Feature Friday! ReGlass

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 11 student startups who are participating in our first in-person Terp Startup summer accelerator since 2020. Participating student entrepreneurs will receive a stipend up to $5,000 that will enable them to work exclusively on their startups over the next eight weeks.

Founders: Bennett Greenspun ’24, business management major, astronomy minor.

Bennett Greenspun ’24, founder of ReGlass, pitching his venture at Terp Startup Accelerator’s Demo Day 2022.

DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?

Greenspun: ReGlass is a company that makes glasses with interchangeable lenses so people can save money on frames and express themselves better through their eyewear.

DC: At what point did you know you wanted to create your own startup?

Greenspun: My father is an entrepreneur and has been running his company my whole life, so growing up entrepreneurship was all I saw in regards to what working was like. I liked the idea of freedom in decision-making and not having a boss so I decided early on that it was something I wanted to pursue.

DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup?

Greenspun: My father is the biggest influence in my startup because I always go to him for advice, and he has become such a valuable mentor to me while I’ve been building this company.

DC: Why did you decide to start a business in this industry?

Greenspun: I wanted to pursue this idea because it affected me personally. Having to buy new glasses every year or so when my prescription changes is not something I want to do. I wanted to solve this problem so that others didn’t have to go through it.

DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months?

Greenspun: Right after coming up with the idea in January I applied to the Pitch Dingman Competition for the Fearless Ideas track. I got to the finals where I could pitch in front of judges and won. I received $5,000 and admission to the Terp Startup Accelerator summer incubator, which gave another $5,000. I have made significant progress prototyping and am 1 to 2 months away from having physical glasses for people to try out.

DC: As a student business owner, what motivates you?

Greenspun: Having full control over my decisions is what motivates me. Throughout all of elementary, middle, and high school most of my big decisions were made for me, and to some extent, even in college, you are bound to your classes and degree requirements. Owning a business and being able to have full control gives me a sense of freedom that motivates me to keep going.

DC: What do you feel that you have achieved from participating in Terp Startup Accelerator this summer?

Greenspun: I have deeply learned about the many aspects of starting a business and know that even if this business fails, this information will stay with me and could be useful for starting a different business. I picked up information that I know will last.

DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be??

Greenspun: My advice would be to just start. A lot of people spend time being dreamers, thinking about ideas or the best possible way to implement but are afraid to start. The best way to go about it is to just build. Your first version will suck, but that’s the first step to making something that people will eventually want.

To learn more about ReGlass, please contact Bennett Greenspun.

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Terp Startup Accelerator’s Demo Day 2022

Demo Day 2022, located in the Iribe Center at the University of Maryland.

On Thursday, July 28th the Dingman Center’s Terp Startup Accelerator 2022 cohort gathered for Demo Day. During the event which was held at the in the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering, each cohort member delivered a five-minute venture pitch that they have been developing all summer. 

With more than 100 in-person attendees and 50 additional individuals joining online, Demo Day had a fantastic turnout–and even better energy. This year’s pitches were creative, engaging, and a perfect display of the progress everyone made since the beginning of the accelerator. 

“The best part of demo day was seeing the growth that everyone else in the rest of the cohort achieved. It was awesome to watch them present their ideas in full and I was blown away by how awesome everyone was,” said Josh Doying, founder of Bedtime Sports. 

Demo Day is not only a way for the entire cohort to display their acceleration, but also a chance for select members to win prizes that fund their startup. This year, it was up to the audience to choose winners for certain prizes using ‘Dingman Dollars’. The audience was able to “invest” these ‘Dingman Dollars’ into their favorite companies, and at the end of the event, ventures with the highest “investments” received a shared prize, totaling $6,000. 

Although each member in the cohort displayed growth of their business throughout TSA, the following were selected as main prize winners: 

Holly DeArmond, managing director at the Dingman Center, opening the event.

Pitches were assessed by an incredible panel of guest judges: the Dingman Center’s own managing director, Holly DeArmond, and academic director, Brent Goldfarb, Alla McCoy, the director of startup support at UM Ventures, Bill Bentley, the director of the Fischell Institute, Dean Chang, UMD’s interim chief innovation officer, and Kory Bailey, the director of relationship development at UpSurge Baltimore. 

