Investing in Tomorrow
The Foundation’s portfolio makes direct investments in highly innovative companies that promote important social objectives and that create jobs and are headquartered in Baltimore City.
Below is a list of some of the current investments with links to the Companies’ websites, if available.
PAICE is a company at the forefront of the hybrid vehicle industry for nearly 20 years, developing technology capable of significantly improving driving performance, maximizing fuel efficiency, reducing harmful emissions and lowering costs. Its inventions have been recognized with 11 U.S. patents and numerous foreign patents, including 4 of the world’s 10 most dominant hybrid vehicle patents according to a study by Griffith Hack. PAICE has established long-term licensing agreements with Toyota and Ford, two of the world’s largest automakers for its hybrid technology. For more information, visit www.PAICE.net.
ThermoChem Recovery International, Inc. (TRI)
TRI has developed a proprietary gasification technology that provides the foundation for the state-of-the-art conversion of biomass into green fuels, chemicals and energy. TRI's proprietary gasification process
converts cellulosic feedstocks (including wood chips, bark, forest
residuals, agricultural waste and energy crops) into a synthesis
gas ("syngas") which can be used to replace natural gas
and fuel oil, and can be converted into biofuels and biochemicals.
Additionally, TRI's technology is uniquely capable of recovering
energy and chemicals from spent pulping liquors. TRI licenses its
proprietary gasification technology, and provides specialized equipment
and engineering services to companies seeking to
integrate TRI's process into their operations.
Tri’s proven technology is currently in commercial operation at the Norampac Trenton mill in Ontario, Canada. For more information, visit ThermoChem Recovery International,
OTEC International LLC (OTI)
Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is an important renewable energy technology that harnesses the vast solar energy stored in the upper layers of the tropical oceans to produce electricity. In contrast to conventional solar and wind projects, OTEC can generate power 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. OTI has developed proprietary designs, including 11 patents pending, to efficiently convert this thermal energy into a commercially viable alternative to conventional fossil fuel power plants. Leveraging over 40 years of OTEC R&D, OTI has received the first ever approval in principal for its floating base load power plants and is in the forefront of commercial development with contracts in Hawaii and Grand Cayman. See www.oteci.com for additional information.
Ceratech, Inc. has pioneered and commercialized a product line of high performing green cement that is comprised of over 90% recycled waste streams.
Founded in 2001 and based in Baltimore, MD., CeraTech's concrete
repair & rehabilitation products are currently in use by the
US Military in combat operations around the world as well as domestic
Transportation Departments, Municipalities, Aviation & Port
Authorities and commercial construction companies.
Ceratech uses fly ash, a waste product of coal fired power plants, to produce its high performance cement. In 2011, Ceratech received strategic equity investments from three publicly traded companies to accelerate market penetration of its proprietary products, starting in the U.S.
Visit the website www.ceratechinc.com.
BioMarker Strategies is developing a novel automated tumor biopsy processing and testing system, called SnapPath™, that is designed to quickly test and analyze a patient’s live solid tumor sample at the point of biopsy. These functional, pathway-based, ex vivo biomarker tests will help guide an oncologist’s use of targeted cancer therapeutics. The SnapPath™ technology is also designed to reduce patient waiting times for molecular diagnostic test results from several weeks to several hours. The company is one of the first commercial tenants at the Johns Hopkins Science + Technology Park in East Baltimore developed by the Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership. Visit the website, www.biomarkerstrategies.com.
Pixelligent Technologies produces proprietary groundbreaking nanocrystal additives that can be deployed in a wide variety of commercial applications including electronics, metal coatings, lubricants and the solar market. The company is the first in the field to demonstrate the ability to scale up the nanocrystal additive materials for commercial deployment. In its initial applications to the electronic and semiconductor markets, the nanocrystal additives dramatically improve the etch resistance which is a critical step used to manufacture computer chips and enhance the efficiency and performance of digital displays and high brightness LEDs. Pixelligent is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. See www.pixelligent.com for additional information.
Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Inc.
Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Inc. is a pioneering high-technology corporation specializing in applications of plasma physics, including fusion power and high-power X-ray sources for infrastructure inspection. Its lead project is the development of a dense plasma focus (DPF) fusion generator, using hydrogen-boron (pB11) fuel, an approach called "Focus Fusion". This work is aimed at producing an extremely economical, compact, environmentally safe and essentially inexhaustible source of electric energy that could be more than ten times cheaper than any existing sources. The project has already achieved major experimental milestones, including the achievement of plasma confinement at energies equivalent to two billion degrees, high enough to fuse hydrogen and boron. More details are available at www.lawrencevilleplasmaphysics.com.
Botanical Skin Works
Botanical Skin Works is Baltimore-based, natural and organic minority-owned skin care company offering targeted products for people with chemical sensitivities. Each product uses only natural preservatives, fresh ingredients and 100% pure essential oils. The proprietary formulas use no alcohol, mineral oil, perfumes, phthalates, synthetics or petroleum by-products. The Foundation provided capital to expand production and distribution capacity to meet growing demand for Botanical Skin Works products. www.botanicalworks.com
Baltimore BioWorks is a newly-created medical manufacturing company based in Baltimore City, specializing in the manufacture and distribution of medical and research supplies, and contract research. The company offers vocational training to high school graduates and low-skilled workers for entry-level positions in bioscience through hands-on laboratory, warehouse distribution, and sales experience and skill development. Baltimore BioWorks intends to develop three primary business lines and revenue generators: 1) sales of basic research and pharmaceutical products, such as gloves, test tubes, pipettes, and other laboratory equipment and reagents; 2) chemical manufacturing of solutions and reagent products, starting with generic products and eventually customizing these for specialized needs of laboratories and research institutions; and 3) a pharmacokinetics laboratory research program that would, on a contract basis, perform specialized research for product development using lab animals in a highly regulated, Federal Drug Administration-approved facility. The principal founder is John Powers, a M.D./Ph.D research scientist and founder of two successful companies that were subsequently sold.
Since making its first direct investment in 1995, the Foundation has invested in several early stage companies and special situations that progressed to successful commercial exits, two through initial public offerings (Guilford Pharmaceuticals and Visicu) and four through private dispositions (Learnware, Iphotonics, Carr Lowrey, Shelter Bentana).
In 1996, The Foundation guaranteed a $500,000 Term Promissory Note for Elder Health, an innovative developer of nursing home facilities, including for low income elderly, in exchange for a commitment to locate its headquarters in Baltimore City. The note was repaid as due and the Foundation was never required to fund its guaranty obligation. Although the company was subsequently acquired, most recently by HealthSpring, Inc., its successors continue to maintain significant operations with approximately 700 employees in Baltimore City.
It is difficult to fully understand an investment
opportunity based on a phone call. If you have a funding proposal
for a company located or willing to locate in Baltimore City, please
send us an executive summary, and an email address where you can
Please send executive summaries either via email to
email@example.com, or by mail
Robert C. Embry
The Abell Foundation, Inc.
111 S. Calvert Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: (410) 547-1300
Fax: (410) 539-6579