Lenzer and Kulczakowicz Author Article Featuring UMD Spin-Offs in the National Academy of Inventors Journal, Technology and Innovation

Lenzer and Kulczakowicz Author Article Featuring UMD Spin-Offs in the National Academy of Inventors Journal, Technology and Innovation

The University of Maryland’s Chief Innovation Officer, Julie Lenzer, and UM Ventures’ Senior Innovation Manager, Piotr Kulczakowicz, have authored an article in the new issue of Technology and Innovation, the journal published by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The article, titled “Fueling Spin-offs: Case Studies of University-based Technology Startup Funding,” analyzes the successful financial strategies of eight University of Maryland spin-offs, and in particular, the pivotal timing of private investments.

The latest issue of Technology and Innovation, “Seeding the Future: Access to Capital for Funding Innovation,” features a selection of papers that explore various funding approaches for inventors. Lenzer and Kulczakowicz’s research focuses on two broad categories of spin-offs. The first category comprises companies that are in the early stage of creating a commercially viable product or service from their research whereas the second category have a minimum viable product (MVP) which are already generating some revenue. The small, but diverse sample of companies interviewed, reveal additional themes driving further success and impact from university spinout companies. Full text from the article can be read here.

As Chief Innovation Officer, Julie Lenzer fosters and supports UMD’s innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology commercialization enterprise, including the development of the UMD’s Research Park, the Discovery District, and the Greater College Park initiative. She also promotes and facilitates university-wide collaboration to launch startup ventures based upon University intellectual property, as well as providing support for entrepreneurs and small business across the state through Mixed/Augmented/Virtual Reality Innovation Center (MAVRIC), the Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the TechPort incubator in St. Mary’s County.

Piotr Kulczakowicz is a Sr. Innovation Manager for UM Ventures - College Park. Piotr is focused on the University of Maryland's physical science technology portfolio. Before joining the UM Ventures team, Piotr was involved with Quantum4D, a software startup, and held various positions at McKinsey&Company, a management consulting firm. Just after graduation Piotr worked as a Research Assistant in the Laser Spectroscopy Group at the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Piotr holds Master's degree in Applied Physics from the Warsaw University of Technology (WUT) and an MBA from a joint program founded by WUT, HEC Paris, London Business School, and Norwegian School of Economics.

The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

The following UMD spin-offs were included in this study:

Grip Boost
Engineers from the University of Maryland’s Chemical Engineering Department teamed up with former Terps tight end Matt Furstenburg, and Entrepreneur Businessman Harry Geller to develop a product that improves the tackiness of football gloves.

Hazel Analytics
Founded by a diverse team of computer scientists and economists, Hazel Analytics provides a suite of web-based automated tools that gather, integrate, standardize, and enable rich reporting and data analytics capabilities for regulatory food safety inspections of 1+ million retail outlets, including restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, food trucks, and institutional cafes. 

IonQ develops general-purpose quantum computers for commercial applications.

Mblue Labs
Mblue Labs markets a line of anti-aging skin care cosmetics that extends the lifespan of skin cells and improves the overall condition of skin connective tissue.

Formerly known as gel-e (currently Medcura’s flagship brand), Medcura offers advanced biocompatible polymeric products for rapid and reliable bleeding management and wound care.

N5 Sensors, Inc.
N5 Sensors, Inc. of Rockville, MD is a University of Maryland spin-off leveraging innovations in nanoengineered materials and devices to create novel sensing and detection solutions. N5 is currently commercializing a new-generation of chip-scale chemical sensor technology that can detect harmful chemicals mixed in air, such as industrial chemicals, automobile exhausts, cigarette smoke, and pollutants released from paints, cleaners, pesticides and other products. 

Otomagnetics, LLC
A University of Maryland College Park spin-out, is developing a non-invasive method to effectively deliver drugs and other therapeutic payloads to the inner and middle ear.

Via Separations
Via Separations develops a new class of membranes for industrial separation processes. Novel material carries the promise of using ten times less energy than present methods. Drs. Shreya Dave and Brent Keller investigated use of graphene oxide as a membrane scaffold material during Dave’s Ph.D. research.


July 13, 2021

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University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-1541

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