SOURCE: Chesapeake Crescent Initiative

Chesapeake Crescent Initiative

December 03, 2012 14:00 ET

Chesapeake Crescent Initiative and TEDCO Forming Regional Innovation Fund for Start-Ups

Fund to Be Used to Provide Seed Capital for Startups Primarily in the Fields of Energy, Life Sciences and Security Throughout Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Dec 3, 2012) - A new $50 million investment fund will provide seed capital to launch new businesses that use technologies from government and university research labs in the Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia.

The Chesapeake Regional Innovation Fund will provide seed capital for startups and emerging technology companies focused on innovations in energy, life sciences and security. The first investments are anticipated for later in 2013.

The fund, which will be managed by TEDCO of Columbia, Md., is being developed by the Chesapeake Crescent Initiative, a regional collaborative working to advance innovation in life sciences, security, and energy throughout Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia, as well as a team of regional stakeholders. 

According to Robert Rosenbaum, President and Executive Director for TEDCO, "We could not be more excited about working with the Chesapeake Crescent Initiative on this investment fund. Everything TEDCO has been doing for over 14 years drives technology, entrepreneurship and innovation and this partnership is an ideal way to further that mission."

"Through initiatives like Innovate Maryland, InvestMaryland and the InvestMaryland Challenge, we've set out to create a culture in which innovation and entrepreneurship thrive," said Christian S. Johansson, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. "With this new investment fund, the Chesapeake Crescent Initiative and TEDCO are enhancing the array of resources that help entrepreneurs move from innovation to commercialization to company formation to job creation."

CCI is concurrently launching a regional innovation portal pilot as a means to accelerate the commercialization of research from universities, Federal laboratories and startups in our region (accessible through the CCI website at Pilot participants Virginia Tech, George Washington University, University System of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health have each contributed information about their innovations to this regional portal. The portal will be viewed by subscribers interested in investing, licensing or otherwise collaborating on these innovations, including the managers of the Chesapeake Regional Innovation Fund. 

"This is a major step in positioning this dynamic Chesapeake Region as a whole as a major competitive force in innovation," said CCI's Vice Chairman and Co-founder, George Vradenburg. "With billions spent annually on federal and university research, the most educated workforce and the highest concentration of scientists and engineers, we think there is a tremendous opportunity to transform far more of that intellectual capital into local businesses, jobs and economic vitality."

The fund will not begin making investments until the team has raised at least $20 million in capital. The ultimate fundraising goal is $50 million.

Phil Garfinkle, the founder of PictureVision, Yazam, Trust Strategy Group, Navig8 and others, will serve as chairman of the fund's investment committee. Phil is an experienced inventor, CEO, and investor.

"Bringing technology and innovation from the thought process to commercialization is my passion," stated Phil Garfinkle. "This focus and funding structure will drive Research and Development into products that create positive impact on our society."

"Phil Garfinkle is one of the most successful venture capital investors in the region and nation, and we're thrilled he is joining us to help build momentum for new business creation across the region," said CCI's Vice Chairman and Co-founder, Herbert S. Miller. 

This month the state of Delaware joined Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia as a member of CCI, along with 10 universities that are members of its university consortium, the Chesapeake Crescent Innovation Alliance: the University System of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University, George Mason University, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, James Madison University and Gallaudet University.

MEDIA ADVISORY | Event / Press Registration: A new $50 million investment fund to launch startups in and around the Washington, DC region will be announced at an event on Wednesday, Dec. 5, starting at 8:30 am at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Washington, DC Seats have been reserved for working press to attend and cover this announcement. Seating is limited and RSVPs are required. To attend as working press, send an email confirmation (and note your press status) to: Find more info on the event at:

About the Chesapeake Crescent Initiative

The Chesapeake Crescent Initiative (CCI) is a regional collaborative to advance innovation in energy, life sciences and security in the "Chesapeake Crescent" Region of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. CCI's leadership includes Federal government agencies, state and local government leaders, major private sector companies as well as academic institutions. Launched in January 2008, CCI's mission is to establish this Region as a global leader in energy, security and life sciences innovation through new models of government (federal, state, and local), university and private enterprise collaboration. Learn more at:


The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) is the go-to source for entrepreneurial support and guidance for start-ups and early-stage companies engaged in bringing innovative ideas to market. For more than a decade, the organization has provided funding, mentoring and networking opportunities to support Maryland's innovation ecosystem. While founded by the Maryland General Assembly, TEDCO is an independent entity that makes seed/early-stage investments and manages private capital for angel and venture capital funds. It is frequently ranked as one of the most active seed/early-stage investors in the nation. The organization plays a key role in bringing research created in Maryland's educational institutions and federal laboratories into the commercial marketplace. For more information on TEDCO and its programs and resources, visit

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