UMBC Watch

“We are proud that our ACTiVATE program is making a difference in Maryland’s economy and the lives of its citizens.”

President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III

Report Shows UMBC ACTiVATE Entrepreneur Training Program Creates Jobs and Builds Maryland’s Economy

October 1, 2010 – A recent report by the Sage Policy Group and the Nearing Group concludes that UMBC’s ACTiVATE® program is having a positive impact on Maryland’s economy. The report says that ACTiVATE creates jobs at a “remarkably low cost” when compared to benchmarks for entrepreneurial job creation and generates substantial income for local governments and the State.

Since its start in 2005, ACTiVATE has trained over 100 women with significant business or technical experience to launch companies based on technologies developed at area universities and research institutions. Over 30 companies have been created as a result of the program. These companies have hired or plan to hire a total of 124 employees; the study estimates a total of 234 direct and spin-off jobs will be created as a result of the ACTiVATE program by the end of 2011. The cost of producing each job is estimated to be about $6,000.

The study also estimates that ACTiVATE generates an average of $460,000 annually in income tax revenue for state and local governments in Maryland.

“An even larger impact on the state’s economy is the creation of a culture of entrepreneurship among women, a group traditionally underrepresented in the field,” said Ellen Hemmerly, ACTiVATE founder and executive director of bwtech@UMBC research and technology park. “By increasing the number of would-be entrepreneurs and giving them the training and guidance they need, ACTiVATE has helped move many technologies created by Maryland scientists from the lab to the marketplace. This is a necessary component to developing a knowledge-based economy.”

ACTiVATE’s success has inspired spin-offs and expansion. In April of this year, UMBC licensed the program to the Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for national and international expansion. The first ACTiVATE spin-off program was recently launched at Texas State University in San Marcos.

The full study is available at


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