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"UMBC's ACTiVATE® program reflects our commitment to entrepreneurship, technology transfer and workforce development. We are proud that ACTiVATE® is increasing the number of women entrepreneurs who are commercializing groundbreaking research developed in labs throughout Maryland and starting new businesses."

President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III

ACTiVATE® Entrepreneurship Program Receives International Recognition

April 17, 2009 – UMBC’s ACTiVATE® program has been recognized by the European organization FemStart as one of three “Good Practices” programs that train women entrepreneurs. ACTiVATE®, a year-long program at bwtech@UMBC, is the only U.S.-based program honored. The others are the MEETS program in Cambridge, UK and the NEnA program in Halle, Germany.

In the past four years, ACTiVATE® – a joint program of bwtech@UMBC’s Incubator, the UMBC Office of Technology Development and the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship – has trained 92 women and launched over 25 companies. ACTiVATE® leverages various technologies developed by Maryland’s universities and research institutions, training mid-career women with significant technical or business experience to start companies based on those technologies.

FemStart is a partnership of six European universities that study female entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship training programs at universities. It organized a series of six conferences over the past two years to study entrepreneurship programs that have been successful in attracting female participants, particularly those in science and technology. ACTiVATE® administrators presented at five of the conferences, which attracted over 500 participants from across Europe.

David Fink, director of entrepreneurial services at bwtech@UMBC and ACTiVATE® program director, said, “We are very proud of this recognition for ACTiVATE®. It affirms that the program is a worldwide leader in producing successful women entrepreneurs in the science and technology fields.”

Previous awards for ACTiVATE® include a 2007 Innovation Award from The Association of University Research Parks. It was also 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.


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