Top 50 Frederick: 2022

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THE FREDERICK COUNTY OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (FCOED)

Where Passion Drives Progress

The office is guided by the following set of Strategic Priorities:

» Retain and support existing businesses.

» Attract new businesses in targeted industries: Bioscience, Tech, Manufacturing and Value-added Agriculture.

» Create an environment where small businesses can grow.

» Diversify and advocate for the County’s agriculture industry.

» Identify, support and promote long-term projects.

From

Row

Row 3:

FCOED’s mission is to sustain, diversify and grow Frederick County’s vibrant economy by providing leadership and resources for businesses to start, locate and expand.

Located at ROOT in the heart of Downtown Frederick, FCOED has the resources to get businesses connected. FCOED provides businesses assistance with site selection, workforce recruitment and training, incentives, marketing and more.

At FCOED, passion drives progress. A vision of shared prosperity is at the heart of every community project and bold idea. From diversity initiatives to infrastructure, talent development to business support, our community shapes where we go—and how we grow.

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AT A GLANCE
Left, Row 1: Sharon Hipkins, Jodie Bollinger, Beth Woodring, Shana Knight and Becca Tucker. 2: Britt Swartzlander, Cindy Harris and Katie Stevens. Troy Bolyard, Solash Aviles and Amanda Lee.
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FREDERICK COUNTY OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Jodie Bollinger, Acting Director of Economic and Workforce Development

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Top 50 Frederick is an annual publication of Diversions Publications, Inc., 6 N. East Street, Suite 301, Frederick, MD 21701-5601 (ISSN 006-923). Periodicals postage paid at Frederick, MD. Subscriptions to Frederick Magazine, $24.95 per year, which includes the Top 50 Frederick and all other annual guides (available through the business office). Back issues w/in the last 12 mo/$3.95. Prior to 12 mos. ago/$7. POST MASTER: Send address changes to Frederick Magazine, 6 N. East Street, Suite 301, Frederick, MD 21701-5601. Customer inquiries to same address or call 301-662-8171. Distributed through mail subscriptions, home delivery, and sold at newsstands and other locations in Frederick, Upper Montgomery counties, and throughout the Central Maryland region. Advertising rates available on request. Manuscripts, drawings, and other submissions must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Frederick Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited material. All rights to submissions, including letters and e-mail, will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and as subject to Frederick Magazine’s unrestricted right to edit and to comment editorially, unless otherwise negotiated with the author. © DIVERSIONS PUBLICATIONS, INC. 2023. All contents of this publication are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part for any reason without prior approval of the publisher.

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TABLE OF contents

8 Unleashing Opportunities

Fort Detrick, Frederick County’s largest employer, is also important for being the place where some of the technologies created there are finding a wider, commercial use.

18 Innovators from Healthcare to Gaming

From the 50 top innovators in Frederick County, five are further examined for the moves they have taken to boldly step out in their areas of expertise. 24 Innovation is the Lifeline

of a Successful Business

While innovation is vital to business growth, there’s no one formula. Rather, it’s adapting to the needs of stakeholders, consumers and the community. 32 Forward

Frederick County

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development presents its 2022 annual report. 42

Profiles of the Top 50 Innovative Businesses for 2022

Fifty amazing businesses or individuals are recognized for blazing trails in their endeavors, whether in science and technology, agriculture, entertainment or other sectors of the economy.

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Unleashing OPPORTUNITIES

Alliances Formed Between Government and Industry

Fort Detrick is impressive for its size and impact. More than 10,000 military members, federal employees, and contractors work at the Fort, a U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) installation supporting a multi-governmental community with five cabinet-level agencies.

It is Frederick County’s largest employer, occupying a 1,200-acre business campus. Its tenants conduct biomedical research and development, oversee medical material management, manage worldwide communications and study foreign plant pathogens.

It is a place where some of the technologies created here have a commercial use.

Additionally, the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Command (USAMRMC), which oversees strategic medical acquisition and logistics, is located here, procuring all medical supplies for the U.S. military, from bandages to X-ray machines.

Started as an airfield in 1931, Fort Detrick houses the Frederick National Laboratory, part of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a world leader in cancer research and the only national laboratory exclusively focused on research, technology, and collaboration in biomedical science. Scientists work in the most stringent biosafety labs to protect warfighters and citizens from global health threats such as Ebola, Zika virus, Malaria, Smallpox and COVID-19. It is a center of biomedical technology growth for the region, touching every aspect of human health.

Started as an airfield in 1931, Fort Detrick is now a U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command installation.

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Joseph Golden, Ph.D., Virologist, USAMRIID

A Global Force

Fort Detrick’s benefits extend far beyond its physical gates. While governments and businesses have different priorities, some technologies created here also meet a commercial demand. To protect citizens and avoid a conflict of interest, the federal government does not commercialize products. Instead, it utilizes technology transfer programs to fill the gap, transforming challenges into opportunities for entrepreneurs and private industry that build economic stability and workforce expansion, especially in the well-paying life science industry.

Edward Diehl, PhD, is the Commercialization Officer for Medical Technology Transfer (MTT), (USAMRDC), based at Fort Detrick. He is often one of the first people entrepreneurs contact about technology transfer opportunities.

Diehl explains, “We help turn the technology discovered by Army scientists into products that help the warfighter. Often, those products have a dual use, helping civilians as well.” Technology transfer boosts the probability of realization for revolutionary innovations. Businesses may license specific technology with defined, yet somewhat customizable, terms. And companies of all sizes can participate, from one-person startups to large corporations, advancing therapeutics, diagnostics, vaccine technologies, medical software and medical devices.

Some of the technologies created at Fort Detrick have gone on to become commercialized for wider use in the community.

sive, grueling research. Having substance behind the science also attracts investors.

Partnering with government scientists jump-starts the commercialization process because it begins with a proven idea, saving companies years of expen-

It gives the taxpayers a bang for their buck, too. “Maybe one or two in 100 drugs make it from discovery to patients,” says Diehl. “We offload that risk. Then, the companies use their expertise, giving the product a better chance.” This way, tech transfer establishes a win-win cycle. “The money we bring back in furthers research by our inventors, so they can come up with more great ideas.”

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Aura Garrison, Ph.D., Virologist, USAMRIID

A Local Leader

Fort Detrick is an economic engine for Frederick. Former Executive Director of the Frederick County Office of Economic Development (FCOED) Helen Propheter says, “We have collaborative relationships with all the technology transfer offices, including the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and the National Cancer Institute at Frederick. It’s a tool to help our small businesses grow.”

FCOED initially invited the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Disease’s technology transfer staff to be a tenant in its ROOT building (118 N. Market St., Frederick), which centralizes local business resources under one roof. The office even has a dedicated Life Science and Technology business development representative, since it is Frederick’s largest growing cluster.

Propheter says opportunity ripples from the Fort through the community. “Definitely through technology transfer, but also with companies that are not in life science. They may offer a product or service, like landscaping or dry-cleaning, that the campus needs.” Growing companies need human resource representatives, accountants, office managers, and supply chain logistics staff, too, so job seekers don’t necessarily need a science degree to land a position.

Richard Griffin, Director of Economic Development for the City of Frederick, concurs. “You can’t underestimate the value of having employers that attract top talent here. Those workers live in Frederick. They educate their kids in Frederick. They participate in activities, including nonprofit work, coaching their kids’ sports teams or supporting the arts, all those things that families do. They purchase

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Maj. Robert Haupt, Ph.D., Chief, Therapeutic Discovery, USAMRIID

vehicles. They buy gas and groceries. They eat out. It’s a cycle of building a workforce that is so important because those payroll dollars roll over many, many times in this community.”

Both offices stand ready to help with information, introductions, and resources. They are also founding partners in two local nonprofits that complement tech transfer initiatives, the Fort Detrick Alliance and the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI).

“Many businesses looking to commercialize Fort Detrick’s technology land at FITCI,” explains Propheter. It’s a business incubator that encourages technological innovation and accelerates development of commercially viable businesses in Frederick, including wet labs and shared spaces designed for emerging life science startups. It’s known for intense coaching, training, and relationship-building, including its Strategic Growth and Advisory Board and launch committee.

Ashley McAleese, Automation Scientist, Chenega Professional & Technical Services, USAMRIID

Propheter says the Fort Detrick Alliance hosts events that pull back the curtain, allowing members to understand what’s happening at Fort Detrick. “You are able to network and connect to potential opportunities.” The organization builds relationships between the Fort, its mission partners, and the surrounding region, often advocating on pertinent issues.

“We cohost the annual Technology Showcase in partnership with NCI, too. That unveils all kinds of technology opportunities under the umbrella of healthcare and cancer.”

It’s an important effort because, as Propheter emphasizes, “Fort Detrick’s annual economic impact is $7 billion— with a ‘B’ not an ‘M’—just to the State of Maryland.”

Complimenting the work at the base are the Fort Detrick Alliance and the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc., (FITCI).

one little lab, one little office. Then I got one unpaid intern.” Now the company employs 40 people, thanks in part to transferred technologies and a strong business ecosystem.

“I think this is a great place to start things up in biotech.”

BioFactura’s work with Diehl includes one very important project. It’s an exclusive license on an antibody that neutralizes the smallpox virus. Although the disease was eradicated decades ago, there is lingering concern for accidental (or intentional) re-release, causing another pandemic. Stockpiled doses offer the best insurance, since the virus decimates with a 30 percent fatality rate, much greater than COVID-19. That molecule was transferred from Fort Detrick, along with two from NIH in Bethesda, to form components of a treatment now in advanced development. It is also effective against monkeypox.

An Enduring Partner

Diehl lists dozens of successful products fielded through tech transfer license agreements. He and Propheter point to BioFactura as a prime example. Dr. Darryl Sampey is BioFactura’s President and CEO while Dr. Jeffrey Hausfeld, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.S., is chairman. The company weathered extreme ups and downs, nearly failing when congressional budget cuts decimated funding in 2013.

