InvestMaryland Challenge winners announced

Twenty-eight companies won $700,000 in prizes in the annual InvestMaryland Challenge.

The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development bestowed $700,000 in awards to 28 companies in its third annual InvestMaryland Challenge, including two grand prize winners from Baltimore, DBED announced Thursday.

The international business competition drew 214 applicants from eight states, Washington D.C., and Brazil and Israel. Four grand prize winners netted $100,000, including Baltimore-based ad tech company STAQ and Baltimore-based medical device maker Harpoon Medical. The other grand prize winners were Silver Spring-based Mercaris, a market data service and online trading platform for organic, non-GMO products, and Bricata LLC, a Vienna, Va.-based network and cyber security firm.

Winners from out-of-state must establish a place of business in Maryland and spend a majority of the prize money in the state. The grand prizes will be paid out of DBED's Maryland Venture Fund and the BioMaryland Center.

The secondary awards included incubator spaces at the Army Research Lab and other perks intended to help the businesses grow.

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