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December 3, 2004

Maryland Universities Looking for a Few Good Women for Real-Life 'Apprentice'

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) islooking for a few good women to compete in a high-tech,entrepreneurial take on the hit reality TV show "The Apprentice."

The $600,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) program, "Achieving theCommercialization of Technology in Ventures through Applied Training forEntrepreneurs" (ACTiVATE), will select up to 30Baltimore/Washington-area women for a competitive class that, unliketraditional business courses, doesn't deal in hypothetical widgets. Instead, ACTiVATE gives real-world lessons from experiencedentrepreneurs and venture capitalists as students compete to takepatented technology innovations from area universities to market.

"ACTiVATE is looking for savvy, competitive women to have fun whilegoing after an ultimate prize that's much better than a job with DonaldTrump the chance to start and run a real technology company," saidStephen Auvil, director of UMBC's Office of Technology Development.

UMBC teams with the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)and six other Maryland universities on ACTiVATE, one of only 16 grantsawarded nationwide this year from the NSF's highly competitivePartnerships for Innovation Program. While no one will hear the dreadedwords "You're fired," the program aims to create six or more new,university-related, startup companies over the next three years whiletraining 90 new women entrepreneurs in the process.

Each year, TEDCO will screen 20 existing technology ideas fromparticipating universities and select the 15 best to be used inACTiVATE. Start-up firms that emerge from the course may be housed intechcenter@UMBC, the University's on-campus business incubator.

Highly-motivated, mid-career women with business or technicalbackgrounds who are interested in learning more about ACTiVATE areinvited to attend one of two upcoming open houses. These events willprovide an overview of how ACTiVATE selects and trains applicants;introduce the entrepreneurs-in-residence at UMBC, give more informationon the university technologies to be marketed, and provide details onhow to apply for the program.

Open House dates:
December 7, 2004 or January 11, 2005

6:30 until 8 p.m.

techcenter@UMBC
1450 South Rolling Road
Catonsville, Maryland 21227

Directions online:
http://www.umbc.edu/Business/Research/location/directions.html

For more information, please visit:
http://www.umbc.edu/activate/ or email cwit@umbc.edu.

About the ACTIVATE Team: Funded by the National Science Foundation,ACTIVATE partner universities include UMBC, The Johns HopkinsUniversity, the University of Maryland College Park, the University ofMaryland Baltimore, the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute,Towson University and the University of Maryland School of Law. Privatepartners include Legg Mason Wood Walker, Constellation Energy, GrantThornton, Venable LLP, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP, New MarketsGrowth Fund, MGH Public Relations, The Eager Street Group, Darrah TaxAdvisory Services, BioPlan Associates, Inc., Anthem Capital Managementand American Express Tax & Business Services.

Posted by dwinds1 at December 3, 2004 12:00 AM