Entrepreneur Fellowship (REEF)
Entrepreneur Fellowship (REEF)
Scientists applying business skills to scale environmental solutions beyond the laboratory
REEF and MICA entrepreneurship students
The Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology’s Ratcliffe Environmental Entrepreneur Fellow (REEF) Program enables environmental science graduate students to apply their research to real-world problems. Through workshops with local entrepreneurs, lessons on important topics such as intellectual property and customer discovery, and a final pitch competition, students cultivate leadership and business skills to transition technologies from the lab or field into commercial markets.
REEF supports the career success of its science graduates, enabling them to enter a wide range of professions. REEF alumni have used their skills to start businesses, lead within established companies, develop environmental policy in federal agencies, and advance research in an academic setting.
REEF Weekend Workshop
Hear from our alumni:
“Something really clicked toward the end of the first year of REEF. I realized that this is something that I could actually do, where I take a scientific discovery and commercialize it.” – Mary Larkin, CEO of Gaskiya Diagnostics
“I’ve been in the REEF program for two years now and I can assuredly say that it has changed my life in really great ways and it has taught me skills that I never would have learned otherwise.” – Lauren Jonas, IMET Ph.D. student
Entrance to Harbor Launch Incubator
Harbor Launch Incubator
Harbor Launch is a startup incubator and community for science and science support companies. It was initially funded by the Ratcliffe Foundation and has been self-supported for the past 4 years. It is co-located with the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, which is part of the University System of Maryland.
Harbor Launch rents office and lab space to startups and provides support services. You can find out more on the Harbor Launch website.
AlgenAir Pitches at the 2020 Rice Business Plan Competition
Gaskiya Diagnostics at Hatch Blue Accelerator Program
Manta Biofuel: Our Story
IMET's Ten Year Anniversary
In 2020, IMET celebrated its tenth anniversary. In the past decade, we have made great progress in science research, graduate education, and entrepreneurship.
Featured Page Links
Minnowtech's Prototype Makes a Splash
REEF alum Dr. Shahrestani is currently developing an automated low-cost sonar-based system to improve the accuracy and convenience of estimating shrimp abundance and growth in shrimp farms across the world. “We provide farmers with important decision-driving information to maximize productivity and efficiency,” she said.
AlgenAir wins big at three pitch competitions
AlgenAir, a company started by two REEF alums, brought home over $50,000 from three business plan competitions in the spring of 2020. In presentations as short as one minute, AlgenAir founders Kelsey Abernathy and Dan Fucich convinced panels of judges that they have developed a valuable product and a viable business plan. AlgenAir’s slogan is, “Grow Algae. Live Better.”
IMET and REEF Alum Pivots to Produce Face Shields
Manta Biofuel typically conducts research and development for algal biofuels, but in the spring of 2020, the small team led by REEF alum Ryan Powell was churning out 6,500 face shields each week for health care workers, hairdressers, electricians, and our IMET scientists.
Opening Doors to Entrepreneurship
Dr. Nina Lamba joined the team at IMET in March of 2019 as the Assistant Director. In this role, she directs the Ratcliffe Environmental Entrepreneur Fellowship (REEF), which is funded by the Ratcliffe Foundation. Read a Q&A to learn about her background and why the REEF program is so important.