BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), a regional private-public partnership focusing on commercializing market-relevant biohealth innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Central Maryland, announced today that venture capitalist, Tania Fernandez, Ph.D., has joined the BHI team as a strategic advisor. Dr. Fernandez will be a member of the management team for a new BioHealth Gap Fund, which will provide up to $50 million in seed and early-stage equity investments to therapeutics, medical device, diagnostics, and health IT companies in Maryland. Additional BioHealth Gap Fund management team members include Richard Bendis, Ram Aiyar, Todd Chappell, and Ken Malone, who each bring domain knowledge and industry access to the fund.

“Dr. Fernandez has ten years of experience as a venture capitalist in the life sciences/biotechnology industry. Her work in Silicon Valley, along with her research experience at the National Cancer Institute, makes her a tremendous asset to the BHI team,” said Richard Bendis, BHI President & CEO. “Dr. Fernandez brings a West Coast investment perspective, and she will have an active role in helping to manage the BioHealth Gap Fund. She will also support our BHI Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and clients: helping our startups to grow and raise strategic funding.”


Tasly Pharmaceuticals, Inc (Tasly) and BioHealth Innovation (BHI) co-organized the first Tasly Meeting of CEOs on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at the Tasly facility in Rockville. Attendees included more than 25 CEOs and company representatives from local Maryland-based BioTech and BioPharma companies. This was the first public event conducted through Tasly and BHI's newly initiated partnership.

Tasly is an innovation-based, high-tech healthcare and pharmaceutical enterprise and world-leader in the research and product development (R&D) of Chinese herbal medicine - the leader in the natural way to modernize medicine, with a North American headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, . Tasly and BHI have a formalized partnership which aims to co- organize and coordinate joint BioHealth associated events to promote professional networking, business growth, and technology and product commercialization.

icg-9 logo

The 2014 International Biotech Summit Committee invite BioHealth Innovation (BHI) and Montgomery County to attend the three co-located international conferences that will be held on Sep 9 -12 in Shenzhen, China:

  1. 2014 International Biotech Summit (September 10, 2014);
  2. The 9th International Conference on Genomics (ICG-9) (September 11th-12th, 2014);
  3. Shenzhen International Biotech & Health Industry Expo 2014 (SIBHIE, September 10th-12th, 2014).

Ms. Lily Qi, Director of Special Projects for Montgomery County Executive Office who was involved in establishing BHI and a native of Shanghai, is going to speak on behalf of the County and BHI for the forum, "Innovation in Policy and Regulation for Advancing Healthcare Industry." BHI and the County are also invited as an exhibitor for the SIBHIE Expo.


Richard Bendis and BioHealth Innovation were among the small businesses and individuals honored by the US Small Business Administration at the 2014 Tibbetts awards. Winners of the award have been critical in supporting the SBIR/STTR program in many different ways and are at the forefront of driving innovation. Read the full PR Newswire press release here.

The BHI SBIR/STTR Federal Funding Assistance Program offers biohealth companies support in preparing applications for federal funding inclusive of SBIRs, STTRs, and other federal government awards. Companies submit their federal funding concepts and receive pre-proposal feedback to help troubleshoot and strengthen your application. Further support from professional consultants and service providers is available to assist in improving your application.

For more information on the program, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


BHI is pleased to announce the promotion of Amanda Wilson to the position of Director, Finance & Human Resources. Amanda joined BioHealth Innovation, Inc. two years ago as the Operations Manager.

Over the past two years, Amanda has transitioned BHI's accounting method from cash to accrual. She has ensured BHI compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and has represented BHI through two successful audits. In addition, Amanda has developed human resources policies and procedures and has maintained employee access to BHI's benefits package. Amanda recently completed her MBA at The George Washington University, and is able to augment her pre-existing skills through this degree.

Join us in congratulating Amanda on a well-deserved promotion!


Guest Speaker:  Rich Bendis, Founder, President & CEO, BioHealth Innovation, Inc.

