John Ujvari, MBA
John Ujvari is the SBIR Program Specialist with the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC). His primary responsibilities include counseling clients on the effective use of this federal funding program and supporting and promoting SBIR educational opportunities throughout the state via numerous outreach efforts.
These efforts include the publication of a monthly SBIR-focused newsletter, planning and execution of training events statewide, meeting clients one-on-one and reviewing proposals prior to submission. He also leads the SBTDC’s MBA summer internship program. Since joining the SBTDC in 2001, SBIR and STTR awards in North Carolina have increased 5-fold.
John earned his MBA degree from Wake Forest University’s Babcock Graduate School of Management Prior to returning to graduate school, John held the position of Research Associate at Westat, a contract research firm in Rockville, Maryland. John earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.
Rachel Burton is a Technology Commercialization Counselor, based at UNC-Chapel Hill and is co-located with UNC KickStart Venture Services. She brings fifteen years of experience building start-up companies and commercializing technologies in the agriculture and energy sectors in addition to five years focused on product innovation and team management at a top-tier global biotechnology firm. Burton’s undergraduate degree is from UNC-CH, combined with professional education in agriculture and automotive-diesel technology. Rachel was a co-founder and owner of Piedmont Biofuels Industrial out of Pittsboro, North Carolina, a premier renewable fuels company in North Carolina. At Piedmont, she authored, won, and administered over 10 state and federal grants, including serving as a principal investigator (PI) for multiple Phase I and Phase II SBIR awards. Previously Burton’s work on biotechnology advancement in renewable fuels was awarded the i2i Innovation award at South by Southwest (SXSW), a United States Biodiesel Researcher of the Year, and was nominated for the Presidential EPA Green Chemistry Award. As an experienced ag-tech entrepreneur, Burton is passionate about helping other small businesses that are investing in the clean energy and sustainable agriculture or impacting climate change with biological solutions.
Ramya Vijapurapu is a Technology Commercialization Counselor based in Raleigh. She is a recent graduate of NC State’s Master of Microbial Biotechnology (MMB) program. The curriculum offers a mix of both PhD level science and technical courses as well as MBA and technology commercialization exposure. Post graduation Ramya consulted with several small, innovation driven companies in the RTP area on business development initiatives.