Sampey recalls, “Right in the middle of our DOD project, Congress cut budgets across the board, including our grant.” He held out hope as the company withered, strategically moving from Rockville to FITCI. “It was only me left in the company. I had

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is involved, too. BioFactura earned a contract with them in 2019, at a maximum value of $67.4 million. Sampey beams. “They tested (our product) head-to-head with others and we won.” The company is currently negotiating a second option.

A New Hope

Luis Alvarez, PhD and retired Lt. Col., founded Theradaptive as a second career. The company builds upon his discoveries as an Army scientist stationed at Fort Detrick. The technology re-grows bone and salvages limbs that would otherwise

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Sergei Biryukov, Ph.D., Microbiologist, USAMRIID

need amputation. And it’s a very personal mission.

“It crystallized in my mind when I came back from Iraq,” shares Alvarez, a graduate of West Point and MIT with a background in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. “A lot of people who were coming back with extremity injuries were undergoing delayed amputation. This will transform the treatment of any traumatic injury to the musculoskeletal system, whether from accidents, removal of tissue due to cancer, or treatment of congenital defects in infants and young children.”

Also a FITCI graduate, Theradaptive raised $32 million to date, from both dilutive and undiluted sources. “We’re getting ready for clinical trials. These are governed by the FDA, and we expect to get permission to begin local studies within 12 to 18 months.”

A Timely Delivery

Amivas was founded in 2016 by six primary investors, all seasoned in the malaria field or manufacturing sterile injectables, with a goal to solve an immediate medical supply problem in cooperation with the U.S. Army. When quinidine gluconate was withdrawn from the U.S. market as a malaria treatment, it left a vacuum. And the last drug stocks expired in 2019.

Mark Reid, Amivas’ CEO, says the disease is relatively rare but, “From a clinical point of view, minutes matter when treating severe malaria.” Tech

transfer allowed Amivas to meet the urgent need to help patients at U.S. hospitals and service members overseas. Their product, Artesunate for Injection, is the U.S. CDC’s recommended standard of care.

Reid says the drug is difficult to make, with a challenging delivery timeline, but saving lives is worth it. “Amivas is committed to making sure patients have access to this first line therapy.”

Locating here made a difference, according to Reid. “Frederick provides great access to our partners and to the U.S. FDA’s campus at White Oak. It is very accessible from three major airports, and we can find the best talent…” The company found an economically viable pathway for product supply,

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Jeffrey Koehler, Ph.D., Microbiologist, USAMRIID

enabling Amivas to meet the needs of malaria patients, grow the company, employ staff and pay taxes, as well as royalties to its U.S. Army partner.

A Natural Fit

Associates Terry Collins and David Barr were looking for their next enterprise at a 2014 technology transfer expo when Fort Detrick’s booth caught their attention. Collins was intrigued. The

display showed how acutely sensitive bluegill fish could detect toxic chemicals in water—like a canary in a coalmine. By 2019, he, Barr, and third founder PJ Bellomo were leading Blue Sources LLC into success based on the Army’s patented fish biomonitor technology.

“We are an exclusive patent license holder,” says Collins, explaining key points of the vetting process. “There are people to help you through it because they want you to succeed.”

In less than five years, Blue Sources, another FITCI alumnus, secured a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with USAMRDC Fort Detrick, designed and manufactured a second-generation device, and created a monitoring-as-a-service (MaaS) subscription. It earned the Fort Detrick Alliance’s inaugural Innovator of the Year award.

Diehl says, for each success there is plenty more on tap. “If you want to count everything up, there are probably hundreds, maybe thousands of different things available for license… and there are people who don’t know that there is a powerhouse of medical technology generation right here.”

As the life science industry booms in Frederick County, a leading locale in a state ranked fourth on the Milken Institute’s national technology and science index, and Fort Detrick cruises toward its 100th anniversary, it is clear where Frederick’s innovative culture had its humble beginning.

Edward Diehl, Ph.D., is the Commercialization Officer for Medical Technology Transfer (MTT), (USAMRDC), based at Fort Detrick. He is often one of the first people entrepreneurs contact about technology transfer opportunities.
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Edward Diehl, Ph.D., Commercialization Officer, USAMRDC

From Healthcare to Gaming, Local Businesses are Innovators

Frederick County is home to an amazing, innovative, creative business community. These featured businesses are making an impact on their industries, workplace, and community — thriving in today’s ever-changing environment.

After choosing the Top 50 innovative businesses for 2023, the Frederick County Office of Economic Development selected five companies to highlight as good examples of innovation in their areas of expertise.

@VR Virtual Reality

As Shantay DeMar’s sons were growing up, local entertainment options mainly consisted of moon bounces and trampoline parks. The kids instead were big into the gaming world and DeMar was inspired by their passion to create @VR, a virtual realty gaming location, in 2019. “I just wanted to do something different for them and give them a different experience and also lead by example in regard to entrepreneurship in this technology in general,” he says. He also wanted his children to be able to think creatively when seeking a passion that’s not a typical 9-to-5 shift.

Instead of traditional gaming with players sitting at a console using a controller, the Frederick-based business offers guests HTC vive pro head sets linked to computers so they can feel like they are actually inside a virtual world. With these premiere headsets, there’s basically no lag time with seamless motion which decreases the chance of motion sickness and provides a higher picture quality for a full immersion experience. “When you are turning your head or doing any movement, the automation is right there currently with you so there is no lag and no drag,” he says. “It is real time.”

@VR has over 70 games for patrons to chose from including escape rooms, adventure, sports, roller coasters, puzzles and destination games. “It is literally for every age,” DeMar says. “… There is something for everyone to capture everybody’s interests.”

Innovation is an important part of @VR because DeMar not only wants to give customers the best experience possible but also help the community learn more about the growing

technology. “Virtual reality is at the ground level,” he says. “I think it has so much opportunity for growth. Technology is always evolving so there are so many things coming up in the very near future. I just think virtual reality as a whole is so innovative with so many opportunities for companies to be able to provide training and guidance and all types of stuff. The sky’s the limit for virtual reality and obviously we want to grow with it as it evolves.”

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ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTHCARE

General medicine historically treats patients reactively. They come into a healthcare facility with an issue and medical staff treat that issue. “Precision medicine and genetics allows us to be proactive in our medical care and providing care that is unique to that individual’s makeup,” she says. “We have learned over the years that the one-size-fits-all approach to medical treatment is no longer and probably will not be standard for very long. We will be using more of a gene informed approach because every individual is unique based on their genetic makeup and that is why treatments fail and they are not effective.”

Frederick Health Precision Medicine and Genetics

No two people are the same, so why are people who have certain medical conditions treated in the exact same manner? Frederick Health is aiming to change this narrative. In July 2020, the medical and health organization opened a section devoted to precision medicine and genetics. With a focus on personalized medical care, clinical experts are able to put together individualized disease prevention and treatment plans, leading to better health outcomes and personal wellness.

“There has been a rapid evolution and proven efficacy of using a gene informed approach now,” says Patricia Rice, clinical director. “That has really accelerated the demand for genetic testing and personalized medicine at the same time. Therefore, we as a healthcare organization wanting to be on the cutting edge, needed to develop a unique program that could provide this type of service.”

The team looks at family health history, personal medical history, the patient’s genetics/DNA profile, plus current medications. Their areas of focus include cancer, heart disease, behavioral health, endocrinology, neurology and rare conditions. In addition to performing genetic testing, Frederick Health has integrated the genomic information into their electronic medical records.

“That puts our genomic information right in front of our providers so as they begin to use it in daily practice…they can apply their medical treatment based on that unique individual’s makeup,” Rice says. “…We truly believe as an organization that this precision medicine approach is going to provide our patients with better health outcomes, less treatment failures and less need to visit the hospital. We believe genomics and genetics in precision medicine provides a unique approach that is definitely going to be more effective for our patients. When you have a healthy patient, you have a happy patient and subsequently a happy community so that is really our vision and our mission.”

Rice foresees genetics to be on the forefront of medicine. “I truly think the first step in someone’s diagnosis in the very near future is going to be genetic testing and then go from there to make the best approach for treatment,” she says.

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AGRICULTURE

District Farms

Brothers Ali and Ibraham Sharifzadeh, along with Jason Stern were all attorneys, but didn’t find the work gratifying or fulfilling. “We were looking for something a bit more hands on, a bit more impactful for the future,” says Ali Sharifzadeh. “We are all very passionate about what we eat. After we visited our first greenhouse, we fell in love with it and knew what we wanted to do.”

In 2017, the trio founded District Farms and yielded their first crop in 2019. The Frederick-based facility is unique in that its entire farming operation is all indoors in a four-acre greenhouse. “We grow hydroponically in a closed loop watering system which means we recycle pretty much nearly all of the water that is unused by the plants,” Ali says. Some of their best sellers include green butterhead lettuce and loose-leaf lettuce spring mix. Before opening their farm, the three men saw how climate can be controlled via sensors, computers and other elec tronics. “That was a pretty incredible thing to see that it would allow us to then grow produce year-round,” Ali says. “We are not confined to a certain growing season. Our growing season is 365/24/7.”

Additionally, higher yields are possible in a smaller area. “Those were big motivators for us and so far, it has proven right,” he says. “We are able to grow in the winter and we also want to use the power of the sun…We have special glass that evenly distributes sunlight within our greenhouse, so we get nice uniform growth of our leafy greens.”

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LOGISTICS AND DISTRIBUTION

The Kroger Co.

Final preparations continue on on The Kroger Co.’s Customer Fulfillment Center in Frederick with hopes of opening in the spring of 2023. The supermarket giant has partnered with Ocado, a grocery e-commerce technology company, to create an automated warehouse facility with digital and robotic capabilities to better serve customers across the region.

Kroger, along with other grocers, partner with gig delivery services. However, this vertical integration delivery allows Kroger to own the entire process from end to end. The customer places an order, robots move the products around to associates who build the order based on the products that are brought to them. The automation increases the speed at picking items to about a sixth of the time that they can do in a store.

