Buzzquake Marketing joined dozens of other local companies and organizations in sponsoring the 2014 InvestMaryland Challenge, a national seed and early-stage business competition hosted by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development in partnership with Inc. Magazine. A multi-round competition that began in fall 2013 culminated in a final awards ceremony held this evening at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.
Buzzquake pledged web design and development services worth more than $5,000 to Vasoptic Medical, Inc., a medical device company based in Columbia, Maryland. VMI is focused on developing innovative diagnostic technologies to advance healthcare, particularly for those individuals at risk for diabetes-related visual impairment.
“We are grateful to Buzzquake Marketing for selecting Vasoptic Medical as a recipient of this InvestMaryland award,” said Jason Brooke, VMI’s CEO. “We look forward to working with the Buzzquake team.”
“We look forward to working with VMI,” said Lynne D’Autrechy, Buzzquake’s president, who presented the award to Brooke. “We selected them because we were impressed with their business idea and we wanted to support a fellow Howard County business.”
More than $400,000 in cash grants plus an assortment of business services with a total value of at least that much were bestowed upon grateful entrepreneurs in need of “jump starts.” Grants were provided by the Department’s Maryland Venture Fund and the BioMaryland Center.
“It was exciting to see all the innovation happening in Maryland—very impressive business ideas, especially in healthcare,“ said D’Autrechy in the Aquarium’s lobby after the ceremony.
Vasoptic was also selected through InvestMaryland Challenge for complimentary legal services from Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP, a one-year pro membership from CoFoundersLab.com, complimentary fundraising consulting and fundability assessment from Rock the Post, and an invitation to pitch the Baltimore Angels investment group.
“It’s an honor to receive support from local technology companies to help us achieve our goals,” said Brooke.
The competition was open to independent ventures in the seed, start-up, or early-growth stages. To be eligible, companies were required to be duly-organized legal entities with fewer than 25 employees and annual revenue less than $1 million.
“Although the awards were nice, I was impressed that venture capital firms and angel investors were present,” said D’Autrechy. “Direct investments are very critical to business success for tech startups.”