Tips for Entrepreneurs Looking to Stay Busy in Spring 2020

Coronavirus Pitch

Updated April 6, 2020

Terps, you’re officially back from break but hopefully home, safe and healthy while our country navigates the COVID-19 crisis for the foreseeable future. Staff at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship know this time is especially tough for entrepreneurs and freelancers. We hear you and we are here for you to help you maintain your momentum. Even if you’re putting sales and traction on hold, there are other ways that you can build your business and keep the hustle alive. Remember, Isaac Newton invented calculus and Shakespeare wrote King Lear under quarantine from plagues. Below are some resources and recommendations from the Dingman Center on how to make the most of this opportunity for productivity and creativity. We’ll continue to update this post with more resources as we find and share them.

Dingman Fridays Virtual Appointments

Starting April 3: Every Friday of the semester from 11 a.m.-1 p.m

Dingman Fridays is unstoppable! If you’re looking to get feedback on your business idea from experienced venture mentors, legal advisors and subject matter experts, you can now do so virtually. Sign up for an appointment as you normally would here.


Office Hours with Lottie Byram, Venture Programs Manager

Wednesdays & Thursdays from 1-3 p.m.
Phone (301.405.9510) or Video Calls are welcome!
Schedule an appointment!

Lottie Byram, the Dingman Center’s Venture Programs Manager, is available for virtual advising sessions. In addition to running all of the Center’s student entrepreneurship programs, she empowers and guides early-stage entrepreneurs across campus to develop their ideas into viable ventures. Prior to her work in the Dingman Center, Lottie founded her own business, earned her MPH in Global Programs at GWU, and led operations and evaluation at Circus Harmony, a social circus in Missouri dedicated to making social change through the teaching and performing of circus arts.

BootstrappedscreenimageCatch up on seven seasons of Bootstrapped: A Dingman Center Podcast

The Dingman Center’s Bootstrapped podcast features seven seasons and 59 episodes of educational entrepreneurship content. Co-hosted by Maryland Smith associate research professor Joe Bailey and Dingman Center managing director Holly DeArmond, MBA ’17, Bootstrapped features success stories from founders and funders in our network. Topics covered in the episodes range from fundraising and marketing to team formation and customer acquisition. We even have an index where you can find episodes that heavily focus on a specific topic, so you can get tips on product development, customer acquisition, branding and more from entrepreneurs who have been there, done that. Check out the website for detailed descriptions of the episodes, and subscribe and play wherever you get your podcasts.

Refer to the COVID-19 Business Survival Guide

The Maryland Small Business Development Center put together this comprehensive COVID-19 Business Survival Guide, which will be updated regularly with new information as the crisis evolves.

Check out the UMD Innovation Gateway COVID resources page

The StartupUMD Innovation Gateway has a dedicated page including resources for Maryland organizations and small businesses looking for COVID-19 related support.

Stay connected to the campus entrepreneurship community with the Terrapin Innovation Network

The Terrapin Innovation Network is a forum for the campus entrepreneurship community. It was spearheaded by student-run incubator Startup Shell and is still growing! Make an account and start connecting with other student entrepreneurs on campus. Now is the time for us all to support one another.

Take an online course on LinkedIn Learning

If you’re a UMD affiliate, you can get free access to thousands of online classes from UMD’s LinkedIn Learning portal. Simply sign in with your directory ID to get started.

Terp Toolkit

The Terp Toolkit series on the Dingman Center blog provides practical tips for anyone interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial venture. Click any of the posts below to learn more.

Introducing the Business Model Canvas

Build. Measure. Learn. Repeat: An Intro to the Lean Startup Methodology

Building the Right Entrepreneurial Board

Resources For Starting Your Business

Finding Office Space For Your Startup

Marketing Your Startup

Accounting For Your Startup

Financing Your Startup

Legal and Intellectual Property Tips For Startups

Incorporating Social Impact into Your Business Model

Recommended Readings

The Dingman Center has compiled a list of suggested readings that we often recommend to our network.

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