Whether a team won a prize or not, Demo Day was a success for everyone involved. Each venture had an opportunity to deliver a live venture pitch to a packed audience and network with the Dingman Center’s startup community. 

“My favorite part of demo day was pitching,” said Ina Kovacheva, founder of Arch Dash. “Although it was very nerve-wracking, it was also very exciting since it was my first live pitch; the follow-up networking, and learning how what we are trying to do resonates with others was also very memorable, and the prizes were very fun!” 

Despite many businesses preparing for their pitch in different ways, the Dingman Center team was able to provide continuous support, which catered to the specific needs of each of them.

Founder of Arch Dash, Ina Kovacheva ’23, pitching at Demo Day.

“I practiced my Demo Day pitch over 30 times with my co-founder Kyle Sznoluch,” said Ryan Myer co-founder of Sparza. “Holly and the team were also incredibly helpful in giving us feedback on our pitch presentation.” 

“Lottie and Tsega helped make the pitch more efficient and concentrate on the main topics by reducing a 19-page deck to a 13-page deck,” said Weixiang Wang, co-founder of JuJu Food Delivery. 

After eight weeks of detailed, hands-on training, Demo Day was a bittersweet way to commemorate TSA coming to an end. The experience was a fun and memorable way for cohort members to reflect on their time in the program and see how far they have come with their startups.

“At the base level, TSA provided us with numerous workshops, mentors and resources to put together our final pitch deck, said Robert Choe, co-founder of UCleaner. “However, the program provided us with a great platform to execute our customer validation process and helped us reach a promising product-market fit.”

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Feature Friday! Bedtime Sports

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 11 student startups who are participating in our first in-person Terp Startup summer accelerator since 2020. Participating student entrepreneurs will receive a stipend up to $5,000 that will enable them to work exclusively on their startups over the next eight weeks.

Founder: Josh Doying, MBA Candidate 2023.

DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?

Doying: Bedtime Sports is a subscription storytelling service for the sports fan parents of young children. Subscribers will receive stories highlighting the athletes and stories about their favorite teams allowing them to share their fandom with their family during the season in an age appropriate and accessible format.

Founder of Bedtime Sports, Josh Doying, MBA Candidate ’23.

DC: At what point did you know you wanted to create your own startup?

Doying: I’ve always been drawn to innovative solutions to problems and opportunities that I see around me. This specific idea came out of my personal experience trying to share my love of sports and my baseball team, The New York Mets, with my own kids.

DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup?

Doying: My daughter. I started creating the stories for her, and her enthusiasm is what made me think there might be wider interest in something like this. She has been my tester for the stories.

DC: Why did you decide to start a business in this industry?

Doying: I worked for 7 years in education, and I’m constantly motivated by opportunities to support children and families. While the idea for Bedtime Stories came from an experience in my own family, research shows that emotional resilience can be strengthened by hearing a variety of stories – with good and bad outcomes. (I know that I’ve developed a lot of emotional resilience through my own fandom of the New York Mets!) I hope I’ve built a product that can create shared time for parents and kids, help build emotional resilience, and be a pathway for more frequent and open communication.

DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last couple months?

Doying: Actually building a product and getting it off the ground and running. Just two months ago, I had an idea, 130 survey responses, and drafts of a couple stories. Now, we have a “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP) live at www.bedtimesports.com. After doing a lot of customer validation, surveys, idea pitching, business planning, etc, I’m excited to allow real customers to interact with our content, collect feedback, and adapt to meet customer demand.

DC: When it comes to your startup, how do you define success?

Doying: I think success is creating something so valuable that people are willing to give you money for it! It’s incredible to be able to create something like that. With Bedtime Sports, I also wanted to learn about entrepreneurship and everything associated with taking an idea and turning it into a business. I’ve learned so much that I would count this process as a huge success even if we didn’t get any customers (although I look forward to continuing to learn even more through the customer acquisition process!)

DC: What are you hoping to achieve during the Terp Startup Accelerator this summer?

Doying: My goal during the Accelerator was to create an MVP and begin marketing to and acquiring subscribers. We soft-launched last week, and are planning a hard launch this weekend, so mission 50% accomplished.

DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be?

