Our Team Members
Jay A. Smith, MBA
Jay Smith is the inaugural Director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program. He leads the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, managing both its operational aspects as well as teaching and mentoring the living-learning student community members. As a Lecturer with Mtech, Mr. Smith designs and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in entrepreneurship and innovation, with a special focus on creativity and international business. Smith is also a Fearless Faculty member in the UMD campus-wide Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and an affiliate faculty member of the Do Good Institute in the School of Public Policy.
Mr. Smith joined the University of Maryland in 2010 after serving for five years as Associate Professor of the Inamori Academy of Kagoshima (National) University in southern Japan. At Kagoshima University, he developed and taught courses in venture business, entrepreneurship, business communications, and American business & culture in a program endowed by university alumnus and leading Japanese entrepreneur Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera Corporation, telecommunications firm DDI (now KDDI), and the Inamori Foundation, grantors of the Kyoto Prizes. Utilizing business presentations developed in his courses, his students have won both local and regional business plan competitions and have been top finalists in national student and open competitions.
Prior to entering academia, Mr. Smith worked for 14 years as a management consultant, investment banker and venture entrepreneur in New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. As a consultant, he successfully completed market development, operations, acquisition and strategy assignments in the U.S., Japan, Russia and Europe for major technology and industrial companies. As an investment banker with Jefferies & Company, he helped raise over $400 million for technology and media businesses, and evaluated numerous venture investment opportunities for the firm. In Tokyo during the 1990s, he co-founded a multi-million dollar technology, creative services, and media business, with a diverse multinational staff and clients including the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Citibank, Coca-Cola, Compaq, IBM, and Motorola, and Japanese partners including an NTT subsidiary and Japan Telecom.
Mr. Smith holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he focused on entrepreneurship and the management of technology. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with High Honors and a dual major in Economics and Physics, from Rutgers University.
Dr. Peter Sandborn
Dr. Peter Sandborn is the Executive Director of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech). He earned his B.S. in Engineering Physics from the University of Colorado in 1982, an M.S degree in Electrical Science and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1983 and 1987, respectively.
After positions at the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC) and Savantage, Inc. in Austin, Texas, he joined the University of Maryland in 1998, where he is currently Executive Director of Mtech and Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Sandborn's research interests include technology tradeoff analysis for electronic packaging, system life cycle economics, electronic part obsolescence and virtual qualification of electronic components and systems. He is the author of over 200 technical publications and books on multichip module design, life-cycle cost analysis and part obsolescence forecasting.
Dr. Sandborn is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Components Packaging and Manufacturing Technology, a member of the board of directors of the International PHM Society, and a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Performability Engineering.
Katherine Zmoda serves as a specialist for the program. She supports program activities, student involvement and academic planning, marketing, partnerships and general administration and advises on general strategy.
Katherine is a 2018 Honors College graduate from the University of Maryland with a double major in marketing and management, as well as a minor in Spanish, which included a winter abroad in Sevilla, Spain. She was a member of EIP, where she served as Engagement Coordinator for the EIP Student Advisory Board. While she lived in La Plata Hall, she was the VP of Publicity and Outreach for the La Plata Hall Council. In this role, she worked with peers and the resident director to create and promote wellness and social events for the residents.
After completing the Social Innovation Fellows (SIF) program at the Robert H. Smith School of Business as a sophomore, she worked as the teaching assistant for SIF for two years. As TA, she assisted students in developing their understanding of social value creation through business practices. She also served on the executive board for Smith Start, a freshman fellows program for business school students.
Katherine was also involved in various extracurricular programs and activities on campus. As a member of the women’s fraternity Zeta Tau Alpha, she took on multiple leadership roles, including managing budgets, creating apparel, and co-sponsoring philanthropic events. Katherine was also a DJ, staff writer, and the social media director for WMUC, UMD’s student-run radio station.
Mr. Ryan Elza, serves as Entrepreneur-In-Residence for EIP. Previously Ryan served full-time in EIP for three years and played a lead role in developing both the EIP Terp Tank Capstone Symposium and the Global Entrepreneurship Semester Program. He continues to support program activities, student venture activities, alumni activities, and partnerships and and advises on general program strategy.
Ryan is Social Entrepreneur in Residence with AARP, fostering development of new solutions to improve quality of life for elderly individuals. He was also previously employed at The Advisory Board Company in Washington, D.C., a healthcare consulting firm.
Mr. Elza holds a Master's in Technology Entrepreneurship from the University of Maryland and is an Honors College graduate from UMD with a dual major in anthropology and Italian studies. He served as Honors College Special Events Coordinator. Ryan also founded and grew the UMD chapter of the health education/policy organization Health Leads to a 30+ person student group and was the recipient of the 2012 William E. Kirwan Award presented to a UMD junior who has exhibited outstanding leadership and commitment to the college community.
Le-Marie Thompson, Lecturer
Founder and CEO Nettadona LLC. She was selected by Fast Company magazine as one of 100 most creative people in business and social good. Over 10 years of experience with global 100 telecom companies including Iridium Sattelite LLC and Sprint-Nextel. Le-Marie developed the Solar Academy Program in Malaysia and was selected as Innovation Ambassador at the World Summit of Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the UN Office of Partnership She has a M.A. in communication, culture and technology from Georgetown University and B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, where she was a member of College Park Scholars.
John Jabara, Lecturer
Founder of Savenia Labs and President of Jamesmin Advisory. He was selected as the 2013 Maryland Clean Energy Entrepreneur of Year and 2014 DOE SunShot Catalyst Business Innovation Winner. John has over 22 years of international management experience as a global executive with Glaxosmithkline. He has served as Entrepreneur in Residence, Georgetown University and has lectured at George Mason, Keio Univ. and London Business School. John has an M.S. in international management from the London School of Business, and B.A. in international relations, economics & East Asian languages from the University of Southern California, with additional studies at Waseda University in Tokyo.