Academic Entrepreneur of the Year 2010
Ron Orlando, professor of biochemistry, molecular biology, and chemistry, Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, founded chemistry, Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, founded BioInquire, LLC, a bioinformatics software development company, along with cofounders Rick Tarleton, James Atwood, and Brent Weatherly. Established in 2007, BioInquire provides software solutions for cataloging, analyzing, and mining the products of mass spectrometric analysis. The company provides tools for researchers who need to derive biological meaning from mass amounts of information generated from complex proteomic and glycomic research. Orlando parlayed his expertise with grant programs to leverage $1.4 million in grants, ultimately enabling the company to sell products without taking out loans or investing equity beyond the founder’s original contributions. He set up initial meetings with consultants, formalized BioInquire’s scientific advisory board, and established early testers. While putting in long hours after work, Orlando also recognized when to let other, more experienced professionals take the lead. He also has been generous in sharing his time and experiences with other faculty who have entrepreneurial aspirations.