That’s a Wrap! Spring 2019 at the Dingman Center

Spring 2019 wrap collage

Graduation is this week, and 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 2019 Terp Startup Cohort.

Feb. 19 – Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series: Founders Panel


We kicked off the spring semester with an exciting Hisaoka Speaker Series featuring an intimate conversation between Robert Hisaoka ’79 and three entrepreneurs who founded their businesses as students: former Cupid’s Cup winner Paul Capriolo ’06 of Social Growth Technologies, 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient Kristen McClellan of Snappy Screen, and serial entrepreneur Jeff Grass, founder of, LiveSafe, BuySafe and HUNGRY. 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 Founders Panel here.

Mar. 7 – Pitch Dingman Competition Finals


Pitch Dingham 2019

The entrepreneurial spirit continued on 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, Jasmine Snead ’17, MPH ’19, MBA ’21 of Aurora Tights took home the grand prize.

Mar. 19 – Smith on the Road featuring Dingman Bootstrapped in Silicon Valley

Smith on the Road

During Spring Break, we took to the road to host an alumni event in Silicon Valley featuring a live session of Bootstrapped: a Dingman Center Podcast. Dingman Center managing director Holly DeArmond, MBA ’17 and co-host Joe Bailey interviewed alumni venture capitalist Ish Dugal ’05 and Amy Carr ’97, founder of PYT Beauty, about their experiences in entrepreneurship.

Mar. 26 – Ladies First Fireside Chat with Jean Case

Jean Case - Women First - Fearless Dingham Center

Ladies First is the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship’s commitment to increase the number of women involved in entrepreneurship at UMD. This semester, we invited Jean Case, the first female chair of the National Geographic Society and CEO of the Case Foundation, to discuss her career and her new book, Be Fearless: Five Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and PurposeAttendees left inspired to create positive social change in the world, and took home a free signed copy of her book.

Apr. 10 – Entrepreneurship Day

Terp Marketplace


Ladies First Founder Barathi Aravindan ’22, tabling for her startup, Azelle.

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 sold a variety of products and services: macarons, charm bracelets, vintage clothing, handmade soaps and more.

Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series: Tom Davidson

Tom Davidison - Robert Hisaoka Speaker Series

The same evening, we hosted local entrepreneur Tom Davidson, founder and CEO of EVERFI, at the Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series in Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center. As an award-winning entrepreneur with a 99% CEO approval rating on Glassdoor, Davidson provided the audience with insights into how to be a successful leader, including his strategy for attracting investors like Jeff Bezos to make EVERFI one of the nation’s fastest growing edtech companies. Read more highlights from the event here.

April 19 – Dingman Fridays and Dingman Jumpstart at the Brendan Iribe Center

Jumpstart at Iribe

This semester, we expanded Dingman Fridays to host advising sessions in the Diamondback Garage and the Brendan Iribe Center. Creating new hubs for Dingman Fridays allows us to provide convenient advising for students in Computer Science and Engineering programs on the other side of campus. On April 19, we hosted Dingman Fridays with alumni tech entrepreneurs Paul Capriolo ’06 and Zeki Mokhtarzada ’00. Later that afternoon, we also ran a Dingman Jumpstart session for freshman computer science students.

April 23 – Ladies First at President Loh’s Fearless Ideas Campaign Event

The Terps in Fairfax County even

President Loh with members of Ladies First Founders cohort 2 with Sara Herald, Jasmine Snead

Sara Herald, MBA ’11, our associate director for social entrepreneurship, was invited to speak about the highlights of launching the Ladies First initiative and Ladies First Founders course at President Loh’s Fearless Ideas Campaign Event in Centreville, VA. 2019 Pitch Dingman Competition winner Jasmine Snead, a member of the first cohort of Ladies First Founders and alumna of the Terp Startup accelerator, was also given an opportunity to speak to a room of distinguished alumni and donors about how the Dingman Center positively impacted her career at University of Maryland.

May 2 – Rudy Awards


Dean Alex Triantis, Rudy Lamone, Holly DeArmond ‘MBA 17 and Bill Boyle ’81

Students, staff, mentors, investors, faculty and entrepreneurs joined together on May 2 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Rudy Awards. Named after the Center’s founder, Rudy Lamone, 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.

May 16 – Smith on the Road featuring Dingman Bootstrapped in New York City


We had so much fun in Silicon Valley, we hosted another live Bootstrapped event at the Times Square WeWork. Maryland alumni living in NYC enthusiastically turned out to see alumni entrepreneurs Jason Cohen ’96, founder and co-CEO of Halen Brands, and Danny Mizrahi ’04, founder of CEO of Contango IT, share their experiences with hosts Holly and Joe.

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