Kofinas Group Startup Named Finalist in $250K Business Plan Competition

Trauma Solutions, a company developing the first and only synthetic, hemostatic material capable of simultaneously inducing blood clotting and delivering therapeutics, has been named a finalist in the $250K Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and Cisco Systems Global Business Plan Competition.

The company, founded by graduate research assistant Brendan Casey and Keystone Professor Peter Kofinas (Fischell Department of Bioengineering), and undergraduate research assistant Adam Behrens (Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), is one of sixteen finalists from fifteen different schools in six countries. Finalists were selected from thousands of eligible business plans submitted from around the globe, based on various criteria including quality of management team, technical innovation, addressable market size, competitive positioning, barriers, capital efficiency, and financial projections.

Trauma Solutions’ hemostatic material is able to induce blood clotting as effectively as biologically based products at a fraction of the price. Its capability to simultaneously deliver therapeutics in a regulated manner makes it completely unique to the market and in line with the specific demands of commercial, next generation hemostatics and military-grade blood coagulation materials for use on the battlefield. Trauma Solutions was founded to develop an advanced line of hemostatic products based on this material. The company recently successfully conducted its first animal trial.

“We are very excited to be selected as finalists for this prestigious international business plan competition,” says Kofinas. “This will result in higher visibility for our product and an opportunity to network with one of the nation’s premier venture capital firms and a technology industry leader. We are grateful to Jim Chung, director of the MTECH [Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute] VentureAccelerator program, for his help and coaching.”

Trauma Solutions, formerly called Haemechanics, took first place and $20K in the life sciences division of MTECH's University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition on May 8. “The selection of Trauma Solutions as a finalist for [the DFJ-Cisco] competition only corroborates and reinforces the qualities that judges saw in the company just last month in our own rigorous competition,” says Dean Chang, director of MTECH’s ventures and education programs. “Trauma Solutions is yet another example of the importance of university venture creation resources and programs like those at the University of Maryland that act as launch points for promising technologies with genuine potential to address billion dollar needs and pain points in our society.”

Finalists for the Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Cisco Systems Competition will compete from their respective geographic areas via Cisco TelePresence™ on June 30. The winning team will receive a minimum seed fund of $250,000. In addition to the financial investment awarded to the winner, both DFJ and Cisco will assist the winner and finalists by providing mentorship and professional assessments regarding their submissions.

“Clearly global innovation doesn't stop for recessions,” says Tim Draper, managing director, DFJ. “These promising candidates are reminding us that there are pioneering companies out there, even in difficult times, and we hope that one of these teams creates the next Skype, Google, Facebook, Baidu or Cisco. This competition fosters a culture of entrepreneurship that has a lasting impact, and its benefits are felt not just by the winning team but by all participants. We look forward to continuing meaningful ties with all of these young entrepreneurs in the future.”

Learn More:

Visit the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute's web site »

Visit Professor Kofinas' homepage »

Published June 26, 2009