George Davis is a CEO, investor, and big believer in a bright future for Baltimore's startups. Davis is passionate about bringing academic research to fruition in healthcare. He's doing just that through his companies: Gemstone Biotherapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on effective healing solutions in advanced wound care, and Gamma 3, an early stage venture catalyst firm. Davis recently talked with Commerce about his businesses and his thoughts on innovation in Maryland.
Building an Ecosystem
"There's no reason we can't think big," Davis said about building an ecosystem of incubators and startups in Maryland. Gamma 3, which has only invested in Baltimore startups, focuses on creating companies based on a high-level research coming out of the area's powerhouses, like Johns Hopkins University.
Gamma 3 is hoping to stimulate local early stage funding, which will lead to the building of a network of startup venues and a collaborative local network of entrepreneurs and scientists. This local network will help create more businesses down the road, and to show academia the value of the private sector. The ultimate goal, Davis said, is to find ways to move techniques developed by academics into the hospital setting.
"Too often, papers get published in academiathey don't move onthings don't get done," Davis said. As a cancer survivor and former patient of Johns Hopkins Hospital, Davis understands the importance of this on a personal level. "As a patient, I have very little patience," he said.
Gemstone Biotherapeutics is an example of a Gamma 3 company that's working toward bringing academic research to hospitals. Built on the foundation of a license with Johns Hopkins University, Gemstone Bio focuses on high-efficacy technologies to replace current solutions in advanced wound care that are missing the mark in terms of healing efficiency and effectiveness, and cost.
Watch the video below to learn more about Gemstone Biotherapeutics & Gamma 3.
Bringing Local Innovations to the World
While funding from initiatives like Gamma 3 provides startups a financial backbone, having access to education, mentorship, services and space is key too. That's why Gemstone Biotherapeutics uses lab space at Johns Hopkins FastForward, an accelerator that's part of the Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures Group. FastForward provides everything startups need, Davis said.
The mission of FastForward is "to bring technology to the world, and to bring economic development to Baltimore and the state," said Brian Stansky, director of FastForward.
Watch the video below to learn more about FastForward.