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Canton B2B online food marketplace hiring

Foodem, a B2B online marketplace for food distributors, is growing. Located in the Emerging Technology Center in Canton, the company has hired 11 employees since March and will hire four more sales people by the end of the year, Founder Kash Rehman says.
 
Foodem supplies goods to any business with a commercial kitchen, including restaurants, hotels, schools, daycares and nonprofit organizations. For the moment, however, Rehman is focused on capturing the restaurant vertical. "We help restaurants lower their food cost [by offering tools] to comparison shop," he explains. Foodem's online platform gives buyers a choice of distributor, and, by extension, price. "[Restaurants] don't have to call multiple places to find prices."
 
The platform also tracks what a restaurant orders from week to week, allowing owners to see the exact cost of their purchases. "Foodem give analytics in every category, every vendor, month over month, day over day," Rehman explains. And since all orders are submitted online, "[the system] eliminates errors during the procurement process."
 
On the distribution side, Rehman explains, Foodem eliminates the need and associated fee of a large sales force. "There are 21,000 restaurants in this market," he says. Servicing them all creates "enormous overhead" for suppliers.
 
Rehman is working with 25 different suppliers, including the Capital Meat CompanyBelair ProduceBowie Produce and S. Freedman and Sons, among others. Although he is open to working with other suppliers, Rehman is not concerned about the number he currently has. "It's not how many," Rehman explains, "it's the quality that matters."
 
Foodem secured $600,000 in angel funding in May and is planning a Series A fund raise in early 2014. "We have a lot of interest from prominent VCs nationwide," Rehman says.

Writer: Allyson Jacob
Source: Kash Rehman

Fast Company:Intelect Corp

Baltimore’s Intelect Corp. was founded by Rohit H. Patel in 1995 to serve the systems needs of the transportation industry.
It began with a few customers, primarily in public transportation and with several leading integrators and manufacturers. Some of the earliest projects included writing specifications for complex communications systems, as well as contracts to perform low and high voltage systems upgrades.

As Intelect grew, the list of projects grew to include engineering, implementation, information technology consulting and intelligent transportation systems. In 1998, it created a division to meet the needs of technologically advanced systems in consulting.
 
The Canton firm now employs 80.

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and Fortune magazine recently selected Intelect as one of its 2013 Inner City 100, a list of the fastest-growing inner city companies in the U.S. Intelect was No. 93 on the list. The Inner City 100 program recognizes successful inner city companies and their CEOs as role models for entrepreneurship, innovative business practices and job creation in America’s urban communities.

Edgewebhosting opens third data center

Edgewebhosting Inc. is opening its third data center in Phoenix, Arizona, in August. To accommodate expected growth, the managed cloud hosting service expanded its corporate headquarters in downtown’s Baltimore's SunTrust Bank Building last month and is hiring nine, all in IT, to its current 41 employees. 
 
A $5 million loan from M&T Bank financed the Phoenix data center, CEO Vlad Friedman says. The company already has two data centers on the East Coast. The first opened in 2005 in a building near Baltimore’s Lexington Market; the second in 2010 in Ashburn, Va.
 
The company’s data center in Phoenix is intended to offer more options and more security for current customers and to attract future customers. “Our service hosts important web sites for companies that need to remain secure, online 24/7, backed up and safe from hackers,” says Friedman.
 
Customers will have the option of choosing their primary location for web hosting and a secondary location.
 
“Customers can choose between two completely separate geographic areas and different time zones,” says Friedman. “We want to attract more enterprise customers to host their information in Baltimore by leveraging the strategy of going West.”
 
Edgewebhosting offers hosting on the cloud and, since cloud hosting isn’t suitable for every client, a combination of cloud and other technologies. The company’s fee is based on a combination of resources and managed services, and is fixed with the customer beforehand.
 
“The services are the same. The only thing that changes is the scale,” says Friedman of fees that range from $300 to $100,000 per month.
 
Customers include health insurers Aetna and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the Heritage Foundation, the Humane Society of the U.S.,Oxford English Dictionary, Columbia University and local advertising and marketing agencies.
 
Founded in 1998, the privately-financed company was originally located in Owings Mills, in Baltimore County. In 2005, it moved to the city because it needed a site that had the electricity and internet connectivity to handle thousands of servers.
 
