Three portfolio companies have “graduated” from the Germantown Innovation Center (GIC), Montgomery County’s business incubator program. The County’s incubator program started in 1999 to foster the growth and development of young technology companies. Akan Biosciences, Intelligent Fusion Technology and Seraxis are the three County-based companies that graduated from the program this spring.
“Montgomery County continues to be the epicenter of bio health and information technology in the region,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Congratulations to Akan Bio, Intelligent Fusion Technology and Seraxis on their graduation from our incubator. We are excited for their continued growth in the County. Montgomery County is committed to having an economic development environment that fosters growth and entrepreneurship, and these graduates are just the most recent example of the great work happening in our incubators and throughout the County.”
The program offers educational, networking and collaboration opportunities, as well as shared resources that foster success and keep costs low in the early years of company development. The Germantown Innovation Center includes wet labs and clean rooms. It sits on the perimeter of Montgomery College, near its Bioscience Education Center, and offers connections to the County’s companies and resources in the bioscience community.
Akan Bio, located in Gaithersburg, is a biotechnology and cellular therapy company developing next generation injectable products for the treatment of degenerative diseases and injury. Akan Bio is developing cellular therapies and proprietary manufacturing methods to produce stem cell-based therapeutics using state of the art tissue engineering and cell-based approaches.
“Being at the Germantown Innovation Center was an excellent resource for my business,” said Mukesh Kumar, president and founder of Akan Biosciences. “We grew from one small office and one employee to a team of 16 located in Gaithersburg in six larger offices and labs. The resources of the Germantown Innovation Center and Montgomery College allowed us to set up our own small-scale, FDA-compliant, GMP manufacturing suite, obtain two IND applications approved by the FDA and launch multiple national clinical trials with our products. Despite several attractive offers to move to other parts of the country, we plan to stay a Montgomery County business.”
Intelligent Fusion Technology (IFT), located in Germantown, specializes in the development and implementation of Data Fusion Technologies. It extracts the maximum amount of information from many data sources to provide more accurate situational awareness than any individual data source could offer. IFT aggressively promotes the insertion of revolutionary technologies into the marketplace by producing hardware and software for the Defense, Commercial, and Industrial sectors.
“Intelligent Fusion Technology was launched at the Germantown Innovation Center with one office and three people,” said Genshe Chen, chief technology officer with Intelligent Fusion Technology, Inc. “Today, our team totals 23 and we are occupying 3,600 square feet of office space in Germantown. Programs and facilities like the Germantown Innovation Center are valuable and critical resources for the small business community of Montgomery County. We look forward to continuing our success, hiring local talent, and growing our business right here in Montgomery County.”
Seraxis is a private biotechnology company that launched in 2013 and is in Germantown. The Seraxis mission is to develop a practical and potent cell replacement therapy for insulin-dependent diabetes. Its team of scientists has developed a novel cell and immune-evasion technologies that, together, reverse diabetes in animal models. It is currently working to advance this therapy to the clinic.
"We are greatly appreciative to have had the chance to launch Seraxis at the Germantown Incubator Center,” said Carole Welsch, chief business officer at Seraxis. “The facility was conveniently located, had good, shared amenities and allowed us to grow. Launched with two employees and one laboratory, Seraxis grew over the years to a team of 15 and recently moved to a 7,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art laboratory located on the I-270 Tech Corridor. The GIC team was supportive, and we will miss them.”