The chair-elect of the Economic Development Committee, Leslie Weber, welcomed MCCC members and introduced the guest speaker, Rich Bendis, Founder, President & CEO, BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI). BHI is an innovation intermediary that connects market relevant research assets to appropriate funding, management, and global markets to facilitate the development of commercially viable biohealth products and companies.

The organization co-founds early stage biohealth companies and works directly with existing regional commercially relevant biohealth firms on their early business development milestones to accelerate commercialization.  Ninety percent of the companies BHI is working with are in Montgomery County Maryland.

George Jiang

BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) announced this week its selection of George Jiang, M.D., M.B.A., PMP, as its new Chinese-American Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR). Dr. Jiang, a consultant with over 15 years of experience in life science research and development and in health industry business development, will lead in the scouting of technologies and partnership opportunities in life science hubs in the U.S. and China.

"We welcome Dr. Jiang as our newest addition to the EIR program," said Rich Bendis, President & CEO, BioHealth Innovation, Inc. "There is a vast opportunity to develop strategic partnerships with more Chinese corporations, and Dr. Jiang – as a Chinese American with experience as a consultant evaluating life science opportunities in China for a U.S. government agency – is in an ideal position to facilitate these collaborative efforts and the movement of new technologies along the commercialization path."

Dr. Jiang will be based at BHI headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. BHI and China Fortune Land Development Co., Ltd. (CFLD) established this EIR position in February 2014. After the two organizations met during a four-city mission trip to China for leaders from Montgomery County and the DC metropolitan area, led by Ike Leggett, County Executive of Montgomery County, Maryland.

Dr. Jiang has facilitated biohealth product development across the academic, government, private and military sectors. As a senior consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton for eight years, Dr. Jiang has health industry experience in business development, subject matter expertise, stakeholder partnerships, and project/personnel management. Previously, Dr. Jiang served as the Director of Primate Immunology at the Naval Medical Research Center. Prior to that, he was a senior microbiologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He earned his M.B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University, PMP (project management professional certification) from the Project Management Institute, M.D. from Southern Medical University in Guangdong, China, and M.S. from the Beijing Institute of Basic Medical Sciences in China.

BHI and CFLD, a company specializing in investment and operation of industrial areas in China, including science parks, created the new Chinese-American Entrepreneur-In-Residence role to:

  • Evaluate life science technologies in China and U.S. markets,
  • Provide a strategic plan for start-ups,
  • Advise on new ventures, and
  • Lead commercial strategy for mature assets.

Dr. Jiang will be BHI's 5th named EIR since the program began two years ago.

The organization is also actively recruiting for a China-USA EIR Program Intern to assist Dr. Jiang in his activities.

For questions, please contact Rich Bendis, President & CEO, 301-637-6439, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) is seeking a highly talented professional to serve as its China-USA EIR Program Intern. The China-USA EIR Program Intern will support the Chinese-American Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR) position, which manages the relationship between BHI and its partner, China Fortune Land Development Co., Ltd. The China-USA EIR Program Intern will primarily support the EIR through research and translation, but will also perform administrative tasks.

More Information

Wondering what the future of health IT in Marylands holds? Judging by the startups that presented their successes during Maryland's first health IT accelerator demo day we are only now beginning to scratch the surface of the exciting new technologies that will be making their appearance over the next few years. BHI is proud to have been a founding sponsor of this initiative. With the added support of major players from Maryland's biohealth community, DreamIt Health Baltimore has proven to be a success - one that shows that for Maryland to truly become the next big biohealth hub, all key players need to work together in making that a reality.


