Julie Lenzer has been involved in every part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, from award winning serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and community champion to policy and program oversight in the federal, state, and local government.
As Associate Vice President of Innovation and Economic Development and Co-Director of UM Ventures, Julie is charged with fostering and deploying innovation to drive greater economic and social impact from the University. To accomplish this, she promotes and facilitates a culture of innovation and collaboration, working to connect and promote innovation assets across the university and with the external ecosystem including expanding industry partnerships and supporting the Greater College Park Initiative and Discovery District. She is also charged with maximizing synergies between UMD and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).
Prior to joining the University, Julie was appointed to lead the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) within the U.S. Department of Commerce. 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, deploying $40M in grants across the United States over her 2 ½ year tenure. As a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce, she was also tapped to represent the United States as the innovation lead at the G20 in China.
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 tenure, the MCE quadrupled its client base and saw the creation of new, leading edge programs in additive manufacturing and technology commercialization. Julie was also the co-chair of Start-up 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.