For Entrepreneurs

Please contact us by email or a call to discuss your idea or company. We will put a Nondisclosure Agreement in place to protect your ideas. Contact us here

We just have an idea - "a sketch on a napkin" - are we "too early"?

Absolutely not. The phrase "too early" doesn't apply, and is actually disliked in the MDC Studio. Contact us

What does the MDC Studio do for an inventor, entrepreneur, or company?

Screening: For inventors who just have an idea, MDC will help the team assess the potential of the idea through a careful screening process:

  • Will the technology or idea impact healthcare?
  • Can it be built? How complex or expensive is the prototyping process?
  • Who will be interested in a demonstration if we build a prototype?
  • Who would buy the company's products?
  • How big is the market? How accessible is the market?
  • Who are the competitors?
  • Has a patent or disclosure been filed?
  • Is there competing intellectual property? If so, is there "freedom to operate"?
  • How can the development be funded?
  • Who will fund it?
  • Is there federal or state funding available?
  • Will FDA clearance be required to market the technology?
  • If so, what is the clearance pathway?
  • How long will this take?
  • How much will it cost?
  • If a company has been formed, who are the owners? What is the distribution of company ownership?
  • Is the team committed to the project?

Commitment: The team and its commitment is a key factor in the decision to accept a new technology or company into the program. MDC partners with teams to develop their idea. We are commited and will work hard with you to develop traction. We are not an "incubator" offering space and coffee, or an "accelerator" offering "programs" to teach you "skills".

Funding: If the screening process indicates a likelihood of success, MDC will negotiate with the team to setup a company and to seek funding to develop the idea. MDC will talk with investors and will help the team identify funding opportunities and will help write proposals to win funding. MDC companies have won about $13M in contract and grant funding, including 5 Phase I SBIR grants from the National Science Foundation ("America's Seed Fund" really!). Altogether, MDC has helped its client companies raise over $15,000,000 in contracts, grants and investments.

Since the MDC Studio is located in an Opportunity Zone, investors in client companies can receive favorable tax treatment for their invested capital gains. Moreover, the State of Maryland BioTax Incentive Program offers enhanced returns to investors in MDC Studio and its client companies.

Facilities: The MDC Studio is located in a historic building in the heart of Baltimore, 4 blocks from the University of Maryland Medical Center and the Shock Trauma Center. We have an open office with individual desks, conference room, a workshop with 3D printers and a range of tools and test equipment, and a kitchen. Modest and fine restaurants are a few steps away. Parking is available in nearby garages. The light rail on Howard Street passes by the building. Camden Yards and the MARC Train are a short walk away.

Prototyping and Testing: MDC Studio will create a project plan for the development of a prototype of a company's idea and a test plan to demonstrate its use and effectiveness. MDC Studio has a development laboratory for building and testing devices. We also use partners like Root3 Labs, Key Tech, and others to support specific development stages. We use the animal test facilities at Noble Life Sciences and the cadaver laboratory at the University of Maryland as needed. MDC Studio engineers have experience with a wide range of technologies used in medical devices.

Staffing: MDC may "loan" employees to the company as needed to make progress. Sometimes MDC employees become part of the permanent staff of the new company. We provide space at little or no cost to companies created in the Studio. We are patient, and will help the Company "pivot" to a more promising direction. Where appropriate, we support the Company in programs like I-Corps, providing the required PI, entrepreneurial lead, and/or mentors as needed.

Services: MDC Studio will help you form your company at a very modest cost and help you with registrations (D&B, SAM, SBA) that are necessary for you to compete for federal and state contracts and grants. This will save you thousands of dollars. If you have questions - LCC or C-corp?, Maryland (yes) or Delaware (no)?, attorney, accountant, banker? - we have advice and answers.

A collaborative environment with a focus on medical technologies means that we are always learning from each other’s successes and challenges. This allows first-time entrepreneurs to learn and progress much more quickly than if they were operating alone. Finally, we’re happy to connect you with our network of vendors, consultants, and other service providers, many of whom we’ve closely worked with and who offer affordable, high-quality services.

For companies that are already formed and have some funding, MDC provides space at a modest cost, back office services such as payroll, benefits management, and tax preparation. But most importantly, MDC provides engineering and business development support from experienced developers and mentors, and a collaborative enviroment including other new companies that share information and problem solving techniques.

What does it cost to be part of MDC?

Equity: MDC's model is based on taking an equity position in the new company. We charge little if anything for our services. The equity position means we have "skin in the game." MDC will invest in-kind services such as engineering time, proposal development, fund raising support, space for staff, etc. What ever it takes to get the company going and to support its development. In effect, if MDC Studio cannot make your company valuable, we gain very little. Contact us to learn about MDC client company agreements.

Can I speak to some of the entrepreneurs who work with MDC Studio?

Absolutely: Contact the CEO's of MDC Studio portfolio companies:

to learn about their experience in the Studio.