Contents FREDERICK COUNTY Berrywine Plantations/Linganore Winecellars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Canam Steel Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Frederick Regional Health System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Lonza Bioscience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Swift Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 More Innovative Businesses in Frederick County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
MONTGOMERY COUNTY BroadSoft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 ClickMedix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 KoolSpan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 LiveHealthier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Neuralstem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 More Innovative Businesses in Montgomery County . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 240-864-1558 â€˘ www.gazette.net/business Special Advertising Publication | June 2012
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Associate Publisher: Trina LaPier Advertising Director: Terry Tillman Editor: Kim Bamber Design: Lorraine Walker Production Coordinator: Kathleen Castellano Prepress Manager: John Schmitz Jr.
This supplement was produced by The Gazette of Politics & Business Advertising Sales Department. Unless otherwise noted, portions of this supplement were gathered by Karen Finucan Clarkson, Bill Holleran and Archana Pyati. None of the copy was written by The Gazette of Politics & Business editorial staff. All photos were supplied by the specific corporate entity, unless otherwise stated. Cover design by Anna Joyce. Cover and Contents page photos: iStockphoto/Nickilford
Fostering INNOVATION in Frederick County BY KAREN FINUCAN CLARKSON
here is no single initiative driving business innovation in Frederick County but, rather, a combination of partnerships, programs, and a unique sense of place that fuels the development of new products, processes and practices. “One of the neat things in this community is the collaboration between businesses in associated fields or related industries,” said Richard G. Griffin, director of the Department of Economic Development in the city of Frederick. Such collaborations, which promote innovation, are encouraged and supported by local governments and the private sector. Providing like-minded companies— whether start-ups or established—a place to collocate has paid dividends when it comes to research, product development and commercialization in Frederick County. This is “one of the primary innovation techniques being employed by the county and city to help get those firms—the innovative companies of the future—established and growing in our community,” said Griffin. Of the 15 companies that have graduated from the Frederick Innovative Technology Center Inc. (FITCI), 94 percent are still in business, 7 percent above the national average. The nonprofit FITCI, a public-private partnership, was established eight years ago to support early stage biotechnology, information technology and renewable energy start-ups. “When we go to trade shows, we tell people, ‘If you want to put a footprint in the United States or state of Maryland, our incubator is an easy way to get started,’” said Helen Riddle, acting director of the Frederick County Business Development and Retention Division. The National Cancer Institute’s
“One of the neat things in this community is the collaboration between businesses in associated fields or related industries.” -Richard G. Griffin, director, Department of Economic Development, City of Frederick
new 332,000-square-foot Advanced Technology Research Facility (ATRF) at Riverside Research Park will serve as a hub of innovation, attracting synergistic biomedical research institutions and life science companies. Through strategic research-and-development partnerships, firms will have access to world-class technologies, capabilities and scientific expertise. ATRF will consolidate operations now housed in more than 30 outdated buildings on Fort Detrick. “There’s been a long-standing commitment at Fort Detrick to move technology from the lab to commercialization,” said Griffin. “This new cancer facility takes that initiative to a whole new level.” ATRF’s novel business/research model is expected to accelerate the delivery of new cancer and HIV products. Fort Detrick’s annual Spring Research Festival, which was held May 9 and 10 in partnership with the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, promotes innovation through information sharing and hands-on demonstrations of the latest biomedical equipment, services and technologies. More than 175 scientists share posters—many featuring diagrams,
graphs and photos—and explain their work to colleagues and visitors. Less formal but more frequent events—including the 10-year-old Manufacturers Roundtable,Tech Frederick’s Networking Happy Hour, monthly BioBeers and, for those interested in sustainability, Frederick Green Drinks—encourage collaboration and spark innovation. “They talk about changes in business practices that increase efficiency or result in cost savings,” said Riddle. “Networking leads to partnerships, which, in turn, lead to innovation. And, when resources dwindle, it’s all about the partnerships.” To increase its appeal to knowledgebased firms, the city of Frederick is considering regulatory changes. “The county has done this and the city is about to put in place job creation and investment tax credits that are attractive to technology businesses,” said Griffin, “and will be based on jobs retained or created and investments in new facilities and equipment.” Recognizing that vibrant communities are a draw for knowledge-industry workers, the city and county are investing in projects and infrastructure designed to increase amenities. “While
it may not be thought of as innovative, it will support the innovative culture we have here in Frederick,” said Griffin of a proposed downtown hotel and conference center.The city is looking at development of a full-service, 200-plus room facility with some 15,000 square feet of meeting space. “Tech companies want cool space— something unique and funky that fuels their creativity,” said Riddle. “Frederick City has one of the best offerings of rehabilitated properties, many of which feature things like open beams and interesting staircases or floor-to-ceiling windows with really great views. And, it doesn’t hurt that you can walk out of a building and into one of many great food places.” Thurmont and Brunswick also offer unique spaces along with an outstanding quality of life. “Brunswick has a towpath. Folks can just grab a canoe and get on the river,” said Riddle. Ensuring a steady supply of innovative thinkers is part of the mission of the Frederick County Business Roundtable for Education. A partnership of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, Frederick County Public Schools, Frederick Community College, Fort Detrick and economic development agencies, the roundtable promotes academic excellence and links classroom learning with real-world experience. With a group of nationally and globally recognized technology and life science companies currently within its borders, Frederick County is poised to become a hotbed of innovation. Cooperative ventures between the public and private sectors coupled with new initiatives and investments are expected to expand the depth and breadth of corporate ingenuity and resourcefulness.
