Dr. Arti Santhanam: A Collaborative Scientist’s Passion Helps Build a Top-Five Tech-Based Entrepreneurial Community

What does the Zulu word “ubuntu” have to do with a successful science and tech fund at Maryland’s TEDCO? To start, it’s been a guiding force for that fund’s leader.

The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) has an important mission in Maryland: “enhance economic empowerment by fostering an inclusive and entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. Identify, invest in, and help grow technology companies in Maryland.”

As the Executive Director of TEDCO’s Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII), Dr. Arti Santhanam plays a key role in delivering on that mission. She leads the MII fund investing in commercialization and start-up science and tech companies spun out of five participating universities: Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, and the University of Maryland’s College Park, Baltimore and Baltimore County campuses. Established in 2012, MII has invested $47.5M that has resulted in 144 startups, $692M in follow-on funding and 7 exits to date.

Dr. Santhanam knows that success would not occur without collaboration, one of the core values at TEDCO. For her, collaboration brings to mind the word “ubuntu.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu defined the Zulu word “ubuntu” as “My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in what is yours.” In the simplest terms, Ubuntu means “I am because we are.”

Ubuntu is much more than just a word—it’s a philosophy, a world view, and a framework for how we relate to and work with others. While the concept of ubuntu has spiritual connotations, it has practical applications as well. As a socio-economic ideology, ubuntu encourages equity and equality as a means of generating shared wealth, promotes collective responsibility for the greater good, and fosters appreciation for each individual’s unique talents.

Read the full article at: worldsleaders.com