DreamIt Ventures, the Johns Hopkins University and John Hopkins Medicine, Northrop Grumman Corporation, BioHealth Innovation and Kaiser Permanente, are hosting Demo Day for the cohort of healthtech startups that spent the last 16 weeks in the DreamIt Health Baltimore accelerator program. The event will be held tomorrow, April 30, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sheikh Zayed Auditorium (2119A) at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1800 Orleans St., Baltimore, MD.  The presenting companies will have the opportunity to briefly share their progress and future plans before an audience of several hundred investors, industry leaders, potential customers, members of the press and other colleagues. A webcast of the event will be broadcast through the Johns Hopkins UStream channel here.

“Demo Day is our capstone event, literally giving our portfolio companies a platform from which to share their stories, accomplishments to date and their roadmap for the future before a select audience of potential investors, partners and customers,” said Elliot Menschik, Managing Partner of DreamIt Health.


DC I-Corps, in partnership with BioHealth Innovation, Inc., has developed a new, NSF-supported program designed to foster, grow and nurture the life science innovation ecosystem in the Mid-Atlantic Region and is now accepting applications for its spring cohort, beginning on May 12th. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis up until that date.

Open to research teams and aspiring entrepreneurs from the National Institutes of Health and other federal laboratories, the free program guides researchers in exploring the commercial potential of their inventions.

Through DC I-Corps, you will:

  • Learn how to assess the commercial value of life science technologies through a customer discovery process;
  • Work closely with six or more real-world advisors that have startup, venture capital, and technology commercialization experience over a five-week period; and
  • Come to a clear go or no-go decision regarding the commercial potential of your technology.

The program is geared towards innovations coming from medical / health / and life sciences. DC I-Corps builds upon the successful National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps program. The program is jointly offered by the University of Maryland, BioHealth Innovation, Inc., George Washington University, and Virginia Tech.

For more information, please visit

Location and Program Dates:

To Apply:


Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today announced his recommended $4.97 billion operating budget for fiscal year (FY) 2015, that begins July 1, and includes a tax-supported County government budget of $1.478 billion. The budget funds education beyond what is required by the State Maintenance of Effort Level law to meet future needs created by the skyrocketing number of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students, puts more police on the beat and reduces the County’s property tax rate.

Leggett has made creating Montgomery County’s jobs of the future one of his top priorities and over the past two years of economic recovery, Montgomery County jobs are up three percent. His FY15 recommended operating budget includes funding to repurpose the William Hanna Innovation Center to become the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. It increases Life Sciences and Incubator support by $400,000 and increases by $500,000 County funding for BioHealth Innovation, the public-private partnership to enhance the commercialization of critical research conducted in the County. This budget also increases County support for the successful Local Small Business Reserve Program and for the American Film Institute.


Fourteen of 40 companies at the William Hanna Center for Innovation at Shady Grove already have moved to new space, and county employees are working with the rest to find new homes, county economic development head Steven A. Silverman said Wednesday. The new sites include the Germantown Innovation Center and the Montgomery campus of Johns Hopkins University in Rockville, as well as private space, he said. The county is in the process of replacing its oldest business incubator with a national cybersecurity center aligned with the National Institute of Standards and Technology of Gaithersburg. That plan has been met with opposition from not just tenants, but several Montgomery state legislators and former County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, who is running against County Executive Isiah Leggett in the Democratic primary in June.


As we heard at our big MoCo Forecast event this morning in Bethesda, growing jobs there will require wooing those you already have. (If you have leftover Valentine's chocolate, put it to work.)

BioHealth Innovation CEO Rich Bendis (far left, as well as on the big screen as an ace ballplayer) says variety should be a big part of job growth: "A balanced portfolio of new, existing, and large anchors." Going international should also be a focus; Rich feels the county should lock down foreign tech companies who might otherwise look to Boston, Silicon Valley, Philly, or the NC Research Triangle. Rich was joined on our first panel by Ike, Technology Council of Maryland CEO Phil Schiff, and Foulger-Pratt VP Brigg Bunker.