“The artificial intelligence that controls the building really optimizes everything from end to end for the customer,” says Bill Bennett, vice president of e-commerce. “They bring products for bagging

in the right order so that you don’t have a loaf of bread on the bottom of the bag with canned goods on top. Really the whole packing (system) is done in a very thoughtful way.”

With a dedicated facility, staff is not competing for inventory with customers that are in the store. “We know exactly how many units we have of every single item in our entire inventory, Bennett says. “We can perfectly rotate the inventory when something gets close to expiration. We can put it on a flash sale to make sure we move it out before it goes bad. You really just have a lot more control over the freshness and that enables us to run at an incredibly low waste rate relative to how we would run in a brick-and-mortar location.”

The company also strives to optimize its routes during delivery shifts which run eight to 10 hours. Refrigerated items arrive to customers’ doors rock solid because they are delivered in refrigerated trucks. Full-time Harris Teeter associates with benefits will be doing the deliveries and checking over the entire order with customers. No tipping is allowed during deliveries. “It is a very different experience than dropping groceries at the doorstep and leaving like a lot of other services do,” he says.

Kroger signed the contract to work with Ocado four years ago with its first automation center opening up last year. “I think that kind of forward thinking is really critical to continue to provide customers new and different services that differentiate us and really invite customers to come back again and again because they are so thrilled with it,” he says. “…Customers are going to move more and more to delivery over time and I think this service is very well positioned to capture that growth.”

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BIOMEDICAL

Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (Leidos)

Innovation in cancer research allows scientists the opportunity to create new approaches and equipment to better understand the disease and ways to fight it.

The Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (Leidos) is home to the National Cryo-Electron Microscopy Facility which is a relatively new field of study where scientists use technology to see the very small details of specific proteins that they have never been able to view in the past.

“It lets you see all these pockets and corners on a protein and that insight, and that knowledge will allow you to create a drug that will be able to better attach to this protein more effectively,” says Vladimir Popov, Ph.D., chief innovation officer, who directs the new center for Innovation and Strategic Partnerships. “By more effectively attaching, it will have a higher efficacy and that is what makes the drug better…The more you know about the proteins that are troublesome, the better you can figure out how to approach them, how to stop them and how to inhibit them.”

The facility hosted a training program in September to get young scientists interested in the field and prepare them to pursue it at their home institutions. Through this new field of study, patients will benefit by being able to get better treatment whether it is through improved diagnostics to diagnose earlier or therapeutic approaches such as creating better drugs and treatment.

The Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research is also home to the LaboratoryDirected Exploratory Research (LDER) program which sparks innovations from local scientists who respond to demands in biomedical research. This may include the creation of a new laboratory fulfilling specialized imaging needs for NCI and external researchers and the invention of an instrument now available for licensing that fills a gap in precision radiation measuring. “Through funding this research, we basically promote and foster the innovation,” Popov says. “We let them pursue those projects—that thinking outside of the box. Usually, those results from those projects are very unique and very interesting and they open up new horizons and offer some new insights into cancer research.”

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The Lifeline of a Successful Business

Innovation makes businesses move and keeps customers coming back and bringing others with them. While innovation is vital to business growth, there’s no one formula. Rather, it’s adapting and changing to the needs of stakeholders, consumers and the community.Frederick County’s businesses have a variety of resources to tap into to meet their changing needs. The Frederick Innovative Technology Center (FITCI) helps small businesses succeed with tools that help them build a solid business foundation. For companies that need trained workers, Frederick Community College’s Monroe Center offers training opportunities in real-world settings.

Techfrederick exists to connect Frederick’s hightech community through education, human resource development, and training programs and seminars

aimed at entrepreneurship. The Maryland Tech Council chose to put its headquarters in Frederick because Frederick’s access to outdoor recreation as well as nearby metro areas appeals to employees. The county’s Ag Value-Added Feasibility Study aims to help farmers tap into local demand and be able to continue farming.

Here is a look at each of these entities:

THE FREDERICK INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY CENTER

FITCI is all about innovation. The business incubator was created in 2004 at Hood College to give small business creators the tools they need to establish a successful business. FITCI has helped many startup companies, especially those in science and technology grow into viable businesses. FITCI is taking its mission to the next level with the

spring 2023 opening of The EDGE@321, a community innovation center designed to be a hub for emerging and established innovators.

“Science and technology people are some of the hardest working people; they just put their heads down and work,” says Kathie Callahan Brady, president and CEO of FITCI, but getting them together can be a challenge. When they do get together, however, sparks can be created. “It’s amazing the innovation that happens with collaboration,” she says. Through a 12-week community mentorship program, budding entrepreneurs can learn from those who have been there.

A tech showcase is held highlighting FITCI, a business incubator created in 2004.

FITCI’s main job is to provide startups with coaching from experienced CEOs, connections to help grow the business and access to funding sources. Members can tap into classes, network through events, meet with advisors and attend programs that serve the needs of emerging companies.

FITCI has had some major success stories over the years, including helping to launch

FITCI also has connections to Fort Detrick, where science innovations have grown to include commercial applications.

RoosterBio, which has become a leading supplier of human mesenchymal stem cell systems. Another is Theradaptive, which specializes in advanced protein engineering.

Current FITCI members are making their mark in life sciences and in other fields. Wellspring Digital has perfected the art of digital marketing strategies and has just broken the $1 million revenue mark, while Key City Compost has made food composting easy and convenient for Frederick residents.

ServeFed, which provides occupational health services and support, had just eight employees in 2016.

Today, the Frederick-based company has 400 employees in 42 states. American Shochu Distillery, maker of barley shochu, spirits distilled from organic barley made in a traditional Japanese style, “is the perfect place to do this with all our distilleries,” Brady says. Tellor Inc. hopes to introduce outsiders to the world of cryptocurrency, and the company, founded in 2019, has already seen growth.

Veralox Therapeutics is an up-and-coming life sciences company that’s developing new therapies for life-threatening immuno-inflammatory diseases. NanoBioFab aims to speed up the time it takes to get nanomaterial products to market. Mesa Science Associates works on drug development for researchers and is working on a drug that will help control seizures in dogs.

Nanocrine combines the world of cell biology with software that helps to shorten the time from research experimentation to publication of results. CarrTech is also taking a different approach with technology by developing a two-in-one needle to make it easier and safer to administer medicine. Cornerstone Genomics uses digital tools to speed up the process of research for human and wildlife biology.

FITCI’s job is to create jobs, Brady adds. “People find us through word of mouth,” she says. Scientists, for example, “talk us up with other scientists. The failure rate for small businesses is really high, and

it takes five to seven years to incubate a life science company. We’re not going to create more growth with that.”

But what FITCI can do for members, besides offering coaching, connections and capital, is to offer shared lab space. Wet labs from 200 to 500 square feet provide autoclaves, deep-freeze freezers, reverse osmosis water and other essential elements needed for science product development and research efforts.

“The secret sauce at FITCI is amazing CEOs who volunteer their time to grow other companies,” Brady says. “That has helped us get to a 93 percent success rate, which is unheard of.”

MONROE CENTER

The Monroe Center, located several miles from Frederick Community College’s main campus on Monroe Avenue, was originally built to house FCC’s construction trades training program. Today, the 55,000 square-foot building houses that and much more. A 2017 renovation made it possible for FCC to enhance its business and technology training, culinary and

FITCI members are making their mark in life sciences and other fields. This display appears at a tech showcase held recently.

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The Monroe Center, part of Frederick Community College, is housed in a 55,000 square-foot building containing culinary, construction and other areas of study.

health training programs. The space also made it possible for FCC to partner with Frederick County Workforce Services to provide short-term training to respond to business needs.

“One of the things we’re trying to do at the Monroe Center and

FCC is be very responsive with our programs,” says Molly Carlson, FCC associate vice president for continuing education and workforce development. For example, Frederick is looking to expand its broadband reach, so FCC is planning to train people in broadband installation.

“We have the workforce,” she says. “We’re just trying to jump out ahead of the need.” Another example is the federal dollars available to repair, replace and improve aging infrastructure, like roads and bridges. FCC is looking to train people for those upcoming jobs. As the tight supply chain loosens, there will be a need for forklift drivers at warehouses, and FCC is planning to have people trained for these jobs. “Training at the last minute isn’t helpful,” she says.

Frederick’s growing biotech sector also has specific training needs, Carlson says. Although FCC offers training that leads to AA degrees in biotech fields, many Frederick County biotech firms need entry-level workers who have completed short-term training. “We weren’t addressing the direct needs of the biotech companies,” Carlson says.

Enter the Biotech Boot Camp. This four-week training gives students without college the skills needed to get entry-level biotech jobs. So far, two cohorts of students have graduated from this program, and most of them have job offers from local companies. “Some start into degree programs from there,” Carlson says.

FCC is also working with Frederick County Public Schools to boost high schoollevel training for students who could get jobs with local biotech firms after graduation.

“If we are going to train students for biotech jobs in the future, we need them to learn these skills while still in high school,” she says.

The Biotech Boot Camp teaches students the skills needed to work in a medical lab setting. For example, students learn how to enter and exit a medical lab by following strict cleaning procedures.

FCC has a new program for students attracted to culinary careers, called Food Business Entrepreneurship. “We have a culinary degree program, but maybe a student already has a background of working in a kitchen and wants to learn business skills,” she says. This program is funded jointly by the city and county and the first class has 40 people.

This training will come in handy for people who want to open their own food truck, work as a personal chef, or open any food-based business.

The first training program will conclude in the spring of 2023, and students will put together a business plan and compete for grant funding through pitches they develop.

“We’re seeing that’s what adult learners want to do,” Carlson says. “They don’t necessarily have

TOP50 29
Molly Carlson is the FCC associate vice president for continuing education and workforce development.

the time for a degree, but they need a targeted training program.”

TECHFREDERICK

Techfrederick’s mission is to highlight, develop, grow and foster awareness of Frederick’s tech community. “We foster innovation in three ways,” says Amy Pontius, executive director. The first is collaboration within the tech community, including creating a sense of communication and community spirit among tech professionals.

