Award-winning technology entrepreneur, innovation champion, and upcoming KIDtalks speaker Julie Lenzer thinks big and embraces failure. One of her favorite quotes comes from Michelangelo: “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.” And a sign stating, “If your life is free of failure, you’re not taking enough risks,” hangs proudly on this successful, risk-takers’ office wall.
These two qualities have helped Lenzer become the highly accomplished, notable leader in innovation that she is today—and three times named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women. As Associate Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development at the University of Maryland (UM) and Co-Director of UM Ventures, Lenzer fosters a culture of innovation and collaboration to drive greater economic and social impact from the University. Her leadership and entrepreneurial expertise help get new, impactful ideas launched into the world.
As a trailblazer in the technology industry and the mother of two daughters, Lenzer is especially passionate about encouraging more girls to pursue STEM professions. She credits the Girl Scouts for helping her gain early leadership skills and a female high school teacher for sparking her love of computer programming. Recognizing the importance of these early influences, Lenzer strives to be a role model to girls, showing that “geek is chic.” She serves on the board of Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, mentors young women entrepreneurs, and lectures widely on the need for diversity and inclusion in the workforce.
Julie Lenzer’s KIDtalk at KIDfest is at 3:30pm on Sunday, September 23 in the Silver Spring Civic Center. Learn more about KIDfest at kidfest.org.