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Starting a Company

Startup Advisory Services

If your technology is marketable as a startup, the UM Ventures program has a team to help support that effort. At UMB, the New Ventures Group and at UMCP, contact the Venture Accelerator. UM Ventures will work with you to get a sense of your technology's ultimate commercial potential by identifying your invention's:

  • Stage of development
  • Applicable market(s)
  • Path to market
  • IP position
  • Competition in the field

To get started, contact Rana Quraishi, Ph.D . for UMB or Tech Transfer for UMCP.

If your technology is marketable as a startup venture, the UM Ventures Entrepreneurs in Residence Program is available to provide expertise. Add new ventures here.

UM Ventures is positioned to identify opportunities that could result in startup companies and provide a variety of services to encourage and launch that potential. This includes offering entrepreneurs access to Entrepreneurs-in-Residence—seasoned business executives with relevant domain expertise who guide the development of go-to-market strategies and business plans, form management teams, identify and help secure funding for ripe ventures.

The EIR provides feedback on technology, business planning and access to capital for inventors.

The EIRs help to advance early-stage technology transfer opportunities and expand and accelerate new business ventures. EIRs leverage their own personal networks, where appropriate, to benefit commercialization projects. They are experienced and knowledgeable about the technology commercialization process, have management level experience with early stage companies, and experience raising capital (e.g. angel, venture, grants).

Services include:

  • Reviewing business plans
  • Assisting with funding proposals
  • Developing market strategies
  • Finding talent for new ventures

EIRs are available by appointment only. Email: or

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs)


UMB - Rahul Singhvi, Sc.D., M.B.A.

Rahul Singhvi, Sc.D., M.B.A., Entrepreneur in Residence at UM Baltimore, recently took on the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Vaccine Business Division at Takeda Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. Dr. Singhvi graduated as the top ranked chemical engineer from IIT, Kanpur, India and obtained both his M.S. and Sc.D. degrees in chemical engineering from MIT. He also received an M.B.A. degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Singhvi is a former Merck vaccine executive and the former CEO of Maryland-based Novavax.

Medical Devices

UMB - Bob Storey

UMB Medical Device EIR Bob Storey, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UM Baltimore, has deep industry expertise in medical devices. Mr. Storey runs the Maryland office of VIC Technology Venture Development, a firm based in the Midwest that is focused on licensing technology from universities and forming/staffing the resultant startups. The group has 14 companies under management, and Mr. Storey serves as Chairman and CEO of two of the portfolio companies: an orthopedics development company and a cardiopulmonary monitoring firm. He also sits on the Board of Directors of four other domestic and international businesses, in both the medical device and luxury products markets. Previously, Mr. Storey served as President & CEO and Executive Director of the highly successful Maryland-based Vapotherm, Inc., for over a decade, and led the company through its first FDA clearances in late 2000. Prior to that, he was Clariant’s Business Unit Vice President for their Performance Plastics Division and served in a variety of roles at Exxon Corporation. Mr. Storey holds degrees in Chemistry and in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arkansas.

Therapeutics (Repurposed/Reformulated Drugs)/Manufacturing

UMB - Darryl L. Carter, M.D.

Entrepreneur-in-Resident at UM Baltimore, is a co-founder and Vice President of Research at Nora Therapeutics. Prior to joining Nora Therapeutics, Dr. Carter was a member of the faculty in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, as well as an attending physician in Diagnostic Immunology at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and The Johns Hopkins Hospital where he specialized in diseases of the immune system. Dr. Carter received his M.D. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where he also completed his residency in Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Carter also completed post-graduate fellowships at Johns Hopkins and NIH.


UMCP - Ed Barrientos

Ed Barrientos is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Brazen Careerist, a career focused social networking site targeting Gen Y. He is also Managing Partner of Zeitgeist Holdings, L.L.C., an angel investment firm focused on investing in early stage technology companies. From 1996 to 2005, he was President and CEO of Arc Second Inc., a high growth market leader in the field of laser based, high-precision GPS. Barrientos led Arc Second to a successful exit (acquired by Metris NV of Belgium) at the end of 2005. He sat on the Board of Directors of Metris NV, and worked as an active Board member through the Company’s IPO (2006) and its acquisition by Nikon (Japan) in 2009.

From 1993 to 1996, Barrientos served as Managing Director of Max Schlatterer GmbH & Co KG, a leading German manufacturer of products for the food, drug and machine tool industry with headquarters outside of Munich, Germany. From 1991 to 1993, he was an international marketing consultant for Management Partner GmbH, a boutique management consulting firm based in Stuttgart, Germany. He started his professional career with IBM in 1986, serving in a number of technical and marketing related positions. Barrientos holds a B.S. in Management from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MBA from the George Washington University.

UMCP - Harry Geller

Harry Geller is an entrepreneur whose career has spanned a broad range of successful startup companies. Geller has started, owned and managed fourteen multi-million dollar businesses, primarily focused in the logistics, food services and real estate fields. Four of his companies have been named to the INC. 500 list of fastest growing companies, the most recent one in 2009. He was named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 1992.

Mr. Geller’s earliest venture, Global Mail, LTD, founded in 1987, was twice named to INC. 500 list of fastest growing companies. Global Mail was acquired in 1999 by the Deutsche Post and Geller was appointed CEO of the America’s from 1999 - 2004. The company continues to thrive operating under the DHL/Global Mail brand. Mr. Geller was also the founder and owner of SoDel Concepts, a successful restaurant development company focusing on upscale, relaxed resort dining. SoDel Concepts has opened and operates five fine and casual dining seafood restaurants, all located at the Delaware Seashore. They were named to INC. 500 list as the nations fastest growing restaurant company in 2009.

