Advancing Energy Innovation in Maryland Through Tech Transfer

October 20, 2020

Advancing Energy Innovation in Maryland Through Tech Transfer

In 2019, the Maryland Clean Energy Center launched a technology transfer initiative called the Maryland Energy Innovation Accelerator (MEIA) to commercialize technologies in the energy and climate sectors that are developed in Maryland-based universities and federal laboratories. MEIA is a venture development program that focuses on the first valley of death – Company Formation, which includes technology due diligence, founding team formation, and company incorporation. First, MEIA works closely with UM Ventures and other tech transfer offices to identify promising technologies. Second, MEIA then wraps substantial business resources around these technologies with the goal of identifying co-founders of the commercializing startup company. These individuals work together over 4-6 months, then present their pitch deck to experienced venture capitalists to get feedback. This shared experience forms the bedrock of an entrepreneurial team that is equipped to bring the product to market. Third, MEIA sponsors provide legal and accounting resources to help form companies. MEIA’s ultimate goal is to create investible Maryland-based businesses that advance Maryland’s climate goals.


Ben Margolis is the Commercialization Manager at the Maryland Energy Innovation Accelerator. Ben is an experienced leader in the energy industry with deep experience in renewable energy, energy efficiency, storage, electric vehicles and cleantech focused on growing businesses through expertise in technology development, finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, sales and partnerships. Ben obtained his Bachelors in Engineering at University of Maryland, and his MBA from University of Virginia.

Piotr Kulczakowicz is a Sr. Innovation Manager for UM Ventures - College Park. Piotr is focused on the University of Maryland's physical science technology portfolio. Before joining the UM Ventures team, Piotr was involved with Quantum4D, a software startup, and held various positions at McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm. Just after graduation Piotr worked as a Research Assistant in the Laser Spectroscopy Group at the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Piotr holds Master's degree in Applied Physics from the Warsaw University of Technology (WUT) and an MBA from a joint program founded by WUT, HEC Paris, London Business School, and Norwegian School of Economics.

Save the Date: The Technology Transfer and Innovation Forum series will continue on Nov.18, 2020 with a presentation by Brian Darmody from the Association of University Research Parks.