Entrepreneurship at the University of Baltimore hit new heights this year with the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation celebrating its tenth anniversary of serving the students and alumni of the university. And in most cases celebrating an anniversary milestone would have been enough for any given event, but the school had one additional ground-breaking occasion to celebrate in November—the grand opening of the Edward Attman and Mildred Cohen Attman Student Incubator.
The School of Business’ was packed with new and old friends of the university many of whom are engaged in activities of the Baltimore region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. John Zuknick, MBA ’14, B.S. ’12, former manager of the center, built an event program that captured that testimonials from alumni who used the center’s services to help launch and grow their ventures as well as celebrated the lives and the philanthropic gift bestowed upon the University to help more business ventures take off.
During the official program, one of Edward and Mildred Attman’s four sons, Gary Attman, who is also a Regent for the University System of Maryland, took the podium to share his thoughts the new facility dedicated in honor of parents.
“My parents were the first of their families to attend a university, and they did so right here at the University of Baltimore,” said Attman. “When my brothers and I were growing up, we were surrounding by the University of Baltimore. My parents went here, all their friends went here. We never heard of Harvard, we never heard of Yale, we never heard of the University of Maryland. When we thought of higher education, we thought the University of Baltimore. My parents were always extremely proud of this university.”
“My father was a true entrepreneur. He started with almost nothing, but had an idea, and he worked hard and built a company—Acme Paper—from scratch. Acme Paper is now in its seventh year of business and employs hundreds employees in the Mid-Atlantic region, including several members of my family. And my mom, Mildred Attman, was my father’s first and favorite partner. He attributed all of his success to her.”
“On behalf of our entire family, it is our sincere pleasure to dedicate this beautiful facility in memory of Edward and Mildred Attman. We hope many more Acme Papers will be spun out of this facility.”
Stu Silberg, B.S. ’71, the first Entrepreneur in Residence, former Entrepreneurship Board Chair, and former UB Foundation Board president, followed the address by Gary Attman to share his perspectives of ten years of entrepreneurial spirit at UB.
“Today, I am delighted on how well the center has successfully established itself, and how it continues to develop a brigade of talented volunteers who so generously share their business acumen with advising and mentoring our students.”
Silberg voiced his enthusiasm for a list of goals the center is hoping to accomplish going forward including continuing to grow and expand partnerships, develop funding opportunities for student startups, secure additional grants and donations to increase the programing and services, and to integrate entrepreneurship across the UB campus.”
Prior to the final unveiling of the new Attman Incubator, Josh Marshall, B.S. ’07 and one of the first three businesses that started in the center, recalled why the support he received allowed him to be the entrepreneur he is today.
“The Center’s ten year anniversary is special for me as 2016 marks a ten year anniversary for my company, MFS Accounting,” said Marshall. “In May of 2006, I wandered into the center and spoke to Jim Kucher, DPA, ’14, MBA ’01, to learn more about entrepreneurship. At the time, it was only weeks after I decided to quit my full time job to commit fully to the ‘bookkeeping’ company that I had been running part time over the 16 months. My visit to the center, was also not long after I was fired by one of my major clients. I was a full time student, I had two kids at home, and the reality of running a business had given me a solid kick in the pants. Simply put, I wouldn’t be standing here talking about my business were it not for the support of the center in those early years.”