Maryland names Lenzer associate VP

A software entrepreneur and former advisor to US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Lenzer will also direct the university’s tech transfer office.

Maryland University at College Park (UMD) has appointed Julie Lenzer, former senior advisor to US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, to two key roles as part of its efforts to bolster innovation.

UMD is one of 12 institutions that make up University System of Maryland (USM). Starting today, Lenzer becomes director of the university’s tech transfer office, UM Ventures, as well as associate vice-president for economic development.

As director of UM Ventures, Lenzer will promote and facilitate university-wide collaborations to launch spinouts, and will work with another USM institution, Maryland University at Baltimore, to encourage tech commercialisation.

Lenzer will also foster closer working relationships between the university's entrepreneurship and venture creation groups, including Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) and Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.

As associate vice-president, Lenzer will support the development of two major real estate projects. UMD Research Park provides space for startups and larger tech companies, while Greater College Park comprises more than 30 projects, including a public-private research hub and a hotel.

Before joining UMD, Lenzer completed a two-year appointment at the US Economic Development Administration (EDA), a bureau within the US Department of Commerce that provides grants to foster job creation and regional innovation. 

At EDA, Lenzer was director of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) as well as senior advisor to Secretary of Commerce Pritzker. OIE, which was established in 2010, promotes and supports entrepreneurship and accelerates the commercialisation of federally funded research.

During her tenure as director of OIE, Lenzer developed and launched the Regional Innovation Strategies program to spur new technologies, awarding grants worth $40m across the country over a two-year period.

A computer science graduate from Texas A&M University, Lenzer is also a software entrepreneur. In 1995 she founded her first company, Applied Creative Technologies, an IT business focusing on manufacturing operations and inventory control, and served as president and CEO.

– This article first appeared on our sister site Global University Venturing. Image courtesy of LinkedIn.

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