or more than three decades, Berrywine Plantations/Linganore Winecellars has been utilizing green practices not just to enhance the quality of its wines, but “because it’s the right thing to do,” said company president and winemaker Anthony Aellen. “It’s a constant evolution,” said Aellen, proud of his winery’s embrace of sustainability. December’s opening of two electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations at the Mount Airy winery continues the company’s tradition of innovation in environmental stewardship. “You need a group of first adopters who will stick their necks out and proof the system to see if things work,” said Aellen. What sets Linganore’s EV charging stations apart from others in the state is that there is no cost to customers to “fill up.” Solar energy fuels the stations. “When the solar panel isn’t being used to power cars, it feeds into the rest of the power I need here at the winery,” he said. The rest of that power is wind generated. While Linganore’s wind-energy contract with Clean Currents saves the winery just a penny a year, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 160 metric tons, the equivalent of taking some 30 cars off the road each year, according to Aellen. Keeping deer out of his vineyard is what set Aellen
on the path to sustainability. After they devoured his grapes in 1984, the winemaker began offering the deer grape pulp to hold them at bay.The rest of the pulp is composted, eliminating the company’s reliance on chemical fertilizers and promoting hearty vines. “The wine quality can’t be any higher than the quality of the fruit from which it started,” said Aellen. “If the plant isn’t healthy, it won’t produce high quality fruit.” Recognizing that “a healthy plant tends to be disease and pest resistant,” Linganore altered its approach to eradicating insects in the ‘80s after aphids
Canam Steel Corporation K
nown for its innovative engineering and fabrication teams, Canam Steel Corporation designs and crafts steel components for bridges, schools and sports facilities, such as Yankee Stadium and the new Florida home of the Marlins. Sustaining that ingenuity has required innovations in training and operations as the Point of Rocks plant continues to grow. Facing a shortage of experienced welders, Canam joined forces with Frederick Community College (FCC) to provide skills training to a dozen county residents, some unemployed. The idea was to create a pool of qualified job applicants. “We worked with the college to design a curriculum that would allow program graduates to go directly on the line without additional training,” said Rose M. Davis, the plant’s human resources manager. Some welders-in-training qualified for state grants; those that did not received scholarships from Canam. While there were no job guarantees
BY: KAREN FINUCAN CLARKSON
infested the vineyard. “We decided to only spray as needed,” said Aellen. “About four years after we stopped, we found ladybugs eating aphids off the vine. Turns out we were killing these natural predators along with the aphids.” Reducing waste is a priority. Linganore donates cream-of-tartar crystals, a by-product of fermentation, to preschool teachers who use them to make play dough. The winery also offers empty cardboard wine cases to affiliated businesses and recycles its bottles. These combined efforts keep as much as 30 tons of trash from entering the waste stream annually, according to Aellen. Next up is construction of a “net-zero warehouse,” said Aellen, who plans to use groundwater—“which is 55 degrees, ideal for a wine cellar”—to maintain the temperature and solar panels. “It will be a totally offthe-grid, workable warehouse.” While Aellen appreciates the support of those inclined to buy green, his approach is not designed to “rake in extra dollars.” It is, however, intended to improve the health of the vineyards and, as a result, the quality of Linganore’s award-winning wines. Aellen’s ultimate goal is to make a greater impact— leading by example and “teaching the next generation to do better.”
BY: KAREN FINUCAN CLARKSON
associated with the 80-hour training, the company has hired six graduates. “Our goal is to…offer this program on an ongoing basis, not only to fulfill the needs of Canam but to help those unemployed within our community,” said Davis. “It’s a win-win for all of us.” Recognizing that effective communication fosters teamwork and innovation, Canam has implemented a new Lunch ‘N Learn program, in partnership with FCC, for 25 supervisors and superintendents at Point of Rocks. “This was a new concept for the college and a great opportunity for us,” said Davis. The six weekly sessions cover topics such as listening to understand, speaking to be understood, nonverbal communication and the power of positivity. There is a community building aspect to the Lunch ‘N Learn program. “The goal is to offer these classes to other businesses in the county,” said Davis. “We can hold them here at Canam or another employer might host the sessions. We see this opening up the Advertising
lines of communication between local companies.” Canam’s continuous improvement program, which started about a year ago, encourages open dialog between employees and management. A steering committee prioritizes employee suggestions and delegates implementation. This program has led to several innovations in operations that save time and effort and increase productivity. A production area vending machine reduces employees’ time away from the line. “Employees enter their number and receive a tool, gloves or other required equipment right there on the line. No longer do they need to walk to a tool crib to pick up what is needed,” said Davis.The vending system also has improved accountability, reduced waste and enhanced the tracking of materials. Tracking a product’s progress along the line has become infinitely easier due to Canam’s production planner, a proprietary software program. “We can track everything in terms of production,” said 5
Davis. “Should an issue arise, the guys in the shop can see where everything is in the chain and make changes.” The effect of these innovations at Canam is almost palpable. “We are very excited about the work being done here at our location,” said Davis. Innovation is not confined to one department or level of employee. “It spans our operations.There are lots of people with lots of ideas that are making a difference.”
