Meet the 8 companies representing Maryland at the upcoming Startup Grind Global Conference

The state’s vibrant medtech industry got a spotlight in this delegation that, like the recent MedTech Innovator Accelerator Roadshow event in Baltimore, has the state Department of Commerce’s backing.

Maryland's flag. (Flickr/Thad Zajdowicz)

The Maryland Department of Commerce and local Startup Grind chapters prioritized biotech and health innovation, as well as Maryland’s greatest population centers, in the octet of companies they will send to next week’s Startup Grind Global Conference.

The full roster for the delegation to Silicon Valley was announced last week as another Commerce Department-supported event filled with medtech companies — the MedTech Innovator Accelerator’s three-day East Coast Pitch Event — wrapped up at venues in Baltimore’s Downtown and Port Covington neighborhoods. Both the MedTech Innovator and Startup Grind events represent different sides of the department’s work to both support local companies’ growth and attract outside interest in the state’s robust, often university-connected health, life sciences and biopharma sectors.

“Now in its 10th year, the Startup Grind Global Conference will bring thousands of individuals together to experience the next big ideas and products destined for the marketplace,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kevin A. Anderson in a press release. “We believe this event can provide countless opportunities for our local startups, and help attract additional investors to Maryland’s innovative business community.”

The Maryland-based tech companies heading to the Startup Grind conference, which takes place April 11-12 in downtown Redwood City, California, includes two prior RealLIST Startups: 2023 honoree ReBokeh and 2022 honoree Astek Diagnostics, which both hail from the Baltimore area. ReBokeh is an app designed to assist individuals with moderate vision impairment in navigating and experiencing the world more easily. Astek Diagnostics, on the other hand, is a medical technology company focused on improving the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases.

“We are honored to represent Maryland at Startup Grind, and we are driven by the belief that our work can help prevent devastating outcomes like sepsis, ultimately saving countless lives and sparing families from unimaginable grief,” said Astek Diagnostics CEO Mustafa Al-Adhami.

Here are the other six companies in this year’s delegation:

  • AGED Diagnostics, a North Bethesda team developing the first accurate blood test for liver disease
  • BLYNK, a Baltimore-based recruitment company providing solutions for unemployment, diversity hiring and the labor shortage
  • Celcy Technologies, a food tech startup from Eldersburg that patented a countertop robotic device that provides on-demand, quality meals without human interaction
  • Keep Company, a Bethesda tech-enabled group coaching platform used to help employees and employers thrive.
  • Medcura, Inc., a commercial-stage medical device company in Riverdale whose products work to stop uncontrolled bleeding.
  • Pathotrak, a College Park startup that is developing rapid detection kits for foodborne pathogens.

Keep Company, Medicura and Pathotrak are also all participating in Startup Grind’s Accelerate Program before the conference.

Startup Grind, a global network of startups, currently has chapters in the Maryland cities of Baltimore, Frederick and Columbia that operate under a statewide partnership. Sean Sutherland, a contributor and former partnership leader who currently works as the marketing director for Baltimore-based agency idfive, said that this conference offers delegate members a unique and irreplaceable opportunity to make crucial connections.

“The importance of Baltimore-area companies at the Startup Grind Global Conference cannot be understated,” he told, adding: “All it takes is one company meeting the right person at the right time to fundamentally transform a given industry. There’s no greater possibility of these transformations and evolutions than at the global conference and we’re, along with the MD Dept. of Commerce, proud to offer these 8 companies every chance available to ignite the ecosystem through their product, service, or mission.”

Chris Haug, a current partnership leader and director of 360° Venture Management Group who created the Columbia chapter, hit on this focus even further: “At Startup Grind, our mission is to educate, inspire and connect our global community with the resources they need to go as far in their entrepreneurship as possible. For two days, several thousand people will converge in California to give first, don’t take, help others before ourselves and look for ways to make friendships, partnerships and collaborative opportunities.”

Department of Commerce leaders had similarly positive things to say about the MedTech Innovator event last week, which also included several programs held in parallel to the BioTools and MedTech Innovator Showcases. Some of those programs, such as educational panels, workshops and networking sessions, were open to members of the life sciences community who did not participate directly in the closed showcase programming.

“[MedTech Innovator] is a globally renowned event with a strong reputation for bringing together the who’s who of medtech,” said Commerce Department leaders Sefanie Trop, senior management of business development; Ulyana Desiderio, director of life sciences; and Karen Glenn Hood, deputy director of communications in a joint email to “We wanted to bring the event to Maryland, and specifically Baltimore, for the opportunity to convene our ecosystem of key opinion leaders, experts, and entrepreneurs around it, and to showcase our assets and community to hundreds of out of town visitors.”

Here are some of the Maryland companies that the department said participated in the three-day event’s pitch components:

Companies: ReBokeh / Astek Diagnostics / Sonavi Labs / Startup Grind / State of Maryland

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