UMBC Watch

"We are delighted that our ACTiVATE program for women entrepreneurs is a national model for innovation, leading to the creation of new and diverse technology companies.”

President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III


ACTiVATE Program Success Sparks National Award, Additional Funding


November 12, 2007 - In just three years, UMBC's ACTiVATE program has trained 70 female entrepreneurs who have formed 12 new companies. This success has just been acknowledged with a 2007 Innovation Award from The Association of University Research Parks and a new $50,000 grant from one of the program's original funders, the Maryland Technology Education Development Corporation (TEDCO).

ACTiVATE (Achieving the Commercialization of Technology in Ventures through Applied Training for Entrepreneurs) trains women to take technologies developed by Maryland universities to market. The program was recognized by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) 2007 Government Results and Accountability Performance Assessment Report, which covers best practices and programs from all fields of science and engineering supported by the NSF.

Companies started by recent ACTiVATE participants include: EncorePath, built on a unique rehab technology for stroke victims developed by University of Maryland, Baltimore physical therapists; Foligo Therapeutics, which has received significant funding as it focuses on new treatment therapies for ovarian cancer; and Traxion Therapeutics, a biotech firm developing new drugs for chronic pain. In October, EncorePath received $74,345 in funding from TEDCO, and Founder and President Kris Appel has won first prize in business plan competitions from the MIT Enterprise Forum of Washington-Baltimore and the Rockville Economic Development, Inc.

Originally funded with a three-year NSF grant, ACTiVATE's mission is to form start-up companies based on technologies developed at UMBC, the Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the JHU Applied Physics Laboratory, Towson University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and the University of Maryland College Park.

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