Berrywine Plantations/Linganore Winecellars
Frederick Regional Health System A
variety of innovative technologies—both informational and medical—are helping Frederick Regional Health System transform patient care.These advanced technologies have positioned the system at the cutting edge of health care delivery and its hospital, Frederick Memorial (FMH), as the treatment facility of choice for patients in several states. Selected to serve as the region’s keeper of health information, FMH is creating an electronic medical record system that will allow medical professionals access to vital patient data with the click of a mouse. “This health information exchange—the cloud—will enhance patient care and save an enormous amount of money,” said Harry Grandinett, director of marketing and communications at FMH. “Say, for example, you’re sitting in a specialist’s office. That physician can log into the information exchange and get your entire health profile—office visits; diagnoses; medication in the prescribed dosage, including if it was filled; and test
results. Such marvelous interaction region wide will cut down dramatically on duplicate tests and imaging procedures.” While Grandinett admits that it may sound “a little big brotherish” for physicians to know whether a prescription was filled, it’s important in terms of the continuum of care. “If there are barriers, such as a lack of transportation, we can find ways to help overcome them. Health care of the future will follow patients into the community and make sure they adhere to treatment protocols,” he said. While there is not an official launch date, FMH’s IT department is “working round the clock to get cued up,” said Grandinett. “We’re loading the database with patient information and getting physicians on board….Because security is a top shelf issue here, we’re examining best practice data and encryption technology.” While the health information exchange will primarily serve patients in Frederick and counties to the west, two
BY: KAREN FINUCAN CLARKSON
advanced treatment technologies are attracting patients not only from Maryland, but Pennsylvania and Virginia as well. The da Vinci Surgical System uses a robot to perform minimally invasive procedures. “Surgeons can access hard-to-get-at sites and do surgery with much less trauma to the surrounding tissue,” said Grandinett. “As a result, recovery is better.” Specially trained surgeons have been using the da Vinci robot at FMH for about year. While the system can treat a range of conditions, FMH uses it for gynecological surgeries and lung and thoracic procedures. Another “remarkable technology” is the CyberKnife system. “It is the most advanced, state-of-the-art cancer treatment available today,” said Grandinett. This intelligent system treats tumors anywhere in the body with submillimeter precision. “CyberKnife focuses incredibly high doses of radiation with amazing accuracy on tumors, hitting only the cancer cells and leaving the surrounding tissue
BY: KAREN FINUCAN CLARKSON
eferring to Walkersville as “the regenerative medicine capital of the world,” Jeff Boyd views Lonza Bioscience, a Frederick County life science firm, as “a global player with Walkersville at our center….We are the world’s leading contract manufacturer for cell therapy,” said the company vice president and global head of operations. Cell therapy utilizes cells—either one’s own or those from donor tissue—for the treatment of disease, according to Boyd. Cancer, diabetes, burns and Parkinson’s disease are among the ailments cell therapy is used to combat. “Regenerative medicine has the potential to impact each one of us and our families in the future,” Boyd said. Lonza Bioscience partners with companies worldwide that have developed advanced therapies, supporting the rapid clinical development and commercial manufacturing of these pioneering products.The firm combines its unsurpassed expertise in working with cells with technological innovation. “We’re constantly developing new technologies to scale up production and move from a more manual process to a more automated one,” said Boyd. The resulting processes are less variable and more robust. “Tomorrow’s Process Today,” notes the company’s cell therapy brochure.
untouched…. When folks are told a tumor is inoperable, CyberKnife can excise that tumor, even if it is wrapped around the spinal cord or in the brain.” Enhanced patient outcomes, increased patient safety, reduced costs, and a more comprehensive and integrated approach to medical care are the results of FMH’s adoption of technological innovations. “At FMH we are doing more than just treating patients,” said Grandinett. “We are reshaping health care.”
Lonza Bioscience has a process for innovation that starts with the identification and analysis of market trends. “Then we bring our innovation team together in different ways to discuss what is next. What is the next generation of cell therapy? Where are our clients going? How can we help them move products more quickly through the system so they can complete clinical trials more rapidly?” said Boyd. With cell therapy manufacturing plants on three continents, Lonza takes a global approach to innovation. Its team crosses geographic and departmental boundaries and utilizes a variety of brainstorming tools in its quest to stay a step ahead. New ideas “are challenged before we determine where to invest,” said Boyd. Innovative Businesses
Lonza continues to invest in its strong suit— knowledge of and expertise in cells. “It is the technical expertise and process development here in Walkersville that makes us special,” said Boyd. “We have built a successful and very value-added business from the standpoint of transforming and enhancing lives.” That ability to transform a life—such as that of a soldier severely burned on a battlefield—further fuels innovation amongst Lonza employees. “To know that technologies we’ve worked on…have helped sustain a life or enhance a life is really amazing,” said Boyd. Recognizing the need for technologically advanced facilities to sustain innovation, Lonza has invested more than $100 million in itsWalkersville site over the last five years, according to Boyd. “The commercial impact in Frederick has been quite positive,” he said. The firm employs roughly 500 people in Walkersville. As the “headquarters of the unquestioned leader in cell therapy, we recognize the tremendous potential [of regenerative medicine] to change medical practice as a whole,” said Boyd. Lonza will continue to invest in facilities, research, technology and partnerships “as we seek to revolutionize health care.”
BY: KAREN FINUCAN CLARKSON
regional IT services provider, Swift Systems Inc. has differentiated itself by using innovative approaches to manage projects and build relationships. “Most small service providers run by the seat of their pants,” said Vaughn Thurman, company president. “They rely on human competence to make up for a lack of systems. We developed a product that allows us to manage every lead or request and track it every step of the way.” JobTraQ®, enterprise task management and work flow software, allows Swift Systems to collaborate more effectively with clients and to bring projects in on time and at reduced cost. “Every project we’ve done since 2008 has been under budget. Anyone who has ever dealt with an IT provider would find that innovative alone,” said Thurman. The software enables Swift to identify areas of concern. “If we spot something that is going over, we can stop it right there and decide if it really is important or if it is something that should be shaved off in order to get the greatest business value out of it for our client,” saidThurman.The ability of customers to access “real-time updates as to the status of every process” enhances transparency. JobTraQ has been “so effective that it warranted the
spin-off of a separate company, Swift Software Inc.,” he said. Today, the company has clients around the globe, including major corporations, such as Lockheed Martin, and government agencies, such as NASA. The development of innovative hiring criteria has allowed the company to identify creative and passionate team members. “We look for folks who would be doing this work even if they didn’t have a job. Every network engineer we hire has a network— servers up and running—in their house,” said Thurman. “These are people who, when they punch out, can’t help but play with the stuff some more.” Swift’s entrepreneurial environment encourages innovative thinking. “We provide people with a sense of ownership of the business. They have a significant amount of influence over their accounts,”Thurman said. Monthly meetings unearth new ideas and solutions. Swift’s culture encourages open dialog, amongst employees and management and between the company and its industry partners. “We’ve built our reputation on telling the truth,” said the company president. “It’s often easier for companies not to be aggressive or assertive in telling the truth. Our open approach has allowed us to survive two significant downturns in the economy.”