“It’s a safe place to share ideas, which helps to fuel innovation,” she says. Annual events enable tech professionals to gather in low-key ways to create camaraderie. The annual techfrederick Games in Baker Park each October is one example. The October 2022 games drew 125 players and 40 to 50 supporters.

“It’s a nice mix of silly physical games and brain games,” Pontius says. Physical games include relays and lawn-chair volleyball. Clue IQ builds on the board game and the popularity of escape games.

There’s also Speed Scrabble and Shoot and Score Connect 4. A casino tent allows players to try their hands at blackjack and roulette for points.

The second way techfrederick fosters innovation is through a quarterly networking breakfast featuring specific information geared toward helping tech professionals put their ideas into action.

The third way is through the ASPIRE Training Program, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Labor. Through a $1.5 million grant, techfrederick can subsidize high caliber, high level training that helps companies and individuals update tech skills. Valuable certifications can be earned in Python, AWS, project management, SAFE training, and Elastic for a nominal fee.

Techfrederick is also sponsoring a pay and benefits survey focusing on IT and related management jobs in the Frederick area.

MARYLAND TECH COUNCIL

The Maryland Tech Council represents tech-based companies all around Maryland, but is headquartered in Frederick. That’s largely because most of the council’s workforce lives in Frederick County, says Todd Marks, the council’s chairman.

“Frederick is a great place for startups,” Marks says. It not only attracts companies focusing on life sciences and biotech, but the region is attractive to manufacturers and suppliers, which often rely on robotics technologies. But there’s another pull. Frederick’s location not too far from D.C. and Baltimore, but with ready access to mountains and outdoor recreation, attracts millennials who seek a live-workplay atmosphere, he says.

“Frederick is a great place for the live-workplay environment,” he says. “It allows for a lot of startups that want access to that talent, which skews millennial.”

Techfrederick hosts the 7th Annual techfrederick Games in Baker Park as a way for staff from various companies to get to know one another.

The council’s vision is to propel Maryland to become the number one innovation economy for life sciences and technology in the country. They are the state’s largest trade association in those fields and provide value by giving members a

forum to learn, share and connect, according to their website.

AG VALUE-ADDED FEASIBILITY STUDY

Frederick County has launched a $115,000 study to plan for an agriculture innovation center that would help county farmers produce high-dollar products. These include jams, jellies, prepared salads—anything related to fruits and vegetables, cheese, ice cream, specialty meats and craft beverages.

“Farmers have to find a way to make more money to stay on the land and farm,” says Katie Stevens, Director of Workforce Development and Agriculture Business for the Frederick County Office of Economic Development. “Overhead costs for processing equipment for small farms can be challenging.” The innovation center may provide things like a commercial kitchen, freezer space, storage space and processing equipment, depending on the results of the study. The multi-year program is still developing, but its goal is to help farmers get a higher return, and the time is right.

These innovation resources provide opportunities for growth in so many of Frederick County’s strong industries, including manufacturng, technology, agriculture and more. Frederick County’s Office of Economic Development can connect those interested in any of these programs. Katie

TOP50 31
Stevens, Director of Workforce Development and Agriculture Business for the Frederick County Office of Economic Development.

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development’s mission is to sustain, diversify and grow Frederick County’s vibrant economy by providing leadership and resources for businesses to start, locate and expand.

FORWARD » Frederick County

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
2022
ANNUAL REPORT

Letter from the AcTing Director

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development (FCOED) has many reasons to celebrate 2022. We welcomed new businesses to the County, we helped existing businesses expand, we provided grants to the agriculture industry and helped our entrepreneurs start and grow. We developed new initiatives that received international and state recognition and expanded existing FCOED programs to support our business community.

We proudly launched our new brand, returned in person for our signature events and launched a new website to support Frederick County manufacturers, MadeinFrederickMD.com. This new site was presented with the 2022 Champion of Manufacturing Award by the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland.

FCOED has been implementing the strategic plan that was developed by Jacob France Institute. The Growth Opportunity (GO) Strategy identified workforce development, infrastructure planning, targeted industry growth and branding as focus areas. The GO Strategy elevated Frederick County to a national and international level, with companies such as Kroger/ Ocado, Kite Pharma, Ellume and Quantum Loophole choosing the County for their new location.

FCOED is thrilled to be back in person for our signature events! With approximately 130 people in attendance, we held the Frederick Real Estate Dealmaker (FRED) Awards celebration in May honoring the most successful commercial real estate transactions and projects. Business Appreciation Week (BAW) was held in October, and we visited 108 businesses with our economic development partners. In December, we held our Annual Business Reception with close to 200 people representing leaders in our business community, partners and elected officials. The Great Frederick Fair was better than ever, and FCOED had more than 12,000 visitors in the Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries Showcase building, highlighting the craft beverage industry.

FCOED was happy to participate in person at the Bio International Convention held in California. Frederick County

continues to gain recognition as a premier location for the rapidly expanding life sciences industry and has a high demand for entry-level workers. The Biotech Boot Camp program was created to address these workforce needs, and to date, two cohorts have successfully completed the program at an 85% employment rate.

We would like to thank the businesses that made this year’s Top 50 Most Innovative Businesses. We have an amazing, innovative, creative business community, and narrowing it down to 50 was a difficult task. The businesses in this publication are making the biggest impact on their industries, workplace and the Frederick County Community – thriving in today’s ever-changing environment.

2022 was an exciting year and we are looking forward to driving progress throughout 2023!

TOP50 33
Jodie Bollinger, Acting Director of FCOED

Advanced Functional Health & Wellness

Agave 137 Tequila Bar & Kitchen

Antelux Capital Partners

B. Anderson’s Backyard Experience

BK Juices

BridgePath Scientific

Cannon’s Event Space

Capital Telecom Services

Catoctin Breeze Vineyard

Charm City Run

Citizen’s Ballroom

Community Title Network

Concerted Care Group

Cornerstone Genomics

Curaleaf

Dash Hair Studio

Dream FREE Art

Frederick Social

Give Rise Studio

Groundswell MMA

Harlan Hawkins Aesthetics

Hoffman Brothers Ice Cream

Hummingbird Wealth Management

Ideal Jewelers

Imagination Station Children’s Center

Interventional Pain & Spine Care

Kesar by Shivaani

Kika Stretch Studios

Lockhouse Studios

Louie’s Famous Chicken & Subs

Love Your Vessel

Magpie Fibers

Maryland Center for Brain Health

McClintock’s Back Bar

Move Buy Marsh Realty

New York Life

ODIN Crossfit

Passion Events

Pediatric Movement Center

Priscilla’s Pound Cakes

Prospect Pantry

Rollins Life Celebration Center

Rosie Cheeks Distillery

Smoketown Bait and

The Basement Hair Studio

The Premier Group of Long and Foster

The Frederick Ballroom

Traveling Bros Cigars

(L): Locations, (E): Expansions
Design
Tackle
2022 Selected Company Locations & Expansions: NEW JOBS ADDITIONAL SQ. FOOTAGE/ACRES Chestnut Hill Farm (E) Aligned Data Centers (L) Westbound Transport (E) DRS Signal Solutions Inc (L) Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona (E) Federal Stone Industries (E) New York Life Insurance Company (L) Green Leaf Medical (E) Forecyte (E) Belleza Salon & Day Spa (E) X-energy (L) Medigen (E) Rehab 2 Perform (E) Smoketown Brewing Station (E) Planar Monolithic Industries (E) Valence Vector Labs (L) Zalgen Labs (L) Union Mills Public House (L) Kiosk Group (E) Zegaz Instruments (E) Northrop Realty (L) Fitzgerald’s Heavy Timber Construction (L) Prospect Point Brewing (E) 6 Infrastructure Phase 30 150 45 5 21 25 5 5 20-10 10 8 4 5 2 15 6 19 16 Acres 460,000 128,000 88,000 72,000 41,000 36,000 17,040 17,000 15,000 10,447 9,000 9,000 8,000 17,000 7,500 6,600 6,000 5,200 4,000 3,000 2,600 2,500
Economic Development Wins 34 TOP50
Additional
A FIVE-YEAR Look Back Since 2018, FCOED has worked with 522 prospective businesses, visited 1,265 businesses and assisted 11,333 businesses. FCOED services include but are not limited to: business expansion and location assistance, incentive/funding resources, workforce recruitment and training programs, permitting/zoning assistance, marketing and public relations assistance, diversity and inclusion EmPOWER Program, business networking and industry connections, demographic and business data. *Prospects include businesses looking to start, locate or expand in Frederick County. As one of the nation’s One-Stop Career Centers, Frederick County Workforce Services (FCWS) links businesses in need of qualified employees with individuals seeking employment opportunities. For job seekers, FCWS provides comprehensive career management services. For businesses, FCWS utilizes innovative strategies to help identify and achieve recruitment, retention and training goals. Looking Forward The impact of FCOED is to: » Strengthen Frederick County’s economic foundations. » Enable the County to sustain the diversity of its industry and employment base. » Raise performance in driving high quality economic growth. » Build upon the County’s mix of industry clusters: • Biosciences • Computing and Information Technology • Hospitality and Tourism • Manufacturing • Professional, Engineering, Scientific & Technical Services • Transportation, Distribution and Logistics • Value Added Agriculture Prospects* Business Visits Business Assists 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 Total 84 112 96 124 106 522 241 233 243 264 284 1,265 1,860 2,231 2,413 2,328 2,501 11,333 Year 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 Total Year One-Stop Services CUSTOMERS SERVED One-Stop Services YOUTH CUSTOMERS SERVED Job Openings Received Frederick Business Works Projects TRAINEES Recruitment for Business Customized & Onsite Recruitment Events 4,292 4,632 9,389 5,210 5,896 29,419 437 402 223 295 284 1,641 7,388 6,037 5,439 5,244 4,879 28,987 35 17 61 84 90 287 135 115 100 110 80 540 200 250 195 416 300 1,361 Workforce Services TOP50 35
279,835 Population (2021) $461M Visitor Spending 1.852M Annual Visitors $100,685 Median Household Income 6,619 Businesses BY THE Numbers TWO - THOUSAND TWENTY TWO AAA Frederick County’s Bond Rating $12.2B GDP 42% Bachelor’s Degree or higher Small Business Services FCOED partners with the Small Business Development Center and the Maryland Women’s Business Center to offer Small Business Services. 175 CLIENTS COUNSELED 27 JOBS CREATED 13 BUSINESS STARTS 36 TOP50
$15.55 Commercial Asking Rent per Square Foot Compared to $12.56 5 years ago. 6.6% Overall Commercial Vacancy Rate Office, Industrial, Flex Costar 3rd Quarter. $306M Value of Commercial and Industrial Construction Costs (2021) 1,179,822 Square Feet Leased The amount of commercial space businesses leased in the last 12 months. $5.86B Annual Wages 3.4% Frederick County Unemployment Rate Maryland 3.7%, National 3.5% 98,144 Jobs Frederick County Employment Categories Farmer Relief Grant The Frederick County ARPA Farmer Relief grant program allocated funds to eligible farmers and agriculture crop producers impacted by the steep increases in input costs brought on by the COVID-19 public health emergency and its negative economic impact. $1,569,614.12 Total grant award 118 Total applicants awarded Leisure & Hospitality 10% Education & Health Services 14% Other 4% Professional & Business Services 17% Financial 4% Information 1% Trade, Transportation & Utilities 19% Manufacturing 6% Construction 10% Natural Resources & Mining 1% Government* 14% *CONSISTS OF 9% LOCAL 1% STATE 4% FEDERAL Source: Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Annual Average Employment 2021 Data TOP50 37

