It’s hard to believe it’s already December. Final exams are coming to an end and soon students will be off for the winter break. Those who engage with the Dingman Center, know our mission is to build a community that discovers, equips, connects and celebrates entrepreneurship. This semester was no exception. We hit the ground running in August, bringing back our signature programs, such as Pitch Dingman Fridays, the Pitch Dingman Competition during Global Entrepreneurship Week, and Terp Marketplace.
We hosted several new events to connect with Terps across our community: an alumni event in Baltimore featuring the Dingman Center Angels, a startup panel during industry night for Smith MBAs, and a speaker series event featuring entrepreneur Wayne Kimmel ‘92. Hosting these new events helped us engage new alumni and students in the Center.
Through our Fearless Founders program, we equipped student entrepreneurs with resources and funding to pursue their ventures. This fall, we offered two sections of the program. Idea Shell as a non-credit course and Hatch and a full-semester, for-credit course. In the end, a total of $18,000 was awarded to student entrepreneurs to fund their ventures.
We celebrate entrepreneurship every day, but especially during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Events ranged from a design thinking challenge with our partner the E-Connector Club to our bi-annual Pitch Dingman Competition where five talented student entrepreneurs pitched their businesses. In other big “celebration” news this semester, the Dingman Center was awarded the 2014 NASDAQ Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence Award at the annual Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Conference.
On November 1, we kicked off the 10th Anniversary of the Cupid’s Cup business competition! In celebration of the 10th year, we caught up with a few past winners and semifinalists such as: John Lewandowski, 2014 winner; Ali Von Paris, 2012 semifinalist; and Adam & Eric VanWagner, 2011 winners. Entrepreneurs from all over the country have already begun applying. Think you’ve got what takes? Apply by January 5 at www.cupidscup.umd.edu. We’re looking forward to an exciting competition in 2015.
Finally, the Dingman Center Angels held two pitch meetings, one investor education event and a portfolio review. In the last year our angel network has invested $1.5 million in 15 companies.
One of the final milestones of the fall semester, was the appointment of Brent Goldfarb as the Dingman Center Academic Director. It’s an important role for the team as we continue to integrate into curriculum.
Thank you to everyone in our Terp community for making this such a successful semester!
Do you want to engage with the Dingman Center next semester? If you’re a regional entrepreneur and you want to give back, check out all the ways you can get involved. Are you an angel investor looking for local startups to connect with? Consider joining the Dingman Center Angels investor group. What about all the aspiring Terp startups? Come to Pitch Dingman to get feedback on your business idea and figure out which program is best for you.