Early Charm Ventures transforms science into business.  

We co-found companies with entrepreneurial minded researchers at the earliest stages of commercialization, often so early that it is difficult to see a clear path to market.


Dr. Ken Malone holds the title of principal. Ken has built his career on creating economic value from science. Whether it was developing new business lines for global corporations or spinning out new ventures from universities, Ken has engaged in the commercialization of hundreds of new products in advanced materials and life sciences.

Ken uses his academic training in the physical and life sciences and applies his broad life experiences in business operations, marketing, intellectual property management, M&A, finance, manufacturing and government affairs. This allows him to not just identify commercial value but also to plot and navigate the pathway to success. At last count, Ken had co-founded or served as an officer for five life science and advanced materials companies.
Ken believes that the best of our economy lies in the ideas, talent and vision of the would-be entrepreneur. This commitment pushes Early Charm Ventures to consistently seek to grow companies capable of changing, evolving and making things in our world different- and better.Prior to his arrival in the Charm City, he also served as Director of the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship at The University of Southern Mississippi. Before that, he worked ten years in the fine chemicals industry, bringing dozens of new products to market and leading capital investment opportunities in China, India, Southeast Asia, Western Europe and the Americas. Ken holds a Ph.D. in polymer science and a B.S. in biochemistry.


Kelli Booth holds the title of principal. Kelli possesses a proven track record of bringing new advanced materials to market. Whether it was a company developing new fiber intellectual property that generated positive cash flow or developing advanced materials for the defense industry, Kelli fills the role of Early Charm’s energetic dealmaker.

Prior to her arrival in Baltimore, Kelli co-founded an intellectual property management company, Noetic Technologies. Her negotiating and marketing efforts led to four tech start-up companies and sales, research and licensing contracts totaling over $10 million on behalf of her clients. Her entrepreneurial skills carried over to SciGenesis, a university spin-out that developed military face paint that prevents third-degree burns. As president, she secured over $1 million in funding.

Kelli’s persistence and energy makes challenging business deals possible. This passion delivers incredible value and resources to help innovators translate science into business.Her business experience also includes stints at Arkema, Inc. (formerly Atofina Chemicals, Inc.), Mississippi Polymer Institute and Armstrong World Industries, Inc. She earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from Georgia Tech.