From innovative heart surgery devices to revolutionary computer science theory, UM Ventures is an entrepreneurial powerhouse dedicated to turning the big ideas of faculty and researchers at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) into reality.
This MPowering the State: University of Maryland Strategic Partnership initiative focuses in part on commercializing university discoveries through partnerships with the private sector and helping them grow the state’s economy.
“Our researchers make discoveries every day,” says James Hughes, MBA, director of UM Ventures. “We’re bringing these inventions out of the lab into the market, where they can have a local and a global impact.”
In fiscal 2016, UM Ventures tallied more than 300 potential inventions from faculty, with more than 50 inventions licensed to companies, including 20 new startup companies. Recent success stories include gel-e Life Sciences, whose chemical products are used in dressings and gels to quickly stop bleeding; IonQ, which is exploring how to build computers using quantum physics; and Harpoon Medical, which created a minimally invasive device for heart valve surgery.
Beyond fostering discoveries in industry and social ventures and making connections between faculty and industry, UM Ventures also works to bring together the expertise of both campuses to help companies operate day-to-day, including legal assistance at the Francis King Carey School of Law, business acumen found at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and technical know-how at the A. James Clark School of Engineering.
“Our work just begins when we start a company,” Hughes says. “We stick with them, helping them to thrive and to stay connected to the universities.”