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Entrepreneurship and Innovation Network

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Network: Funding Your Innovation

Join the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Network (EIN) for lunch and a talk on funding your innovative idea or startup.

The session will include ways to bring money in for exploring an innovative idea or building your business. Speakers will include successful entrepreneurs with experience raising money for their biotechnology ventures. Cosponsored by USGA, BHI, and EAGB. Food will be served.

Alex Meltzer Bulletin Board, Education, People, Technology, UMB News, USGAJune 21, 20170 comments
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Navigating FDA Regulations

Navigating FDA Regulations

Navigating the regulatory landscape of your therapeutic, device, diagnostic, or product is essential to consider when building out an idea for a company.

This Entrepreneurship & Innovation Network (EIN) workshop will explore the pathways to a successful product or company launch. Speakers will include an expert in FDA regulatory affairs. Co-sponsored by USGA, BHI, and EAGB. Food will be served.

Event Details

Thursday, May 11
5 to 7:30 p.m.
Hosick Hall, Bressler Research Building


Alex Meltzer Bulletin Board, UMB News, University Life, USGAMay 4, 20170 comments
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President's Fellows 2017

Exploring Entrepreneurship at UMB

What does entrepreneurship look like on our campus? Through interviews, research, and hands-on experience, four students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) explored the importance and current state of entrepreneurship at UMB.

Known as the President’s Fellows, Chinonye “Donna” Egbulem, schools of social work and medicine (public health); Anna Hung, School of Pharmacy; Benjamin Portney, Graduate School, (biochemistry and molecular biology); and Camilo Vanegas, Graduate School (molecular medicine) have spent the academic year preparing recommendations for entrepreneurial education and exploration at our University.

Fellows Presentation

Join them as they share their journey and debut their report, Exploring Entrepreneurship at UMB. Their presentation is scheduled for Monday, April 3 at 4 p.m. in the SMC Campus Center, Elm Room B.


A networking reception will follow the presentation. Register now or contact islsi@umaryland.edu for more information.

Pictured above from left to right: Benjamin Portney, Chinonye “Donna” Egbulem, Camilo Vanegas, and Anna Hung. Photo credit: Adrienne Kambouris, MS1, MD/PhD student

Courtney J. Jones CarneyBulletin Board, Collaboration, Education, Global & Community Engagement, People, Research, UMB NewsMarch 20, 20170 comments
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Intro to I-Corps – Call for Teams

We’ve teamed up with College Park to bring Intro to I-Corps to UMB. I-Corps is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Initiative that engages participants to explore their ideas and research deeply by talking to potential customers, partners, and competitors and encountering the challenges and uncertainty of creating successful innovations.

This workshop provides tools and guidance to help validate (or invalidate) a business model for maximizing the number people your research or concept impacts. This workshop is designed for students, faculty, and staff interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.

The program is designed to be as convenient as possible for teams to attend. The kick-off is a half-day in-person event, followed by 10-20 customer discovery interviews and two 30-minute check-in meetings/calls scheduled at times that are convenient for the participant.

Kick-off date and location: Friday, March 31, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the SMC Campus Center Green Room.

Register, learn more, or contact Jenny Owens, ScD, for more information.

Jenny Owens Collaboration, Education, Research, TechnologyMarch 2, 20171 comment
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Student Innovator Network

Being an Innovator Is a Choice

Third-year student pharmacist shares his journey to embrace his entrepreneurial spirit and establish the first entrepreneurship and innovation-driven student organization at UMB.

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of working with a diligent team to implement a grassroots initiative that created a platform for students across the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) to engage in interprofessional activities focused on entrepreneurship. This initiative led to the formation of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Network (EIN).

EIN aims to assemble entrepreneurial-minded UMB students to create an ecosystem for innovation through interprofessional collaboration. The organization also strives to embed the talent present within the UMB student body into the larger Baltimore area and biohealth capital region entrepreneurial landscape. Our mission is to educate students about the process of turning innovative ideas into companies by providing the resources and hands-on experiences needed to become successful entrepreneurs through partnerships, networking, knowledge sharing, and inspiration.

Our Leadership Team

EIN’s initial leadership team consisted of an interprofessional group of UMB students:

  • Fahim Faruque (Me): student pharmacist
  • Alex Meltzer: doctoral (PhD) student
  • Ioan Lina: medical student
  • Ben Portney: doctoral (PhD) student

Recently, we launched an Ambassadors Program to help kick off another grassroots movement to engage all of the schools at UMB in our upcoming activities. Travis Clement, a second-year student pharmacist and current ambassador for the School of Pharmacy, plays a critical role in educating pharmacy students about entrepreneurial opportunities offered through our organization. We believe the presence of our entrepreneurship ambassadors in each UMB school will promote an environment for innovation, as the ambassador will act as an accessible liaison for resources.

My Personal Journey

I first realized my interest in entrepreneurship after researching the discipline to apply for the UMB President’s Entrepreneurial Fellowship in fall 2015. Although I was not selected for the fellowship, the application process served as a catalyst, motivating me to connect with a team of like-minded individuals who wanted to initiate social change in the professional culture at UMB. We wanted to help foster an environment that encourages innovation and supports and nurtures aspiring innovators. We also wanted to create a space for interprofessional collaboration, as well as expand access to entrepreneurial opportunities to all UMB students.

Establishing EIN opened my eyes to the joy of designing, strategizing, and operationalizing concepts that carry personal significance and fulfilled my goal of becoming an advocate for fostering indiscriminate access to entrepreneurial opportunities. The thrill of being part of the “growth” of something that I initiated is indescribable, and the process has been invaluable in my professional development. In addition, learning about entrepreneurship concepts and skills through EIN’s “From Idea to Start Up” workshop series helped me tremendously in my leadership roles at the School. I have been able to develop valuable initiatives and programs to aid the professional growth of my peers using the knowledge and skills that I have gained. For instance, I applied some of the lessons that I learned to my role as vice president of the School’s Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) student chapter to establish the AMCP and Career Navigation Internship Prep Series – a program that prepares students to research, apply, and obtain summer internships.

