That’s a Wrap! Fall 2018 Highlights at the Dingman Center

With the holiday season fast approaching, students are hunkering down in the library to finish final projects and prep for exams. In the meantime, we’ve had the opportunity to reflect on the events and programs that went on at the Dingman Center this past semester. We’re always thankful for the immense support, enthusiasm and engagement we receive from those within our community. Check out some of our favorite highlights over the past few months, and have a wonderful winter break!

Sept. 29 – spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start

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Students playing spark: The Card Game

Now in its third year, spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start is an event hosted by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and Startup Shell. spark gives University of Maryland students who are interested in entrepreneurship but don’t have a venture a platform to brainstorm business ideas with their peers. This year the event got a major venue upgrade, with Professor Oliver Schlake leading the program at the innovative Edward St. John Learning & Teaching Center. Students refined their initial ideas through an interactive card game and then split up into teams to prepare an energetic, infomercial-style pitch. This year’s group of ideas were some of our most viable and creative yet! Read the full recap of spark here.

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Celebrating Smith Day: Why the Dingman Center is #UMDSmithProud

For this year’s Smith Day on November 14, 2018, we asked the current students and alumni who help make our Center run what makes them #UMDSmithProud. Check out some of their responses!

 

RudyLamone-1504143351-1542228917265.pngUnder the leadership of Dean Triantis, the Smith School has organized an extraordinary team of faculty, staff, alumni, students and friends who are passionately committed to maintaining the Smith School as one of the leading business schools in the world. For more than 32 years, The Dingman Center at the Smith School has been a major player on the campus, the region, and the world in developing entrepreneurial ecosystems that foster the development and growth of innovative new startups. – Rudolph “Rudy” Lamone, former Dean of the Smith School and founding director of the Dingman Center.

 

BillBoyle1Every time I attend a Dingman Center event at the Smith School, I am impressed how our students presentations are stronger than many seasoned professionals. – Bill Boyle ’81, board chair of the Dingman Center Board of Advisors, an active Dingman Center Angels investor and Dingman Center venture mentor, with experience mentoring companies in the Fearless Founders Accelerator and as a coach in Pitch Dingman Competition.

 

HollyDearmondI am proud of the diverse community of students, mentors, faculty and staff we have built at the Dingman Center. Creating programs that help Terps spark a venture idea is so exciting. Once that idea is sparked, it’s fulfilling to provide the structure, resources and connections students need in order to bring those ventures to life. – Holly DeArmond, MBA ’17, Interim Managing Director of the Dingman Center and a recent graduate of the Smith School’s prestigious part-time MBA program.

 

SaraHerald2.pngI’m UMD Smith proud because I get to work with students who are determined to change the world.  From female founders wanting to make their mark in entrepreneurship to aspiring social entrepreneurs who want to tackle really difficult social problems, the students we work with are going amazing places. – Sara Herald, MBA ’11, Associate Director for Social Entrepreneurship at the Dingman Center, head of our Ladies First Initiative and Smith School Adjunct Professor for Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps and Ladies First Founders.

 

PuriA-26Oct17-10School is all about what students put into it. Here at Smith our professors not only appreciate enthusiasm but champion those of us who want to take on more responsibilities and learn more than what is required. For this I am #UMDSmithProud. – Amit Puri, MBA ’19, a second-year MBA student and graduate assistant at the Dingman Center, with roles supporting the Dingman Center Angels from behind the scenes and as a venture associate. He is also head of the MBA E-Club and leading this year’s VCIC Competition.

 

KashikarM-26Oct17-12The Dingman Center provides opportunities that make Smith MBA a unique experience. Through the Dingman Center, I have met with entrepreneurs and leaders not just from the area but also on the west coast, my dream job destination. The Dingman Center and its people are my go-to people on campus. I am truly #UMDSmithProud. – Mandar Kashikar, MBA ’19, second-year Marketing Analytics graduate assistant at the Dingman Center.

