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UMD data startup getting new digs in College Park

A data-management startup that wants close ties to the University of Maryland will move to new headquarters in College Park later this year, a move officials say will bolster plans to turn the area into an innovation hub.

University officials have been working to help find a home for Immuta since the spring, when the newly-formed company began using space in the student-run Startup Shell business incubator and co-working space on Technology Drive in College Park, said Matthew Carroll, the company’s co-founder and CEO.

Now, they’re planning to move into office space on Baltimore Avenue that they’ll sublet from the university, he said.

Immuta’s platform offers a secure way for data scientists to consolidate, store and share data, which the company believes will allow them to boost productivity.  The company raised $1.5 million in seed funding earlier this year, Carroll said.

Carroll and his three co-founders used to work in the intelligence community, but formed their own business earlier this year after the company they were working for was purchased, he said.

Since they used to work in Howard County, the Immuta team reached out to former County Executive Ken Ulman — now the university’s chief strategy officer for economic development — because they wanted to build a relationship with the school.

“We’re thrilled that Immuta was attracted to the culture of innovation that the University of Maryland and its partners are creating here in College Park,” Ulman said in a statement.

Immuta has 12 employees now, and plans to double in size by next summer, Carroll said. The company plans to make its software available to students for free and to offer mentoring and internships so those students are better prepared for the workforce and so Immuta has a larger talent pool to draw from as it grows, he said.

Carroll called the university a “great recruiting ground” and praised the skill of its engineering graduates. “We need more talent across the board,” he said. “We can’t find enough people to hire.”

The new office space is being renovated, and the company plans to move in by Dec. 1, Carroll said.

Ulman has been spearheading efforts to develop a tech and innovation ecosystem to be anchored by a new hotel and conference center and a new computer science building. The initiative has been dubbed “Greater College Park.”

In June, Ulman announced that FlexEl, a UMD startup that designs custom batteries, would remain in College Park instead of moving to northern Virginia as it had initially planned. Officials made space for the company in a university-owned warehouse on Paint Branch Parkway.

“Our Greater College Park successes and partnerships with companies like Immuta and FlexEl Inc. are putting UMD on the map as a vibrant hub for growing startups,” Ulman said.