Friedman says the company is on track to earn $13 million to $14 million in revenue for 2013. For the last six years, revenue has doubled every 36 months, and revenue from cloud hosting has grown 100 percent every six months for the past year.
 
The Baltimore data center expanded by 50 percent last year to handle customer demand. Edgewebhosting itself doubled its staff in the past 18 months, to its current 41, and has openings for an additional nine positions, for database administrators, server administrators and software developers. 
 
Source: Vlad Friedman, Edgwebhosting Inc.
Writer: Barbara Pash

Blue Wave Semiconductors seeks first round of funding

Blue Wave Semiconductors Inc. is going after its first funding round of $500,000 next month. The Baltimore County developer of products for semiconductors, located in the incubator [email protected] Research and Technology Park in Catonsville, expects to close the round by the end of this year. It is seeking funding from angel investors and will use the money to expand sales of its product line in Europe and Asia.
 
“We have many products for the international market. We want to increase sales of existing and future products,” says founder and CEO R.D. Vispute.

Blue Wave is also awaiting approval of up to $4 million in federal grants this year, from the U.S. Department of Defense, National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Award and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The grants are intended for product development, not sales.
 
Blue Wave makes microelectronic and nano-electronic tools for semiconductors that academic and private research centers and laboratories use.
 
“Our core expertise is extending research abilities in nano and electric material. We expand the number of materials available for R&D,” Vispute says.
 
The company has developed a dozen physical and chemical tools for the R&D market. It has already received grants totaling $2.3 million from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, to develop radiation hard coatings for space application; National Science Foundation, for nanomaterials development; and Maryland Industrial Partnership.
 
Blue Wave grew out of research by Vispute, a research scientist in the physics department of the University of Maryland College Park. Founded in 2000, he moved into the UMBC incubator in 2004.
 
In 2011, Blue Wave entered into a partnership with Seki Technology to expand product sales. From 2011 to 2012, sales almost doubled, to $1.1 million. Estimated sales for 2013 are $1.6 million.
 
Clients include the U.S. Department of Defense and the universities of Maryland and California, as well as national laboratories in Singapore, Germany, Australia and India. On the private side, clients include Sylvania R&D Lighting Division, Pixelligent Technologies, General Motors and BAE Systems.
 
Within the next six months, the company is nearly doubling its current staff of six to hire up to four employees in engineering and nanotechnology. It is a finalist in the 2013 Maryland Incubator of the Year. The award will be announced later this month.
 
Source: R.D. Vispute, Blue Wave Semiconductors Inc.
Writer: Barbara Pash

New app helps you find the cleanest local beaches

If you're looking for the safest and cleanest beaches this summer, there's an app for that.

Assateague Coastkeeper, a clean water advocacy nonprofit in Berlin, has launched a free app that tells if beaches and waterways in Worcester County are safe and open to the public, based on official monitoring of bacteria count.
 
The Swim Guide App can be downloaded from the Coastkeeper’s website or from iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Kathy Phillips, Assateague Coastkeeper, calls the Swim Guide app a one-stop shop for swimming, fishing and water sports in Ocean City, Assateague and surrounding areas. 

Swim Guide information comes from Worcester County, which monitors the bacteria level at Ocean City beaches; the U.S. National Park Service, for Assateague Island’s beaches; and Assateague Coastkeepers, for Coastal Bay waterways like Horn Island, St. Martin’s River and Herring and Turville creeks where jet skiing, kayaking, standup paddling and other sports are popular.
 
Phillips updates the Swim Guide weekly, usually on Thursday night or Friday morning. It will remain operable through Labor Day Weekend.
 
Phillips expects the guide to be an annual summer program. She says the Assateague Coastkeepers is looking for funding to expand it next summer. “We’d like to put in the popular kayaking launch sites,” she says.

Assateague Coastal Trust runs Assateague Coastkeeper. The trust is a partner of Waterkeeper Alliance, an international movement of 200 clean water advocacy groups, whose Lake Ontario group inaugurated the app program in 2007.
 
“There was an issue of pollution. The Lake Ontario group thought it would be a public service to have a single place people could go to find out if a beach was open or not, and also to raise awareness of Waterkeepers,” says Phillips.
 