 

headshot-3-1.jpgThe thriving entrepreneurship scene and supporting community here makes me #UMDSmithProud. – Emily Gee ’20, a junior majoring in Operations Management & Business Analytics and Information Systems. Emily is our undergraduate Venture Programs intern at the Dingman Center and acting President of EnTERPreneur, the undergraduate entrepreneurship club.

 

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I’m #UMDSmithProud of the great resources and programs offered to students that allow us to make a meaningful difference right out of college. – Eric Elliot ’18, a senior Marketing major at the Smith School and the Dingman Center’s Events and Marketing intern since Fall 2017.

 

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Spotlight on Role Models at the Third Annual Ladies First Fall Dinner

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by: Megan McPherson, Events & Marketing Manager

The Ladies First Fall Dinner is the flagship event of the Dingman Center’s Ladies First initiative to expose more female students at University of Maryland to entrepreneurship. Each year, it attracts young women from all across campus for an evening where they can explore the unique challenges and strengths shared by women as they look to launch companies or lead them post-graduation. The third annual Ladies First Fall Dinner on November 1 in Van Munching Hall focused on “role models”, introducing a room comprised solely of female undergraduate students to two inspirational female founders in the cosmetics industry: alumna and serial entrepreneur Mary Schulman ’97, co-founder of PYT Beauty; and current student Brianna Queen ’19, founder of BEEQBOX and second place winner of the 2018 Pitch Dingman Competition. In a fireside chat moderated by associate director and Ladies First leader Sara Herald, MBA ’11, Brianna and Mary shared their inspiring founder stories and imparted valuable wisdom to 65 student attendees. Below are some of the recurring themes that both entrepreneurs touched upon during the discussion.

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Announcing the 2019 Pitch Dingman Competition Semifinalists

PDC Semifinalists

This year’s Pitch Dingman Competition application phase saw a wide range of applications from undergraduate, graduate and PhD students from across UMD. After undergoing a quarterfinals review from alumni judges, we’re excited to announce the 2019 Pitch Dingman Competition semifinalists and second cohort of Hisaoka Entrepreneurs. The founders of the semifinalists teams will receive mentoring and coaching to help them further accelerate their businesses, whether or not they make the cut for Pitch Dingman Competition Finals. On Thursday, Nov. 15 from 6-7:30 p.m. in Frank Auditorium, Van Munching Hall, these 10 student startups will pitch their businesses to an expert panel of judges at the Pitch Dingman Competition Semifinals, chaired by Robert G. Hisaoka. The audience will have a chance to vote for their favorite semifinalist to take home a $500 prize. We’re excited to see who wins the opportunity to pitch at the Finals on March 7, 2019 for a shot at the grand prize of $15,000!

Register here to attend and read on about each semifinalist in their own words below.

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Steve Case: From a Director of New Pizza Development to Getting America Online

On October 9, 2018, Steve Case spoke at Gildenhorn Recital Hall at the Clarice Performing Arts Center as featured speaker at the Dingman Center’s Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series. The speaker series was created as part of a generous three-year gift from alumnus Robert Hisaoka ’79 to bring business leaders and startup founders to UMD that will inspire students to explore entrepreneurship by providing real-world context for business and venture creation. The following is one student’s account of the experience.

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by: Mandar Kashikar, MBA ’19

As the founding CEO of AOL, the first internet company to go public, Steve Case is an icon of the first wave of the internet. At its peak, AOL (America Online) was used by half of the total online population in the US! I can’t even fathom the power it held. Needless to say, it was my pleasure listening to Steve’s advice for us students.

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Recapping the 3rd Annual spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start

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by: Megan McPherson, Events & Marketing Coordinator

Now in its third year, spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start is an event hosted by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and Startup Shell to give students at University of Maryland who are interested in entrepreneurship but don’t have a venture a platform to brainstorm business ideas with their peers. The first two iterations of spark were hosted in Van Munching Hall over a two-day period, but with Robert H. Smith School of Business clinical professor Oliver Schlake running the programming, this year’s spark on September 29, 2018 ran in just one day, starting with breakfast and check-in at 9 a.m. and ending before 5 p.m. The event also relocated to the beautiful and innovation-friendly Edward St. John Learning & Teaching Center.

