News at Smith

Maryland Smith MBAs Provide Global Consulting for Local Company this Spring

May 15, 2020


The Center for Global Business at Maryland Smith partnered with ACell, a regenerative medicine company located in Columbia, Maryland, on the Maryland Global Export Consulting program, an opportunity that offers Maryland-based companies the chance to work with a team of the school’s MBA or undergraduate students to address challenges companies are facing in entering the international market. This spring, a team of five MBA students applied their classroom learning to a real-world consulting project and provided ACell market recommendations to inform their international expansion plan.

Pleased with their results of working with a student team on a different consulting project last year, ACell was eager to work with an MBA team again this year as the company plans to take a medical repair device onto the international cardiac market. ACell charged the MBA team with making a recommendation of the top three countries that offer the most opportunistic markets for ACell’s medical device all under the guidance of Nicole Coomber, associate clinical professor of management & organization at Maryland Smith. Throughout the course of the semester, the team consulted with Nino Pionati, the chief commercial officer of ACell and advisory board member for the Center for Global Business, as the client lead on the project. The team also met with other experts, such as Andrew Kreinik, regional manager of the Maryland Department of Commerce (MDOC), Office of International Investment and Trade, during the semester to point out other state and federal export resources, opportunities, and possible obstacles.

After a semester of research and analysis, the team presented their final findings and recommendations of the top three most viable markets to Pionati and other ACell leadership. To continue to support ACell’s export operations, the team also supplied their client with a tool that will help them score global markets for other products in the future. Pionati and the ACell leadership team indicated they intend to follow through with the teams’ recommendations and that the program has been beneficial to their global reach and international expansion. Pionati states, “This was ACell’s second engagement with the UMD MBA consultancy program and similar to our first engagement, our senior executive team was very pleased with the final report and recommendations. The team helped us confirm the three largest market opportunities outside the USA for a medical device in the cardiac market. This service adds great value to small companies who typically don’t have the resources to do this work themselves.”

The Maryland Global Export Consulting program is made possible through the partnership between the Center for Global Business at Maryland Smith and the MDOC Office of International Investment and Trade which helps to raise awareness of existing export promotion programs, facilitate greater access and usage of the state’s programs, and build new globally-focused programs. Maryland-based companies interested in working with an undergraduate or MBA consulting team on the Maryland Global Export Consulting program through the center can visit the program page or email Students interested in enrolling in the program should also email the center at

This program was funded in part by CIBE, a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

–Written by Marina Augoustidis, associate director of the Center for Global Business


About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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