Last week’s snow storm couldn’t keep the Smith community from celebrating student entrepreneurship at the spring 2015 Pitch Dingman Competition. Held twice annually, the competition gives student entrepreneurs the opportunity to apply and compete for $3,500 in startup funding.
Five finalists were selected to pitch their businesses to a packed auditorium and all-star judges panel on Wednesday, March 4 at Van Munching Hall. The judging panel included Asher Epstein, COO of Access Health Group; Harry Geller, Entrepreneur in Residence at Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship; Liz Sara, CEO of Best Marketing LLC; Mark Walsh, Founder & CEO of Genius Rocket; and Tien Wong, CEO of Opus8, Inc. (pictured below with Elana Fine, Managing Director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship).
Victus, a mobile application that allows users to request food to be delivered from restaurants within their local area, took home the $500 text-to-vote Audience Choice Award. Team members include a team of 2016 UMD undergraduates Elakian Kanakaraj, Computer Engineering; Avinash Satish, Finance and International Business; Karan Singh, Finance and Information Systems; Brandon Azzi, Finance and Information Systems; and Evan Qi, Computer Engineering.
The second place winner was Erika Binsley, D.M.A. French Horn Performance, May 2017, with her company Savorfy. Winner of the $1,000 second place prize, Savorfy makes the world’s first savory protein bars to contain seventeen grams of high-quality protein per serving and no added sugar. The bars were created to help people save time and money, while providing superior nutrition and delicious flavors.
And last but not least, taking 1st place and the $2,000 prize, was 417 App Studios. Founder Ghedalia Gold-Pastor, a Mechanical Engineer major, Fall 2016, developed Puzzable, a social gaming mobile application that allows users to send pictures with a personalized message in the form of a jigsaw puzzle.
Congrats to all our student enTERPreneurs!
If you have an idea for a startup, stop by a Pitch Dingman session for feedback and brainstorming with our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence. Pitch Dingman hours are held every Friday from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the Dingman Center (2518 Van Munching Hall) and open to all UMD students.