2022 top highlights

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

Agricultural Innovation Grants Frederick County conducted two rounds of the Frederick County Agricultural Innovation Grant program, that is designed to improve economic viability of the agriculture industry by encouraging agricultural producers to expand or diversify their business operations. In 2022, 32 ag innovation projects received $1,029,235 in funds. These projects added 85 fulltime and 89 part-time jobs.

The next round of the Agricultural Innovation Grant program opens March 1, 2023. To be eligible for the grant program, an applicant must be a crop or livestock producer, value added producer, agricultural cooperative, seafood processor, or primary or secondary timber products processor. Grant funds are available to cover a portion of project expenses for research and development, production buildings, major fixtures and processing facilities.

There’s No Place Like Frederick County! For 22 consecutive years, FCOED has coordinated Business Appreciation Week (BAW), one of the largest business retention programs in the State of Maryland. FCOED and our economic development partners visited 108 businesses in one week. While recognizing the brains, heart and courage of our business community, we asked why There’s No Place Like Frederick County. Below are some of the responses:

“I am so thoroughly impressed, and it warms my heart how welcoming the business community is here. As a whole, our local business community is very inviting and always looking to help each other thrive.”

COAST Designs

“We love the way Frederick County supports new businesses and the camaraderie amongst business owners.”

Nelson Coleman Jewelers

All participating businesses received marketing exposure and an opportunity to win a $5,000 marketing package from Manning Media.

Biotech Boot Camp Frederick’s Biotech Boot Camp is a no-cost training program designed through the collaborative effort of Frederick Community College, Frederick County Workforce Services, The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development and Frederick County Office of Economic Development to teach participants the basic skills needed for entry-level positions within the biotechnology/biomanufacturing industry. Focused on delivering real career opportunities & meeting workforce needs, graduates are then matched directly with participating local companies for job interviews.

To date, two cohorts have successfully completed the program, and 85% of the program’s graduates are already working within the biotech industry. A Bio Boot Camp cohort is offered in January 2023.

The International Economic Development Council honored the Biotech Boot Camp with the Excellence in Economic Development Silver Award for Partnerships with Educational Institutions.

108 Businesses
» 175,000+
and 500
» In
»
» 60%
» 24%
38 TOP50
BAW By The Numbers
Represented
SF
Agricultural Acres
total these businesses employ 2,080
27% of the businesses were new
of businesses plan to expand
of businesses plan to hire

MadeinFrederickMD.com Frederick County has over 200 manufacturers that call Frederick County home and this industry continues to grow.

To highlight the value and importance of this industry, FCOED launched a new website in 2022.

MadeinFrederickMD.com, a one-stop shop for existing manufacturers, manufacturers looking to locate to the area and the overall community. Made in Frederick aims to strengthen and foster the growth of Frederick County’s manufacturing industry by providing resources, connections and tools to succeed, as well as a jobs board to post manufacturing opportunities.

Agricultural Awards

Farm Family of the Year: Glade Haven Farm Ag Advocate of the Year: Dr. Ray Edigar

Ag Business of The Year: Shuff’s Meat Market

Young Farmer of the Year: Ben and Kate Sowers

Fred Awards

Deal of the Year: Ellume at Progress Labs at Center 85

» Dan Mallon and Jeff Boyle, Ellume

» Brad Benna, Matan Companies » Pete Briskman, JLL

» Taylor Davis, Morgan Keller Construction

Creative Adaptive Reuse: Middletown Memorial Hall LLC

» Elkana Bretton, Ingrid Smith and Gerardo Lepatina, Memorial Hall Middletown, LLC

» Becky Axilbund, Main Street Middletown

» Burgess John Miller, Town of Middletown

Modern Masterpiece Award: Union Mills Retail » Jim Mackintosh, Mackintosh, Inc Commercial Brokerage

» Matthew Jamel, Douglas Development » Niko Negas, Public House

Dealmaker of the Year: Tony “C” Checchia, VCRE.CO

Emerging Dealmaker of the Year: Ashleigh Kiggans, MacRo Ltd. Commercial Real Estate

Lifetime Achievement Award: Tim Shanklin, Tyler Duncan Realty Partners

Most Valuable Partner: Innovation in Training Institute at Hood College

The Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland awarded MadeinFrederickMD.com
Manufacturing recognition Awards and Recognition THE FREDERICK COUNTY OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 118 N. Market St., Suite 300 Frederick, MD 21701 | 301.600.1058 www.DiscoverFrederickMD.com www.HomegrownFrederick.com www.MadeinFrederickMD.com Stay Connected EmPOWER Mentorship Program The EmPOWER Mentorship Program is a facilitated mentoring model designed to help underrepresented businesses generate ideas, identify blind spots, troubleshoot problems, and grow their networks in Frederick County. 2022 COHORT » Alexandra Gushard-EdwardsMarie Rose Photography & Videography » Alice Victoria MbuyiThe Frederick Ballroom » Alyssa Palermo - Shoppers Insurance Agency » Jarad Bowens - Benefactor Events » Juve Lima - Greek Aroma » Lois Pruitt - The Frederick Basket Company » Sandra HofmeisterA&S Construction » Sanathana ShanmugamMinnodi, LLC » Tina Harper - Dream Free Art » Tonya Chubb - EmPowerment Consulting Services, LLC 2022 MENTORS » Michelle Nusum-Smith – The Word Woman, LLC » Xavier Bruce – Uplift Energy Coaching » Tereance Moore – T.M. Consulting LLC » Deanna Grimm – Fulton Bank » Justin Saltzman – VCRE.co » Timika Thrasher – Thrasher’s Cleaning Service » Darrick Bowens – Colbert/Ball Tax Service » Kristopher Madore – Madore Law, LLC » Amanda Rodriguez – Trendsetters Digital Media » Simone Mitchem – JSM Enterprise, LLC » Karen Kalantzis – Maryland Women’s Business Center » Serina Roy – Dublin Roasters Coffee » Darren Sheffield – Midar International » Bethany Lord – SHRM » Ashleigh Kiggans – MacRo, Ltd. Commercial Real Estate TOP50 39
a 2022 Champion of Maryland
Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research
FREDERICK’S top 50 INNOVATORS FOR 2022 » @VR Virtual Reality » Alirtify » Amber Fields Malting & Brewing » AstraZeneca Frederick Manufacturing Center (FMC) » BioElectronics Corporation » Clym Environmental Services, LLC » Cornerstone Genomics Inc. » District Farms » Dynamic Automotive » FESCO Energy » Fingerboard Farm » FoodPRO Corporation » Frederick Health Precision Medicine & Genetics » Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI) » Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (operated by Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.) » Frederick Social » Frederick Wig Company » Galaxy Control Systems » Hood College » HR Answerbox » iHire » Jecho Laboritories, Inc. » Kite, a Gilead Company » Kroger Delivery » Lonza Walkersville Inc. » Maryland Ensemble Theatre » McClintock Distilling » Moon Valley Farm » Orases » Perfect Truffle » Playground Specialists » Postern » PsyTechVR » Quantic PMI (Planar Monolithics) » Quantum Loophole, Inc. » Rocky Point Creamery » SHIFT Work + Play » SL Studio » Step Fusion Solutions » Summer Creek Farm » Surelocked In Escape Games » Tao Treasures LLC DBA Nanobiofab » Texcell-North America, Inc. » The Kombucha Lady » Tonix Pharmaceuticals » Transdermal Specialties Global, Inc. » United Way of Frederick County » Walnut Ridge Farm/Moo Cow Creamery » Warehouse Cinemas » WSC, Inc. EMPLOYEES We live in exciting times, progress is being made to better understand and fight cancer, the way it’s possible to grow salads greens year round in a part of the country where we have cold winters, or giving people virtual reality entertainment. This edition of Top 50 is focused on innovation and the people who are making it happen. The Frederick Office of Economic Development invites readers to delve into who are Top 50 Innovators for 2022. TOP50 43

@VR Virtual Reality

Nine virtual reality stations where you can enjoy over 70 games including sports, action, adventure, sightseeing and more. They also offer multiplayer games and have clients as young as three and as old as 70 plus.

VR provides educational experiences for schools, summer camps and small or large groups. Meditative experiences, yoga and other physical exercises are also offered. Groups can choose to book a single station or multiple stations. One player will play in the station at a time, while others in your party can sit back and watch you navigate through the world of virtual reality on your very own 65” 4K TV connected to your station.