The idea quickly spread to other groups around the Great Lakes, then to California and the Pacific Northwest. Phillips estimates that about 50 Waterkeepers-affiliated groups now have apps for their local waters.
 
The app has proven so popular that Assateague Coastal Trust, which is funded by private donations, decided to inaugurate one for Worcester County, its jurisdiction.
 
Source: Kathy Phillips, Assateague Coastkeeper
Writer: Barbara Pash
 
 

Hunt Valley software developer launches first product in big data marketplace

Hunt Valley software developer Revelytix this month is selling its first product to process and manage massive amounts of data, known in the field as big data. Since last year, Revelytix has been transitioning into the big data space, and the release of Loom Dataset Management for Hadoop is the culmination of that process.
 
Founder and CEO Michael Lang calls Hadoop a “data lake,” into which clients’ data is dumped. Created by Yahoo engineers in 2005, it is a free, open-source software platform that supports systems with thousands of nodes, in the jargon, of data. Yahoo, Facebook, eBay and IBM, among others, use Hadoop for data storage.
 
Loom Dataset, the new product, is intended to keep track of and manage a company’s data in Hadoop. Loom was launched as a beta product last February before putting it on the market.
 
“Whenever you have open-source software, there are always capabilities and feature gaps that many businesses want. We built software that runs with Hadoop and adds value,” says Lang. 
 
Lang founded Revelytix in 2007.  So far, its primary customer has been the U.S. Department of Defense. With the launch of Loom, however, the company is aiming for the commercial market although it will continue working for the federal defense department.
 
Loom is priced by size of the enterprise system. A “starter kit” for small enterprises using 20 Hadoop nodes costs $35,000 to $40,000; for larger enterprises using 1,000 nodes,  $500,000 to $1 million, according to Lang. Revelytix has partners that service Loom, including Spry, Knowledgent, Hortonworks, Global IDs Inc and HP Squared LLC.

“The ability to process big data is life or death for large enterprises,” says Lang.
 
Revelytix is a private company with a staff of 19. Lang expects to hire more staffers in the future depending on sales of Loom.
 
Source: Michael Lang, Revelytix
Writer: Barbara Pash











National entrepreneurship program debuts in Baltimore

New York City nonprofit Venture for America, which provides entrepreneurship training for recent college graduates, is adding Baltimore to its roster of cities this year.
 
Venture was founded in 2011 to encourage entrepreneurship through practical experience. It officially launched last year in five cities: Detroit, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Providence, Rhode Island. This year, Baltimore and Cleveland are on board.

In Baltimore, the following companies could get access to talent through Venture: Baltimore Astrum Solar, Parking Panda, Pixelligent, Reify Health, Riskive, SocialToaster and Vigilant Medical.

The fellows, or recent graduates, are recruited from universities nationally, including the University of Maryland at College Park and Johns Hopkins University and, for 2013, University of Maryland Baltimore County and Loyola University of Maryland.

“We send out fellows to cities across the country that have high quality startups and, perhaps, less access to talent than major metropolitan areas,” says Mike Tarullo, vice president of corporate development. “We look for places graduates might not think of going but have great opportunities.”

Most recruits are just getting their undergraduate degree in a variety of majors while others may have already spent a year or two in the workforce.
 
Tarullo calls the selection process “competitive,” with a written application, grade transcripts and interviews on the telephone and in person with board members in New York City. About 10 to 15 percent of applicants are admitted to the program.
 
“We are looking for a high potential for entrepreneurship,” says Tarullo of the fellows, who commit to spending two years in their assigned company and at a fixed salary of $38,000 per year that the company pays.
 
Last year, Venture placed 40 fellows in the five original cities. This year, it is placing 70 fellows in the seven cities. The number going to each city depends on how many companies participate in the program and the “match” between fellows’ interests and startups’ field.
 
“We are hoping 10 fellows come to Baltimore but it depends on the number of startups that are hiring. We don’t have a limit on the number of fellows at each startup but typically it’s one, maybe two,” Tarullo says.

Tarullo says each city to which Venture sends fellows has a different focus. Baltimore is strong on cybersecurity, biotechnology and education technology, he says. “We’re excited to be coming to Baltimore.”

