North American Wave Engine Corp., a University of Maryland College Park startup, raised $1.45 million during a recent funding round.
The round was led by the Abell Foundation and the University System of Maryland’s Momentum Fund, with each contributing $350,000 toward the investment.
Other investors include Ron and Cyndi Gula, the co-founders of Tenable, and Bill Niland, the former CEO of Harpoon Medical.
“We are grateful to the USM Momentum Fund and the Abell Foundation for their support as we continue to push the boundaries of science, engineering, and aviation,” Daanish Maqbool, the company’s CEO, said in a statement.
The company is focused on developing wave engines for jet propulsion applications. These wave engines are jet engines without moving part. That allows for greater fuel efficiency, along with reducing the engine’s weight.
These engines could be prosperous in the unmanned aerial vehicle and the aerospace market.
“We’re excited that this innovative technology is expected to seed a new industry that, looking ahead, will create manufacturing jobs in Baltimore,” Robert C. Embry, Jr, president of the Abell Foundation, said in a statement.
North American Wave Engine Corp. has ground-tested prototypes for both unmanned and general aviation markets. It plans to do flight-testing soon at the university’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site in southern Maryland.
The funds raised in this round will help pay for that testing.
The investment was the third from the University System of Maryland’s venture capital fund, which was developed last year. Previous investments include sustainable firewood company MF Fire and stroke recovery company Next Step Robotics.
“This third investment in the USM Momentum Fund is the latest example that our system is determined to support technology transfer opportunities that develop on our campuses,” Robert L. Caret, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, said in a statement. “We want these companies to grow and mature, as the USM demonstrates a leadership role as an economic driver for Maryland.”