It also has allowed Swift to begin to capitalize on an evolving market trend. The rise of the business analyst “in designing and delivering task and team management solutions” means that increasing numbers of nontechnical professionals will be engaging in IT projects, according to Thurman. Swift’s transparent operations and open communications provide a level of comfort and assurance to business analysts unfamiliar with the intricacies of IT. “We are working to leverage technology to empower the business analyst. The industry is just beginning to touch on this, while we’ve been figuring out how to get in front of it.”
MORE INNOVATIVE BUSINESSES Acela Technologies
www.acelatechnologies.com The Frederick technology company provides “convergence based wireline/wireless network and information technology solutions and consulting nationwide.”
American Microwave Corporation
www.americanmic.com The Frederick corporation is “dedicated to providing state-of-the-art technology as well as uniformly high quality microwave components and subsystems.”
www.caervision.com The Frederick-based health care media company “provides digital media network and content service to health care facilities to turn waiting time into educational moments.”
Downtown Piano Works
www.downtownpianoworks.com The Frederick piano company offers “piano sales, piano service and piano lessons” in the music school, and is “committed to providing world-class performances free to the Frederick community...”
DynPort Vaccine Company
www.csc.com/dvc The Frederick vaccine company “manages product development programs for U.S. government agencies, and provides consulting, technical and project management services to companies in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.”
Homes at NorthPointe www.nexusenergyhomes.com The Stevensville, Md.-based company designs homes “built to optimize the relationship between power production and power consumption.…Nexus EnergyHomes now has 59 units under development in the City of Frederick…”
www.fairchild-controls.com The Frederick-headquartered aerospace company “provides environmental, electronic, and pneumatic control systems for commercial aircraft and military platforms around the world.”
www.someonewith.com CEO Paula Jagemann founded the company “to help women with breast cancer by providing e-commerce and social media tools to ease the personal and financial burden of disease management.”
Life Technologies Corporation
www.lifetechnologies.com The “global life sciences company” with a Frederick office offers an “extensive range of products and services, from instruments to everyday lab essentials,” to ensure “quality and performance for every lab, every application.”
www.stulz-ats.com The Frederick Air Technology Systems company is “responsible for product development, manufacturing and distribution of data center cooling equipment, precision air conditioners, ultrasonic humidifiers and desiccant dehumidifiers for the North American arm of the international STULZ GROUP.”
National Museum of Civil War Medicine
www.civilwarmed.org The Frederick museum “is the premier center for the preservation and research of the legacy of Civil War medical innovation.”
UR Solar Power
www.ursolarpower.com The Frederick solar power company “develops, implements and manages residential solar programs for utilities and national retailers.”
www.voltrestaurant.com The downtown Frederick restaurant is where “Executive Chef Bryan Voltaggio's seasonal entreés showcase classic flavor combinations prepared with fresh, local ingredients.”
www.welocalize.com The Frederick translation services company “provides next-generation translation supply chain management that delivers marketready, translated content—when and where you demand—at a higher output, a faster pace and an affordable price.”
www.wgssystems.com The Frederick-based electronic and engineering company provides “products and services to the United States intelligence, military, and homeland security organizations.” It is the “premier developer of integrated surveillance and reconnaissance systems on manned and unmanned airborne, ground, surface, and man-packable platforms.”
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Montgomery County: Setting the pace in the
INNOVATION ECONOMY BY BILL HOLLERAN
national leader in fostering business innovation for more than 30 years, Montgomery County is poised to continue its leadership role in the decades ahead. “The future economy is the innovation economy,” said Steve Silverman, director of the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development (MCDED). “It’s no longer about large manufacturing plants or huge companies locating in the Washington, D.C. area. In Montgomery County, we want to cultivate the next MedImmune and Human Genome Sciences. We are aiming to do that by supporting start-up companies.” The county has an exceptionally strong innovation track record on which to build, according to Kristina Ellis, MCDED’s communications manager. “Whether it’s strategic planning, zoning, land development or incubator facilities, Montgomery County has been ahead of the innovation curve for more than three decades,” she said. According to Ellis, the county’s early innovation efforts were focused on the life sciences because of the presence of federal scientific and technical agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and National Institute of Standards and Technology. “We realized that the scientists and researchers working in federal labs were going to come out of these agencies to create their own businesses and bring products to the market,” said Ellis. “In terms of workforce talents and skills, the life sciences had by far the most to offer.” But Ellis points out that the current focus of the county’s innovation programs and activities has broadened beyond bioscience to include information technology (IT) and professional services.