Tarullo credits the Abell Foundation, which gave more than $100,000, for bringing Venture for America to Baltimore. The Maryland Technology Development Corp. (TEDCO); Betamore, the work space for startups in Federal Hill; and the incubator Emerging Technology Center in Canton are helping Venture connect with the startup community.

 
Source: Mike Tarullo, Venture for America
Writer: Barbara Pash
 
 
 
 
 
 

Oculis Labs uses face recognition for cybersecurity program

Oculis Labs Inc this month is releasing the new version of PrivateEye Enterprise for businesses. To kick off the release, the Hunt Valley cybersecurity company is offering a free 30-day trial package available through its website.
 
“We wanted a product for enterprises like health care firms and banks that have records with financial and personnel information they want to keep private,” says founder and CEO Bill Anderson.
 
In 2011, the nine-person firm released PrivateEye, a cybersecurity program for individual users. A standard web cam in computers and tablets is set to recognize the authorized user’s face. The user can instantly blur the screen by turning his/her head. Alternatively, the program can be set so that the face of anyone who enters the user’s area pops up on the screen.
 
“We are using motion sensor and face recognition technologies to protect company information,” says Anderson. “A person who comes into my office, who comes up behind me cannot read the data.”
 
All versions of PrivateEye and PrivateEye Enterprise have racked up more than 10,000 users in 30 countries, according to Anderson. PrivateEye Enterprise uses the same technology as PrivateEye but, based on users' comments, focuses on companies. The new version lets their IT departments manage and control security measures.
 
PrivateEye costs $20 per user. For PrivateEye Enterprise, a small company of, for example, 50 users, pays $60 per user; a large company of about 1,000 to 2,000 pays $30 per user. These are one-time fees; there is no annual charge.
 
Anderson founded Oculis Labs in 2007 to solve a problem that anti-virus and encryption technology did not address. “You need to secure the last two feet of the Internet  — the distance from the computer screen to the user’s eye,” he says. “Security spending is wasted if anyone —  insiders and strangers — can look at what’s on a person’s screen.”
 
In 2009, Oculis Labs issued its first product, Chameleon, a software program that allows the user to read a classified document privately, even in a crowded room. The program tracks the authorized user’s eye movement. To the user, the words appear in their normal format. To anyone else looking at the screen, the letters are garbled and the words unrecognizable.
 
Developed for the intelligence community, Chameleon’s users are government agencies in that community and the US Department of Defense. Chameleon costs thousands of dollars per program.
 
Oculis Labs is privately financed. Two angel funding rounds raised $3 million. It has received $100,000 from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and $75,000 from the Maryland Technology Development Corp. It has also received funding from In-Q-Tel, a not-for-profit venture capital firm whose purpose is to invest in technology to keep the Central Intelligence Agency current.
 

 
Source: Bill Anderson, Oculis Labs Inc.
Writer: Barbara Pash
 
 

Federal Hill cybersecurity firm Riskive hiring up to 27

Two-month old cybersecurity company Riskive Inc. is adding to its current staff of seven. Launched Jan.1 and based in the new Federal Hill incubator Betamore, Riskive is hiring between 18 to 27 this year.
 
Riskive is seeking developers, development leaders, director of engineering, vice president of business development, social media manager, marketing manager and salespeople, according to COO Evan Blair, who co-founded the company with CEO James C. Foster.

The company is hiring junior, intermediate and senior level developers and engineers with leadership experience in order to build a technology that is scalable and to run the company more efficiently, Blair says.

Blair says that cyberdefense tends to be reactive. "People wait until an attack, then go into motion to clean, quarantine and block" the threat, he says.
 
Riskive says it takes a different approach. It is a predictive cybersecurity company for government agencies and private companies. Instead of waiting for a cyber attack that shuts down a computer system or a virus that infects a network, Riskive identifies potential attackers and how they can be addressed.
  
Riskive was the first and, at 500-square feet, the largest tenant in Betamore. The privately financed facility opened in December in a renovated 8,000-square foot building in Federal Hill. The facility is a combination incubator, co-working space and classroom. Members can access Betamore's mentor network and attend events and weekly happy hours.

Blair says the company has enough space at Betamore for the new hires. If it grows too big and has to relocate from Betamore, the company is committed to staying in Baltimore.

"It's not an accident that we’re in Baltimore versus Silicon Valley,” says Blair of the proximity to Fort Meade and the US Army Cyber Command.  
 