Doying: It’s not my advice, but I was told a long time ago that “the idea is not the secret sauce, you are.” Basically, there is a lot of fear about sharing ideas and “what if someone steals it” or “what if people think it’s dumb?” but really, you are what is going to make your idea successful, not the idea itself. I really appreciate the Terp Startup Accelerator for giving me the platform, opportunity, and framework to talk about my idea over and over again with lots and lots of people. It has helped bring it from an idea, to an actual, real thing. And that doesn’t happen until you start to share your idea with people.

To learn more about Bedtime Sports, please visit the website here.

Feature Friday! Em G Art Design Studio

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 11 student startups who are participating in our first in-person Terp Startup summer accelerator since 2020. Participating student entrepreneurs will receive a stipend up to $5,000 that will enable them to work exclusively on their startups over the next eight weeks.

Founders: Emily Garcia ‘23, Studio Art & Art Education double major.

Founder Emily Garcia’s ’23 setup for Terp Marketplace 2022.

DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?

Garcia’s hand-drawn “Cherry Blossom Stickers”.

Garcia: An online arts & crafts + stationery shop. Where all products are originally designed and handmade to promote joy and creativity. 

DC: At what point did you know you wanted to create your own startup?

Garcia: I’ve been dreaming of having my own business since high school. But I was afraid of taking the next step, thinking I wouldn’t be good enough. It wasn’t until I attended my first Terp Marketplace that I decided to officially open my first online shop.

DC: What makes your startup unique?

Garcia: Everything is handmade!

Find Garcia and support her startup at the Wheaton Arts Parade and Festival on September 25th, 2022!

DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months?

Garcia: I am currently redesigning my shop. I will be focusing on spreading awareness on Fibromyalgia. The products are designed to be relatable, allowing sufferers to feel seen and heard. You can find my shop at www.em-g-art-design-studio.com . I will also be selling pins soon!! On September 25th, I will have my shop set up at the Wheaton Arts Parade and Festival!

DC: As a student business owner, what motivates you?

Garcia: The way I grew up, and my experiences taught me to take advantage of any opportunities available to me while I can. I am constantly trying to learn more and better myself so that I can be a great role model for my younger sister. To prove to her that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

DC: What are you hoping to achieve during the Terp Startup Accelerator this summer?

Garcia: To gain a clear understanding of what I want my business to look like, what my target market will be, and how I will address their needs.

DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be??

Garcia: Don’t be afraid to take the opportunities and resources available to you out of fear. If you’re passionate about your idea, go for it!! It doesn’t matter if you don’t know all the answers now. You will learn along the way.

To learn more about Em G Art Design Studio, please visit the website here.

Keeping Up With Terp Startup Accelerator 2022!

This week marks one month into the Dingman Center’s 2022 Terp Startup Accelerator program…and it could not be going better!

So far our cohort has had a blast hearing from guest speakers, participating in workshops and roundtable discussions, and even taking field trips to the Johns Hopkins University Fast Forward U program and Towson University’s accelerator at Startups!

Our cohort has also been participating in fun innovation challenges throughout the summer like paper airplane building competitions and playing the card game “A Balancing Act”, created by cohort members and co-founders of Sparza, Ryan Myer ’22, and Kyle Sznoluch.

“TSA has been an amazing experience! The entire community has been extremely supportive and nurturing in helping us with our ventures. The cohort has been really great as well, and it has been extremely educational and beneficial to learn from fellow members. The structured environment and advising have helped us move forward and think about aspects of our venture we hadn’t thought about before. We have immensely expanded our network and have made connections not only at UMCP but also at JHU, Towson, alumni and practicing professionals,” said Ina Kovacheva, founder of Arch Dash

The program, held in the new Idea Factory’s Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Loft on campus, has given these student entrepreneurs the opportunity to advance their own ventures full-time while spontaneously collaborating with one another. Working in this type of environment is relatively new for many students, but participants like Emily Garcia, founder of Em G Art Design Studio, have grown to appreciate the benefits.

“I’ve worked in art studios which are similar in a way. The similarities come from the fact that the space gathers like-minded people. People who are working in a space that inspires creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. One’s environment can influence their work and mindset. It also creates a sense of community,” said Garcia.

Of the 11 ventures accepted into TSA, each is unique–and not only in its products and services. While some students have fully developed ventures that already generate revenue, others simply have an idea and the passion to make it happen. No matter the stage of the startup, each company is given up to $5,000 in financial support and full physical support from members of the Dingman Team, Holly DeArmond, Tsega Belachew, Lottie Byram, and Alex Onufrak.