EMPLOYEES 5

44 TOP50

118 N. Market St., Frederick | www.alirtify.com

Alirtify is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform that uses data from news events such as sentiments, location and keywords to glean real-time insights. Alirtify uses news data, blogs, social media and other publicly available data to share what is important to the user.

They utilize AI technologies like machine learning and natural language processing to provide rapid insights by cutting through the noise of daily alerts, drastically reducing response times to curate real-time intelligence.

AstraZeneca Frederick Manufacturing Center (FMC)

633 Research Court, Frederick www.astrazeneca.com

AstraZeneca’s biologics manufacturing center in Frederick produces life-changing medicines for the treatment of cancer and respiratory and autoimmune conditions. The center is the largest biologics manufacturing facility in the company’s global network of assets.

Amber Fields Malting & Brewing

12521 Good Intent Road, Keymar | www.amberfieldsmb.com

Amber Fields was conceived to diversify and add greater value to crops grown for nearly two centuries. To prosper in the ever-changing marketplace, ag producers must adapt. In spring 2000, the owners took grain production in a new direction. Consulting with a local extension agent, they began the research and development phase of what became Amber Fields Malting & Brewing. At the time, no malting courses were available, so they read books and developed grain processing through trial and error. Malting grain provides access to the thriving craft brewing and distilling industries.

Amber Fields is Maryland’s first commercial malting company in 100-plus years and adds value to grains traditionally grown on the family farm, malting and marketing them to local breweries and distilleries.

FMC is a Smart Factory and a Digital Lighthouse, which performs a unique role by testing digital technologies via proofs of concept. They build the right capability to deliver and own the products and establish the business processes to enable the digital solution to run their routine operations. Inspired by what science can do, they are focused on accelerating the delivery of life-changing medicines that create enduring value for patients and society.

FITCI Client EMPLOYEES
EMPLOYEES
Alirtify EMPLOYEES 10
2
750
TOP50 45

BioElectronics Corporation

4539 Metropolitan Court, Frederick www.bielcorp.com

They are fighting the opioid epidemic by developing and manufacturing non-invasive, disposable, drug-free, pain therapy devices for treating back and knee pain and other musculoskeletal complaints. They also manufacture a device for post-operative pain and wound care. All products are U.S. FDA cleared.

They took a technology previously only available in a clinical setting, and miniaturized it to a drugfree, non-invasive, sensation-free, affordable, wearable device for treating pain. Their devices can be used 24/7 and are clinically proven to reduce the need for medications, including opioids.

Clym Environmental Services, LLC

1539 Tilco Drive, Suite 123, Frederick | www.clymenvironmental.com

Clym Environmental Services, LLC (Clym) provides waste management, environmental and safety services to the life sciences and healthcare industries. Clym has developed and refined a proprietary, environmentally friendly technology called O3PureMed for the commercial processing of regulated medical waste (RMW). Headquartered in Frederick, they have been in business for 25 years with offices at the NIH in Bethesda, New Castle, Pa., and Greenfield, Ind.

Clym has earned the honor of being part of the Maryland Green Registry, which recognizes environmentally sustainable practices at organizations of all types and sizes. Clym is proud to be a member of this exclusive group that has saved a combined total of more than $100 million annually.

Cornerstone Genomics Inc

ROOT, 118 N. Market St., Frederick | www.cornerstonegenomics.com

Cornerstone Genomics Inc develops cloudbased analytical software for genome scientists in corporate, academia and government research labs. Their products offer innovative solutions for the multi-billion dollar industry of disease diagnostics. Founded in 2017, they are a virtual company with headquarters in Frederick.

Their innovations stem from an expert knowledge of how DNA changes over time. A small team, they are a synergistic combination of genome scientists and software developers. Working closely together, they have created a new approach in disease diagnostics with SBIRs from the National Science Foundation.

EMPLOYEES 7 EMPLOYEES 4 FITCI Client EMPLOYEES 10 FITCI Graduate 46 TOP50

District Farms

4500 E. Basford Road, Frederick | www.district.farm

District Farms aims to transform the produce industry by growing leafy greens year-round in an incredibly sustainable manner. They are committed to using technology to build a resilient food infrastructure. District Farms prioritizes sustainable agriculture practices.

They formed District Farms Innovations with a mission to push the boundaries of growing in commercial greenhouses. They believe that if all commercial indoor farms could run at peak efficiency driven by machine learning systems, they could dramatically increase yields at every facility.

FESCO Energy

7470 New Technology Way, Frederick www.fescoenergy.com

FESCO Energy provides turnkey delivery of energy efficiency, energy renewable and energy resiliency projects for existing facilities in the federal, educational and health care markets. In 2018 FESCO received the “Innovator of the Year” award from the Maryland Department of Commerce for their work in developing software that analyzes interval utility data to determine possible generation concepts that include a mix of energy generation systems (renewable, gas fired) and energy storage (electrical, mechanical, thermal).

Dynamic Automotive

8824 Urbana Church Road, Frederick | www.dynamicautomotive.net

Dynamic Automotive is an industry leader in automotive repair. Dynamic Automotive has been serving Frederick County residents since 1995 with five locations, focusing on the community they serve.

Dynamic Automotive is innovative because of their commitment to their team and helping them to be the best they can be. They establish career paths for all team members that can be personalized for their entire career. They use Roadmap Reviews to learn team members’ future goals. The company is able to attract, retain and train its entry level workforce.

EMPLOYEES 22 EMPLOYEES 13 TOP50 47

When these solutions are coupled with right sizing and a building’s energy demand, the combined projects often meet the financial requirements allowing it to be financed with no capital from the customer and paid for through the energy cost savings. EMPLOYEES 48

Fingerboard Farm

10240 Fingerboard Road, Ijamsville www.fingerboardfarm.market

Fingerboard Farm opened in 2016 as an agritourism destination. Located on 25 acres in Ijamsville, the historic 1789 Inn hosts families and innovators in the hemp industry. Hemp cultivation research began with the 2018 Farm Bill and acceptance into the Pilot Program with Morgan State in 2019.

The cultivation, harvesting and drying of the first year’s three acres of hemp was self-taught, utilizing various tools, equipment and techniques from horticulture, vegetable and tobacco farming. Producing CBD oil and products was difficult without prior knowledge, experience, buyers, or equipment.

Post-harvest left them with hundreds of pounds of flower, no buyers or method to make products. In year two, they bought a commercial freeze dryer, a reverse osmosis system and cold water extraction machine to produce solventless bubble hash. They built an e-commerce site and launched with other products produced on the farm. Today they are producing 10 unique health and wellness products.

foodpro corporation

321 E. 5th St., Frederick | www.myfoodpro.com

As a broad-line wholesale restaurant distributor, they offer restaurant digital marketing services as a benefit for being a valued customer. They have upgraded their online ordering platform in addition to launching a new app and upgrading to a new system for warehouse functions.

In the food service distribution world, the focus has always been products. They went the extra mile to include a digital marketing support that is not common to see in business. Their new online ordering platform and app has made it easier for customers to have the control to view the inventory and invoicing without having to make a call. Customers have better control of their accounts more than any other supplier in our direct market.

Frederick Health Precision Medicine & Genetics

7211 Bank Court, Frederick | www.frederickhealth.org/pmg

This service offers genetic testing to provide patients with a treatment plan as unique as their own DNA. Operating out of their Crestwood location, this service has been offered since 2020. They are expanding soon to a larger location at the Frederick Health Village. They leverage this technology to provide treatment plans for several conditions including cancer, hereditary diseases and behavioral health conditions. This genomic information improves patient outcomes and results. It is also added to the electronic medical records, traveling with the patients.

EMPLOYEES 5 EMPLOYEES 10 EMPLOYEES
48 TOP50
160

Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI)

4539 Metropolitan Court, Frederick | www.fitci.org

FITCI is Frederick’s business incubator/accelerator. It excels in entrepreneurial growth and training, especially in life science and technology. The nonprofit encourages technological innovation and accelerates development of commercially viable businesses, enhancing local economic vitality since 2004.

FITCI is more than an incubator. In 2016, it refocused on coaching, capital, and connection building. FITCI created intensive mentoring and advisory boards, programming tailored for emerging entrepreneurs, broad networking opportunities, and information systems to ensure equitable access to resources.

EMPLOYEES 6 TOP50 49

Frederick National Laboratory For Cancer Research

(Operated by Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.)

8560 Progress Drive, PO Box B, Frederick | frederick.cancer.gov

Frederick National Laboratory works to solve the unsolvable in biomedical research to benefit global public health. Since 1972, FNL has supported the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health in cancer, HIV and emerging disease research and as a hub for emerging technologies.

FNL innovates basic research, drug development, scientific processes and biotechnologies. The national lab is tapped for high-risk projects, adapting to address global needs and to develop solutions to its government customers’ challenges.

Frederick Social

50 Citizens Way #100, Frederick | www.frederick-social.com

Frederick Social opened in December 2021 as Frederick’s first self-pour taphouse. They are a new kind of café, designed as a workplay-thrive space by giving the customer full control of their experience to pour themselves a drink or to order food. The flex space is prime for remote working, events or gatherings.

By integrating smart technology in their ovens, selfpour wall, integrated POS system, and employee management app, they have seen a lower than average operating cost generated from food, beverage and labor, resulting in lower labor expenses, reduced waste from food and alcohol, and eliminated theft.

Frederick Wig Company

7 N. Court St., Frederick | www.frederickwigcompany.com

Frederick Wig Company is a medical wig studio and boutique located in historic Downtown Frederick. This small, woman-owned business specializes in alterations and customizations, handmade and readymade, high quality wigs, hairpieces, and accessories.

Frederick Wig Company was created out of a personal need and creative problem solving. Owner, Rachel Anne Warren works with people both in person locally and virtually globally. As a published essayist, she has written about her personal journey from alopecia to becoming a traditional wigmaker. Currently, 60 percent of custom wig-making business (40 percent of her total business) is done virtually for out-of-state or international clients, and plans to incorporate 3D printing to create molds of clients’ heads.

