Member’s Corner: Silvia Goncalves
Name, Title, Organization:
Silvia Goncalves, Assistant Manager, Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII), TEDCO
Explain your background in economic development:
Prior to working with TEDCO, I worked at Lockheed Martin, supporting their contracts with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Justice. I also have over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience managing a service-oriented business.
What are your key priorities within your current position?
As the Assistant Manager of TEDCO’s MII, my 2 key priorities are managing the award administration process and portfolio financial management. This entails performing compliance checks, working with reviewers, collecting and executing legal documentation for awards, and working with the awardees to resolve any issues that arise. I also work with the MII portfolio companies to maintain the required State compliances, including financial reporting and return on investment analysis.
Does one particular project spark your excitement? If so, describe it below.
Working with MII gives me the opportunity to see many different and very interesting technologies. I work with faculty from the different universities involved with the program as well as start-up company professionals, in helping bring their products to market. What attributes are unique to your community? Unlike most funding opportunities, the MII provides funding for innovations throughout their lifecycle—from the beginning stages in a research lab all the way to commercialization. This unique attribute allows for the growth and development of Maryland’s innovation ecosystem by ensuring any innovators from traditionally underrepresented and disadvantaged communities receive the support and resources that will best help them to succeed in commercializing their innovative products.
What are your locality’s top three “selling points” for future growth?
Innovation, passion, and diversity. MII serves some of Maryland’s most innovative researchers; through their passion, we can support the growth of the Maryland economy. Additionally, since Maryland is a diverse state, we are able to support the creation of a more diverse economy state-wide.
If you could wave a magic wand, what would you want to work with MEDA on to move Maryland forward?
I would love to see MEDA working with MII to bring more economic diversity throughout the technology and life sciences industries in Maryland.
Please include any personal background information that you’d like to share (Alma mater, Military Service, hobbies, etc.):
I grew up in Kensington and have always lived in Maryland. I have a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland University College. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, and traveling to my home country, Portugal.