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.PAICEhybrid.com.
ThermoChem Recovery International, Inc. (TRI)
TRI has developed a set of proprietary gasification technologies that provide the foundation for state-of-the-art conversion of biomass into green fuels, chemicals and renewable energy. TRI's steam-reforming gasification process converts cellulosic feedstocks (including post-sorted Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), bark, forest residuals, agricultural waste, energy crops and low rank coals) into a synthesis gas ("syngas") which can be converted into biofuels and biochemicals, or used to replace fossil fuels for power generation. TRI’s proprietary process uniquely removes contaminants in solid form which makes it a particularly good technology for conversion of MSW, with far superior emissions as compared to existing waste-to-energy plants. TRI licenses its proprietary gasification technology - including biomass feeders, gasification and gas clean-up - and provides specialized equipment and engineering services to companies seeking to integrate TRI's process into their operations. TRI’s proven technology has been demonstrated at commercial scale at the Norampac Trenton mill in Ontario, Canada. For more information, visit ThermoChem Recovery International, Inc. at www.tri-inc.net.
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.
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.
eNeura Therapeutics, a privately held medical technology company, has developed a portable, non-invasive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) device for treatment of migraine headaches. Many patients are unable to utilize traditional methods of treatment because of medications currently offered. With the use of magnetic pulsing, TMS allows migraine patients to administer treatment as needed. This technology has been approved and licensed for sale in Europe with expected FDA approval in the U.S. in 2014.
GiveCorps is a web-based tool that integrates a Groupon or social media model for multiple non-profit organizations to efficiently fundraise small (average $25) donations. GiveCorps is the initial online giving website that combines storytelling, social marketing and giving opportunities targeted at tech savvy adults to engage and inspire online givers. GiveCorps Pro offers this innovative technology as a fundraising platform to educational institutions and large nonprofits.
Common Curriculum is an educational tool developed by two Teach for America graduates to innovate lesson planning, sharing and scheduling. This application provides an efficient tool for teachers and school districts to meet the national curriculum standards adopted by school districts in 47 states.
Noxilizer is a biotechnology company that has developed a faster, less expensive, environmentally friendly, room temperature NO2-based sterilizer for the medical industry. They are also developing a system especially for sensitive, high-tech equipment used in minimally-invasive surgical procedures.
Gliknik is a bio-pharmaceuticals company that has developed new therapies for patients with cancer and autoimmune/inflammatory diseases. They also have commercial rights to two cancer immunomodulator drugs that are in multiple dose clinical trials in patients with advanced head and neck cancer and in patients with advanced multiple myeloma.
GrayBug is a biotech company with a proprietary drug for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other diseases that involve unwanted growth of new blood vessels. The company has two proprietary platform drug delivery technologies for ophthalmic pharmaceutical indications, and proof-of-concept (POC) data in multiple animal models for its lead product in AMD, diabetic retinopathy (DR), corneal graft rejection, and four different drugs for glaucoma. GrayBug has obtained an exclusive worldwide license to patent families from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
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
firstname.lastname@example.org, 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