With the holiday season fast approaching, students are hunkering down in the library to finish final projects and prep for exams. In the meantime, we’ve had the opportunity to reflect on the events and programs that went on at the Dingman Center this past semester. We’re always thankful for the immense support, enthusiasm and engagement we receive from those within our community. Check out some of our favorite highlights over the past few months, and have a wonderful winter break!
Sept. 29 – spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start
Now in its third year, spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start is an event hosted by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and Startup Shell. spark gives University of Maryland students who are interested in entrepreneurship but don’t have a venture a platform to brainstorm business ideas with their peers. This year the event got a major venue upgrade, with Professor Oliver Schlake leading the program at the innovative Edward St. John Learning & Teaching Center. Students refined their initial ideas through an interactive card game and then split up into teams to prepare an energetic, infomercial-style pitch. This year’s group of ideas were some of our most viable and creative yet! Read the full recap of spark here.
Oct. 9 – Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series: Steve Case
Legendary entrepreneur and founder of AOL Steve Case paid the University of Maryland community a visit this semester thanks to the Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series. In an intimate conversation with Robert Hisaoka, Steve shared some insights as to how he got started in the digital revolution, how he launched and grew AOL, and how today’s entrepreneurs shouldn’t fear the risk of failure when it comes to pursuing a business. Read coverage on the event from Smith Brain Trust here.
Nov. 1 – Ladies First Fall Dinner
Ladies First is the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship’s commitment to increase the number of women involved in entrepreneurship at UMD. Our third annual Ladies First Fall Dinner, leaded by Sara Herald, Associate Director of Social Entrepreneurship, brought together 65 young women from all different backgrounds to explore the unique challenges and strengths shared by women as they look to launch companies or lead them post-graduation. The dinner focused on “role models” and featured a fireside chat with successful Terp entrepreneurs Mary Schulman ’97 and Brianna Queen ’19. Check out our blog post on the event here.
Global Entrepreneurship Week: Nov. 13 – Terp Marketplace
As part of Global Entrepreneurship week, we hosted Terp Marketplace, an opportunity for student startups to sell their products and services directly to students, staff, faculty and alumni in the business school. Students sold snacks, coffee, coding kits, holiday lights and other goodies to those who came out to check out the displays.
Global Entrepreneurship Week: Nov. 15 – Pitch Dingman Competition Semifinals
This Fall semester culminated with the highly anticipated Pitch Dingman Competition Semifinals! Ten student startups pitched their business ideas in front of a crowd filled with students, staff, faculty, alumni and judges as they battled for a spot in the finals. The decision was a difficult one as the judges had to choose from many excellent presentations, but five startups stood out among the rest and will continue to compete in the Pitch Dingman Competition Finals next semester. Congratulations to Aurora Tights, crepkitchen, Open Poll, Solr Tech and Synapto! Cheer on your favorite startup at the finals on Mar. 7 in the Grand Ballroom of Stamp Student Union.
Nov. 30 – Hult@UMD
Throughout the semester, the Dingman Center and the Center for Social Value Creation was boosting the Hult Prize, the largest competition for social good in the world. This year, we hosted a local edition of the Hult Prize called Hult@UMD, with the aim of findng 15 student teams to compete in a local round. The winner of the Hult@UMD competition will advance to compete in a regional round in Boston in March 2019. If they make it to the global finals, they’ll have the privilege of developing their idea at an accelerator in a castle, pitching the United Nations and the chance to win a $1 million prize, awarded by Bill Clinton. Best of luck to the winners of team OnCall! Read about the finalists and winner of the event here.