New Center to Expand Entrepreneurship Opportunities
SQUARESPACE CREATES AND MAINTAINS WEBSITES that
get millions of hits. Alertus makes and installs emergency
alert systems for colleges, military bases and
government buildings. Zymetis is on the cutting edge
of the alternative energy field, producing biofuels from
Chesapeake Bay plant waste.
All of these companies were founded by Maryland
alumni and faculty, and the university hopes to
launch 100 more such successful ventures in
the next eight years through a new Center for
Innovation and Entrepreneurship, or CIE.
The center, planned for development over the
next four years with substantial private support,
will bring together the A. James Clark School of
Engineering and the Robert H. Smith School of
Business to enhance the university’s ability to drive
innovation, entrepreneurship and technology commercialization
across the region.
“Who is going to be the new person that revolutionizes
technology, that launches a name-brand firm like
Google? I think that person is going to come out of the
University of Maryland,” says Darryll Pines, dean of
the Clark School.
The CIE will house the array of entrepreneurship
activities in a central facility and serve as a bridge to
the venture capital and larger entrepreneurship communities.
Plans call for streamlining existing activities,
creating new opportunities for undergraduate and
graduate students and providing assistance to commercialize
discoveries, inventions and business ideas.
The university is committed to infusing the spirit of
entrepreneurship in students across the campus, and is
doubling its annual investment in these programs, says
G. “Anand” Anandalingam, dean of the Smith School.
“We’re seeking the support of alumni and friends to
share our vision of this institution as a major source of
enterprise generation and economic development for
the state and region.”
A Passion for Growing Big Ideas
Warren Citrin wants budding entrepreneurs to turn to the A. James Clark
School of Engineering for the technical education and mentorship to develop
big-impact ideas like clean water technology or local power generation.
His recent gift of $560,000 to establish the Warren Citrin Graduate
Fellowship program is just his latest effort to help young people in the school
take on society’s biggest challenges. The fellowships, to be awarded for the first
time this fall, will provide significant funding for graduate assistantships and
other support to attract talented master’s and doctoral students with ideas for
sustainable solutions. Individualized mentoring will help them to complete their
degrees and launch businesses that boost Maryland’s economic development.
“Issues involving energy, clean water, land use, urban design and monitoring
and protecting resource use are going to be solved by fundamental research,”
says Citrin. “To the degree that we can get candidates here who focus on
some aspect of these pressing problems, it will be very gratifying.”
Citrin, founder of software engineering firm Solypsis and media application
company Gloto, is also supporting a new part-time
employee to help the fellows create viable businesses. Maryland’s
Mtech Venture Accelerator will provide business professionals to
coach students on setting goals, raising capital and marketing.
Warren Citrin has a history of
supporting Maryland students
focused on developing innovative
businesses with social
impact. He sponsors pre-seed
grants for undergraduate entrepreneurs
as well as the social
impact award presented each
year at the university’s $75K
Business Plan Competition.
“Issues involving energy, clean water, land use, urban design and
monitoring and protecting resource use are going to be solved by
David Barbe, Mtech executive director and professor of electrical
engineering, says the fellowships will also help keep top undergraduates
in the state. Applicants must show a history of business involvement—whether through a childhood lemonade stand or a lucrative Web
endeavor—and present a new business concept.
“This program will continue to put the Clark School on the map as a college
of engineering that highly values the entrepreneurial spirit,” Barbe says. —KM
A Renaissance Man of Giving
Colonnade Society Marks 20 Years
The Colonnade Society recognizes
donors who make annual contributions
of $1,000 or more. Membership
reached 5,212 in 2010. For more information,
visit www.YEARS colonnade.umd.edu.
Albert Folop ’69 plays music and instruments from the
1600s, but his support for budding young musicians at
Maryland makes clear that he is focused on the future.
Folop, who for more than 30 years has made an
annual gift to benefit Maryland students, is a charter
member of the university’s Colonnade Society, now
celebrating its 20th anniversary.
“This kind of consistent giving has enabled Maryland
to now compete for the best students and faculty and is
essential if the university’s ambitions goals for the future
are to be realized,” says Colonnade Society Council Chair
John H. Axley III.
Folop, who retired from a 27-year career in the Navy
and 15 years as a computer programmer, says when he
started giving, he kept it up every year, giving at the
Colonnade level since 1982. “My education was paid for
by the government and I felt I ought to give back to help
Today, Folop is doing his part to preserve Renaissance
and Baroque music, playing the viola da gamba, recorder,
krummhorn, rauschpfeife, cometto, lute and baroque
flute and creating an online archive of some 3,000 viol
music scores available for free download.
A member of the School of Music Board of
Visitors, Folop frequently attends student performances.
He even sits with nervous families to
cheer students during the early stages of the
annual concerto competition.
“College is there for the young people,”
Folop says. “I’m supporting the School of
Music in developing high-caliber students
who are destined to become the professional
artists of tomorrow as well as those who will
keep music alive in local communities.” —CR
Band Plays Victory Tune in TerpsChoice
Photo by John T. Consoli
THINK SMALL GIFTS can’t make a difference? Ask the Mighty Sound of
Maryland about that.
The three-month TerpsChoice initiative, which pooled together gifts of
less than $250 and awarded all donations to one of five causes that garnered
the most votes from donors, ended with the band marching to victory.
The Mighty Sound of Maryland inched out other worthy causes including
Keep Me Maryland, the Veterans Initiative, the Solar Decathlon and
Mtech’s Entrepreneurship Program. Though the band earned the collective
gifts totaling more than $6,000, each of the other programs received
$1,000 for participating.
The band, seeking to refurbish its uniforms, used its grassroots
approach to drive donations and votes. Members tapped family and
friends to support the cause and distributed a video showing the
shabby condition of the uniforms, which resonated with many.
Brodie Remington, vice president for university relations,
thanks the everyone who donated. “Your participation in
TerpsChoice demonstrates your commitment to the worthy
causes featured in this program, and shows your affinity for
the University of Maryland,” he says. —BU
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