This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the ten student startups who are participating in the Terp Startup summer accelerator phase of our Fearless Founders program. Participating student entrepreneurs received a stipend up to $5,000 that would enable them to work exclusively on their startups over eight weeks in the summer.
Founder & CEO: Anjik Ghosh ’18, Biology major, Business minor
DC: Tell us about your startup. What problem are you solving and for whom?
Ghosh: Verdant Innovatives uses patented technology to provide wind energy for individual homeowners in the DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) metropolitan area, as well as local companies and larger organizations. In addition to the commercial market, Verdant Innovatives will partner with aid organizations to provide power to impoverished and disaster areas around the world.
DC: How did you first come up with your idea?
Ghosh: I developed a patent for a small-scale vertical axis wind turbine based on research I conducted during high school. At the University of Maryland (UMD), I was awarded a grant to install a pilot scale model of the turbine on top of a building on campus. I also enrolled in the business minor program and the Startup Shell, a student-run business incubator at UMD. With the knowledge I gained from these groups as well as the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, I founded Verdant Innovatives, a venture with the goal of providing small-scale wind power to the commercial market.
DC: What are some major milestones you’ve achieved so far?
Ghosh: This technology has grown from middle and high school science fair projects into a commercial-ready technology. The technical specifications have been optimized for performance in low wind settings found at ground and rooftop levels, and those specifications have been successfully patented. In addition to this, a proof-of-concept pilot scale turbine is the focus of a grant awarded by the University of Maryland to serve as an educational tool and develop the technology further. The Venture has the support of Terp Startup, Startup Shell and other organizations to help commercialize this technology.
DC: What drives you to keep going?
Ghosh: I’ve learned so much from my research—the new discoveries and exciting next steps are the reason I continue to pursue the development of this venture! From the creation of the technology to the founding of Verdant Innovatives, I’ve gained so much knowledge. I’ve learned about the science and engineering to develop the turbine and file a patent for the novel technology. Through the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business and affiliated organizations, I’ve learned about innovation and entrepreneurship and the methods by which to provide my designs to the world. As each new day brings new findings, I continue to think about ways to push my venture further.
DC: How do you feel about working in a cohort with fellow student entrepreneurs?
Ghosh: I am so excited to work with other student entrepreneurs! During the spring 2018 Fearless Founders course through the Dingman Center, I worked and collaborated with a number of other student ventures. The most useful tool from that course was the feedback I received from my peers. They helped me develop my MVP, my venture pitch, and remain today a tremendous asset towards developing my company further. In Terp Startup, I’m so excited to continue this process and work with ventures that my fellow student entrepreneurs and friends are working on!
DC: What are you hoping to achieve during Terp Startup this summer?
Ghosh: My main goal for Terp Startup is to lay the groundwork for Verdant Innovatives—to make the important steps and decisions to continue working on this venture after college. Through the development of the pilot scale wind turbine, feedback from potential customers, and the determination of a manufacturing process, I can get a better understanding of the products and services that Verdant Innovatives will provide, and how best to provide them.