UMD Expands Innovation and Commercialization Team

UMD Expands Innovation and Commercialization Team

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UM Ventures – College Park, part of the University of Maryland Division of Research, is pleased to announce the addition of new talent to its innovation and commercialization efforts: Ken Porter, director of the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) and Stan Smith, venture investment manager. These new hires build on UM Ventures’ strategic goal of unleashing innovation.

“The University of Maryland is home to world-class research, entrepreneurial students, and innovative alumni.  Activating their fearless ideas to drive transformational impact is UM Ventures’ core mission,” said Julie Lenzer, chief innovation officer and director of UM Ventures – College Park. “These new team members will help further catalyze our efforts to build and connect the entrepreneurial ecosystem both on and off campus to help us realize our vision.”

As the newly appointed OTC director, Ken Porter will lead office efforts to serve faculty and research partners by securing and commercializing intellectual property (IP) born from the university’s research enterprise, which reached $545 million in external research funding in FY2018. Bolstered by a Ph.D. in Chemistry and an MBA from Duke University, Porter brings two decades of technology commercialization experience to Maryland, most recently as vice president of intellectual property management at Innovate Calgary, a nonprofit technology transfer and economic development corporation serving the University of Calgary. He also founded the Western Canadian Innovation Offices, a consortium of 46 universities, colleges, and polytechnics, which have banded together to create opportunities for industry-academic research partnerships. Prior to his work in Canada, Porter established the University of Colorado at Boulder’s tech transfer office and built a multi-institutional tech transfer office for the southern region of the University of Texas.

Stan Smith joins the University of Maryland as venture investment manager, which is a dual appointment between UM Ventures and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. In this role, he will identify, recruit, screen, and coach growth seed stage investment opportunities for the Dingman Center Angels and the Maryland Momentum Fund, an early-stage investment fund that backs startup companies formed within the University System of Maryland. He is also charged with developing relationships on behalf of the university with investors and other strategic partners to drive better access to capital and increase the likelihood of success of the university’s entrepreneurial endeavors. Prior to joining Maryland, Smith served as a venture investor for Syncom Venture Partners, where he helped to invest capital from a $275 million multi-stage media and communications venture capital fund. In addition, Smith has more than 15 years of experience in business development, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, and investment banking for companies including Yahoo!, Overture, Universal Studios, and Merrill Lynch.

Another notable addition to the innovation and commercialization team includes Intellectual Property Manager Caroline Chen, a patent attorney with a doctorate in chemistry, four patents, and recognition as a “Rising Star” in Intellectual Property by Super Lawyers in 2016-2018. Chen is responsible for all university IP, from disclosure to patenting, as well as monitoring all IP status.

Additionally, Alla McCoy has been promoted to director of faculty startup support. McCoy, who earned an MBA at UMD’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, brings in-depth knowledge of the campus innovation ecosystem from her 10 years at UMD as a licensing analyst in OTC and a program manager for the Dingman Center. She is charged with assisting faculty who want to commercialize their technologies and supporting the growth of resources for entrepreneurs.

About UM Ventures

UM Ventures is a joint initiative of the MPowering the State initiative that brings the University of Maryland, College Park and University of Maryland, Baltimore together to commercialize discoveries and create economic impact by engaging partners in industry and social ventures. Learn more: www.umventures.org

September 24, 2018


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Office of Technology Commercialization
2130 Mitchell Building
7999 Regents Dr.
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Phone: 301-405-3947  |  Fax: 301-314-9502
Email: umdtechtransfer@umd.edu

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UMD's Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility, which simulates weightlessness, is one of only two such facilities in the U.S.