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CONTACT: Tammi L. Thomas

Three Serial Entrepreneurs Lead UMBC's ACTiVATE®

Eight Companies Formed Since Inception

BALTIMORE, Md. (February 20, 2007) – The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has selected three serial entrepreneurs as Instructors for ACTiVATE®, an innovative year-long program sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation to train women to become technology entrepreneurs.

The three ACTiVATE instructors are:

  • Julie Lenzer Kirk is president and CEO of Path Forward International. Her upcoming book, “The ParentPreneur Edge: What Parenting Teaches About Building a Successful Business,” provides actionable tips for entrepreneurs, business leaders, and managers. Kirk graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Computer Science and is a leader in numerous community organizations.
  • Terry Chase Hazell is president and CEO of SD Nanosciences, Inc., a University of Maryland spin-off.  SD Nanosciences is developing a nanoparticle-based “Triad” technology with applications in vaccines, cancer diagnostics, and research diagnostics. Hazell is the former CEO and president of Chesapeake PERL, Inc., a protein manufacturing company. Prior to joining Chesapeake PERL, Hazell managed technology transfer, process development, and manufacturing projects at Bio Science Contract Production Corp. Hazell holds a M.S. in Biotechnology Management from the University of Maryland, University College and a B.S. in Biological Science (Microbiology) from the University of Maryland, College Park.
  • Ronald T. Monford is chairman and CEO of Mindover Corp., an Austin, Texas-based firm specializing in financial and accounting software solutions for small and medium enterprises. In addition, he is a management consultant for a small number of firms in the Baltimore-Washington area. He began his business career at Texas Instruments, and over the years grew into CEO, COO and General Manager roles with profit-and-loss responsibilities for companies ranging from early stage to the Fortune 500. In 1999 Monford became president and CEO of Mind Over Machines, Inc., a Baltimore-based IT services company. He retired from that position this past December. He holds an MBA and a B.S. in industrial engineering.

“We are moving into our third year of the ACTiVATE® program and can proudly say that eight companies have already formed,” says David J. Fink, Ph.D., techcenter@UMBC director of entrepreneurial services. “We anticipate additional companies incorporating this year.”

Some of the companies formed to date are:

  • Foligo Therapeutics: Novel, DNA-based therapies for ovarian cancer treatment
  • Traxion Therapeutics: Therapeutics for treating severe pain
  • I-Cube: Novel materials for integrated circuits
  • Tiger-Eye: Organizational development and change management consulting
  • Newregen, Inc.: Medical devices used for stroke rehabilitation
  • Syan BioSciences: New diagnostics for melanoma
  • Green Manor, LLC: Training, analysis, and live decision making simulations
  • Purr-fect Gourmet: Sauces for dry cat foods from DHA-rich natural byproducts

The ACTiVATE® program accepted twenty-eight women for its Class of 2007, after a rigorous selection process that culminated in live interviews. “Across the board, ACTiVATE® participants represent the sharpest minds in science and business today,” says Fink. “Their backgrounds range from many with MBAs to a patent attorney to many PhDs in molecular biology, engineering, and other scientific fields. We are very excited to support them in their entrepreneurship endeavors.” The 2007 class starts this month and runs until January 2008.

“The ACTiVATE® program has provided an awareness of entrepreneurship for a significant number of women, who traditionally have been underrepresented among technology entrepreneurs. It also provides a model for commercializing innovations at universities and federal labs that can be used at other institutions across the country,” says Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of UMBC Research Park Corporation.

ABOUT ACTiVATE®: UMBC developed the ACTiVATE®* program to address a growing need in Maryland for more technology entrepreneurs who are skilled at commercializing technologies from research institutions. Supported by a three-year, $712K grant from the National Science Foundation's Partnerships For Innovation program (NSF-PFI), ACTiVATE® addresses this need by recruiting, training, and supporting mid-career women who are serious about becoming technology entrepreneurs. The yearlong program utilizes an applied model for entrepreneurship training with a goal of forming technology-based companies at the conclusion of the program. The Program has a direct impact on improving technology transfer and regional economic development. More information about the ACTiVATE® Program is available at

*ACTiVATE® – Achieving the Commercialization of Technology in Ventures through Applied Training for Entrepreneurs