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Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship director heads to U.S. Commerce Dept.

Julie Lenzer Kirk, who has been the executive director of Howard County's Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship since December 2011, will be the new director of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Julie Lenzer Kirk with Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and Startup Maryland co-organizer Mike Binko. Photo courtesy of Julie Lenzer Kirk.

Julie Lenzer Kirk, who has been the executive director of Howard County’s Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship since December 2011, is leaving to take a position with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Howard County executive Ken Ulman tweeted out the news Thursday afternoon.

Kirk will be the director of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Department of Commerce. According to a press release, the job entails fostering “a more innovative U.S. economy focused on turning new ideas and inventions into new products and technologies that spur job growth.”

“I’m incredibly grateful to Howard County for giving me the opportunity to help connect the entrepreneurial community here and across Maryland through Startup Maryland,” Kirk told Technical.ly Baltimore. “I’m looking forward to seeing how we can help entrepreneurs and drive innovation nationally.”

It was Kirk who helped kick off the Pitch Across Maryland tour in 2012 to give startups across the state an opportunity to pitch their companies for a chance to win prizes and face-time with investors.

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Andrew Zaleski

Andrew Zaleski is a freelance journalist in Philadelphia and the former lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. Before moving to Philadelphia in June 2014, he was a contributing writer to Baltimore City Paper and a Tech Check commentator for WYPR 88.1 FM, Baltimore city’s National Public Radio affiliate. He has written for The Atlantic, Outside, Richmond magazine, Washington City Paper, Baltimore magazine, Baltimore Style magazine, Next City, Grist.org, The Atlantic Cities, and elsewhere.

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