial grad students to form startups just picked its latest crop of winners.

Now in its third year, the Maryland New Venture Fellowship for Cybersecurity is a program established in collaboration with bwtech@UMBC, UMBC and the University of Maryland system. This program aims to expedite the launch of cybersecurity businesses in the state and is funded through a grant from the US Economic Development Association.

Earlier this month, eight teams participated in a pitch competition hosted at bwtech@UMBC South to close this round of the program. Each team consisted of a technologist, a graduate student fellow from UMBC, and a mentor. Over 15 weeks, they worked together to develop new technology and design a business launch plan, guided by a curriculum facilitated by bwtech@UMBC and presentations from local business and technology experts.

At the pitch competition, each team had five minutes to present their launch plan to a panel of judges. Cash prizes were awarded to the teams with the most promising ideas and well-designed plans.

Two teams received $5,000 grand prizes: Pneuma, which is developing hardware and software for detecting and treating substance use disorder using neurotechnology, and True View Dental, which is developing a flexible dental camera for better visualization during exams and procedures.

Pneuma is made up of technologist Ramana Vinjamun, fellow Pranay Narava and mentor Ellington West (CEO of Baltimore’s Sonavi Labs). For True View Dental, the team consisted of technologist Ankit Goel, fellow Neha Chama and mentor Tom McCabe. Chama was also honored with the Outstanding Fellow Award and received a $1,000 prize.

(L to R) KIMBERLY MENTZELL, DIRECTOR OF CYBERSECURITY AND AEROSPACE AT MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE; MARJIE COTA, DIRECTOR OF ENTREPRENEURIAL SERVICES AT BWTECH@UMBC; TEAM FELLOW NEHA CHAMA; AARON MISCENICH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BTWECH@UMBC; DARLENE UGWA, DIRECTOR OF THE MARYLAND BUSINESS INNOVATION CENTER; JACK MINER, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER AT TEDCO; and TEAM MENTOR TOM MCCABE. (Courtesy photo)

The panel of judges for the pitch night consisted of 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.

Aaron Miscenich, executive director of bwtech@UMBC, noted the significance of the pitch night as a platform to showcase the region’s potential for talent and innovation.

“We are extremely proud of the teams who participated in this year’s Maryland New Venture Fellowship program,” Miscenich said in a statement. “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.”

The other teams that took part were:

  • 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 and 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
Companies: University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) / University System of Maryland / bwtech@UMBC
Series: State of Local Tech Month 2023

Before you go...

Please consider supporting Technical.ly 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, Technical.ly 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
Engagement

Join our growing Slack community

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

Trending

The Trump rally shooter perched on a building owned by American Glass Research. Here’s everything we know about it.

Quantum computing could be the next hot tech — if only that breakthrough would come

Here’s how the global tech outage impacted many of the vital systems across the mid-Atlantic region

Despite EDA decision, the Baltimore Tech Hub is still possible: Kory Bailey

Technically Media