For the past few years Mr. Geller has focused his love of entrepreneurship towards mentoring and educating others and serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence and member of the Board of Advisors at the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.

Geller grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1981 with BS in Business. He serves on advisory boards of various businesses in the Washington, DC area. He has held various volunteer positions including Chairman of his Logistics Trade Association and Treasurer of Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Geller is married to a successful entrepreneur Nicole, and they have two children, residing in McLean, Virginia.

UMCP - Doug Humphrey

Doug Humphrey is a serial entrepreneur who has started many internet, communications and other technology-based companies. His background includes internet, satellite, cryptographic, data security and physics, but he also stresses the "human" factors in starting, funding and surviving the startup stage of a company. Currently he is advising companies of all sizes, from one person with an idea, to multi-nationals.

Doug started his first company in the 9th grade, building model rocket tracking transmitters, and it can be said that it was a profitable operation. Since then he has started nearly ten companies, resulting in spectacular success like Digex (IPO in 1997 (nasdaq: DIGX)) and Core Location in 1999 (the largest data center in the world—350 East Cermak Chicago).

Currently Doug is focused on advising and mentoring in the startup world, and is active in a number of education initiatives looking to bring change to the way that entrepreneurship is taught.

Doug grew up in the Laurel, Maryland area where he lives today with his two kids, and his wife Lisa Losito, with whom he jointly operated the "Phase One" technology incubator, one of the first to be opened in Maryland.

UMCP - John LaPides

John LaPides is the CEO and founder of Shadow Point Advisors, a Maryland-based consulting and investment firm specializing in early stage to mid-size companies. The firm provides advice to both privately held and publicly traded companies in the areas of venture and public finance, logistics, manufacturing and strategic planning. LaPides is currently the senior entrepreneur-in-residence at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. He also serves on the center’s Board of Advisors and is an adjunct faculty member in the Smith School's Department of Management and Organization.

Prior to founding Shadow Point, LaPides spent nearly 30 years as CEO of Snow Valley, a leading regional bottled water company. He served for more than 20 years in the leadership of the International Bottled Water association and was the founder and president of QBC, Inc., the largest bottled water purchasing cooperative in the United States. He started, ran and sold several other businesses during this time before helping to found InPhonic, Inc., which soared to $450 million in sales and $1 billion in market value in less than five years. He sits on several boards, both public and private.

He lives in his home town of Annapolis, Md., and is an avid boater, musician and golfer and holds his private airplane pilots license.

UMCP - Brice Leconte

Brice is a lifelong entrepreneur with a passion for disrupting industries and building socially active companies. His current startup iUnit, is building the world’s first wireless power smart apartment unit, and will eventually aggregate enough smart technologies to create energy producing buildings. He has also started and invested in a wide range of businesses, from real estate development, to bricks and mortar, to ecommerce and tech startups.

Brice is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Maryland as well as an advisor and mentor at Georgetown University. He received his Masters in real estate development from Johns Hopkins University and his undergraduate degree from the Smith Business School at the University of Maryland. He is a frequent speaker and panelist and enjoys investing and mentoring early stage startups.

UMCP - Liz Sara

Liz Sara has 20 years of experience in the local high tech community as an entrepreneur, business leader, angel investor and philanthropist. In 2001, she founded Best Marketing, LLC to provide early stage software companies with strategic marketing, PR and business development services. Her company offers clients all the benefits of a full-scale, seasoned marketing department on a ‘virtual’ basis -- eliminating overhead and headcount associated with full-time staff.

Previously, she played a principal role as co-founder of SpaceWorks, an eCommerce software company, where she facilitated its startup and growth to nearly $25 million in revenue; at America Online, where she designed the PR program and investor road show for the IPO; at United Press International, where she facilitated a turn-around strategy; and for LEXIS/NEXIS, where she was instrumental in the creation and successful launch of a new division. Ms. Sara holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland. She is a member of the Business & Professional Women’s Committee of the Corcoran; the Women’s Committee of National Museum of Women In the Arts; and the Board of the Capital City Ball. In addition, Liz Sara is a Entrepreneur-in-Residence and member of the Board of Advisors at the University of Maryland's Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.

UMCP - Jason Shrensky, J.D.

Jason Shrensky is a local entrepreneur and angel investor who joined the Dingman Center team as an Angel in Residence in 2011. In addition to actively investing in early-stage companies, he splits his time between two startups that he recently co-founded: ÜberOffices and ComplexInterests. ÜberOffices provides co-working office space in the DC Metro area predominantly for early-stage technology and media companies. At ComplexInterests, Jason is working on developing a unique enterprise software package targeted at accounting, law, and financial services firms.

From 2000 to 2007, Shrensky was the founder and President of Reqwired, Inc., the leading learning management system among top 250 law firms and top 100 accounting firms. He sold the company in 2007 to Thomson Reuters and remained a consultant with the company through 2009. Prior to founding Reqwired, Shrensky was an intellectual property litigator in the New York office of the law firm Paul Hastings LLP. Shrensky holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Cornell Law School.

Shrensky lives in Rockville, MD with his wife and two children. He loves ice hockey, and while ideologically a vegan, he is probably more correctly labeled a vegetarian.

The  VentureAccelerator  program helps University of Maryland inventors get their research out of the starting blocks and racing down the track toward successful venture creation. Our experienced team of business professionals enables you to maintain your academic responsibilities as faculty, research staff, or student, while also furthering the development of your startup. We speed the process of venture creation by systematically guiding and coaching inventors through new business processes such as:

  • Sound Business Planning
  • Understanding Customers & Markets
  • Setting Goals & Priorities
  • Acquiring Skills & Recruiting Talent
  • Raising Capital

See more at the  VentureAccelerator website .