“The access to mentors, professionals, and their networks has been really helpful. Even more than the specific workshops, simply the ability to connect with and tap into mentor networks has been a huge value add,” said Josh Doying founder of Bedtime Sports.

Despite some ventures being more advanced in their process than others, by the end of the program, all companies will meet critical outcomes such as making data-driven decisions using metrics that matter, finding product/market fit, and acquiring initial customers.

Even though the 2022 program is nearly halfway complete, students are still working hard and are excited to take the next steps in furthering their venture.

“I am very much looking forward to starting a pilot program with the University and learning more about how they can benefit from our technology! A bit nervous about demo day and really dreading the thought of TSA coming to an end,” said Kovacheva.

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Feature Friday! EMPIRE 242

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 11 student startups who are participating in our first in-person Terp Startup summer accelerator since 2020. Participating student entrepreneurs will receive a stipend up to $5,000 that will enable them to work exclusively on their startups over the next eight weeks.

Founders: Kang Ewimbi ’23, Entertainment Industry major.

Kang Ewimbi ’23 (second from the right) preforming live at the University of Maryland’s Next NOW Fest with his music group, 242.

DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?

Founder of EMPIRE 242, Kang Ewimbi ’23.

Ewimbi: Empire 242 is a record label ran by artists for artists looking for an alternative path from the major recording companies, as independence and transparency are paramount to creativity.

DC: At what point did you know you wanted to create your own startup?

Ewimbi: I decided to create my own startup as I was entering high school. My friends and I were in a band, and we knew that we wanted to be in the music industry. As I was doing research to figure out how to expand our careers as artists, it became apparent to me that the business practices used by major record labels were underhanded and overall detrimental to creators. Thus, I got to work creating an avenue for us and other artists to pursue viable, long-lasting careers within the music industry.

DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup?

Ewimbi: Artist-owned record labels like Death Row, Young Money, No Limit, Dreamville, OVO, etc.

DC: How did you come up with the name of your business?

Ewimbi: So back in middle school, my friends and I were in a program called Rock Band. In it, we were able to learn how to play non-traditional instruments in a classroom setting — like electric guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, etc. Simultaneously, we would learn about history in the 20th century through the lens of music and pop culture. This experience really resonated with us, and so we decided to start an out-of-school band. After going through a multitude of names, we landed on Room 242, named after the Rock Band classroom where we cultivated our love of music. Going into high school, we stopped being a band as our music taste shifted towards hip-hop and pop, which lead to us becoming a record label and adopting the name 242 to pay homage to our origins.

DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months?

Ewimbi: We have gotten our first record contracts drafted, released a constant portfolio of records across our artist roster, planned a series of underground concerts for the DMV music scene, and developed an efficient release checklist for our future drops.

DC: As a student business owner, what motivates you?

Ewimbi: I’m motivated by the change I want to see within the music industry, the drive of my friends as they grow artistically, and the general love of music I’ve had since birth.

DC: What are you hoping to achieve during the Terp Startup Accelerator this summer?

Ewimbi: I’m hoping to get our website designed, contracts signed, and business plan finalized by the end of the Terp Startup Accelerator.

DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be??

Ewimbi: Develop a team and trust them as much as you’re comfortable with. Teamwork makes the dream work, as they say.

To learn more about EMPIRE 242, please visit the website here.

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Feature Friday! JuJu Food Delivery

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 11 student startups who are participating in our first in-person Terp Startup summer accelerator since 2020. Participating student entrepreneurs will receive a stipend up to $5,000 that will enable them to work exclusively on their startups over the next eight weeks.

Founders: Weixiang Wang ’22, Computer Science and Statistics minor. Liqianrui Yang ’22 Economics and Management major, Technology Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation minor. Shi Yingzhou ’23 Finance and Information systems major. Keying Sun ’23 Statistics major. Kaiwen Lu ’24 Mathematics major Science, technology, ethics, and policy minor. Rong Yan ’24 OMBA and Finance major. Zeyang Liu ’22 Economics major. Zijian Zhang ’22 Computer Science major Statistics minor. Ziqi Zhang ’22 Computer Science major. Nanxin Luo ’24 Finance; Information systems. Yiying Lu ’22 Information System and Supply Chain Management major. Yongqi Zheng ’24 Operations Management & Business Analytics and Marketing major.

