Ten Semifinalists Named in Pitch Dingman Competition

PDC Semifinalist AnnouncementOver the past few weeks, young University of Maryland alumni from across the nation have been using an online platform to judge the quarterfinal round of judging for the Pitch Dingman Competition. The results are in and there will be 10 semifinalists pitching on December 3 in a “Shark Tank-” style competition. An all-star panel of judges will select the most promising five startups who will move on to the final round of competition on February 16. In the end, the finalists will pitch for $30,000 in cash prizes.

This is a Terp startup event you won’t want to miss. In addition to a tough competition, audience members will hear a keynote address from Jason Cohen, CEO of Halen Brands and proud UMD alumnus. Cohen founded his first food-related company in 1999 called Mamma Says. This company filled the market gap in tasty biscotti. From there, he sold the business to World Gourmet Marketing which produces popular snack foods under the flagship brand, Sensible Portions. Snacks include Veggie Straws, Pita Bites and Multigrain Crisps. A more recent success is SkinnyPop popcorn which will be served at the Semifinal Competition. Attendees will also have the chance to text-to-vote for their favorite company and award them the $500 Audience Choice Award. Register to attend and bring a friend to cast your votes at the competition!

Pitch Dingman Competition Semifinalists

Centurion Virtual Reality

Founder: Andre Rauch

Centurion Virtual Reality is a software company that uses a 3D game engine to develop educational simulations based off real world scenarios. Our goal is to revolutionize education by bringing virtual reality to the classroom.


Founder: Russell Garing

Embitterment is a DC-based cocktail bitters company that produces high-quality, handcrafted aromatic products designed for both serious mixologists and casual, at-home bartenders.


Founder: Ariel Bitton

Using its machine-learning algorithm, Flutter generates personally tailored activity recommendations so users can stop browsing, and start doing.


Founder: Jonathan Kau

ICOW is democratizing higher education applications for international students. Our first product is a TurboTax-like web application that guides Chinese students through the process of writing resumes, researching universities, and writing essays.


Founder: Aaron Pludwinski

Kanvasroom.com provides the personalized creative talent search and workflow that you both need and deserve.

Spot This

Founder: Sumanth Jinagouda

Spot This is an on demand fashion discovery service. Upload picture of the item you desire to purchase. Our fashion experts, using proprietary image processing algorithm, will find you the best matches!


Founder: Natalie Urban

You’re a college student doing big things on little sleep. At uBoard, we are working to make your night more comfortable so that your day is more productive.


Founder: Fahed Hijazi

The new professional social network for today’s generation.


Co-Founders: Tyler Denk ’16; Taylor Johnson ’16; and Tommy Johnson ‘16

Have you ever had a great idea for a website or mobile application, but lacked the technical skills to bring it to life? VentureStorm connects aspiring student entrepreneurs to talented student developers locally on their campus.


Founder: Ryan Pillai

WeCook enables anyone to have a personal chef to do their everyday cooking and grocery shopping anytime, cost effectively.

Judges Panel

  • Jason CohenCEO, Halen Brands
  • Barry GossettVice Chairman, University System of Maryland Board of Regents
  • Sara HeraldAssociate Director, Social Entrepreneurship, Center for Social Value Creation & Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Kenneth UlmanChief Strategy Officer, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Oliver SchlakeClinical Professor, Robert H. Smith School of Business

Leave a Reply