State names leading incubator companies

Friday, June 16, 2006

Pixelligent Technologies LLC of College Park has been named Maryland’s New Incubator Company of 2006 for its innovative use of advanced lithography to print ever-smaller features on a semiconductor wafer, an advance in nanotechnology.

Pixelligent, located in the Technology Advancement Program incubator of the University of Maryland, is one of the first companies to emerge from the university’s extensive and nationally ranked research and development program in nanotechnology, a field of research for manufacturing products at extremely small scale.

A human hair is about 80 nanometers wide. Pixelligent’s technology could lead to equipment that prints features as small as 22 nanometers.

‘‘Our approach is getting a lot of support because the alternative [in semiconductors] is to produce a whole new infrastructure, which would be far more expensive,” said Greg Cooper, founder and president.

The company was one of six winners recognized at the sixth annual Maryland Incubator Companies of the Year Awards reception Tuesday at the Center Club in Baltimore, sponsored by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Maryland Technology Development Corp., RSM McGladrey, Inc. and Saul Ewing LLP.

*NexTone Communications Inc. of Gaithersburg won the Graduate Incubator of the Year Award. NexTone develops products for service provider networks for scalable content of real-time Internet protocol services, such as Internet phone service and other digital media. The 8-year-old company began in the Maryland Technology Development Center in Rockville. It now serves more than 450 service providers in 38 countries and has more than 200 full-time employees, with offices in Tokyo, Singapore, London and Sydney, Australia.

*Two-year-old Alba Therapeutics Corp. of Baltimore was named 2006 Life Sciences Incubator Company of the Year. Alba develops drugs to treat inflammatory and immune system-mediated diseases. The company focuses on treating the body’s major barriers, including the linings of the lungs, intestines and blood vessels.

*Another Baltimore entry, Social Solutions Inc., was named Information Technology Incubator Company of the Year for its Web-based software, Efforts-to-Outcomes, which is designed to help nonprofits manage, track and demonstrate the impact of their work.

*The Technology Service Incubator Company of the Year is CenGen Inc. of Columbia. CenGen develops systems integrating and engineering relating to tactical and mobile wireless and wired networking, which are important to both soldiers and emergency first responders.

*Profectus BioSciences Inc. of Catonsville was named Technology Transfer Incubator of the Year for developing preventive and therapeutic technologies to treat and prevent viral diseases, particularly HIV⁄AIDS.

‘‘These awards are spotlighting Maryland’s emerging companies and their technologies, as well as illustrating the impact of the state’s incubators on startup businesses,” said Frank A. Adams, managing general partner and founder of Grotech Capital Group. ‘‘I am so pleased to have been able to help recognize these outstanding companies that benefit from Maryland’s incubators and enhance our reputation as a technology leader.”

The winners were chosen by a panel of venture capitalists, and government and business leaders.