University of Maryland Graduate School Biomedical Entrepreneurship
Lunch and Learn Series
Under the best of circumstances, the process of building a successful startup company is difficult, and when that startup company is based on university intellectual property this process can be even more challenging. Many times, entrepreneurs face a series of key decisions in the early days of their startups that to a great degree dictate the degree of difficulty faced in subsequent years. The first-time entrepreneur may fail to realize the criticality of these early-day decisions, may receive poor advice concerning these decisions, or may simply make a poor decision.
The UMB Biomedical Entrepreneurship Program team believes that the speed-to-market and overall success rate of new startups can be increased by exposing first time entrepreneurs to business leaders who have already navigated these early challenges and to active early-stage investors. That belief underlies our new Biomedical Entrepreneurship graduate certificate curriculum and is the theme of our Fall 2021 Speaker Series - a five-part lunch and learn series with local innovators, investors and changemakers.
RSVP today to join one, or all, upcoming fall sessions to learn more from actual players in Maryland's innovation community.
Thursday, September 9th, 12-1:00
Thursday, September 30th, 12-1:00
Thursday, October 21st, 12-1:00
Thursday, November 11th, 12-1:00
Thursday, December 9th, 12-1:00
Frank Yang, MBA
Frank Yang has 15+ years’ experience in advanced materials and energy related businesses, including 10+ in the solar sector as co-founder and VP of Business Development and Marketing for Stion, where he managed all commercial operations for the vertically integrated US solar panel manufacturer /project developer. Frank led efforts to sell out 150 megawatts per year of thin film solar panels despite heavy industry oversupply and raised $400M in funding from leading corporate and VC investors, including Khosla Ventures, Taiwan Semiconductor, and Korean Development Bank.
Frank is now the President and CEO of Liatris Inc., an insulation materials start-up backed by a large multi-national building materials supplier, as well as a Partner at ADL Ventures, an innovation consulting boutique launching new business units and government programs in key “legacy sector” industries such as construction, transportation and utilities. Frank also worked previously at Pixtronix (sold to Qualcomm), Nantero (govt business sold to Lockheed Martin), ISTN and Lehman Brothers. Frank received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Amherst College.
Claire Broido Johnson
Claire is a senior operations and finance executive who runs the University System of Maryland Momentum Fund. (MMF) She has a proven track record in creating and managing successful businesses and driving operations (including as founder of SunEdison). She also guided the deployment of $11 billion in economic stimulus funds in 2009-2010 at the Department of Energy (DOE). Prior to MMF and after DOE, she ran CBJ Energy where she developed a energy efficiency financing product for Serious Energy, launched new products and new states for Next Step Living, and managed energy projects and research for Katerra. She is on the Board of BlocPower.io, the National Sierra Club Foundation, Living Classrooms, and serves as an Advisor for several companies. She lives with her husband and 2 kids in Baltimore
The Maryland Momentum Fund is an initiative of the University System of Maryland (USM) to provide late seed investment funding for promising technology ventures that come out of any of the 12 constituent USM institutions, its research parks, and its students, faculty, or graduates. With a $10M commitment from the USM already in place, the Fund co-invests with venture capitalists, foundations, and angel investors.
Elaine Haynes, MBA
Elaine Haynes is President and CEO of KaloCyte, Inc., a pre-clinical biotech startup developing an artificial red blood cell substitute that can be freeze-dried and stored for use when blood is not available. She is a seasoned business leader with over 30 years of healthcare experience and extensive expertise with development and commercialization of complex pharmaceuticals including radiopharmaceuticals, medical devices, sterile products, and controlled substances. Her expertise includes championing new product and commercial development programs, product launches, lifecycle management, general management, oversight of and collaboration with manufacturing, quality and regulatory affairs, capital equipment and plant expansion projects, P&L and budget management, and FDA interactions including new approvals, product recalls, safety monitoring and post-marketing reporting, M&A and divestitures.
Elaine was with Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals for over 28 years through early 2017. As Vice President of Alliance Management and Divestitures, she led the divestitures of Mallinckrodt’s contrast media and nuclear imaging businesses, delivering nearly $1 billion in total transaction value. Prior roles included Vice President & General Manager where she led teams in North and South America as well as global commercial functions for Imaging, Marketing Director, Training Manager, and Nuclear Pharmacist.
She completed her executive MBA at Washington University in St. Louis Olin Business School and her BS in Pharmacy from St. Louis College of Pharmacy, where she currently serves on the Board of Trustees. She recently joined the Board of Directors for ARTMS, a radioisotope technology company based in Canada, as the company’s first independent director.
McKeever “Mac” Conwell II
McKeever “Mac” Conwell II is a software engineer by trade and was a former DOD contractor with a top-secret clearance. He was a two-time founder with an exit and a failure. Next Mac moved on to the venture capital world via the Maryland Technology Development Corporation as part of their Seed Investment Team.During his four years there, Mac amassed experience leading an initiative to create the Minority Business Pre-seed Fund, the first and only, at the time, state-backed pre-seed fund for women and minorities in the country. The program institutionalized the friends and family round for black-, women-, and minority-led startups and was subsequently funded long-term by the state of Maryland. In September 2020, Mac founded RareBreed VC, a pre-seed fund that invests in exceptional founders outside of large tech ecosystems.
RareBreed VC is a Pre-seed to Seed Fund that is investing in exceptional founders outside of the large tech eco-systems (SF,NY,MA) earlier than everyone else. At Rarebreed we invest in companies building a software product with a unique or clearly repeatable customer acquisition strategy or building a physical product in a vertical that has lacked innovation in 10+ years. This is because these two founders are out-of-the-box thinkers and problem solvers.
Michael Ogunsanya is an AI enthusiast, Meyerhof Scholar, and the CEO and Cofounder of MindStand. Prior to MindStand, Michael experienced workplace discrimination firsthand and it fueled him to create equitable tech for the next generation of workforce.
Their AI product at MindStand integrates within workplace email and messaging platforms to help leadership quantify culture and outline metrics to fostering a healthy online work environment. Based in Baltimore, their team has paved a way for DEI-tech