That’s a Wrap! Spring 2018 at the Dingman Center

With the academic year drawing to a close this past weekend, we’ve had some time to reflect on the numerous events and programs we’ve held throughout the semester. The community has impressed us once again with their enthusiasm, passion and dedication to entrepreneurship throughout spring. Here are some featured highlights from our events, and be on the lookout for upcoming interviews with the student entrepreneurs in our Summer 2018 Terp Startup Cohort.

Feb. 13 – Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series: Young Founders Panel


We kicked off the spring semester with an exciting Hisaoka Speaker Series featuring an intimate conversation between Robert Hisaoka ’79 and four young entrepreneurs from the UMD community: Ali von Paris ’12 of Route One Apparel, Evan Lutz ’14 of Hungry Harvest, and Brandon Deyo and Bradley Deyo of Mars Reel. During the panel, these entrepreneurs shared some of the insights and challenges they faced while turning their dorm room ventures into successful businesses. Read our full recap on the Young Founders Panel here.

Mar. 6 – Pitch Dingman Competition Finals

The entrepreneurial spirit continued on early in the semester with the Pitch Dingman Competition Finals. Nearly 600 students, staff, faculty and alumni came together in the Grand Ballroom at Stamp to watch five student startup finalists pitch to judges Shark Tank style and compete for the $15,000 grand prize. While all the startups did a fantastic job presenting their business and ideas, it was Erich Meissner ’18, Maria Chen ’19 and Kyle Liu ’20 from Symbiont Health who took home the prize with their automated fall detection technology for seniors.

Apr. 3 – Ladies First: Dolphin Tank with Springboard Enterprises

Ladies First is the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship’s commitment to increase the number of women involved in entrepreneurship at UMD. This semester, the Ladies First initiative partnered with Springboard Enterprises to bring Dolphin Tank to female entrepreneurs in the UMD community. Dolphin Tank is a helpful, feedback-driven pitch session where entrepreneurs receive constructive insights from knowledgeable professionals. Read a firsthand account on this event from our very own Karolyn Maynard MBA ’18 here!

Apr. 17 – Entrepreneurship Day 

Da_tVfbV4AA3hK1This semester, we hosted Entrepreneurship Day on April 17 to celebrate the strong spirit of innovation in our community. We hosted Terp Marketplace in the afternoon as well as a Hisaoka Speaker Series featuring serial tech entrepreneur Raul Fernandez later that evening. Check out our full recap on the day here.

Terp Marketplace

Terp Marketplace is an opportunity for student startups to sell their products and services directly to students, staff, faculty and alumni in the business school. On Entrepreneurship Day, we had a huge turnout from the community who came to check out the 30 student startups on display. The businesses were selling everything from frozen doughnut holes, to environmentally friendly t-shirts to handcrafted candles.

Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series: Raul Fernandez


The day was capped off when UMD alumnus and decorated serial tech entrepreneur Raul Fernandez ’90 came to Van Munching Hall for an intimate conversation with Robert Hisaoka ’79. Students, staff, faculty and alumni in attendance gained valuable insights behind Raul’s journey in entrepreneurship along with key lessons such as “learn how to learn”, “take a chance” and “understand why you lose.”

May 3 – Rudy Awards


Students, staff, mentors, investors, faculty and entrepreneurs joined together on May 3 to celebrate the fourth annual Rudy Awards. The Rudy Awards recognizes and honors student and alumni entrepreneurs, venture mentors, angel investors and faculty within the Dingman Center community. Read an event recap along with the full list of award recipients here.

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