David Tilley is a budding green entrepreneur and associate professor of ecological engineering at the University of Maryland's Department of Environmental Science and Technology. His life's work of re-infusing natural landscapes into our very synthetic environments took a momentous turn in the summer of 2015 when relaxing on a sunny pool deck in Las Vegas during his family's western road trip. Tilley had the epiphany that people would really enjoy lounging beneath a living umbrella. After rushing back 3000+ miles to Maryland, he immediately connected with UMD's entrepreneurial network to discover the commercial possibilities for his new invention. Little did he know that it was only his first step into exploring UMD's entrepreneurial ecosystem.