Using patented technology, Riskive assembles data from a variety of sources and profiles for a client the types of attackers and the types of attack it faces. The client can use the information to install appropriate defenses, whether on its own or by hiring another company to do so.
 
“We think of ourselves as radar, to determine what’s coming at you before it comes," says Blair.
 
Blair says the three most common kinds of attackers are: countries, in particular the Republic of China, North Korea, Iran and Russia; organized crime syndicates, many in former Soviet Union republics (and now independent countries) or former Soviet-bloc countries; and individual hackers or hacker groups.
 
The motives of the three differ, says Blair. Countries are looking for classified information and intellectual property. Crime syndicates are looking for information with monetary value, like credit card numbers and identify theft. Hacker groups are supporting a cause or carrying out personal vendettas.
 
“All the attacks start out similarly but they range in scale, scope and end goals,” says Blair.
 
Riskive is privately funded. Before its official launch, Blair says it held angel financing rounds. 
 
Source: Evan Blair, Riskive Inc.
Writer: Barbara Pash

Md. Firm Signs $1M Contract With Homeland Security

The US Department of Homeland Security last month gave Robotic Research LLC the go-ahead to develop the next-generation robot for emergency medical personnel.

The engineering firm signed a two-year, $1 million contract to design and build a robot that can sense its environment and function with minimal operator control. Headquartered in Gaithersburg with a maritime research facility in Baltimore City, Robotics Research designs software and systems for robots. 
 
The current contract is phase two of the homeland security department’s Small Business Innovation Research Program for the Maryland company’s Sensor-Smart Affordable Robotic Platform. In phase one, the company received $100,000 for a prototype. Upon completion of the current contract, the Robotic Research may commercialize the product, President Alberto Lacaze says. 
 
The Sensor-Smart program is a family of small, mobile robotic platforms with three-dimensional adapted components for specialized missions. The 3-D components allow the robot to adapt to the different conditions an emergency medical technician would encounter. For example, different sensors can be used to determine toxins in the air or to start a video system for rescue operations.
 
“We are expanding the functionality of the robot with sensors, tailored for particular applications,” Lacaze says. “It’s almost like the robot can modify itself to different situations.”
 
Robotic Research also manufactures components of robots, either prototypes or final products that are put into other robotic devices. Its customers are primarily the US military and homeland security department.
 
Among its products are a control system for the recovery of unmanned boats, in collaboration with General Dynamics Robotic Systems and sponsored by the US Naval Sea Systems Command; and an indoor mapping and visualization robot for Global Positioning System-denied terrain and buildings, sponsored by the US Army.
 
It's conducting an ongoing project for the US Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at the company’s research facility, located on two boats at the Baltimore marina at Fells Point.
 
Founded in 2002, the privately owned Robotic Research employs 25. It has ongoing paid internships for college students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
 
Source: Alberto Lacaze, Robotic Research LLC
Writer: Barbara Pash

Carroll County IT Firm Adds New Clients

Skyline Technology Solutions LLC expects to sign six new contracts next year, expanding its market reach. The Carroll County IT company currently has customers in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
 
President Brian Holsonbake says the additional customers will result in a 10 to 15 percent growth in sales for Skyline, which averages over $35 million in sales per year. Most of the new states are located along the East Coast, although he declined to identify them until the contracts are signed.
 
The company offers fiber-optic cabling as well as inside and outside plant cabling; networking, customized software development and back-end application services for federal agencies, state and local jurisdictions and commercial customers; 24/7 managed services at its network operations center; and hosting services.
 
Holsonbake says the company is continuing to expand its video-interoperability product line, an appliance or cloud-based solution that enables different agencies to share live-streaming video at different locations simultaneously. The solution works with traditional and mobile devices.
 
Among its customers are the Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., departments of transportation, City of Annapolis police department, and bus and transit companies in those jurisdictions. Commercial customers include companies in the financial and medical sectors.
 
The privately financed company was founded in 2004 with one employee. It now has 112 employees and is hiring 16 more, in software development, network engineering and VoIP engineering.
 