A Network for Business Innovation
The nexus for business innovation in Montgomery County is the MCDED-operated network of incubator facilities. Known as the Business Innovation Network, it was founded in 1999 with the opening of the 50,000-square-foot Shady Grove Innovation Center. Recently expanded by 10,000 square feet, the Shady Grove incubator supports 46 companies, according to John Korpela, director of the MCDED Business Innovation Network. In the 13 years since, MCDED has added four more business incubators—Silver Spring, Wheaton, Rockville and Germantown—offering flexible, modern office and lab space coupled with on-site
“The future economy is the innovation economy... In Montgomery County, we want to cultivate the next MedImmune and Human Genome Sciences.” - Steve Silverman, director, Montgomery County Department of Economic Development
legal, accounting, banking, intellectual property and other business support services. “We have 38 wet labs and 250 offices at all five facilities, totaling 150,000 square feet,” said Korpela. “At last check with the National Business Incubation Association in 2011, we are the largest program in the country with 139 companies in residence.” According to Silverman, a partnership agreement with the state of Maryland and NIST “should result in a (sixth) incubator housed in the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, adjacent to NIST.”This new facility, says Silverman, will provide incubator space for early-stage cybersecurity companies. Since its inception, says Korpela, the Business Innovation Network has worked with more than 250 teams of entrepreneurs and graduated about 115 companies. “Ninety percent of these companies have stayed in the county, moved into commercial office space and hired more people,” he said.
Incubator Success Story
LiveHealthier, founded in 2005 by president and CEO Mary Moslander, is a global provider of health management programs tailored to individuals and customized to corporations. The Bethesda-based company is a 2010 graduate of the Business Innovation Network. The county’s incubator program, said Moslander, “absolutely has been a critical component of the success of our 7-year-old company.”When Moslander moved into the Shady Grove Innovation Center in 2005, “it was just me and my idea in 200 square feet.” Moslander’s company later moved to the Rockville center, and altogether, she says, was in the incubator program for around five years.
Innovative Businesses 10 June 2012
According to Moslander, graduating from the incubator program meant her company was “well funded, with a good revenue stream, and able to take on a commercial lease and create jobs.” Initially, the company moved into 3,200 square feet of commercial space at Bethesda Metro Center. “We have grown so quickly,” she said, “that we just signed a seven-year lease to move in June into 15,000 square feet,” also in downtown Bethesda. “The incubator allows an entrepreneur to focus on his or her business model and target market,” said Moslander. “You can put your head down and concentrate on building your business. Also, since you are in a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, you can find opportunities for synergy.” Start-up companies in the incubator program also benefit from the financial resources provided by the MCDED staff who, Moslander said, “have been there as entrepreneurs.” For example, says Moslander, she learned that the county has small loan and grant programs for start-up companies.
Montgomery County’s next step in providing business innovation impetus, said Ellis, “is to focus on technology transfer, which means helping the earlystage companies in our incubators and elsewhere in the county get their products to market.” According to Ellis, this involves “dealing with intellectual property issues, hooking up firms with the correct business information sources, finding partnerships and collaborating with our universities and federal agencies to move things along.” A monthly Tech Transfer Speakers Series featuring top local business leaders in biotech, IT and professional services “helps get the word out,” said Ellis. The Business Innovation Network also conducts more than 100 “Lunch and Learn” seminars and training sessions each year for its client companies on a wide spectrum of topics, as well as CEO roundtables and networking events—all at no cost to the attendees. In addition, says Ellis, MCDED is reaching out to find more procurement opportunities for emerging businesses with federal agencies and big companies located in the county. Looking to the future, “Montgomery County will remain in the forefront of the business innovation economy. When it comes to getting start-up companies off the ground, this is a partnership role government can and should play,” said Silverman.
BY: ARCHANA PYATI
f client relationships are the lifeblood of a company, then its telephone system is the circulatory pathway through which these relationships are nurtured, one conference call at a time. Recently, businesses have been abandoning their fiber-optic landlines in favor of Internet-based phone calls, known in the industry as VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP offers companies endless possibilities for real-time communications via voice, video, text, email and instant messaging. Gaithersburg-based BroadSoft Inc. got in early on the VoIP revolution, and has spent the past 14 years perfecting its software, BroadWorks, for VoIP communications. Unlike its competitors, BroadSoft focuses exclusively on software development. Other companies—known as network equipment providers— are just now getting into the VoIP game. “We’ve had 11-12 years ahead of them, and it will take them some time from a feature and functionality standpoint,” said Leslie Ferry, BroadSoft’s vice president for marketing. BroadSoft sells BroadWorks and its other services to global telecommunications providers, like Verizon, that, in turn, sell them to business and personal consumers. Consumers pay their provider a monthly fee to use the software, which is embedded into their broadband networks. Since BroadWorks operates on
s a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ting Shih, CEO of Rockville-based ClickMedix, a mobile health care company, shares a useful real-world technical skill. “An MIT grad can open a beer bottle anywhere in the world, with no bottle opener in sight,” said Shih. MIT grads, according to Shih, are equipped with problem-solving skills to find, make or adapt a tool to remove that cap. Armed with advanced degrees and training, Shih decided to apply her problem-solving skills to the delivery of health care services. “I had been trained to help manufacturers produce perfect products every time at the fastest possible rate,” said Shih. “I felt that replicating this approach to health care would be a way to enable faster
existing phones and hardware, there are no extra installation fees or infrastructure costs. “With the growth of [Internet Protocol], service providers, economically, are not going to be able to sustain two network types, voice and communication,” said Ferry. An employee accesses the BroadWorks software through a Web browser or email program, such as Microsoft Outlook. They can listen to voice messages through their email, forward messages, set up conference calls, and redirect incoming calls from their desk phones to their mobile device. Only one phone number is necessary and a caller does not know when an employee is switching devices, creating seamless communication between a business and its clients. “We enable individuals to always be
connected using their preferred communications device,” said Ferry. An increasing globalized and fragmented workforce allows for company growth. By allowing both small and large companies to integrate communication between their desk phones, mobile phones, tablets and desktops, BroadSoft is setting the bar higher for building and maintaining client relationships. “Small businesses can’t afford to miss a call because each call represents a revenue opportunity,” said Ferry. “The biggest request we get from them is ‘reachability’ and that they can always be reachable.” For many large businesses managing a multinational workforce, cloud-based tools like document and video sharing help to complete assignments and projects. BroadCloud is BroadSoft’s hosted infrastructure service, which offers tools for highdefinition video conferencing, web collaboration and instant messaging. BroadSoft has more than 500 employees in 25 countries. Employees from London to Gaithersburg to Sydney are accessed through a simple four-digit extension as if everyone worked down the hall from each other. “We’re a classic example of a how a multinational organization can benefit from a hosted service,” said Ferry.
