As Chief Innovation Officer, Julie Lenzer fosters and supports UMD’s innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology commercialization enterprise, including the development of the UMD’s Research Park, the Discovery District, and the Greater College Park initiative. She also promotes and facilitates university-wide collaboration to launch startup ventures based upon University intellectual property, as well as providing support for entrepreneurs and small business across the state through Mixed/Augmented/Virtual Reality Innovation Center (MAVRIC), the Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the TechPort incubator in St. Mary’s County.
Most recently, Julie was appointed to lead the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). In her capacity as Director of the OIE, she drove programs and policies that support innovative economic development such as innovation-based entrepreneurship and regional innovation clusters.
Prior to her political appointment, Julie was the Executive Director of the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE), an initiative of the Howard County Economic Development Authority focused on igniting the entrepreneurial culture and bringing together the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the state. During her short tenure, the MCE quadrupled its client base and saw the creation of new programs such as 3D Maryland, a leadership initiative connecting resources in additive manufacturing; the Conscious Venture Lab, an accelerator focused on Conscious Capitalism; and a technology transfer accelerator in partnership with Johns Hopkins Advanced Physics Lab and other leading research institutions. A serial entrepreneur, Ms. Lenzer was also the co-chair of Startup Maryland as well as co-founder and former CEO of the Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a nonprofit that helped women expand economic opportunity by starting and building growth-oriented businesses using technology transfer.