March 16, 2007
WOMEN BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION WINNERS SELECTED FROM RECORD NUMBER OF ENTRIES
Winners from Baltimore & Rockville
Rockville, Md. – Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) announces the fourth annual StartRight! Women’s Business Plan Competition winners today at the 2007 Women in Business Conference and Tradeshow. The winners are Kris Appel of Newregen, Inc., Tia Gao and Cassedy Newgen of Aid Networks, LLC and Cheryl Staab of DogCentric, Inc.
“We’re pleased that this year’s StartRight! competition yielded nearly 40 quality entries from women throughout our region,” said Sally Sternbach, Executive Director for Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI). She added, “Our top prize of $10,000 sponsored by EagleBank put the competition in a new league and demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that new, well-thought-out businesses get a financial boost to support their start-up costs.”
The annual competition’s first place winner is Kris Appel, founder and president of Encore Path, Inc., formerly called Newregen, Inc., a medical device company based in Baltimore. Appel founded Newregen in 2006 to commercialize novel stroke technologies being developed at the University of Maryland-Baltimore. Appel is currently enrolled in the ACTiVATE program at UMBC, which assists mid-career women in commercializing technology developed in university laboratories.
“I’m pleased to be given first place honors by REDI in the StartRight! Competition because it shines more light on the exciting new technologies available to improve mobility for stroke survivors,” said Appel.
Newregen sells proprietary neural regenerative stroke rehabilitation devices and plans to market its first product, a patented arm training device, in the last quarter of 2007. The device unmasks neural pathways in the brain, leading to restoration of arm movement in patients who have moderate paralysis in the arm. Newregen will introduce several stroke therapy devices to the market to address the rehabilitation needs of the more than 780,000 people annually that experience a stroke, and the more than 5.5 million people living with stroke. As the first place winner, Appel receives a $10,000 cash prize sponsored by EagleBank, an opportunity to join the Montgomery County Department of Business and Economic Development’s Virtual Incubator program, a year’s membership to LiveHealthier.com, ten yoga classes from Thrive Yoga, and a designer item from Ibhana Creations, LLC. LiveHealthier, Thrive Yoga and Ibhana are previous StartRight! competition winners.
The second place winners are Tia Gao and Cassedy Newgen of Aid Networks, LLC, owners of an information technology company in Rockville that applies new and novel software technologies to conventional medical devices to improve patient safety around the world. Aid Networks’ initial product is an inexpensive wireless monitoring system that provides time-critical, hospital-wide, 24-7 patient status updates to healthcare providers. As second place winners, the owners of Aid Networks receive a $5,000 prize sponsored by AEPCO.
The third place winner is Cheryl Staab of DogCentric, Inc., www.dcpetcare.com, in Rockville. DogCentric is a professional dog walking service offering private, mid-day walks to the residents of southern Montgomery County and northwest D.C. The company provides a single dedicated walker to each client, so the dog’s needs and preferences are consistently met and the dog remains happy, healthy and safe. DogCentric is recommended by the Washington Animal Rescue League. Staab receives a $2,500 prize sponsored by Taliesan Associates and Foster, Soltoff & Love, Ltd.
The annual StartRight! competition has grown nearly seven-fold in entries from its first year. It is open to any business that is at least 51% women-owned, operates in Maryland, the District of Columbia or Virginia, and has been in business for two years or less.