Originally published in the Baltimore Business Journal

By Brian Darmody

Where’s the nation’s second largest concentration of academic, federal and private sector research spending? California? Massachusetts? According to the National Science Foundation, it’s Maryland, equating to billions of dollars in research investment in the Maryland economy. First place New Mexico has a relatively small rural population and presence of two major federal nuclear research labs.

But Maryland has something New Mexico doesn’t — proximity to Washington, D.C.

Washington is home to the nation’s government, but also the National Academies, technology trade associations, international corporations, embassies, media, regulatory agencies, foundations, and science agencies.


Download the presentation here

Please join Rich Bendis on Thursday, February 6th, 2014 for the 7th Annual Health IT Day in Annapolis. Learn more about Health Information Technology (HIT) and how it affects you as a consumer today and in the future. Get the chance to meet with district legislators and senators to let them know what needs to be done to further push HIT in Maryland and keep us on the cutting edge of this rapidly evolving field.


What's next for Montgomery County? The potential for livable work, live and play environments on Metro abound. But what about the business community? What is it going to take to build an innovation economy? Is Montgomery County going to become the next tech hub?

Join us for a very special morning event featuring some of the brightest and most influential business and real estate leaders as they discuss some of the most dramatic decisions that this region will face in the upcoming year. Panelists include County Executive Isiah Leggett, Steve Silverman, and BHI's Rich Bendis. Sign up now to join leaders of the Maryland business region for an important morning of discussion and networking!

We are looking forward to this event, and hope you'll be able to attend. As a special offer to our friends and clients, we have partnered with Bisnow to provide you with a 20% discount. Enter discount code MCBEND at checkout.

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Top5 Speaker

Each year, Speakers Platform recognizes five speakers within ten popular topic areas. Excellence in speaking is based on: expertise, professionalism, client testimonials, presentation skills and original contribution to the field. The only substantive requirement is that the candidates' standard keynote presentation fee be under $30,000USD. Once the nominees are chosen, online voters determine the final Top5 honorees. Women secured more honoree slots this year than any year in the past - almost sweeping some categories such as "Communication / Diversity". Job well done!

Over 12,000 votes were received at for the initial 165 nominees- from business leaders, educators, association members and others from around the world. Many voters praised the nominees for having a profoundly positive impact on their lives; a living testament to the far reach and valuable work of all the nominees. Please join us in congratulating your 2014 honorees!

Richard Bendis was listed in the top 5 in the Innovation / Creativity category.  Thanks to all those who voted and helped spread the word!   —Ed.


Defense and government contracting giant Northrop Grumman is making a bet on young start-ups by supporting a business accelerator for healthcare-related ventures.

The Falls Church-based company partnered with Johns Hopkins University, Rockville-based nonprofit BioHealth Innovation, which helps bioscience research projects in Maryland find funding, and Philadelphia venture capital firm DreamIt Ventures to start the new accelerator, to be based in Baltimore. DreamIt has operated similar programs for start-ups across other industries in several cities nationwide.


From Sept. 15-25, Montgomery County executive Ike Leggett led a trip for four cities in China: Shanghai, Xi’an, Benxi, and the Gu’an County right outside of Beijing. The trip included over 80 business, education, and government leaders from Montgomery County and the DC metropolitan area including Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) superintendent Joshua Starr, county council member Hans Riemer, and Michael Goldman of the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

This marked the first trade trip to china in five years by the county Executive’s office – the last one was in 2008.

The purpose of this mission was to encourage Chinese investors to consider Montgomery County as an attractive location for their investments, open doors for MoCo businesses there, as well as establish a “Sister City” relationship with the city of Xi’an, said a press release put out by the Montgomery County Office of Public Information.


SAVE THE DATE: DreamIt Health Baltimore 2014
Kickoff Weekend: January 17th and 18th, 2014
Baltimore, MD

DreamIt Health Baltimore - powered by The Johns Hopkins University, BioHealth Innovation, and Northrop Grumman - is ramping up for the Winter 2014 accelerator class in Baltimore, MD and we want to make sure the kickoff events are on your calendar. More information below.