EMPLOYEES 1,825
EMPLOYEES 1 50 TOP50
EMPLOYEES 17

Galaxy Control Systems

3 Main St., PO Box 158, Walkersville | www.galaxysys.com

They are a privately held manufacturer selling their security products in over 80 countries. They are a global leader in the development of Security Access Control systems. They offer cloud hosted access control as a service and develop all hardware and software in-house. Their cloud hosted access control system is the fastest growing segment of their business.

They have included in this system IP intercom, CCTV, mobile apps for users as well as mobile access for facilities. They have recently introduced new access controllers with the most advanced Cyber Security measures to block any cyber-attack. This new platform has been recently adopted by the U.S. Department of Defense for use in bases globally.

EMPLOYEES 37

Hood College

401 Rosemont Ave., Frederick | www.hood.edu

Hood College has launched innovative new programs, while also expanding programs to meet emerging workforce needs. Local partnerships with major organizations allow for ample internship and research opportunities.

They have launched programs in public health, sustainability and nutrition science. A partnership with Kite Pharma provides students with a state-of-the-art lab to study cell therapy manufacturing. The establishment of The Ruth Whitaker Holmes School of Behavioral & Health Sciences, in collaboration with Frederick Health, will train the next generation of healthcare workers. Data Driven Frederick, housed at The George B. Delaplaine Jr. School of Business, is a resource that offers data analytics to Frederick-based organizations. Their doctoral program has partnered with Leadership Frederick County to recruit Hood professors for graduate-level leadership instruction. The NeighborHOOD Partners program grants scholarships to partners’ employees and their dependents.

HR Answerbox

12509 Legore Bridge Road, Woodsboro www.hranswerbox.com

HR Answerbox is a human resources consulting firm that solves people management challenges for small and mid-size businesses. We offer HR advisory services, training and coaching. We launched January 19, 2016.

By leveraging technology, HR Answerbox offers a Virtual HR Service that provides clients an online portal with hundreds of resources, as well as live support from our HR advisors. We also converted our most popular training into an online course called New Manager Bootcamp.

EMPLOYEES 1

EMPLOYEES 274
TOP50 51

iHire

41 E. All Saints St., Frederick | www.ihire.com

iHire is a career-oriented platform that powers 57 industry-focused talent networks. For more than 20 years, iHire has combined advanced job matching technology with its expertise in the talent acquisition space to connect job seekers with employers faster and easier than a general job board.

With innovative serving as one of their core values, iHire constantly identifies ideas, processes and products that generate positive change for their customers, associates and community—including launching an internship program to break down career barriers for entry-level software developers.

EMPLOYEES 72

52 TOP50

Jecho Laboratories, inc.

7320A Executive Way, Frederick | www.jecholabs.com

Jecho Labs is a privately owned biopharmaceutical company that researches and develops innovative therapeutic biologics, including therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, cytokines, immunotoxins and vaccines to treat a broad range of diseases and cancers. Jecho Labs’ headquarters are in Frederick.

Jecho Labs’ mission is to innovate biologics that will effectively combat the most serious human diseases including cancer. The staff at Jecho Labs wishes to help improve human health by developing the most effective and innovative biological medicines.

Kroger Delivery

7106 Geoffery Way, Frederick www.kroger.com

Kroger has operated for nearly 140 years and in 2018, Kroger partnered with the Ocado Group a world leader in innovative technology that provides end-to-end online grocery fulfillment solutions.

Kite, A Gilead Company

9021 Bennett Creek Boulevard, Frederick | www.kitepharma.com

Kite, a Gilead Company, is the global leader in cell therapy and the only company dedicated exclusively to the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of cell therapy on a global scale. Kite’s industry-leading CAR T-cell therapy technology uses the power of a person’s own immune system to recognize, attack and destroy certain types of cancer with a one-time, individualized treatment.

Kite’s facility in Frederick, together with manufacturing facilities in California and the Netherlands, is part of the largest, dedicated in-house cell therapy manufacturing network in the world, spanning process development, vector manufacturing, clinical trial production and commercial product manufacturing.

At the hub site more than 1,000 bots move around giant grids known as The Hive that contains totes with products and ready-to-deliver customer orders. Through Kroger Delivery more customers will have more access to fresh affordable groceries with zero-compromise service arriving to customers’ doors through a best-in-class white glove delivery experience enabled by refrigerated trucks, and trained drivers. Powerful machine learning algorithms optimize delivery routes considering factors such as road conditions and optimal fuel efficiency.

EMPLOYEES 500 EMPLOYEES 400 TOP50 53
EMPLOYEES 23

Lonza Walkersville INC.

8830 Biggs Ford Road, Walkersville www.lonza.com

Lonza provides life science researchers with the tools to develop and test therapeutics, from basic research to final product release. Lonza’s Bioscience products and services range from cell culture and discovery technologies for research, to quality control tests and software for manufacturing.

Lonza Walkersville manufactures endotoxin detection test kits, which determine if harmful pyrogens are present in pharmaceutical products. Their objective was to update their bacterial endotoxin test system with automation and recombinant reagents to ‘error proof’ and ‘future proof’ this product line.

Maryland Ensemble Theatre

31 W. Patrick St., Frederick | www.marylandensemble.org

Founded in 1997, MET is entering its 25th year of presenting live theatrical productions. MET’s FunCompany provides theater for youth. MET Comedy is home to The Comedy Pigs, established in 1993, and Oh CRIT, established in 2017. MET’s Ensemble School offers classes in acting and improv for students of all ages.

MET was forced to adapt and pivot to digital formats during the pandemic. MET promised their audiences five productions in the 2020-21 “Season of Surprises.” This allowed patrons to remain engaged and expanded the reach of MET programming gaining viewers from as far away as Australia.

McClintock Distilling

35 S. Carroll St., Frederick | www.mcclintockdistilling.com

McClintock Distilling is an internationally award-winning distillery creating craft whiskies, gins and vodkas from local ingredients. McClintock Distilling has implemented many state-of-the-art production technologies to make huge sustainability advances for the industry. They designed and built their own wastewater recycling system, reducing waste by almost half a million gallons of water a year.

They have partnered with Clean Choice energy to be one of their first commercial clients to use smart grid technology to source renewable energy to the distillery. McClintock Distilling is on track to be one of the first waste neutral distilleries in the country.

EMPLOYEES 400 EMPLOYEES 7 EMPLOYEES 31 54 TOP50

Moon Valley Farm

9700 Gravel Hill Road, Woodsboro | www.moonvalleyfarm.net

Moon Valley Farm grows organic vegetables on 25 acres in Woodsboro and partners with over a dozen local farmers they trust to offer fruit, eggs, mushrooms and more for a year-round Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, for schools, and restaurants in D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Moon Valley offers produce delivery year-round to customers ranging from families to schools and supports them by helping them learn the Mid-Atlantic seasons, storage requirements and sharing recipes. Local organic farming meets 21st century technology and warm customer service.

Perfect Truffle

25 N Market St., Frederick www.perfecttruffle.com

Perfect Truffle is an artisan chocolate boutique, which produces a variety of handpainted chocolates and frozen treats and carries a large assortment of chocolate bars from around the world. It was established in 2005 by Randy Olmstead and acquired by former employee Cody Marwine in 2021.

Orases

5728 Industry Lane, Frederick | www.orases.com

Orases is a full-service, digital technology agency based in Frederick. Founded in 2000, they are a trusted provider of custom software, website and application development services, and solutions that drive efficiency and provide measurable cost savings to their clients.

Their mission is to provide creative and innovative solutions to everyday problems. Orases builds custom software to help businesses and organizations reach their vision, improve efficiency and use technology to make the world a better place.

Perfect Truffle aims to educate the community further about what chocolate is, where it comes from, and who makes it. They accomplish this by having one of the largest bean-to-bar chocolate libraries on the East Coast and providing private chocolate tastings.

EMPLOYEES
EMPLOYEES 18 EMPLOYEES 3 TOP50 55
15

Playground Specialists Inc

29 Apples Church Road, Thurmont www.playspec.com

Established in 1998, they are a family-owned and operated recreation company. They design, sell and install commercial recreation equipment throughout Maryland, D.C., Virginia and West Virginia. They work on projects of all sizes and complexity for schools, communities, churches, municipalities, landscape architects and more.

Founded as a construction company, they have combined that knowledge with playground safety experience to create new products that encourage multigenerational play. These products have not been seen before in the playground industry and have generated buzz nationwide.

Postern

6 N. East St., Suite 200, Frederick | www.posternagency.com

This is a marketing agency for businesses that want to grow. Their team of skilled marketing professionals and creatives collaboratively craft strategies tailored to clients’ needs. In business for five years, the staff includes marketing strategists, graphic designers, copywriters and digital marketers.

Community is at the heart of their innovation, which is shown by their free collaborative marketing meet-ups during COVID, creation of an online travel resource to showcase businesses across Maryland, and the expansion of their space to include an outdoor patio intended for use by non-profit clients.

PsyTechVR

6 W. 3rd St., Frederick | www.psytechvr.com

PsyTech VR offers self-guided phobia training in Virtual Reality. Ten phobia practices, mindfulness techniques and art therapy in VR. Advanced VR headset and biosensors for vitals reading during training.

VR technology helps people to overcome their fears, phobias and anger issues as well as meditate in the comfort of their homes. Using VR and bio-sensors people can measure their success in fighting phobias including social anxiety and using guided meditation to fight stress in the workplace.

EMPLOYEES 45 EMPLOYEES 12 EMPLOYEES 2 56 TOP50
PMI (Planar Monolithics) 7309 Grove Road, Frederick www.pmi-rf.com Founded in 1989, Quantic PMI is a leading supplier of high-reliability RF microwave components and subsystems. Delivering industry-standard performance for missioncritical applications in the military, communications, commercial and consumer industries. PMI continues to expand its portfolio of stateof-the-art hybrid MIC/MMIC products. Using engineering expertise, specific application of physical phenomena, advanced components, modern assembly and test equipment, plus supplementing design and manufac-
with a stringent military quality assurance program, extracts optimal electrical performance from Quantic PMI’s products. EMPLOYEES 55 TOP50 57
Quantic
turing

Quantum Loophole, Inc.