Co-founder Weixiang Wang ’22 discussing JuJu Food Delivery with President Pines.

DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?

Wang: JuJu is a company that is doing pre-scheduled food delivery services and group food delivery services. We can provide consistent arrival time every day and save 40% on pre-ordered, scheduled food delivery from the best, local and distant restaurants. We have fixed pickup locations in complex scenarios such as campus.

DC: At what point did you know you wanted to create your own startup?

Wang: When I found I and my trusted partners are able to develop an App by ourselves, we think we have a unique way to think and analyze the market and users. We thought we might regret it in the future if we started a company now, but we would regret sure if we do not.

DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup?

Wang: When we get into the startup shell at UMD a startup student organization at UMD, many people are interested in what we are doing and like to talk with us about our venture and give us help. Ian, Ananum, Pranav, Franco, Kiy, Ben, Fady, and all the members of the startup shell gave us so much inspiration and encouragement.

DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months?

Wang: We have achieved 25% market penetration among the Chinese international students’ community at UMD. Accumulated 540 users, and achieved a 98% of retention rate of all users. During the last month we were running, we had 50+ orders for weekday lunches. We won second place on the Contrary Capital pitch competition. Accepted in the Terp Accelerator. And launched our website: jujufooddelivery.com

DC: As a student business owner, how do you define success?

Wang: We truly bring value to our customers as what we have planned.

DC: What are you hoping to achieve during the Terp Startup Accelerator this summer?

Wang: Improve our understanding of our target customers. Get a clear idea of what problems we are solving and what kinds of value we can bring to customer. Practicing personal skills such as pitching and doing user interviews. Get more advice from experienced people.

DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be??

Wang: If you really believe in what you are doing right now, ignore all the noise around you whether it is positive or negative. A just cause attracts much support, an unjust one finds little.

To learn more about JuJu Food Delivery visit the website here. Additionally, help JuJu get a better understanding of customer needs by filling out the form here.

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Feature Friday! Sparza

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 11 student startups who are participating in our first in-person Terp Startup summer accelerator since 2020. Participating student entrepreneurs will receive a stipend up to $5,000 that will enable them to work exclusively on their startups over the next eight weeks.

Founders: Ryan Myer ’22, Finance major. Kyle Sznoluch, general education major.

Co-founder of Sparza, Ryan Myer ’22.

DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?

Sparza’s first interactive card game, A Balancing Act.

Myer: Our business name is Sparza and our goal is to spread fun, happiness, and bring balance to the world! We have created a card game called A Balancing Act that involves two teams who go head-to-head with one person on each team acting out a hilarious, goofy action card while their teammates balance cards on them. The team who balances and acts the best will win the most points and eventually win the game!

DC: At what point did you know you wanted to create your own startup?

Myer: I was in an entrepreneurship class, BMGT461M, with professor Le-Marie Thompson and I told her one day that I have always wanted to start a business. She said, “well, why haven’t you?,” “what is stopping you?” Later that day I went home, called my good friend, Kyle Sznoluch, and convinced him to join me on this wild entrepreneurship adventure. Ultimately, I have always wanted to start a business venture and am thankful for every opportunity I have received.

DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup?

Myer: I have always wanted to work for myself, make my own hours, and put in countless hours of work to escape the rat race that many people involve themselves in.

DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months?

Myer: In the last six months, we have conducted over 100 customer interviews, prototyped our game, ordered units, and sold the card game to the general public.

DC: As a student business owner, what motivates you?

Myer: The ability to learn more, hone my abilities, and the feeling of accomplishment as we progress through the entrepreneurial journey.

DC: What are you hoping to achieve during the Terp Startup Accelerator this summer?

Myer: We aim to sell through all of our current product inventory, improve our website, produce a professional commercial, gain advice, and grow our social media presence.

DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be??

Myer: I would say to go for it! Take that initial step and you will be absolutely dumbfounded by what you can truly achieve when you set your mind to something. Find a driving motivation for why you want to start the business. Something that will continue to drive you through your best day, worst days, and days when you even feel like giving up. Never give up and you will see success! If starting a business was easy, everyone would do it.