DreamIt Health Baltimore Kickoff Reception: January 17, 2013
On the evening of Friday, January 17th, 2014 DreamIt Ventures and our partners are hosting a kickoff party to meet the DreamIt Health Baltimore 2014 companies and other members of the Baltimore entrepreneurial community. Location is TBD and the event will begin around 5:30/6:00pm eastern time. We will be sending formal invitations to the event in the near future but wanted to get this on your calendar now. Please ink us in!

The kickoff reception will include light snacks and beverages, in addition to networking and your first opportunity to meet the DreamIt Health Baltimore 2014 companies.

Sponsored by:

Kickoff Weekend Working Session: Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 9:00am - 5:00pm (INVITE ONLY)
We are in the process of identifying potential mentors for the companies as well as pairing them up with their law firm & accounting firm partners. Members of this community should please save the date for our working session that Saturday with the companies. We'll send out a detailed RSVP for the event soon.

If you have any questions about either of these events or the DreamIt Health Baltimore program please contact Dana Rygwelski (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has joined DreamIt Health Baltimore, a collaborative startup business accelerator program with the goal of identifying, validating and developing innovative solutions to healthcare challenges.

Northrop Grumman joins The Johns Hopkins University and BioHealth Innovation Inc. in the Baltimore-based accelerator, which was launched in September by DreamIt Ventures, a seed-stage accelerator based out of Philadelphia.

Startups selected for the four-month program receive $50,000 in seed funding; access to potential beta customers, pilot partners, data and systems; accounting and legal support; and expert guidance and mentoring from the accelerator and its partners.


Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett returned recently from a 10-day, 4-city trip to China aimed at advancing Chinese jobs and investment in the County and opening doors for County businesses there, as well as establishing a “Sister City” relationship with the city of Xi’an, with eight million residents and home to the famous Terra Cotta Army.

Packed with visits to businesses and high-tech centers, educational institutions and hospitals, as well as government meetings, the delegation’s itinerary reflected the mission’s strong focus on education and business development. Multi-level partnerships were developed on education, healthcare, and business fronts.


Our Entrepreneur-in-Residence Ram Aiyar participated in a tech transfer series featured on BioCentury This Week discussing the need for accelerated innovations and the current lack of commercialization focus on commercially relevant technologies. The program was divided into 3 parts, Stuck in the Lab, Fresh Approaches, and Validation and also featured Dr. Alicia Loeffler and Rosemarie Truman.

The three-part program can be watched by following the link below.


Stuck in the Lab

Johns Hopkins University and BioHealth Innovation are partnering with Philadelphia-based DreamIt Ventures to bring a new health IT accelerator to Baltimore. The accelerator, called DreamIt Health Baltimore, is being supported by a portion of a $520,000 federal grant awarded to BioHealth Innovation and the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore.


By Alissa Gulin, Daily Record Business Writer

A sizeable portion of a federal grant will go toward launching an intensive, 16-week accelerator program for health information technology entrepreneurs in Maryland.

Rich Bendis, president and CEO of BioHealth Innovation, said participants in the competitive program will come to Baltimore, meet with potential investors and partners and access the resources of Johns Hopkins Medicine, one of the partners in the accelerator. Officials will unveil more details of the program within a couple of weeks.

BioHealth Innovation, a Rockville-based group that acts as an intermediary between research institutions and the private sector, was one of two Maryland organizations that received a combined $520,000 grant, announced Wednesday, to help grow the state’s burgeoning biotechnology industry. The Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, an economic development group, was the other recipient.


The Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore has received a $520,000 federal grant to bolster the state's biotechnology industry.

The Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore (EAGB) will work with BioHealth Innovation in Montgomery County to develop a “Healthcare Regional Innovation Cluster” with the grant. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

Barbara Mikulski

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced that the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, Inc. and BioHealth Innovation, Inc. of Montgomery County have been awarded a combined $520,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Commerce's (DOC) Economic Development Administration (EDA). The federal funding will be used to establish the Healthcare Regional Innovation Cluster (H-RIC) initiative which will combine the strengths of Maryland's cutting-edge health research institutions and unique federal assets to speed the development of new treatments and cures, supporting Maryland jobs and keeping families healthy.


This workshop on Oct 9th. had been cancelled due to the Government Shutdown and will be rescheduled at a later date.

With Fall approaching, everyone is preparing for their favorite things whether that's football season, pumpkin carving, or more reasonable temperatures in Central Maryland. Fall is also a great time for the Small Business Innovation Research grant program throughout National Institutes of Health. In partnership with the NIH, BioHealth Innovation is sponsoring a fall gathering to talk about SBIR awards.

It's useful to hear directly from NIH program officials on the current funding priorities per Institute. We have assembled program leads from NHLBI, NIAID, and NCI who can provide small businesses with more insight into their SBIR programs. They will also be available for one-on-one consultations at the conclusion of the event.

Event Details:
Wednesday, October 9th, 1:00pm – 4:00pm (EDT)
155 Gibbs Street, 6th Floor
Rockville, MD 20850
(Overlooking Rockville Town Center)

actual logo small

On Wednesday August 21st, 80+ people filled the BHI parking lot for an evening of networking, eating crabs, and enjoying a relaxed, stress-free atmosphere. Represented was a who's who of the Montgomery County biohealth community and the local county government.

Thank you to everyone who made it out and we hope to see you again next time!

Do you want to help change the face of the Maryland Biohealth Community? Are you an experienced entrepreneur itching to work with disruptive technologies and innovative individuals to push them towards being the next big startup?

BioHealth Innovation, Maryland's youngest innovation intermediary wants to put you in the right place to make this happen. We need an experienced individual to to lead our Health IT initiative as our Health IT Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR).

doug liu

Through a career spanning three decades and counting, Douglas Liu has managed various operations for life sciences companies in Boston, Chicago, Europe and Montgomery County. He has been involved with numerous organizations in the field, including the Tech Council of Maryland and the Governor's International Advisory Council.

Such wide experience is a key reason he was recently chosen as board chairman of BioHealth Innovation, a Rockville-based public-private nonprofit that helps commercialize innovative ideas in the field and expand those companies. The partnership formed about two years ago after it was among the recommendations of the Montgomery County Biosciences Task Force.


BHI CEO Rich Bendis recently served as an expert panelist contributing to a special report from the "White House Lab-to-Market Inter-Agency Summit." Panelists examined the U.S. federal government's investment in drug R&D and the resulting private sector commercialization. According to the Summit report:

Federal research has done exceedingly well at accomplishing its original intent, which is to increase human knowledge, meet mission needs, and undertake high-risk research of long-term importance to the U.S. economy that is beyond the reach of the private sector. But commercialization of resulting discoveries from agency research has largely been an after-thought, despite clear Congressional and Presidential intent expressed through a series of legislative mandates and Executive Orders. While research to meet agency missions is critical, the members of the Panel believe that if the U.S. is to remain globally competitive in the 21st century, it must accelerate the translation of federally-funded R&D into commercial outcomes that create economic and public value, thus maximizing the return on the public dollars invested.

Read more at:
Increasing the Impact of Federally-Funded R&D


National Brain Tumor Society’s inaugural event draws over 100 brain tumor researchers, biopharma executives, government officials, and venture capital investors

National Brain Tumor Society, the largest nonprofit in the United States dedicated to the brain tumor community, recently hosted the inaugural Advancing Research to Therapies (ART) for Brain Tumors Conference in Washington, D.C. The ART Conference brought together more than 100 leading experts from academic research labs, government agencies, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and venture capital firms to increase communication and collaboration, as well as discuss licensing and investment criteria for new drug candidates to speed the discovery of new treatments for brain tumor patients.