BY: BILL HOLLERAN
care and improved health outcomes.” Today, Shih is guiding creation of a suite of mobile telemedicine and remote training products that enable medical expertise to be projected worldwide. According to the company’s website, “ClickMedix’s patent pending mobile telehealth platform enables secure, HIPAA-compliant and reliable transmission of patient information necessary for a remote medical specialist or expert to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan.” The major innovation at ClickMedix, said Shih, “is that we look at the problem of health care availability from a completely new perspective.” According to Shih, not being a health provider by training enabled her to look “with fresh eyes at why sick patients need to
go through so many doctors to find care, why patients wait so long for appointments and why are there so many constraints that delay health care.” The engine for innovation at ClickMedix—the bottle opening tool, if you will—is mobile phone technology. “Mobile technology is an especially effective agent of change, because it’s pervasive,” said Shih. “Since doctors in every part of the world are already using cell phones for communication purposes, we’ve found that mobile technology is a perfect way to introduce change in delivery of health services.” To stimulate innovation, Shih has “put together a team with widely different experiences in telecommunications, software education, medical technology and even media entertainment. We look at Advertising 11 Supplement
problems in health care delivery from a cross-industry, worldwide perspective...” According to Shih, this free thinking problem-solving approach led to the creation of learning modules on the ClickMedix system. “By enabling a nurse or other caregiver on behalf of the patient to transmit and receive information on treatment advice via a mobile device, we realized that our technology can help them learn how to do diagnosis and
treatment,” she said. “As we’re seeing common symptoms, we package this information into learning curricula that our conduits can reference with a mobile menu app.” Looking to the future, Shih sees senior health care as the next opportunity at ClickMedix. “When we apply our mobile applications in senior care situations, we’ve seen that they can reduce the cost of care significantly,” she said.
BY: ARCHANA PYATI
residents of foreign nations. CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. The military’s top brass. They compose the actual and coveted high-profile customer base of Bethesda-based KoolSpan Inc., maker of the TrustChip, an innovative mobile phone security device. Each day, these leaders transmit highly sensitive information through their mobile phones. Unlike many of the software products in the mobile security marketplace, the TrustChip is a hardware-based solution to the problem of phone security. KoolSpan officials say hardware is the more reliable and foolproof choice. “Hardware stands a much better chance of securing secrets from an attack,” said Bill Supernor, the company’s chief technology officer. “Phones that are on the market are so easily compromised in terms of getting complete control. Software keys are completely vulnerable.” TrustChip looks and acts like the memory card you slip into the back of
your phone to store contacts, voice messages and other data, but it also houses the security key of the phone’s user. The security it offers is independent of the all the players in a mobile phone’s “ecosystem,” said CEO Gregg Smith. “You have the device, the operating system, the carrier network, then you have applications. Each vector has the opportunity to have a threat attack it.” Compared to smart cards that protect the confidentiality of mobile phone conversations, the TrustChip is less cumbersome since it slips into the back of a phone. Smart cards require a special reader that is either attached to the mobile phone or tethered by a special Bluetooth connection. Both types of readers require charging, making it “difficult to use multiple devices at once,” said Supernor. The TrustChip is also transferrable from one device to another, making it portable between users, and works on a variety of devices including Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile.
Smith and Supernor say products like theirs are indispensable in an era where hackers set up fake cell towers, monitor conversations and even assume control over phones. “There is no security left in phone calls,” said Supernor, adding that hacking is commonplace on the GSM, or Global System for Mobile Communications. “[GSM] has been completely compromised. All the encryption is gone.” To expand on the company’s technology, KoolSpan has built a suite of software products that use TrustChip as an anchor. TrustCall is an application that allows a user to place a secure call, while TrustText does the same for instant messaging. TrustGroups can be set up between cohorts
of individuals who need to communicate confidentially. And, TrustCenter is a tool for network administrators within companies to manage employee devices with TrustChips in them. KoolSpan, founded in 2003, is eager to expand its reach within the ranks of the federal government, but financial services and health care companies where “integrity of communication is of the utmost importance” also make up its clientele, said Supernor. AT&T Encrypted Mobile Voice combines the TrustChip hardware with One Vault Voice, a software developed by Fairfax, Va.based SRA International, to offer its federal and business customers the phone security they need. KoolSpan is also building partnerships with overseas telecommunications companies. KoolSpan is enjoying strong penetration in the South American and European markets with forays into Asia, Africa and the Middle East, according to Smith.
BY: ARCHANA PYATI
ewarding healthy behaviors by giving employees a discount on their health insurance premiums is a rising trend among companies eager to control spiraling health care costs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes a provision that increases the portion of employee health insurance premiums that employers can incentivize from 20 to 30 percent, according to a 2010 research brief published by the National Institute for Health Care Reform. Bethesda-based LiveHealthier Inc. is a 7-year-old company that builds customized Web portals for companies and their employees to manage participation in health management or wellness programs. LiveHealthier offers 24/7 access to dietitians, diabetes educators and other credentialed health coaches through email, instant messaging and phone calls. “The focus on prevention will continue to be much greater as a result of the [PPACA],” said CEO Mary Moslander. “The only way to prevent costs from going up is to get individuals to change their behaviors.” LiveHealthier’s innovative and aggressive use of novel technologies gives workers and employers fast and accurate health information, and allows them to be more proactive about reducing health care costs.
