Two Baltimore venture capital firms to combine resources


Two small Baltimore-based venture capital funds have merged, resulting in an organization with more economic power to help transfer university research from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Triad Investors Corp. and Zero Stage Capital will now operate as one fund with a combined pool of $10.25 million.

Barbara Plantholt, a general partner of Zero Stage, has joined Triad as its president and chief executive officer.

After two years of trying to raise capital for a new company aimed at marketing researchers' ideas, Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Health System announced earlier this year it had gotten three corporations to invest $2.25 million in Triad.

Plantholt said even that wasn't enough to fully commercialize scientific research, however.

Triad was formed in 1988 to identify research at Hopkins that can be marketed and to find seed money for the projects. Those projects are expected to develop into independent companies.

Zero Stage is a seed capital fund that was founded in July 1989 and which will continue to fund companies that are not university-related.

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