Investment Committee

University of Maryland Distinguished University Professor
Department of Physics & Institute for Physics and Science Technology
College Park, MD 20742
 
Distinguished University Professor Ellen Williams earned her B.S. in 1976 from Michigan State University and her Ph.D. in 1981 from the California Institute of Technology. Her research interests are in surface chemistry and nanotechnology. She founded the University of Maryland Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and served as its Director from 1996 through 2009. She served as Chief Scientist at BP from 2010-14, and as Director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) from 2014 until early 2017.
Founder, Generate Capital Inc.
555 DeHaro Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94107
 

Jigar Shah is the President and Co-Founder of Generate Capital. Jigar was the founder and CEO of SunEdison (NASDAQ: SUNE), where he pioneered “no money down solar” and unlocked a multi-billion-dollar solar market, creating the largest solar services company worldwide. After SunEdison, Jigar served as the founding CEO of the Carbon War Room, a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to help entrepreneurs address climate change. Jigar sees business model innovation as a leveraged tool for driving the next productivity revolution – resource efficiency. He is committed to helping entrepreneurs and large companies alike implement resource efficiency solutions using “no money down” project finance models. In 2013, Jigar authored Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy. He holds an MBA from The University of Maryland and BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He sits on the boards of sPower and the Rocky Mountain Institute.

 

For the past 20 years, Parag has successfully led sales and marketing efforts for several venture-backed startups and multi-nationals.  He has time and again built multi-million dollar businesses starting from scratch as well as rapidly grown existing businesses across the globe.  His expertise scales across verticals, company size and geography.

His first two venture backed start-ups were in the telecom hardware space and both had successful exits for the investors.  Subsequent venture backed start-ups were in telecom software, motion sensors and global outsourced back-office verticals.

Parag started his career at TTC (now JDSU) where he held several sales responsibilities over seven years.  He also led North America marketing for Siemens AG, SIE (ETR) and global marketing for Spirent Communications, SPT (LON).

Parag is well known as a connector in the Mid-Atlantic community.  He holds a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and has a MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

As Associate Vice President of Innovation and Economic Development and Co-Director of UM Ventures, Julie Lenzer is charged with fostering and supporting the development that is currently underway in the UMD Research Park and Greater College Park. She will also promote and facilitate productive, university-wide collaboration to launch startup ventures based upon University intellectual property, as well as maximize synergies between UMD and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) to leverage strengths of each and encourage technology commercialization.

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.

Eric joined the Division of Research in November of 2013, after working as the Senior ​Director of Corporate and Government Relations for the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences and as the inaugural Deputy Director of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2).  Eric came to the University of Maryland in 2011 following five years of service as the National Security Advisor to Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) on Capitol Hill and extensive work in the Department of Justice. 

Eric is responsible for building strong ties to federal funding agencies, federal Labs, industry, medical centers, foundations and other universities to facilitate the development of large, multi-disciplinary proposals and initiatives. He works closely with the Vice President for Research and the Director of National Research Initiatives to bring together and support teams of faculty from various disciplines and Colleges to pursue funding opportunities and to build cross campus, innovative research programs and initiatives. Eric received an M.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and his B.A. from Syracuse University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.


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