LiveHealthier’s secure websites allow employees to store personal information gathered from screenings and tests while maintaining their privacy. They are designed using the client company’s brand identity to provide a seamless experience for an employee. An employee creates an account to record changes in blood glucose and cholesterol levels, weight, and tobacco use, for example, and can refer back to it when applying for a premium reduction. Multinational businesses employ people across the globe, and LiveHealthier can create customized websites to fit each population. LiveHealthier also designs portals for spouses, union members, those who speak Spanish, and even employees who have opted out of company health insurance. LiveHealthier has forged two partnerships to deliver faster results to its client companies and their employees. The first is with FitLinxx, a Connecticut company that produces devices to measure caloric output, distance traveled, and walking or running strides when exercising. LiveHealthier websites collect this data through an access point, making it immediately available to them and their health coach. LiveHealthier then reports the data collected on their portals—in aggregate, not on a specific individual— Innovative Businesses 12 June 2012
to the employer. This allows the company to determine the success of the wellness program. LiveHealthier has also contracted with the University of Michigan’s Health Management Research Center to produce detailed reports, or health risk assessments, for an employee and coach to create specific interventions for health problems. “We leverage technology to reach employees where they are at and how they want to interact with us,” said Moslander. “We’ve been aggressive in partnering with these technologies, and it usually results in a higher engagement,” in a health management program.
BY: BILL HOLLERAN
n a November article in Newsweek, science editor Sharon Begley reported on a new development in the search for a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. “Today, if all goes as planned,” Begley wrote, “the first ALS patient will receive an injection of stem cells into the upper part of his spine—the first step toward determining whether the experimental therapy can save ALS patients from dying when their motor neurons, which control muscles, become too weak to maintain breathing.” The Rockville-based company behind the technology in this clinical trial is Neuralstem Inc. According to the company’s website, Neuralstem’s technology “enables the ability to produce neural stem cells of the human brain and spinal cord in commercial quantities.” These “regionally specific,” specialized cells are able to “integrate with, and protect, the patient’s spinal cord” because they are “already suited to the task.” Since that first clinical step, an April University of Michigan Health System news release said, “The first published results from an early-stage clinical trial show that spinal cord stem cells can be delivered safely into the spines of patients with the condition commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, opening the door for further research on this innovative approach.”
What role does innovation play at Neuralstem? “Innovation is what Neuralstem is all about,” said CEO and President Richard Garr. “Normal stem cell technology pushes cells to act like spinal cord and other cells in the central nervous system. But they are not quite the real thing.” “Our technology,” said Garr, “has enabled the first intraspinal injections of real human spinal cord cells directly into the gray matter of the spinal cord, which is where we believe they can be most effective in protecting and integrating with the patient’s spinal cord neurons. “This is a completely different, and better, generation of neural cell technology,” he said. “It opens a unique window on the central nervous system.” Garr says innovation is strategically important at Neuralstem because “we only treat fatal or incurable diseases.” In addition to ALS, according to the company’s website, Neuralstem is also targeting central nervous system conditions including spinal cord injury, ischemic spastic paraplegia and chronic stroke. Another innovation made possible by Neuralstem’s technology is the discovery of what Garr calls “an entirely new class of drugs to treat depression.” According to Garr, “Because our physiologically relevant cells already have the information they need to
grow up to what they are supposed to become, we can put them in a petri dish and treat them with toxins. Then drugs can be applied to see how these compounds will interact with the neurons.” Thanks to this discovery, “we are able to test thousands of compounds on these cells.” As a business, not a lab, said Garr,“being innovative is all about discovering new therapeutic products and creating drugs that can meaningfully improve the quality of life in patients with incurable diseases.” When it comes to stimulating innovation at Neuralstem, Garr said, “We bring a start-up sense of urgency to everything we do. When you are in the business of developing products for patients who are going to die, the sense of urgency is heightened. Our job is to find cures. That’s a strong enabler of innovation.”
MORE INNOVATIVE BUSINESSES Aqleo
www.aqleo.com The Germantown-based water information management company’s “mission is to develop and deliver high value information and analytics for water management systems.”
www.bethesdagreen.org Bethesda Green strives “to make a positive difference for our environment by promoting a strong local economy that supports green business initiatives and creates green jobs and by advancing sustainable living practices that enhance our quality of life.”
Blue Torch Medical Technologies
www.bluetorchmed.com The Rockville medical technology company provides “nerve sparing technology to support surgeons in patient outcome improvement.” The “CaverMap Surgical Aid is available to assist physicians in preserving vital nerves during prostate cancer surgery and colorectal procedures.”
www.brainscope.com The Bethesda medical neurotechnology company is developing “a new generation of handheld, portable, simple-to-use, noninvasive tools to rapidly and objectively assess brain function at the initial point of care,” with a focus on military use to aid in traumatic brain injury.
genpromarkers.com The Rockville-based biotechnology company “conducts research and development and provides unique, cutting-edge, affordable, and satisfying products and services for biomedical research entities, clinical diagnostic laboratories, and pharmaceutical companies to advance their basic and translational research programs and projects.”
www.grodo.com The Rockville-based program is a “cashback loyalty service that works with consumers’ existing credit and debit cards to provide automatic cash-back savings on everyday purchases like gas, groceries and pharmacy items.”
www.hememics.com The Rockville product development and manufacturing company “provides in vitro reagents to the health care and pharma industries.”
www.honesttea.com The Bethesda-based beverage company “seeks to create and promote great-tasting, truly healthy, organic beverages.”
www.moxieinformatics.com The Rockville informatics company’s “focus is in the areas of enterprise application development, project management and providing innovative-value added information technology services to our customers.”
www.novavax.com This Rockville “clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company” creates “novel vaccines to address a broad range of infectious diseases worldwide.”
www.opnet.com The Bethesda technology company is a “leading provider of solutions for application and network performance management.”
