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Entrepreneurship Gazelles and Mentors

“Gazelles” were identified by M.I.T. small business researcher David Birch as a those high-growth firms that generate most of the new jobs in an economy. George Mason professor Zoltan Acs has argued that “gazelles” must double their revenues every four years to qualify, and have at least 20 employees. Saras Sarasvathy at U.V.A. found that expert entrepreneurs were those who had a minimum of ten years of startup experience and have participated in taking at least one company public.

UB's Entrepreneurship Gazelles will combine the features identified by Birch, Acs, and Sarasvathy. The Ratcliffe Fellows in the Entrepreneurship Fellows Program are building rapidly growing companies that generate lots of new jobs. Think the best of the Inc. 500 — that is a UB Entrepreneurship Gazelle.

The following list of gazelles have committed their time to the Entrepreneurship Fellows program.This will expand as the program grows.

  • Lily Benfort, founder of a local pest control firm and CenGen, a wireless and mobile communications technology venture

    Lily Bengfort, emigrated with her family from Guyana to the United States, started CenGen in 2000. The company was named Maryland Technology Company of the Year in 2006, and Bengfort was declared the 2010 Maryland Small Businessperson of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. In 2011, she received the Influential Marylander Award from The Daily Record. A practicing network engineer, Bengfort has now founded and sold two companies—the mark of what is known in business as a “serial entrepreneur.” She also is a member of the Merrick School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council..

  • Greg Cangialosi, founder of Blue Sky Factory and co-founder of Betamore and Baltimore Angels

    Greg Cangialosi established Blue Sky Factory, an e-mail marketing firm, in 2001. He sold the company last year. Located in Baltimore’s Federal Hill neighborhood, his Betamore venture is an urban campus for technology and entrepreneurship modeled after New York City’s General Assembly initiative. Cangialosi is also the managing member of the Baltimore Angels, a local network of active technology-oriented individual investors.