The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship has announced five students who have been selected for its summer incubator, Terp Startup. Terp Startup is the third and final stage of Fearless Founders, an experiential program that provides student teams the strategy, frameworks and tools necessary to develop their business ideas using lean startup methodology. The program demystifies the venture creation process by breaking it up into three stages: Idea Shell, Hatch and Terp Startup.
While Terp Startup has been a stage of Fearless Founders for several years, it has been revamped to focus on students who want to spend the summer working on customer acquisition, receiving feedback from mentors and attending workshops. More than 15 students applied to the program and the competition was tough.
“Three years ago we set our sights on strengthening our pipeline of talented student entrepreneurs,” said Elana Fine, managing director at the Dingman Center. “The Terp Startup applicants and selected participants exemplify the students, companies and community we aimed to attract.”
The Terp Startup summer incubator helps student entrepreneurs make the pivotal decision to continue working on their venture or decide to use their entrepreneurial skillset working at another company. At the end of the summer program, students should have: made substantial progress on their product or service; secured or increased initial customers and partners; have the ability to make the “go/no-go” decision based on metrics and market indicators.
During Terp Startup, participants will work in the Dingman Center Tuesday through Thursday, June 9 through July 30. Students will receive a stipend of up to $3,000 for their business and general cost of living and are eligible for a $2,000 stipend for on-campus housing expenses.
The following will participate in Terp Startup 2015:
Startup: Bethany’s Organics
Founder: Bethany Monaghan `16
Bethany’s Organics is on a mission to make healthy food more convenient, honest, delicious & environmentally friendly. The company uses only the highest quality ingredients, never sacrificing taste. All of our products are non-GMO, organic and vegan friendly! It’s first product, Crustless Creations, is a healthy spin on your childhood favorite. Crustless Creations are crustless sandwiches filled with the perfect ratio of nut/seed butters & delicious fruit spread served on whole wheat bread. Bethany has completed the Idea Shell and Hatch Stages of Fearless Founders and competed in the fall 2014 Pitch Dingman Competition.
Co-Founders: David Engle `15; Tony Liang `17; and Seean Kim `17
Demer is focused on consumer image recognition to help reduce the uncertainty in a consumers everyday life. The startup was created in January 2015. The founders look forward to on-boarding beta users to test out the prototype of the consumer application in the upcoming weeks. The Demer team has utilized the Dingman Center’s Pitch Dingman and Legal Office Hours advising sessions on numerous occasions since launching their product in January.
Co-Founders: Eric Golman `15, Ryan Schueler `14, Aaron Wallach `14
Javazen promotes health in the coffee industry through the creation and distribution of functional beverages. The startup aims to lead new trends in the beverage industry which can make the world a better place. Javazen products are always organic, always nutritious, and always delicious. The startup began selling their tasty product in the Dingman Center’s Terp Startup Marketplace, and are now selling in dozens of grocery stores and organic markets.
Startup: Meta Cartel
Founder: Jordan Greenwald `15
Meta Cartel is a progressive streetwear brand that makes limited edition hats. Founded after an inspirational trip to Spain, the brand began designing hats as a medium of expression, and with a purpose of creating a parallel to themes found in street culture. Since then, Meta Cartel has also expanded into custom hip-hop inspired art, and has maintained a strong presence in the emerging arts scene. Last year, Jordan helped re-launch the undergraduate entrepreneurship club called E-Connector. He was also selected to represent the student body at the 2014 Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Conference.
Startup: Starchild Studios
Founder: Ayana Zaire Cotton `15
Starchild Studios is a co-working concept for DC creatives. The startup’s ultimate goal is to showcase, connect, and empower DC’s creative community. Starchild Studios is currently showcasing local artists through their media outlet, Distrikt Magazine. It will connect creatives through a collaborative studio space opening in 2016. Ayana hopes to empower the creative community through workshops on entrepreneurial insight for artists. Ayana has completed the Idea Shell and Hatch Stage of Fearless Founders, receiving seed funds after completing both of these stages.