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Barbe Recognized by White House as Champion of Change

Barbe Recognized by White House as Champion of Change

David Barbe, director of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech)
David Barbe, director of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech)

David Barbe, director of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), was named a "Champion of Change" in America by the White House, institute officials announce today.

Barbe was recognized at a special event on November 3 in Washington, D.C., where the White House honored individuals and businesses as Champions of Change who "Make it in America."

These champions, according to the White House, are "being recognized for their work in helping to create high-quality jobs in the United States. These are the leaders this country needs, people who are working to build in America and create jobs in America."

Barbe is profiled on the White House website at

During the Nov. 3 event, Barbe participated in a Make it in America White House Roundtable that included U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez, U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary John Pocari, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, Department of Energy Senior Advisor Gil Sperling, and NIST Director Patrick Gallagher, among others.

Barbe cited the critical role entrepreneurship plays in creating new jobs, as well as the resources U.S. universities possess to help companies create new products, which lead to new jobs and bolster the manufacturing base.

The broader White House Champions of Change initiative profiles Americans from all walks of life who are helping the country rise to the challenges of the 21st century and doing extraordinary things in their communities, working to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.

Creating a Culture of Entrepreneurship and an Infrastructure to Support It

Barbe's recent accomplishments started in 2000, when he set out on a mission to build a culture of technology entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland and establish a permanent infrastructure to teach entrepreneurship, help faculty and students launch new ventures, and accelerate tech product development in Maryland companies.

He gathered a team of visionaries, including Martha Connolly, director of the Maryland Industrial Partnerships program, Dean Chang, director of Mtech's venture programs, and James V. Green, Mtech's director of entrepreneurship education.

Together, they systematically assembled an entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem that is one of the most comprehensive of any university in the country.

In 2000, Mtech had five programs. The institute now has:

  • 30 distinct initiatives to foster entrepreneurship and innovation at the university and in the region

  • 25 entrepreneurship courses (compared to zero in 2000), with more than 1,000 enrolls annually, offered to students ranging from middle school, high school, undergraduate, graduate, and executives

  • UMD's first Minor in Technology Entrepreneurship (launched fall 2011), open to students of all majors

  • two living-learning entrepreneurship programs for undergraduates and a scholarship program for students transferring from Prince George's Community College

  • two seed funds to support entrepreneurs

  • a full lab-to market infrastructure to help tech entrepreneurs build companies, including:

    • entrepreneurship courses at all levels

    • a prototype lab for very early stage entrepreneurs

    • a venture accelerator with dedicated staff to help students and faculty launch new technology companies

    • an incubator (Maryland's first) for early stage ventures, with two companies, Martek Biosciences and Digene Corporation, both sold for more than $1 billion, and PAICE LLC, which developed the hybrid-electric drive technology that "drives" Toyota and Ford hybrid vehicles

    • Maryland's longest-running program for tech product development, conceived by Barbe in 1987, Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS), has helped Maryland companies to develop products generating more than $21.6 billion in revenues, added thousands of jobs to the region, and contributed to successful products such as Martek Biosciences' nutritional oils, Hughes Communications' HughesNet, MedImmune's Synagis, Black & Decker's Bullet Speed Tip Masonry Drill Bit, and CSA Medical's Spray Cryotherapy System

    • UMD $75K Business Plan Competition, now in its eleventh year, with five multi-million ventures emerging from the competition and two Inc. 500 companies

    • UMD Technology Startup Boot Camp (the model for the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance's nationwide Invention2Ventures series), an intensive, one-day workshop on how to successfully launch tech companies, now in its eleventh year, attracting more than 500 entrepreneurs annually

    • free monthly open office hours for any entrepreneurs

    • Biotechnology Research and Education Program to support bio companies

    • Citrin Fellows Program, which supports master's and doctoral students pursuing research in the broad area of sustainability who also commit to concurrently building a company around their technologies

  • An international incubator for companies outside of the U.S. that want to have a presence in Maryland and collaborate with the University of Maryland

    November 4, 2011

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