To learn more about Sparza, please visit the website here.

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Feature Friday! Sustainabli

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 11 student startups who are participating in our first in-person Terp Startup summer accelerator since 2020. Participating student entrepreneurs will receive a stipend up to $5,000 that will enable them to work exclusively on their startups over the next eight weeks.

Founders: Alisha Pun ’23, Economics major, Statistics and Spanish minor. Kevin Tu ’23 Biology and Economics major, Nonprofit Leadership & Social Innovation minor.

Co-founders Kevin Tu ’23 and Alisha Pun ’23 on a company Zoom meeting.

DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?

Pun: Sustainabli works to reduce the high levels of energy consumption and chemical/plastic waste that is produced by labs. We create behavioral change amongst scientists through our cost-effective programs, with each program honing in on a specific source of environmental harm. Our mission is to make research sustainable while also cutting costs for research institutes.

DC: At what point did you know you wanted to create your own startup?

Tu: In 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released their grimmest report yet on global warming, which galvanized me to do something to help our environment. Having been in research for 6 years, I had always noticed the staggering amount of waste that each scientist generates. As scientists, we tend to justify the amount of waste we produce with our data or discoveries, but I’ve realized that this is a fallacy. It’s perfectly possible to minimize the waste we produce while still producing excellent results. When I learned that there wasn’t much being done to address the waste produced by research, I decided that it was time to take matters into my own hands and build a startup committed to reducing research waste.

DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup?

Pun: Emery Wolf was a previous sustainability coordinator at UMD. We worked with him closely and his passion for the environment was inspiring to us. He generated initial data on the feasibility of our venture’s initial products. The data demonstrated a huge opportunity to transform the realm of hard-science research towards a more sustainable culture. We owe a lot to him for encouraging us to begin this startup journey.

DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last three months?

PunSustainabli was founded in March of this year. Over the past three months, our team has piloted a Shut the Sash competition between four chemistry labs at UMD. During this program, these labs have been competing against each other to see who can reduce the most amount of energy consumption by keeping their fume hood sashes closed. We’ve also created a website that uses real-time data to visualize the amount of CO2 emissions being released by each lab and fume hood. Our plan is to then expand this program to the rest of UMD’s research labs so that we can fully measure its impact on costs and carbon emissions.

DC: As a student business owner, how do you define success?

PunWe define success as fulfilling our purpose and being able to sustain ourselves so that we can further amplify our impact on the world. It means being on the track to reaching our next greatest potential.

DC: What are you hoping to achieve during the Terp Startup Accelerator this summer?

PunAside from further fostering an entrepreneurial outlook for our company, our main objective in this accelerator is to determine our go to market strategy; we hope to identify a detailed ideal customer profile and create the best pricing model that allows us to expand our programs and maximize our influence on the world of research.

DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be??

PunFor primarily impact-driven startups like Sustainabli, there’s a tendency to prioritize our impact over our consumers’ needs. Our best piece of advice is to first delve deep into the individuals or entities that your business would be selling to; make sure your product or service is truly needed and that it will in fact survive in the market. Innovate a solution business model that will have both impact and longevity.

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JASON AND JAMIE COHEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP FUND AWARD 2022 RECIPIENT – North Star Creations

North Star Creations is a startup founded by Maryland Smith graduate student Mat Parsons, MBA ’22, and his wife Elaine Parsons. North Star Creations creates products for parents to teach their children how to recognize and understand emotions. These tools will equip their children with self awareness and relationship skills to navigate through life. North Star Creations was a part of Terp Startup Accelerator in summer 2021, won the Grand Prize for the Fearless Ideas Track at Pitch Dingman Competition 2021, and won third place in the Main Street Track at Pitch Dingman Competition 2022. Upon his 2022 MBA graduation, Parsons became a member of the Dingman Center’s Young Alumni Founders Council.

North Star Creations has been chosen as the recipient for the 2022 Jason ’96 & Jamie Cohen Entrepreneurship Fund Award. Parsons will receive $1,000 to further accelerate his startup, selected due to the perseverance, level of engagement, and growth potential he has shown over the course of the year. According to Parsons, the funding will be put towards developing a toy face that children can use to express how they are feeling in a fun way. 

Congratulations to Mat and Elaine Parsons of North Star Creations!