Category: Startups

Awards

Galen Robotics is 3rd JHTV-affiliated company to win the…

Galen Robotics is 3rd JHTV-affiliated company to win the Crab Trap Pitch Competition

April’s 2018 BioHealth Capital Region Crab Trap, an annual pitch competition, featured five Maryland-area startups vying for its $10,000 award.

For the third year in a row, a company associated with Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures has taken the top prize by demonstrating the highest commercial potential to an expert judging panel. This year’s winner, Galen Robotics, received $10,000, business mentoring and incubation space in Montgomery County, Maryland or Prince William County, Virginia.

Baltimore-based Galen Robotics won for its development of an affordable, configurable and intuitive-to-use microsurgical robot. The Galen platform is designed to assist surgeons with minimally-invasive applications in neurosurgery, ENT and cardio.

Galen Robotics president and CEO Bruce Lichorowic says the idea driving their company is to have a robot that can help out during challenging surgeries by holding high-precision instruments while the surgeon retains control, similar to how power steering works in a car. This Galen technology is currently classified as an experimental medical device, and the company anticipates its first submission to the FDA within the next 12 months.

“Additionally, the Galen robot is expected to aid surgeons with guidance, keeping their instruments steady during long procedures while reducing tremor,” Lichorowic said. “Our focus is on becoming an assistant to surgeons, not a replacement for surgeons.”

Galen and other finalists gave presentations at the BioHealth Capital Region Forum Event on April 24, 2018 where they were scored on technical feasibility, marketing/strategy, leadership team and financial/projections.

The technology applied by Galen Robotics is licensed through Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, the intellectual property administration center of the Johns Hopkins University. In addition to serving as the licensing, patent and technology commercialization office for Johns Hopkins researchers and inventors, JHTV also supports the growth of startup companies in and around the university and is an active liaison to parties interested in leveraging university research or materials for academic or corporate endeavors.

The Crab Trap pitch competition is open to applicants from Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia. Previous  Crab Trap-winning companies associated with JHTV include LifeSprout, which is developing the next-generation of synthetic soft tissue substitutes for aesthetic and reconstructive medicine, and Sonavex, a developer of novel ultrasound solutions for visualizing and quantifying critical clinical data to improve outcomes and reduce costs of new surgical applications.

Lichorowic explained Galen continues working on commercializing their technology. In the meantime, they’ll be using the Crab Trap prize money to reinvest in Baltimore.

“We’re not using the award for a party,” he says. “We’re putting it right back into Hopkins and Baltimore for further product development and local staffing.”

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Meet the Entrepreneur

Meet the Entrepreneur: Victoria Roberts of The Growing Minds…

Meet the Entrepreneur: Victoria Roberts of The Growing Minds Initiative


Victoria Roberts and The Growing Minds Initiative are a part of the Johns Hopkins Social Innovation Lab’s 2017–18 Cohort.
Below, The Johns Hopkins University Kreiger School of Arts & Sciences senior talks about The Growing Minds Initiative, finding support and exploring Baltimore.

 

In 5 words, what does your company do?

Provide education to children in Tanzania.

What are your goals and how will you get there?

Our venture aims to provide sustainable access to education for orphaned and vulnerable children by creating community farms for caretakers to work on and selling the produce to pay for school fees. We have built two poultry farms and currently have 13 caretakers and 56 children enrolled. We hope to expand our farms later this month allowing us to sell more chickens and more eggs. This increase in profit will allow us to enroll more families, and we hope to be sustainable by the end of this year.

Why have you chosen Baltimore as your startup’s home?

Attending Hopkins, I learned that Baltimore offers a wealth of opportunities for success. From the Johns Hopkins Social Innovation Lab (the mentors, the advisers, boot camps, contacts and resources) to work spaces such as Impact Hub, Baltimore has many resources for helping grow social impact ventures— even ventures overseas like mine!

What opportunities make it a good place for growing a business?

Working in the same space as other like-minded people, having connections and resources to a huge social impact network and many opportunities for growth.

In terms of startups and innovation, what’s one thing that separates Baltimore from other tech hotbeds?

I personally don’t have any experience in other tech hotbeds, but the network of support that is fostered here in Baltimore seems pretty hard to match. Co-work spaces, impact cohorts, mentors and the other like-minded people working in the same city all contribute to an overwhelming amount of support, not only for the venture, but personally too.

If you could give your past self one piece of advice for creating a startup, what would it be?

Remember to take time for yourself! Life gets extremely busy when creating a startup and it’s important to take a step back and make sure you’re prioritizing your health and your well-being.

What book are you currently reading?

“The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” by Siddhartha Mukherjee

What innovator do you look up to? Why?

Our director, Alex Riehm, and all of my cohort members in the Social Innovation Lab cohort. They have given me so much advice, support, guidance and feedback throughout this process, and I don’t know where I would be personally or venture-wise without all of their help.

It’s after a long day of work, and you don’t feel like cooking. What is your go-to Baltimore restaurant?

Papi’s Tacos in Fell’s Point

What’s your favorite non-work-related thing to do in Baltimore?

Explore restaurants and cafes, finding different study spots in different neighborhoods. It’s nice to take a break from the library!

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