Robert H. Smith School of Business

University of Maryland, College Park


Schedule & agenda

Please note that the schedule and panel lineup are subject to change. Kindly refer to this space for the most up-to-date information.

9.30 am - 10.00 am


Participants are encouraged to bring the registration confirmation

Venky Raghavendra

Event Anchor

Venky Raghavendra will be the overall anchor of the event

10.00 am - 10.55 am PANEL: Presented by Visitor Guard

PANEL: Raising capital from angels, family-friends networks and VCs

Hina Mehta

Marc Steren
Sahil Rahman
Ramesh Mahal
The panel discussion featuring experts in startup financing and startup founders who have raised capital will discuss strategies for raising capital from angels, family/friends’ networks, and venture capitalists (VCs). You’ll hear from experienced investors and successful founders who have navigated the fundraising landscape firsthand. Topics covered will include angel investing, family/friends’ networks, venture capital, and navigating the fundraising journey.

11.00 am - 11.55 pm PANEL: Presented by Sarfez Pharmaceuticals

PANEL: Launching a startup with low capital and bootstrapping

Juhi Naithani

Rohit Bhayana

Chiranth Nataraj

Emrah Dilsizoglu

Asif Mooppan

The panel, featuring seasoned founders who have successfully launched and scaled their startups with minimal capital and a bootstrapping mindset, will discuss firsthand accounts and practical advice on bootstrapping strategies, lean startup principles and alternative funding sources.

12.00 pm - 12.30 pm FIRESIDE CHAT: Presented by Mondee

Dr. Tanishq Abraham

From an academic prodigy to budding entrepreneur

Moderator: Feras Ismail

Dr. Tanishq Mathew Abraham, who graduated from college at 11 and earned a Ph.D. at 19, is the founder and CEO of MedARC, a medical AI research organization focused on training foundation models for medicine. He will talk about his entrepreneurial journey.

12.30 pm - 01.00 pm FIRESIDE CHAT: Presented by eHealthObjects

Sanjay Puri

Finding the right kind of incubators and accelerators


Juhi Naithani

Sanjay Puri, a tech leader and entrepreneur, will guide startup founders on how to identify the ideal incubator or accelerator program for their venture. Topics that will be covered include understanding the difference between incubators and accelerators, identifying needs of your startup, researching potential programs and maximizing program benefits

01.00 pm - 01.30 PM LUNCH

Networking lunch

You can network, interact, and potentially find a mentor—all while enjoying delicious pizza and refreshing soda. It's the perfect opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, share ideas, and foster valuable relationships.

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm FIRESIDE CHAT: Presented by Mondee
Dr. Newton Howard

Dr. Newton Howard

Transitioning from invention to business: A conversation with Dr. Newton Howard

Ada Sulejmanovic 

Dr. Newton Howard, the founder of ni2o, Inc, will talk about his groundbreaking startup that focuses on pioneering AI-driven brain-computer interfaces to combat a spectrum of neurological disorders. Discover how ni2o's innovative technologies aim to revolutionize cognitive and athletic performance for individuals grappling with neurological conditions.

With a diverse career spanning academia, military service, and the private sector, Dr. Howard brings a wealth of experience to the discussion. As a renowned scientific author and inventor, he has successfully translated cutting-edge research into tangible applications, from military advancements to everyday technologies like wireless hotspots, Google Earth, and Google Translate.

Don't miss this opportunity to gain insights from Dr. Newton Howard's extraordinary journey and learn about the transformative potential of ni2o's pioneering work.

02.00 - 2.55 PM PANEL: Presented by Global Alliant Inc.

PANEL: GovCon 101: Navigating government contracting opportunities


Ada Sulejmanovic 


Bill Yarnoff

Habib Nasibdar

Are you a startup founder interested in exploring opportunities in government contracting but unsure where to start? You’ll gain valuable insights on from this panel on understanding government contracting, federal vs. state contracts, securing government contracts, and compliance and regulations.

03:00 - 03:30 pm: FIRESIDE CHAT: Presented by eHealthObjects

Salil Sankaran

Secret sauce for success: A conversation with Salil Sankaran

Dr. Mahesh P. Joshi

Salil Sankaran, the President of Ampcus, has a proven track record of driving revenue growth, with expertise in mergers and acquisitions and business development. Entrusted with the task of guiding Ampcus as it expands to address evolving market demands, Sankaran has helped expand the company's footprints across Federal, State, Local, and commercial markets. Join Sankaran as he shares insights from his entrepreneurial journey, offering invaluable perspectives on navigating dynamic business landscapes and sustaining organizational excellence.

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm FIRESIDE CHAT: Presented by Mondee
Salim Shah

Salim Shah

Insights from a winning startup founder: A conversation with Dr. Salim Shah


Dr. Mahesh Joshi

Dr. Salim Shah, a former Chief Scientist of Georgetown University, belongs to a long line of entrepreneurs who straddle the worlds of science and business.  The seasoned serial entrepreneur, Salim brings a wealth of experience in the development, manufacturing, sales, and marketing of pharmaceuticals.

Founder of Sarfez, Salim is the sole inventor of the groundbreaking technologies that underpin its innovative solutions. With his leadership, Sarfez has propelled SOAANZ™ from a laboratory discovery to a pivotal stage of FDA submission.

In this fireside chat, Dr. Shah will delve into his entrepreneurial journey, sharing valuable insights and lessons learned along the way.