As the company has grown, it has added offices. In 2007, the company opened an office in Eldersburg, which remains the corporate headquarters. In 2009, it opened a 15,000-square foot office in Glen Burnie, Ann Arundel County, to which it later added 3,000 square feet. In 2012, it added a second, 9,000-square foot office in Glen Burnie. The company currently occupies three offices, two in Glen Burnie and one in Eldersburg.
 
Skyline Networking Solutions is a Knowtion Group company.
 
Source: Brian Holsonbake, Skyline Technology Solutions LLC
Writer: Barbara Pash






Columbia IT Services Company Expects to Triple Sales This Year

A $12 billion federal program is having a big impact on a small company. Howard County IT services provider 7Delta Inc. has more than doubled its staff, expects to triple sales and is hiring another dozen workers, thanks to work it is getting from the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

The VA is spending $12 billion over the next five years on a variety of tech projects. 7Delta is one of 15 companies that the Department of Veteran Affairs chose in summer of 2011 to participate in its Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Program.  The 15 companies compete on contracts as they come up.
 
The Columbia firm has already won $100 million in contracts that it will fullfill over the next three years and is bidding on others,  says Mike Sawyers, president and CEO who founded 7Delta in 2005.
 
While 7Delta primarily provides IT services for the federal government, the company also services products for storage solution company EMC Corp. 
 
It has federal certification as a service disabled veteran-owned small business, meaning that 51 percent of the company is owned by a disabled veteran, according to Sawyers, a former chief information officer for the US Army Medical Service Corps.
 
The federal government has contract goals for certified companies. Specifically, 50 percent or more of the work must be done by a certified company or a combination of certified companies to reach the 50 percent mark.
 
7Delta originally began as a home office, then in 2008 moved to a 3,700-square foot office in a building in Fulton. This summer, it relocated to a 15,000-square foot office in Columbia thanks to the VA contracts' growth spurt.
 
In 2011, the company pulled in $15 million in sales, compared to a projected $48 million in 2012. The staff grew from 80 employees in 2011 to its current 183 employees. Sawyers expects to hire another 10 to 20 employees before the end of 2012, primarily IT professionals like project managers, software developers, code writers, and business developers.
 
The privately held 7Delta won the 2012 Maryland Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the technology entrepreneurship category, from the Maryland Center of Entrepreneurship and the Howard Technology Council, initiatives of the Howard County Economic Development Authority.
 
Source: Mike Sawyers, 7Delta Inc.
Writer: Barbara Pash

Security Firm Targets Small Biz

RBtec Perimeter Security Systems is known for providing protection at US military bases, US borders, federal prisons and industries' oil and gas pipelines and refineries. Now, the electronic detection and security company, the American counterpart to an Israeli company, is entering a new market. It is targeting small- and medium-sized businesses with an electronic protection product for fences.
 
Business Development Manager Dori Ribak says the yet-to-be named product is intended for businesses like car dealerships and other commercial operations that need to protect valuable assets left outside. RBtec's product consists of sensor cables that are attached to an existing fence and can detect vibrations of anyone trying to climb, lift or damage the fence. The cables are connected to an existing alarm system.
 
The kit has 1,000 feet of sensor cable, analyzer, power supply and instructions for self-installation for $3,800. “In essence, you are turning a fence into a ‘smart’ fence,” says Ribak.
 
RBtec is a sister company of the Israeli company of the same name whose clients include Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. The American company entered the US market in 2000 but did not open its Derwood office until 2008. The office serves the North American and Latin American markets. It installs security systems around perimeters, both on the ground and underground.
 
In the US, Ribak says the company works on the federal level with military bases, border protection and power plants. It secures airports for the Transportation Security Administration and federal prisons for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. On the state level, it protects a reservoir for the state of New York and a gas utility for Virginia. It also works with private clients, such as Rancho Mirage Condominiums in California.
 
Although RBtec has clients in states around the US, it does not have any contracts with Maryland. Ribak says he is negotiating with the Maryland Department of Corrections for perimeter security around correctional facilities.

RBtec is privately funded and has five employees. However, with the new product, Ribak is looking for local installers and integrators if the property-owners choose not to install it themselves.

Source: Dori Ribak, RBtec Perimeter Security Systems
Writer: Barbara Pash
 
 

Towson Economist Says Maryland Lost $1B in Economic Activity From Sandy

Hurricane Sandy has cost Maryland an estimated $1.6 billion in its total economic activity, according to a Towson University economics professor. 