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Fearless Founders Chosen as Forbes Under 30 Scholars for Under 30 Summit

Forbes

The Dingman Center is excited to support three Fearless Founders who have been accepted as Forbes Under 30 Scholars for the 2018 Under 30 Summit to be held in Boston on September 30. As a Forbes scholar, students will be granted access to the Opportunities Hub, a recruitment fair powered by WayUp, and will have networking access to investors, entrepreneurs, celebrities, musicians, fashion designers, sport stars, cultural icons, world-renowned chefs, educators, political leaders and business icons who represent the entrepreneurial spirit of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

Among the selected students are University of Maryland students Emily Gee ’20, Matthew Talley ’21, and Brianna Queen ’19:

headshot-3.jpgEmily Gee, a junior at UMD, enjoys leadership roles at several campus organizations. As assistant marketing director for Technica, the university’s all-women hackathon, she supports women in STEM and has attracted more than 800 participants to the hackathon this year. She also serves as president of EnTERPreneur-UMD, the campus’ newest entrepreneurship club.

MTalley HeadshotMatthew Talley, a finance major at UMD, is the CEO and founder of Sonder Innovations. He is a Fearless Founder who graduated from the New Venture Practicum course in Spring 2018. Like Emily, he also serves a VP of External Relations for EnTERPreneur UMD.

Brianna Queen AwardBrianna Queen, an Information Science Junior at UMD, is the founder of BEEQBOX, a cosmetics company that makes illuminating makeup with a branded feminist twist. BEEQBOX has grown virally since its launch in 2016 and now has an impressive 57K followers on Instagram. The company specializes in beauty products that are vegan, cruelty-free, and all-natural and was able to generate over $100,000 in revenue in its first year. In 2018, Brianna came in second place in the 2018 Pitch Dingman Competition, winning $7,500 in funding for her startup.

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A Summer Internship Making Entrepreneurship Inclusive at SEED SPOT

The Dugal Impact Fellowship Program provides a stipend for two undergraduate students to spend their summers interning at early-stage social enterprises, thanks to a generous gift from Ish ’05 and Priya Dugal ’05. 

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by: Adam Sarsony ’20

Incubators across the world tend to focus on established startups that are past seed stage. However, a group called SEED SPOT has decided to try a different strategy: focusing on seed stage startups, mostly with minority and female founders, and helping them to build social enterprises from the ground up.

This past summer I was fortunate enough to intern at SEED SPOT through a Dingman Center fellowship. SEED SPOT is a social enterprise incubator with offices in Washington, D.C. and Phoenix, providing training and resources to founders of nonprofits and for-profits with a social mission to help them grow and measure their impact. Throughout every level of engagement, SEED SPOT focuses on minority and female social entrepreneurs.

IMG_2716-1.JPGWorking at SEED SPOT was an experience like no other—I’ve thought about it as working at a startup that’s in the business of helping startups. The team is small and incredibly passionate about their work. The organization is only a few years old, having seen massive growth since first starting out and only recently adding their WeWork location in DC.

The SEED SPOT office in DC is littered with Mac chargers, marketing materials, books about social entrepreneurship, Harvard Business Review journals, and notebooks that SEED SPOT team members brought back from conferences to share. Working there was just as much an opportunity to access the SEED SPOT library as it was a job (which was perfect for nerds like myself).

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A Summer Internship Fighting Food Waste at Misfit Juicery

The Dugal Impact Fellowship Program provides a stipend for two undergraduate students to spend their summers interning at early-stage social enterprises, thanks to a generous gift from Ish ’05 and Priya Dugal ’05. 

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photo by Gotham Greens

by: Candice Daytner ’19

Team bonding on the New York Subway during rush hour, late night juice tasting at our co-packer facility, tasting fresh microgreens grown in an urban aeroponic vertical farm…these are just a few of the things I got to experience while working at Misfit Juicery this summer.

