Senior Send-Off: Nadia Edet of BlessedBraids

In our Senior Send-Off series, the Dingman Center celebrates the student founders who are part of the graduating class of spring 2020. We are so pleased to have had the chance to get to know each of these talented entrepreneurs through our programs. 

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Nadia Edet – BlessedBraids

Nadia Edet ’20, a Maryland Smith International Business major, is the founder of BlessedBraids, a hair braiding business she has been operating full steam for four years. Last summer, she was accepted into our Terp Startup summer accelerator and achieved her goal of opening her first braiding shop. We look forward to staying connected with Nadia to hear how BlessedBraids continues to grow.

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Senior Send-Off: Jonathan Schneider, COO of ENLY

In our Senior Send-Off series, the Dingman Center celebrates the student founders who are part of the graduating class of spring 2020. We are so pleased to have had the chance to get to know each of these talented entrepreneurs through our programs. 

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Jonathan Schneider – ENLY

Jonathan (Jonny) Schneider ’20, a senior finance and information systems double major, first connected with the Dingman Center as the chief operations officer of ENLY, a fashion tech app to allow fashion customers to try on and buy designer clothing in a virtual marketplace. ENLY’s founder and CEO, finance major Tom Savransky ’20, participated in the 2019 Terp Startup Accelerator, and later graduated to our pilot of the Terp Startup Fellows program, which provides additional seed funding up to $20K and co-working space for Terp Startup alumni who have demonstrated a strong commitment to their venture. Tom moved in and brought Jonny with him, where they proceeded to work on ENLY for 10 hours each week at the Dingman Center. Through Terp Startup Fellows they were able to attend strategic fashion shows and forge connections with retailers and investors to help refine their business model. They also completed development of their app and redesigned their website. It has been a pleasure for our staff to get to know Jonny during this time, and we look forward to staying connected with him and ENLY after graduation.

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That’s a Wrap! Spring 2020 at the Dingman Center

wrap up pitch spring 2020

Spring 2020 will be remembered forever as the season that brought COVID-19 to our lives. This has been a tumultuous time for everyone, and no less for the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship community. We would like to take a moment to look back on our successes this spring, both in-person and virtual, and to thank the students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners for their perseverance in a pandemic and their dedication to showcasing the best in entrepreneurship at University of Maryland. We are proud to see our founders continuing to thrive, and look forward to the opportunities of creating a virtual Terp Startup accelerator cohort this summer.

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Where Are They Now: Myisha Gatson of Pearl Long Term Care Solutions, LLC

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In fall 2018, the Dingman Center met part-time MBA student Myisha Gatson, MBA ’20, who applied to Pitch Dingman Competition for her company, Pearl Long Term Care Solutions, LLC, a double-sided marketplace for long term care solutions to help people find safe and affordable care for their loved ones. Myisha pitched in the Semifinals, and though she did not move on to the Finals that year, she remained engaged with the Center. In the summer of 2019, she took on an intern through our Kathryn Stewart Fellowship Program, which provides a $5,000 stipend for students working at early-stage startups that may not otherwise have the resources to pay for an intern. Since her pitch at the fall 2018 Semifinals, she has continued to work on her business full-time, and has met many additional milestones:

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Senior Send-Off: Ladies First Founders

In our Senior Send-Off series, the Dingman Center celebrates the student founders who are part of the graduating class of spring 2020. We are so pleased to have had the chance to get to know each of these talented entrepreneurs through our programs. 

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From left: Jessica Rosenthal, Monica Pizzo, Hannah Shraim, Lucy Bedewi, Dana Hashem

Ladies First Founders

Lucy Bedewi ’20 (Cohort 3), Marketing major, founder of Wanderlust Wardrobe
Dana Hashem ’20 (Cohort 2), Neuroscience major, founder of Care for a Terp
Monica Pizzo ’20 (Cohort 3), Chinese Language major, founder of LUMXN
Jessica Rosenthal ’20 (Cohort 1), Mechanical engineering major, founder of Good Stuff Good Works
Hannah Shraim ’20 (Cohort 3), Business management major, founder of Libre Looks

Today is the final day of classes for cohort 3 of Ladies First Founders, our course for female and non-binary founders to gain the necessary business skills and soft skills to successfully launch a startup. We sat down with some past and present cohort members who are graduating this spring to touch base on their ventures, their post-graduation plans and learn more about how they grew during and after the course.

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Senior Send-Off: Jacques Marais, Founder of Munch

In our Senior Send-Off series, the Dingman Center celebrates the student founders who are part of the graduating class of spring 2020. We are so pleased to have had the chance to get to know each of these talented entrepreneurs through our programs. 

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Jacques Marais – Munch

Jacques Marais ’20 is an architecture major who in his last year at University of Maryland has become increasingly involved with the Dingman Center for his startup, Munch, a company offering a portable grow-it-yourself kit for customers to produce three pounds of microgreens per week in their own kitchens. Jacques pitched Munch during our regional round of The Hult Prize in November, and in the spring joined our New Venture Practicum class. Last week, Jacques went on to win the 2020 AgEnterprise Challenge launched by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. In partnership with F³Tech accelerator, Munch will gain access to $30,000 in seed funding for commercialization through the competition. To cap off a strong year of entrepreneurship for Jacques, Munch was accepted into our virtual Terp Startup accelerator this summer, which provides a $5,000 stipend, access to workshops and ongoing advising. We hope to see Munch the company grow as prodigiously as its microgreens.

