BALTIMORE, MD (August 5, 2014) – The Maryland Venture Fund (MVF), the equity investment arm of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), has made follow-on investments totaling $700,000 in two of its portfolio companies. KoolSpan, developer of a suite of patented, hardware-based mobile security encryption solutions, received $400,000. BrainScope, which is pioneering sophisticated neurotechnology to quickly assess traumatic brain injury at the initial point of care, received $300,000. Both companies are located in Bethesda. The investments were made with funds raised by InvestMaryland, Governor Martin O’Malley’s key initiative designed to spur growth and development of small, high-tech companies in Maryland.
“KoolSpan and BrainScope have both made tremendous progress since the Maryland Venture Fund first invested in them, and we are excited to make these follow-on investments,” said Governor O’Malley. “In Maryland we are committed to supporting the growth of future leaders in industries that keep us safer, healthier and better connected than ever before. KoolSpan and BrainScope are perfect examples of the innovative, high-tech companies that set Maryland’s economy apart and provide the family-sustaining jobs of today and tomorrow.”
“This investment from MVF is a testament to the growth that we are experiencing globally in the mobile security market, and the demand for mobile hardware security solutions from an increasingly large pool of customers seeking the best data protection available,” said Gregg Smith, CEO of KoolSpan. “We grew over 1000% last year and expect to continue on an accelerated growth path, moving from our current 45 employees to around 100 by year end. To put that number in perspective, just two years ago we had 8 employees.”
KoolSpan offers mobile hardware-based encryption and security to companies and government agencies looking to protect data and voice communications against theft over network-connected devices. The company’s TrustChip®, a hardware chip encryption engine and foundation of its offerings, is deployed in more than 50 countries and powers Samsung’s S1 mobile and voice security and also AT&T’s encryption platform. Koolspan holds 21 granted patents on the technology underlying its hardware-based encryption and security applications that protect over network-connected mobile devices including cell phones, office network phones, laptops, tablets, PCs, desktop phones and servers. MVF has invested $700,000 total in KoolSpan, including the most recent investment.
“BrainScope is greatly honored to receive another round of funding from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development,” said Michael Singer, President and CEO of BrainScope. “The continued investment from the State of Maryland over the past three years, and now most recently, has been instrumental in helping us develop point of care medical devices to assess traumatic brain injury, a vital public health need.”
BrainScope is developing small, highly portable, non-invasive instruments designed as adjuncts to standard clinical practice assessment to aid medical professionals in rapidly and objectively assessing traumatic brain injury (TBI), including concussion, particularly for those patients who do not present as seriously impaired. In addition to its applications potentially improving outcomes for soldiers who suffer TBIs, BrainScope’s technology may also be used to assist in objectively assessing sports-related brain injuries. Continued headlines on soldiers returning from overseas with TBIs and the serious dangers of sports concussions have elevated awareness of this important global public health issue. BrainScope devices under development for assessment of traumatically-induced head injury and concussion are for investigational use only. The company has received nearly $12 million from several government contracts to support its work. MVF has invested a total of $900,000 in BrainScope since 2011, including the first InvestMaryland investment in 2012.
Created by Governor O’Malley and passed by the General Assembly in 2011, InvestMaryland is a public-private partnership between the State and venture capital firms. It raised $84 million to spur growth in small, high-tech Maryland companies and is the largest venture capital investment initiative in Maryland’s history. Two-thirds of the funding – $56 million – is being managed by carefully screened private venture firms that will invest the funds and, if successful, return 100% of the principal and 80% of the profits to the State’s general fund. The remaining third of the InvestMaryland capital is largely allocated to direct investments by the state-run MVF.
The Maryland Venture Fund is a regionally recognized leader in seed and early-stage investing and a national model for state-supported investment programs. With nearly two decades of experience and numerous successful investments, MVF invests in highly innovative technology companies across the full range of industry sectors including software, communications, cybersecurity and life sciences companies in the areas of healthcare IT, medical devices and diagnostics.
The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing workforce training and financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State's many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. For more information, visit www.ChooseMaryland.org
KoolSpan, Inc. develops hardware-based encryption and security applications to protect data and voice communications over network-connected devices. The foundation for KoolSpan encryption is the TrustChip®, a hardware-based security platform delivered through a secure microSD processor. It protects connected devices including cell phones, office network phones, laptops, tablets, PCs, desktop phones and servers. TrustChip’s TrustSDK is FIPS 140-2 validated and deployed in more than 50 countries. KoolSpan is privately held and based in Bethesda, Md. For more information, visit: www.koolspan.com
Backed by Revolution (created by AOL co-founder Steve Case), Shaman Ventures, ZG Ventures, Maryland Venture Fund and Brain Trust Accelerator Fund, BrainScope is a medical neurotechnology company that is developing a new generation of hand-held, easy-to-use, non-invasive instruments designed to aid medical professionals in rapidly and objectively assessing brain function. BrainScope devices in development are based on a proprietary technology platform, which integrates databases of brainwave recordings with advanced digital signal processing, sophisticated algorithms, miniaturized hardware and disposable headset sensors. The company's initial focus is on traumatic brain injury and its milder presentation, commonly referred to as "concussion". BrainScope's unique devices are being created to meet a long-standing clinical need for improved early identification, staging and triage of head injured patients. BrainScope devices under development for assessment of traumatically-induced head injury and concussion are for investigational use only. For more information, please visit www.brainscope.com