September 24, 2007

Venable's Charles Morton Appointed to Board of TEDCO, the Nation's Most Active Early/Seed Stage Investor

4 min

Maryland Technology Development Corp. Ranked No. 1 nationally for investments in start-up/early stage tech companies by Entrepreneur Magazine for fourth consecutive year; Mr. Morton becomes the only lawyer on TEDCO's current 15-member board

BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON, DC (September 24, 2007) - Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has appointed Venable LLP partner Charles J. Morton, Jr., a member of the firm's Business Transactions Practice Group, to the board of directors of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation(TEDCO).

Mr. Morton, based in Venable's Baltimore office, has been sworn in and will formally be confirmed by the State Senate in January 2008, when the Maryland General Assembly reconvenes.

Similar to the investment committee of a private venture capital firm, the state-funded TEDCO helps develop, transfer and commercialize important technological innovations from Maryland-based universities and research labs by providing emerging technology companies and university researchers with the seed funding and technical assistance they need to further advance their innovations.

Entrepreneur Magazine's 2007 "VC 100" list named TEDCO the nation's most active investor in startup/seed or early stage technology companies for the fourth year in a row. With a fiscal year 2008 budget of $28 million ($23 million designated for the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund), TEDCO provided funding to 22 Maryland companies in 2006 alone.

Mr. Morton, a longtime player in Maryland's technology and funding community, is the only attorney on TEDCO's current 15-member board, which includes a mix of prominent leaders from Maryland business and academia, including Frank Adams of Grotech Capital; Jennie Hunter-Cevera, Ph.D., of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute; Dr. Theodore Poehler of the Johns Hopkins University; Jay Steinmetz of Barcoding, Inc.; Eugene DeLoatch, Ph.D., of Morgan State University; and C. Warren Mullins of Battelle, the world's largest non-profit independent research lab.

Companies in which TEDCO has invested during the past year include Nano Solutions, Inc., developer of a nanocapacitor, a source of efficient and environmentally safe energy for both military and commercial use; and Active Signal Technologies, Inc., which is working with the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory to develop a noise-immune stethoscope for use in the battlefield.

"TEDCO fills an invaluable role in our regional economy as a public sector investor in home-grown entrepreneurial companies," Mr. Morton said. "I have long been aware of TEDCO's efforts and the impact of its funding to promising start-up science and technology-based businesses in Maryland. I can't think of another state in the country with such a tangible commitment to nurturing early-stage technology companies for future growth and success."

TEDCO's President and Executive Director Renée Winsky welcomed Mr. Morton to the organization, calling him "an ideal addition to our Board of Directors." Said Ms. Winsky, "In addition to his command of the legal and financial needs of emerging technology companies, Chuck is a huge supporter of Maryland business and really understands what is required for successful technology commercialization. TEDCO and the companies and organizations we support will benefit greatly from Chuck's presence on our board."

Much of Mr. Morton's practice focuses on representing entrepreneurs and those who invest in their companies. In addition to representing entrepreneurs, his clients include banks, private equity firms and small business investment companies (SBICs) which provide financing to early and middle-stage private companies - the types of companies in which TEDCO invests.

Mr. Morton, a Montgomery County native, is the current President of the Maryland Chapter of the Association of Corporate Growth. He also teaches an undergraduate entrepreneurial course focused on tech transfer at Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Morton was the principal author of a Venable technology transfer primer in 2005, and a contributing author to Maryland Technology Transactions: the Venable Practice and Forms Manual (2002). He has published more than one 100 articles on various business-related issues and has been a featured speaker at many conferences. He received his J.D. from the Maryland University School of Law in 1990.

Mr. Morton was named as part of Maryland's Legal Elite, by Baltimore Smart CEO Magazine, in both 2005 and 2006. He was also named as Innovator of the Year, by the Daily Record, in 2002. He has held leadership roles in the American Bar Association, the Maryland State Bar Association, and the Bar Association of Baltimore City.

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