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Dingman TV: The Sustainable Socialite

Dingman TV is a channel brought to you by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at Maryland Smith featuring all infomercials, all the time! These commercials are produced by student entrepreneurs at University of Maryland to showcase their products and services, drive traffic to their websites and gather feedback and support from potential customers in the UMD community and beyond. 

SustainableSocialiteThe Sustainable Socialite

The Sustainable Socialite is a sustainable fashion startup founded by University of Maryland student Sarah Lader ’20.  Sarah completed this video for the Dingman Center’s Fearless Founders: New Venture Practicum course, taught by Maryland Smith professor Oliver Schlake. In addition to New Venture Practicum, Sarah is a member of the spring 2020 Ladies First Founders cohort and will be participating in the Summer 2020 virtual Terp Startup Accelerator. She also aims to spread her passion for entrepreneurship as the new President of EnTERPreneur, the undergraduate entrepreneurship club at UMD.

Follow The Sustainable Socialite, browse and buy their looks on Instagram: @thesustainablesocialite.

Dingman TV: ModBars

Dingman TV is a channel brought to you by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at Maryland Smith featuring all infomercials, all the time! These commercials are produced by student entrepreneurs at University of Maryland to showcase their products and services, drive traffic to their websites and gather feedback and support from potential customers in the UMD community and beyond. 

modbars jpeg (2)ModBars, LLC

ModBars, LLC is a startup founded by University of Maryland students Jeff Su ’21 and Wyatt Talcott ’21. Also on the ModBars team are UMD students Max Levine ’22, Joe Oleynik ’23 and
Nate Stevens ’21. Jeff and Wyatt completed this video as students in the Dingman Center’s Fearless Founders: New Venture Practicum course, taught by Maryland Smith professor Oliver Schlake. ModBars also competed as semifinalists in Pitch Dingman Competition in fall 2019.

At the end of each academic year, Dingman Center supporter and successful alumni food entrepreneur Jason Cohen ’96 gives out the Jason ’96 & Jamie Cohen Entrepreneurship Fund Award of $1,000. ModBars was selected by the Dingman Center team to receive this year’s award.

Visit their website: www.modbars.com

Senior Send-Off: The Synapto Team

In our Senior Send-Off series, the Dingman Center celebrates the student founders who are part of the graduating class of Spring 2020. We are so pleased to have had the chance to get to know each of these talented entrepreneurs through our programs. 

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From left: Chris Look, Anoop Patel, Megha Guggari, David Boegner, Dhruv Patel

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Co-founder & CEO – Dhruv Patel ’20, Bioengineering major
Co-founder & CTO – Christopher Look ’20, Bioengineering major
Lead Systems Engineer – David Boegner ’20, Bioengineering major
Lead Software Engineer – Megha Guggari ’20, Bioengineering major
Lead R&D Engineer – Anoop Patel ’20, Bioengineering major

The Synapto team is made up of five University of Maryland bioengineering majors who are using a portable EEG and machine learning to provide doctors with a more efficient tool to diagnose Alzheimer’s. Having worked on this idea since 2017, the team has achieved many milestones along the way, including a prize from NIH, second place at the 2018 Do Good Challenge, and third place at the 2019 Pitch Dingman Competition Finals. The Dingman Center has had numerous opportunities to watch these founders grow: Chris Look enrolled in our Terp Startup accelerator for a different idea, Senvision, as a freshman; David Boegner and Anoop Patel represented Synapto in the 2018 Terp Startup cohort; and Megha Guggari was part of the first cohort of Ladies First Founders. The Synapto team took home our Rudy Award for Social Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2019, and we are excited to see how these impressive founders continue to shine post-graduation.

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Senior Send-Off: Dan Raithel, founder of BraceLint

In our Senior Send-Off series, the Dingman Center celebrates the student founders who are part of the graduating class of spring 2020. We are so pleased to have had the chance to get to know each of these talented entrepreneurs through our programs. 

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BraceLint_Brand-01Daniel Raithel – BraceLint

Dan Raithel ’20, a graduating senior and Economics major, had his first encounter with the Dingman Center at spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start in Fall 2018, but by then he had already been cooking up his idea for BraceLint, a flat and portable alternative to lint rollers. Dan eagerly enrolled in New Venture Practicum in Spring 2019, then was accepted into the Summer 2019 Terp Startup cohort. A veteran of the Marines, Dan proved himself to be a hardworking, focused entrepreneur, and built countless prototypes of his ideal BraceLint before he found one he was happy with. Now as a finalist in Pitch Dingman Competition, he’s ready to show that his hard work has paid off. Root for Dan at virtual Pitch Dingman Competition Finals tomorrow, April 22 from 4-6 p.m. live via Zoom. Don’t miss this last chance to support him!

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