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www.patton.com The Gaithersburg-based electronics company “is a leader in the production of network access and connectivity products including Voice over IP,” broadband transmission, access servers, modems and more.
tapit.com The Rockville mobile advertising company “leverages a complete arsenal of mobile advertising solutions, technology, experience and friendly staff to get your campaign to produce results for your brand.”
United Therapeutics Corporation
www.unither.com The Silver Spring biotechnology company focuses “on the development and commercialization of unique products to address the unmet medical needs of patients with chronic and life-threatening conditions.”
www.voluntis.com The software company, with a U.S. branch in Rockville, specializes in Online Patient Relationship Management.
ParkNOW! is a new and convenient way to park your car at metered locations in Montgomery County. Searching for dimes and quarters is a thing of the past with this pay-by-cell service provided by MobileNOW!, which is located in the Rockville Innovation Center. This innovative parking system has been successfully implemented in many European cities since 2000, and in the U.S. since 2008. The key to the success of this versatile service is its convenience for customers. Users can receive a warning text message when parking time is about to expire, and even extend parking remotely. Drivers only pay for time parked, and can view parking transactions online. To park, simply call the local pay-by-cell phone number posted on meters, parking lot or street signs and follow the instructions. You can also start and stop parking sessions using our ParkNOW! app on your iPhone or Android phone, and, at specific locations, you can use the ParkNOW! app to scan the QR code on the top of the meter to start your parking session. “We are introducing new technologies to parking and finding that it makes parking much more convenient for motorists and brings efficiencies to our clients, the parking operators,” said MobileNOW! President Krista Tassa.
No quarters, no problem!
Prior registration, required at some locations, can be done online at www.parknow.us or by calling the help desk at 1-866-951-7275. Fund your prepaid wallet in the ParkNOW! system, and every time you park, your wallet will be debited accordingly. A 35-cent convenience fee will apply to each session on top of the regular parking fee. Customers can check their account balance and history of parking transactions on their personal web page. ParkNOW! offers accounts for an individual or a business. ParkNOW! Business is for customers who desire increased functionality, as well as multiple phones—up to 1,000—per account. This allows you to assign limits to each user and/or user group, define a company’s car fleet and limit usage for company cars only, and create a report of parking system use during work hours by company and private cars and get this information in real time. Currently, it is available at approximately 12,000 parking meters in Bethesda, Silver Spring, Wheaton, Montgomery Hills and North Bethesda, with additional garages expected to be available soon. Participating meters are labeled with parking instructions. The system is also available in several states, including New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and Nebraska, with many other locations to be added soon. If you wish to learn about signing up your business or are a municipal or private parking operator considering the system, please visit us at www.parknow.us or call 301-526-2211 to learn more.
Park by Cell Phone Call Number on Meter or Download ParkNOW App
Available at all Montgomery County metered parking spots
Simple and User Friendly! Visit www.parknow.us
to learn how 1844190
Innovative Businesses 14 June 2012
Founding Farmers’ Montgomery County Location Makes Business a Priority With its innovative approach to both business and dining, Founding Farmers is quickly becoming known as the “greenest restaurant in Montgomery County.” Opened in November of last year and centrally located in Park Potomac just off Interstate 270 at Montrose Road West, the 8,500-square-foot restaurant brings the authentic, award-winning concept of internationally renowned true food and drink from the downtown flagship location to residents and businesspeople in the area.
Designed and built as a LEED Bronze certified commercial space, the restaurant showcases recycled and reclaimed materials, operates as a Certified Green Restaurant, and utilizes business practices to ensure that the restaurant focuses on the sustainability of the business as a positive profit center, and as one that helps to keep the environment as green as possible.
“We strive to offer a productive environment for both businesspeople and families alike, while also being a positive player at the local community level,” said Founding Farmers Concept Developer and Managing Partner Dan Simons.
A new patio offers al fresco dining seven days a week and features a living green wall and an adjacent chef’s herb garden. The lush green setting provides a vibrant addition to the landscape and offers seating on a firstcome, first-served basis.
With a business center and ample seating open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. the restaurant accommodates busy people who host and take meetings, meet potential clients, or entertain current ones. Whether it’s a quick weekday breakfast meeting, a coworker’s retirement party, or an individual catching up on email, Founding Farmers has an extensive menu, helpful service, and a great setting to get things done.
Founding Farmers strives to be a good neighbor through community engagement and strong ties to the neighborhood. Managing Partner Dan Simons lives in Garrett Park with his young family and is active in the local sphere. With approximately 200 employees, the restaurant proudly contributes significant tax revenue and quality service jobs back into Maryland’s economy.
The on-site business center offers complimentary printing and faxing, as well as assistance and mailing supplies from the front desk business concierge. Major accounting companies and top law firms occupy the same building, creating a blend of
“Inevitably, I’m running into a professional contact and use that as a good opportunity to network.”
residents, businesspeople, and other retailers. “Coming to Founding Farmers in Montgomery County is always a good visit for me—I schedule meetings before and after lunch, have some great food, use the WiFi to stay ahead of email,” said Jennifer Motruk Loy, a marketing and communications consultant.
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Finally, the ample free parking and spacious seating make Founding Farmers a lively and practical environment in which to do business—in a really delicious way. For more information, call 301-340TRUE (8783) or visit WeAreFoundingFarmers.com.
Innovative Businesses 16 June 2012
Innovative Businesses, The Gazette of Politics and Business, Montgomery County, Maryland