That's everything from lost wages and productivity as businesses closed during the storm to lost sales at hotels, restaurants and stores, says Daraius Irani, director of the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson. That figure doesn't include damages, which is estimated to be as high as $50 billion across all the impacted states. Irani says he doesn't have a damage figure for Maryland. 

Irani says the figure is based on the loss of commerce from people not going out to eat or buying cars and not going to work. It's also based on comparisons with Hurricane Isabel in 2003 and Hurricane Irene in 2011. While Isabel had a greater impact on Baltimore City, Sandy's impact is more wide spreading, walloping parts of Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore. Still, Maryland didn't suffer the same devastation as Manhattan's flooded subway system, Staten Island or New Jersey.

At this point, Irani appears to be the only researcher with a dollar estimate of the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Karen Glenn Hood, spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, replied to an inquiry that the department is working on an economic impact report.
 
Likewise, Tom Sadowski, President and CEO of Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, says the nonprofit may have figures later but at the moment, it only has anecdotal evidence.
 
Sadowski says he has heard of lost time in the office, missed business opportunities and shuttered stores. On the other hand, there was enough warning of the impending hurricane that people were able to make arrangements to work from home. 
 
Says Sadowski, “Mainly, people were happy it wasn’t worse.”
 
Patrick Donoho, President of the Maryland Retailers Association, says that in the Baltimore metro area, many grocery stores stayed open on Monday and Tuesday during the height of the hurricane albeit with limited staff and limited hours. He says he personally heard from Giant, Safeway, Mars and Santoni’s supermarkets that they were open, as were two large hardware stores in the area.
 
By Wednesday, Oct. 31, almost all grocery stores in the area had reopened, Donoho says.
 
Statewide, Donoho says that the Eastern Shore was hardest hit as far as roads being closed and people being able to get to the stores that were open. “Baltimore metro saw less damage than farther north, in Harford, Cecil and some of Carroll counties,” he says.
 
“I don’t know what the day’s losses [per store] were but I do know that they’re gone. You never regain them,” says Donoho.
 
Mike Niemira, Chief Economist and Director of Research of the International Council of Shopping Centers, says the New York-headquartered members’ association, will be assessing the economic impact on malls and retailers over the next month.
 
So far, all he could say was that “a lot” of members had been affected, with the biggest impact in southern New Jersey and Philadelphia because of the storm’s path.
 
The Restaurant Association of Maryland says it had no data yet to report.

Sources: Towson University Regional Economic Studies Institute, Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, Maryland Retailers Association, International Council of Shopping Centers, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development
Writer: Barbara Pash
 

Annapolis Medical Device Maker Partners With Boston Hospital On Patient Monitoring

Annapolis medical device company Zephyr Technology Corp. is collaborating with Massachusetts General Hospital on its OmniSense system for monitoring patients' vital signs. 

Paul Costello,  Zephyr's vice president of mHealth Sales, says the OmniSense system is used to monitor patients in the hospital and after they are discharged. The system allows staff and physicians at the Boston hospital to track and measure their health while they are recuperating at home.
 
Costello says the OmniSense device is about the size of a silver dollar and weighs an ounce. It is attached to the skin with two “smart” electrodes. The system works within the confines of a hospital without interfering in the facility’s electronic and internet equipment.
 
Zephyr makes sensors that measure vital signs such as electrocardiogram, heart rate, breathing rate and skin temperature. The real-time physiological status monitoring is transmitted via high-level wireless such as mobile phones, PDAs and the web.
 
The company has a variety of product lines, for use by professional sports teams, fire and rescue, law enforcement and Special Forces groups. It also sells consumer products. For example, its heart rate monitor went on sale this month, at a cost of $79.
 
Zephyr was founded in 2003 as an engineering services firm. In 2005, it received a contract from the US Department of Defense to develop a physiological monitoring system that US Navy Seals could use in combat. From there, the company branched out to monitoring the medical aspects of First Responders. The company is growing and recently hired four people for a total of 36 employees. 
 
Zephy is privately-owned and venture capital-backed. Backers include 3M New Ventures, Motorola and iGlobe Partners.
 
Source: Paul Costello, Zephyr Technology Corp.
Writer:  Barbara Pash
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