The University System of Maryland has named the co-founder of SunEdison as managing director of its venture investment fund.
Claire Broido Johnson will be overseeing the $10 million Maryland Momentum Fund that was launched in 2016 to enable USM to invest in and support promising commercial opportunities coming from research and intellectual property at its campuses. In her role, Broido Johnson will lead the sourcing and vetting of prospective portfolio companies for the Momentum Fund. She will also work with young companies to provide business advice and counseling. She joins the USM this week.
Broido Johnson has experience as an entrepreneur, investor, and operations, largely in the energy business. The system touted her “proven track record creating and managing successful businesses and products.”
Broido Johnson is the founder of CBJ Energy LLC, a Baltimore-based energy consultancy firm. She also co-founded solar energy provider SunEdison in 2003. In 2009, she joined the Department of Energy and served as an energy efficiency advisor. While at the department, she also managed the Office of Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs, and was responsible for deploying an $11 billion stimulus package.
On the investment side, Broido Johnson participates in the Baltimore Angels and Blu Ventures funding groups, and is an advisory board member of the Betamore incubator in Baltimore. She holds an MBA, as well as a bachelors degree in environmental science and public policy from Harvard University.
To date, the Momentum Fund has invested $1.7 million into six firms. The portfolio companies include: Retrium Inc., a four-year-old software firm based in Silver Spring; PaverGuide, a Kent County recyclable paving developer; Zest Tea, a Baltimore-based startup that markets high-caffeine energizing tea blends; medical device company NextStep Robotics; aerospace tech firm North American Wave Engine Corp; and MF Fire, a Baltimore wood stove manufacturer which received the first Momentum Fund investment in November 2017.