ANNOUNCING THE FEARLESS FOUNDERS: NEW VENTURE PRACTICUM 2021 COHORT

New Venture Practicum is one of the Dingman Center’s signature courses. Taught by Maryland Smith Clinical Professor Oliver Schlake during the Spring semester, students experiment with business models, revenue streams and go-to-market strategies. By the end of the three-credit course, some startups are securing their first customers and generating revenue, while others are working on a beta or pilot. In the final class, students pitch for seed funding to move their business forward.

Read on to learn more about this cohort’s exciting student founders and their businesses!

Athenus Financial Group – Cameron Williams ’21
Athenus enables young, amateur investors to engage with and trade foreign exchange. Built in features such as algorithms and a built in social media community helps new traders navigate the market and manage risk without the hassle of learning the market or hiring a mentor. 

Campus Gigs – Nataraj Shivaprasad ’21 & Sri Kanipakala ’24
We connect small businesses in College Park to students to foster symbiotic economic ties in the community. We achieve this through a platform where businesses can request gig services and post exclusive deals for students.

Cloud Closet – Vera Andreeva ’22
The Cloud Closet is designed to significantly decrease the amount of time it takes to get dressed. It simultaneously increases the amount of outfits through recommendations while keeping your closet the same size. Based on your style, it will recommend items that will keep you feeling stylish and on trend.

Cruising Altitude – Alan Soclof ’22
Our mission at Cruising Altitude is to educate and engage the next generation of long term investors. We achieve our mission through a weekly newsletter that is engaging, entertaining, and contains original analysis on prospective investments.

Lydia Liriano – Nishelle Oglesby ’21
Lydia Liriano is a luxury candle company that strives to give black women high-quality self-care experiences that benefit mental health.

Mindgrasp – Thai Cao ’23
Mindgrasp.io is an AI-powered web app that can perform several complex text-related tasks for its users, including answering user questions based on text, summarizing, and paraphrasing. The service is primarily designed for students and academics.

Quiet Storm Digital – Eric Ross
We provide customer retention strategies for “diamond in the rough” nano-brands who yearn for a cult-like following. 

ScholarTrac – Casey Puentes ’23
ScholarTrac connects untapped high school talent with local businesses.

SoundBites – Mike Houser ’17, ’22 Graduate
SoundBites is a sound sommelier: using proven research to create immersive soundscapes, perfectly paired to tasting menus for an optimized fine dining experience.

Teacher Recommender System – Sander Schulhoff ’24
TRS automates and expedites the process of connecting high school students with their teacher recommenders for college.

Wardrobe – Gerald Berman ’23
Wardrobe is a digital wardrobe app for young professionals that will impact how individuals get dressed.

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