Galen Robotics Moves from Silicon Valley to Pigtown, Receives Opportunity Zone Funding

| November 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

Earlier this month, Verte Opportunity Fund announced the completion of its investment in Galen Robotics, a medical device company which recently moved its headquarters from Silicon Valley to 1100 Wicomico St. in Pigtown. Galen Robotics is working on a new surgical robotics platform for microsurgeries that combines robotics, AI, and data analytics to “revolutionize” minimally-invasive surgeries.

Verte Opportunity Fund is based in College Park and invests in fast-growing small businesses located in Opportunity Zones that were designated by the federal government. A large section of Pigtown, along with several sections of South Baltimore, were designated as Opportunity Zones.

Opportunity Zones were created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the United State Congress and signed by President Donald J. Trump. The IRS describes the program saying: “These zones are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities throughout the country and U.S. possessions by providing tax benefits to investors who invest eligible capital into these communities. Taxpayers may defer tax on eligible capital gains by making an appropriate investment in a Qualified Opportunity Fund and meeting other requirements.”

With this expansion, Galen Robotics plans to add 100 to 125 employees to its team.

Galen Robotics is expanding upon research conducted at the Laboratory of Computational Sensing and Robotics of Johns Hopkins University, which resulted in the Robotic ENT Microsurgical System (REMS). The company’s robotic platform will assist surgeons in a variety of microsurgical procedures.

Verte Opportunity Fund’s investment in Galen Robotics is one of the first instances of an Opportunity Zone Fund financing an operating business in the country, according to the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC). This round of funding will support Galen Robotics’ next phase of growth and move toward commercialization.

“We are very proud to have Galen Robotics in our portfolio of companies. Their robotics will provide tremendous assistance to doctors performing precision surgeries and bring technology jobs into Baltimore,” said Dr. Leonard Mills, CEO of Verte Opportunity Fund, in a press release. “This investment also reveals how engagement between investors, industry leaders, such as Galen Robotics, state and local economic development efforts such as Baltimore Development Corporation and Maryland Department of Commerce, can truly achieve a double bottom-line. Ultimately our Opportunity Zone Fund is about creating investor and community value. We welcome new investors who are interested in taking part in this and other impactful venture capital investments.”

“The Baltimore Development Corporation first introduced us to Verte and we were impressed by their focus on Opportunity Zone companies, which not only helps startups like Galen, but also helps the City of Baltimore,” said Bruce Lichorowic, president and CEO of Galen Robotics, in a press release. “We’re excited to have a socially conscious fund like Verte supporting our next phase of growth.”

“Baltimore has a vibrant tech scene and recent interest in businesses from Silicon Valley and San Francisco is a testament to our pool of talent and the quality of life the city has to offer,” said Colin Tarbert, president and CEO of the BDC, in a press release. “BDC will continue to lend support to Galen Robotics as they expand and add jobs.”

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