In our Senior Send-Off series, the Dingman Center celebrates the student founders who are part of the graduating class of spring 2020. We are so pleased to have had the chance to get to know each of these talented entrepreneurs through our programs.
Daniel Raithel – BraceLint
Dan Raithel ’20, a graduating senior and Economics major, had his first encounter with the Dingman Center at spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start in Fall 2018, but by then he had already been cooking up his idea for BraceLint, a flat and portable alternative to lint rollers. Dan eagerly enrolled in New Venture Practicum in Spring 2019, then was accepted into the Summer 2019 Terp Startup cohort. A veteran of the Marines, Dan proved himself to be a hardworking, focused entrepreneur, and built countless prototypes of his ideal BraceLint before he found one he was happy with. Now as a finalist in Pitch Dingman Competition, he’s ready to show that his hard work has paid off. Root for Dan at virtual Pitch Dingman Competition Finals tomorrow, April 22 from 4-6 p.m. live via Zoom. Don’t miss this last chance to support him!
What’s your plan after graduation?
I will pursuing BraceLint full time after graduating!
What’s something you’ll really miss about UMD?
Leaving UMD I am going to miss my motivating entrepreneurial community, from the Dingman Center to Startup Shell. I always dreamed of finding like-minded people with an obsession for entrepreneurship and am grateful to have found my place!
What’s your favorite memory from Terp Startup?
My favorite moment from Terp Startup was the party we threw halfway through where we all were able to get together, loosen up, and really start to collaborate.
What was your favorite part about competing in Pitch Dingman Competition?
Pitch Dingman pushed me to validate my company by gaining real traction. My favorite moment happened when I did a one day sale sprint throughout Alexandria and was able to get six pet stores to agree to sell my product!
What’s next for BraceLint?
Since the pandemic started business has had to take a different route from pursuing getting into physical stores and hospitality. BraceLint will be pressing into the online markets with a heavy focus on Amazon in the upcoming months.
What advice would you give to student entrepreneurs just getting started?
Read everything you can get your hands on about new venture creation and your related field! You never know what you’ll pick up when learning from other’s experiences.