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photo by Gotham Greens

Misfit is a mission-oriented startup dedicated to fighting food waste by making delicious products from supply chain inefficiencies. This primarily comes in the form of “misfit” fruits and veggies that are often considered too misshapen, discolored, big or small to be sold in traditional grocery retail. My role at Misfit this summer as a supply chain and operations intern consisted of being the right-hand person to the head of operations. With such a small and dynamic team environment, I was able to take on a lot of responsibility and independence.

One of my primary responsibilities was managing the production and inventory Excel workbook. This included a lot of order fulfillment tasks such as entering Purchase Orders, creating Bills of Lading, checking inventory levels, and reconciling outbound signed paperwork with planned pickups. For planning production, I slowly learned more and took over more of the process throughout the summer. From forecasting demand, determining buffers, and planning produce quantities, I was able to plan a whole production run from start to finish by the end of the summer with relatively minimal oversight and adjustment from my managers.

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Steve Case is Coming to UMD for the Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series on Oct. 9

Steve Case will be speaking at the Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series on Oct. 9 at 5 p.m. in The Clarice’s Gildenhorn Recital Hall. Click here to register.

Steve CaseSteve Case is one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs, and a pioneer in making the Internet part of everyday life. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future.

As Chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC, a Washington, D.C.- based investment firm he co-founded in 2005, Steve partners with visionary entrepreneurs to build significant ‘built to last’ businesses. Revolution invests in and actively helps build companies leveraging technology to disrupt existing markets. This includes both early and mid-stage growth companies through both the Revolution Growth fund, created in 2011, and the Revolution Ventures fund, launched in 2013. Revolution has backed more than 30 companies, including: sweet green,ZipcarRevolution FoodsDraftKingsUptake and Framebridge.

In 2014, Steve and Revolution launched the Rise of the Rest, a platform to shine a spotlight on entrepreneurs that are starting and scaling businesses outside of Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston. Steve frequently tours the country by bus to meet with civic leaders, founders, investors and local corporate executives to champion citywide efforts to jumpstart entrepreneurship. As part of the initiative, Steve announced The Rise of the Rest Seed fund in December 2017.

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Steve Case in Detroit during a Rise of the Rest Tour

Steve’s entrepreneurial career began in 1985 when he co-founded America Online (AOL). Under Steve’s leadership, AOL became the world’s largest and most valuable Internet company, driving the worldwide adoption of a medium that has transformed business and society. AOL was the first Internet company to go public and the best performing stock of the 1990s. At its peak, nearly half of Internet users in the United States used AOL. In 2000, Steve negotiated the largest merger in business history, bringing together AOL and Time Warner in a transaction that gave AOL shareholders a majority stake in the combined company. To facilitate the merger, Steve agreed to step down as CEO when the merger closed.

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Steve Case with President Obama

Steve’s passion for helping entrepreneurs remains his driving force. In 2011, he was the founding chair of the Startup America Partnership— an effort launched at the White House to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. Steve also was the founding co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and a member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, where he chaired the subcommittee on entrepreneurship.

Steve has been a leading voice in shaping government policy on issues related to entrepreneurship, working across the aisle to advance public policies that expand access to capital and talent. He was instrumental in passing the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, and is active in advocating on behalf of immigration reform and legislation that supports and accelerates the emergence of startup ecosystems in rising cities.

Steve is also Chairman of the Case Foundation, which he established with his wife Jean in 1997. Together the Cases have invested in hundreds of organizations, initiatives and partnerships with a focus on leveraging the Internet and entrepreneurial approaches to strengthen the social sector. In 2010, Steve and Jean joined The Giving Pledge and publicly reaffirmed their commitment to give away the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.


External image sources:
Rise of the Rest: https://technical.ly/philly/2015/08/04/steve-case-philadelphia-rise-of-the-rest/
Steve Case and President Obama: https://www.americaninno.com/dc/steve-case-wants-congress-to-seize-the-moment-and-act/

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