Upcoming Opportunities

EIN offers a number of opportunities in which members can participate. We regularly host the “From Idea to Start Up” workshop series, which covers topics related to design thinking, customer discovery, intellectual property, market research, regulatory considerations, and business financials. We also help facilitate real world experiences for our members, including assisting with the development of teams to participate in entrepreneurship competitions and engaging in projects with startups across the greater Baltimore area. Networking opportunities also are regularly provided for members.

Below are just a few additional ways for UMB students to get involved with our group.

Entrepreneurship Ambassador
First-Year Student Pharmacists Only
Applications Currently Open

Customer Discovery Workshop
Nov. 1, 2016
5 to 7 p.m.
Hosick Hall, Bressler Research Building

Customer discovery is the process of identifying your customer or stakeholder’s needs when designing a product. During this workshop, a specific focus will be placed on “pivoting” based on feedback from your potential end users. This workshop will be presented by Jennifer Hammaker, director of the Maryland Innovation Initiative. Food will be provided. Please RSVP to attend.

Lightbulb Moment Competition
Submission Deadline: Oct. 31, 2016
11:59 p.m.

The School of Medicine’s Office of Student Affairs is inviting entries that represent the most innovative new ideas in the medical field. The winner(s) of the Lightbulb Moment Competition will receive recognition and compete for a prize to support the development and commercialization of an important new product, technology, or concept. If you are looking for team members, or would like to join a team, please review EIN’s sign-up sheet.

1st Pitch Life Science
Oct. 26, 2016
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Columbus Center
701 E. Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD 21202

Are you interested in learning how investor pitches work? How about helping boost the startup community by showing outside investors what great ideas UMB students, faculty, and staff have? 1st Pitch Life Science offers presenters and audience members the chance to hear what happens behind those closed doors after an investor pitch. It’s a great opportunity for EIN members to meet investors, talk about their ideas, and enjoy free food. Please RSVP to attend.

Final Thoughts

I believe that, as students at one of the top pharmacy schools in the nation, we need to think like innovators, identify ourselves as innovators, and build the confidence to implement innovation. I strongly encourage students at SOP and across UMB to seek knowledge that will help them become the future innovators of their professions. EIN provides many great opportunities to get started. Our growing network of professionals exists to support students who will take initiative to become innovators.

by Fahim Faruque

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

Fahim Faruque Collaboration, Education, Technology, University Life, USGAOctober 25, 20160 comments
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Lindsay Czuba

Bringing an Idea to Life: Lessons in Entrepreneurship

When I started my PhD in pharmaceutical sciences at the School of Pharmacy four years ago, I thought that I had everything planned out – I’d find a lab with a great mentor, learn new techniques, apply them to a research project, write and publish a few papers, and get a job at a large pharmaceutical company. While my overly simplistic plan may not have been the most naïve one, I never factored in that, just a few years later, I’d be more confused about where to go in my career than I was at the start. Whether with academia, government, a start-up pharmaceutical company, new ventures development, or even management consulting, I had considered nearly every option and found myself drawn to each for their own reasons.

A New Opportunity

Last fall, I was fortunate to come across an email about the President’s Entrepreneurial Fellowship, which aimed to teach a team of students from the professional schools at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) the process required to effectively commercialize University-owned intellectual property under the mentorship of Rana Quraishi, PhD, director of New Ventures at UM Ventures – a joint initiative between UMB and the University of Maryland, College Park to commercialize discoveries and create economic impact by engaging partners in industry and social ventures. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore my interests in business strategy, start-up companies, and product development. I knew I had to apply. When I found out that I had been chosen to represent the School of Pharmacy on this interdisciplinary team, I was thrilled and confident that I would be able to contribute to the project.

Learning the Ropes

As the inaugural class, we were split into two teams to work on projects related to two separate medical devices. My team included three other members – two doctoral students from molecular medicine and a student from the School of Law. Together, we were assigned to a dental medical device that was invented by faculty members at UMB and College Park. Our first task was to write a draft of a presubmission Q-submission, which allowed us to ask the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specific questions about the device, such as the sufficiency of the clinical testing planned for the dental device.

After compiling a rough draft and meeting with an FDA consultant, we found that we had a clear regulatory pathway, and opted in favor of going straight for the Premarket Notification 510(k) to show that our device is as safe and effective as similar devices on the market. As a team, we outlined all of the proposed clinical testing and contacted several contract research organizations (CROs) that could perform the testing for us, as well as companies that could manufacture the device for that testing.

In addition to the regulatory work, we outlined and compiled information for the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) Phase Three Application that, if accepted, would award the start-up up to $150,000 to perform the clinical testing and launch the device. This fund was developed between the state of Maryland and five local universities (including UMB) to support university-owned start-ups and product development. For this application, I specifically focused on the marketing and competitive advantage that our device had over others on the market.

Reflecting on Lessons Learned

Overall, this fellowship was a great opportunity. I learned a lot about the work that goes into developing a product from a start-up company’s perspective. I also learned a lot about tech transfer at UMB, and began to understand how members of academia are able to patent and commercialize their findings from the lab. However, the biggest lesson that I took away from the fellowship is that, as an entrepreneur, you can have the best idea in the world, but you need a really motivated team to effectively get a product to the market.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

Lindsay Czuba Collaboration, Education, People, University LifeJune 30, 20160 comments
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