5601 Manor Woods Road, Frederick www.quantumloophole.com

Quantum Loophole, Inc. is an innovative developer of a first-of-its-kind Gigawatt-scale master planned data center communities with its first location in Frederick. The company was founded in 2020 and is based in Austin, Texas.

Quantum Loophole is revolutionizing the scalability of data center communities and how they are connected. They are delivering on the promise of Maryland incentives by developing the land, power, water and fiber connectivity needed to responsibly attract enduring investment from the tech sector.

Quantum Loophole’s fiber network ring, QLoop, brings needed capacity to the congested and cost-intensive NOVA network region, opening up Frederick County to new high-tech opportunities.

Rocky Point Creamery

4323 Tuscarora Road, Tuscarora | www.rockypointcreamery.com

They are a cow-to-cone operation. They milk 130 cows robotically, which supplies the on-farm creamery store with milk and cream used in their hand-crafted ice cream. The farm has been in operation since 1883, and the ice cream shop was added in 2011.

The farm utilizes precision agriculture (including self-driving tractors, GPS plant/spray/harvest technology) and robotics. The creamery is everevolving to address customer desires, flavor trends and offerings.

SHIFT Work + Play

1209 N. East St., Suite A, Frederick | www.shiftworkandplay.com

SHIFT Work + Play is a family-friendly coworking space designed for working parents and entrepreneurs. With a staffed playroom and a variety of private and shared workspace options, members can choose the setup that works best for them, getting some work done while their children play.

SHIFT Work + Play is Frederick’s first family-friendly coworking space. With staffed playroom sessions, a comfortable lactation room and a family-oriented community, SHIFT makes balancing work and parenting a whole lot easier. As a lawyer, advocate and mom to two young kids, founder Megan Donovan developed this model while working from home during the pandemic.

EMPLOYEES 50 EMPLOYEES 32 EMPLOYEES 1 58 TOP50

SL Studio

11 Byte Court, Suite C, Frederick | www.slstudiofrederick.com

The SL Studio is a community space for work and wellness. The space includes a workspace, gym and wellness room designed for remote workers, health-conscious millennials and personal trainers. It opened in August 2021.

They innovated the environment in which clients can practice and share their approach to work-life balance. SL Studio merges coworking amenities, a gym and other wellness resources to inspire taking action on your health and happiness.

Summer Creek Farm

15209 Mud College Road, Thurmont www.summercreekfarm.com

Summer Creek Farm is a certified organic farm and manufacture of horticultural soil less mixes. Their mixes are the most sustainable available and outperform national brands while being the most sustainable possible. SCF is also a supplier of organic vegetables to multiple grocery chains.

Step Fusion Solutions

118 N. Market St., Suite 180, Frederick | www.stepfusionsolutions.com

They develop custom technology for senior healthcare organizations. Their product, The STEP Assistant, has remote monitoring, communication and reporting features to ease staff workload, promote older adult safety, independence and wellbeing, plus allow family to more easily connect with their loved one.

Most new technology targets teenagers through middle-aged adults. Step Fusion Solutions develops novel technology specifically for older adults and those who care for them. They emphasize features that increase quality of life for seniors living in care facilities and also efficiency in providing care.

Summer Creek Farm developed the first peat, perlite and vermiculite free, organic certifier approved soil less mix available. They later developed mixes for other applications. Next, they developed a mix that is more than 95 percent domestic, organic and wood fiber based. This game changer offers performance at 20 percent lower cost.

EMPLOYEES 6 FITCI Client EMPLOYEES 4 TOP50 59
EMPLOYEES 1

Surelocked In Escape Games

Surelocked In is an immersive entertainment company that introduced Frederick to escape rooms, mixing live theater with personal adventure. Recognized locally and internationally, their innovative games have boosted the local economy, bolstered tourism and brought a new age of entertainment to town.

With their gamification process, Surelocked In creates games on an unrivaled scale. They have gamified churches, colleges and entire cities, each event customized and unique. This level of innovation is so rare that other escape rooms refer clients to them rather than attempt to imitate them.

EMPLOYEES 5 60 TOP50

Tao Treasures LLC DBA Nanobiofab

4539 Metropolitan Court, Frederick | www.nanobiofab.com

NanoBioFAB is the world’s leading developer of wearable nanosensor and AI diagnostics technology. They are the fastest high-throughput AI-powered R&D platform to develop novel nanosensors which enables their wearable device “RAPIDiNose” to detect and monitor several gases that emanate from the human body.

Nanobiofab’s innovative sensor and device technology enable the manufacture of highly responsive and miniaturized sensors to be integrated into the RAPID-iNoseTM patch, their wearable sensor platform. The collected data by RAPID-iNose helps the user to monitor wound status and the healing process.

The Kombucha Lady

9750 Appolds Road, Rocky Ridge www.thekombuchalady.com

The Kombucha Lady started in 2016 when their kombucha flavors went wildly popular at the local farmers markets. Their kombucha is like no other on the market as the fruit and herbs stay in the jar to continue to flavor and infuse their health benefits into the kombucha.

Texcell-North America, Inc.

4991 New Design Road, Suite 100, Frederick | www.texcell.com

Texcell-North America is part of a global contract research organization that specializes in viral testing, viral clearance, immunoprofiling and R&D or GMP cell banking for the biopharmaceutical industry.

They are designing new and revolutionary studies to support the advancement of cutting edge medicines such as gene therapies, vaccines, medical devices and other biotherapeutics. Texcell-North America provides critical safety parameters for novel therapies and is currently expanding. The new facility will help expand the viral testing of gene therapies and medical devices using cell based and nucleic acid technologies.

The Kombucha Lady is the only local on-farm kombucha brewery. They grow much of the fruit and herbs on their farm. The flavors are a unique combinations of fruits and herbs that have amazing health benefits and flavor. This is a raw product only offered locally in mason jars, bottles and kegs.

EMPLOYEES 42 EMPLOYEES 5 TOP50 61
EMPLOYEES 11 FITCI Client

Tonix Pharmaceuticals

431 Aviation Way, Frederick www.tonixpharma.com

Tonix is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel therapies and vaccines across therapeutic areas. Tonix has multiple facilities, including a 48,000 square foot Research and Development Center (RDC) in Frederick.

The RDC supports Tonix’s commitment to innovation by accelerating internal discovery and the development of vaccines and therapies for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. With their live virus vaccine platform, they believe Tonix is positioned to respond to new pathogens as they continue to emerge.

Transdermal Specialties Global, Inc.

400 Sagner Ave., Suite 300, Frederick | www.u-strip.com

Transdermal Specialties Global, Inc. is committed to developing innovative drug delivery systems that enhance health and improve the quality of life. TSI, a pioneer in ultrasonic active patch delivery systems has developed a painless patented transdermal insulin delivery patch system that uses special ultrasound frequencies to expand the pores of the skin and deliver insulin into the bloodstream—no needles.

Insulin is too large to be absorbed by the skin normally and the use of ultrasound dilates the skin pores and pushes the drug into the tissue. This system generates ultrasonic transmissions of variable intensity and frequency on a programmed schedule that allows easy acceptance of drugs into the bloodstream. The variations in penetration are achieved by adjusting the timing of alternating waveforms.

United Way of Frederick County

629 N. Market St., Frederick | www.unitedwayfrederick.org

For nearly 85 years, United Way of Frederick County has fought for the health, education and financial stability of every person in the community, with heavy focus on the 37 percent of households, known as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), who struggle to afford basic necessities.

In 2016, United Way of Frederick County released the ALICE Report, forever changing the landscape of giving in Frederick. The Unity Campaign, Frederick’s largest comprehensive fundraising effort, followed. Now, the data-driven micro-transit solution, Ride United, is innovating transportation services for ALICE in Frederick.

EMPLOYEES 28 EMPLOYEES 13 EMPLOYEES 6 62 TOP50

Walnut Ridge Farm/Moo Cow Creamery

3935 Bussard Road, Middletown | www.moocowcreamerywrf.com

The dairy farm was founded in 1936, and Mo0 Coo Creamery was established in 2020. Current offerings include 19 artisan cheeses, sweet cream butter, beef, chicken and eggs available at the farm and at markets.

The farm is mostly Guernsey and Jersey cows which produce a rich and high component milk. Guernsey milk is rich with beta carotene thus giving the milk a golden hue. The cows are also A2A2 making products an option for those who may not be able to digest dairy. They are also now offering 19 flavors of A2A2 artisan cheese and salted and unsalted sweet cream butter from the dairy side.

WSC, INc.

7196 Crestwood Boulevard, Suite 300, Frederick www.ws-corp.com

Since 1995, WSC has provided simulation technology products and services to the power and process industry in 30-plus countries. Using WSC developed tools and Simulation Assisted Engineering (SAE) to develop, optimize and validate plant designs, WSC has created 150 replica and generic training simulators.

Warehouse Cinemas

1301 W Patrick St., Frederick | www.warehousecinemas.com

Warehouse Cinemas is an elevated movie theater for the community. They have three locations, opening in Frederick in September of 2020, Hagerstown (Leitersburg) in September of 2021, and soon there will be the Baltimore (Rotunda) location.

At Warehouse Cinemas, they think differently about going to the movies. The goal is to combine authentic customer service, with an elevated food and beverage menu, and state-of-the-art projection/sound while you relax in heated leather recliners. They feature best-of-class digital projection in all auditoriums with most equipped with 4K laser technology and the latest Dolby technology. Additionally, they have Skyvue, a way to have the screen slightly tilted so each seat in the auditorium has a clear image of the movie. There’s a self-serve “Pour Wall,” partnered with Pour My Beer, so they can support a variety of local breweries.

EMPLOYEES 3 EMPLOYEES 50 TOP50 63

WSC reinvests in itself to advance their customizable 3KEYSOFTWARE products and modeling tools, builds strategic global partnerships and offers product licensing to provide a wide range of simulation technology to clients worldwide, including webor cloud-based training to students the world over. EMPLOYEES 70
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