Biotechnology / Funding / Investing / Startups

Money Moves: Astek Diagnostics raised $2M for a medical device launch

Plus, JHU launches its inaugural President's Venture Fellowship, Squadra Ventures invests in a Texas firmware company and Rampart Communications seeks $20 million.

Baltimore's Inner Harbor and surrounding areas. (Photo by Flickr user, used via a Creative Commons license) " target="_blank">(Photo by Unsplash user ActionVance, used via a Creative Commons license)
Money Moves is a column where we chart the funding raises of tech companies across the region. Have a tip? Email us at
Baltimore’s biotech industry is thriving, and it’s not the only one experiencing a winning streak.

Student-led ventures from local universities are also making waves. With an abundance of money moves in the region, Baltimore is working hard for its success — reminiscent of Donna Summer’s hit song.

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Astek Diagnostics raises $2 million

Astek Diagnostics, a Baltimore-based diagnostic company and 2022 RealLIST Startup, successfully concluded a $2 million early-stage venture capital funding round in June. This investment marks the close of a round in which the company had raised $1 million earlier this spring, according to CEO Mustafa Al-Adhami. The funding is expected to support the development and launch of a medical device providing a speedy recovery for patients suffering from urinary tract infections. Astek Diagnostics has recently raised funds to further advance its innovative device, which uses a disposable cartridge to detect bacterial infections. The funding round was led by the Wexford SciTech Venture Fund, the venture capital arm of Wexford Science and Technology. It included participation from Iyana Capital, the Maryland Momentum Fund and the Maryland Technology Development Corp (TEDCO).

JHU student ventures are on a roll

A pair of startups from Johns Hopkins University students, Aptabridge Therapeutics and CurveAssure, were chosen as winners of the university’s inaugural President’s Venture Fellowships. These ventures, focused on cancer treatments and combating chronic back pain, respectively, will each receive $100,000 in funding. The fellowship, the largest award for student entrepreneurship in the university’s history, aims to encourage startups to thrive in Baltimore’s innovation ecosystem. It is funded by the Office of the President and supported by generous alumni donations.

Baltimore VCs are also on a roll, will Melo join in?

Austin, Texas-based firmware company NetRise, which specializes in enhancing security for Extended Internet of Things (XIoT) devices, has recently closed an $8 million funding round led by Baltimore’s Squadra Ventures. This investment will enable NetRise to further develop its solutions and ensure robust security measures for XIoT devices.

Rampart Communications seeks $20 million

Rampart Communications, based in Linthicum Heights, is actively developing an enhanced and highly secure wireless communication technology. To expand the application of this technology across various industries, the company is trying to secure millions of dollars in venture capital funding. Rampart Communications has set a target of raising $20 million to bolster the protection of wireless communications.

Companies: Astek Diagnostics / Squadra Ventures / Johns Hopkins University
Series: Money Moves

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