Category Archives: Community

Tips for Entrepreneurs Looking to Stay Busy in Spring 2020

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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.

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Meet the Speakers: Being Black in Entrepreneurship Fireside Chat

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by: Hannah Shraim ’20 (Ladies First Founder and Dingman Center Marketing Intern)

Passion, tenacity, and courage — all three qualities are essential to being an entrepreneur. With that being said, those brave enough to take on the Herculean task must navigate through numerous obstacles. In a system that disproportionately excludes people of color from entrepreneurial spaces, and with the amount of struggle that entrepreneurs face by nature, it is paramount to uplift the voices of black entrepreneurs.

The Being Black in Entrepreneurship Fireside Chat on Feb. 26 from 6-8 p.m. in 2333 Van Munching Hall is supported by Maryland Smith’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, the Office of Diversity of Inclusion, the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Student Success Leadership Council. The event that will bring together black entrepreneurs for evening of discussion and breakout sessions. If you’re thinking of starting a business, this session will provide you with a toolkit that you can use to understand what it really means to be an entrepreneur. Register today!

There are some incredible speakers lined up for the evening — let’s take a quick look into their experiences:

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Michael Echols ’87 – Founder and CEO of MAX Cybersecurity

Michael A. Echols (Mike) is a graduate of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative – Harvard Kennedy School of Public Health and the Federal Executive Institute. He holds a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Science in Biotechnology, a Graduate Certificate in Technology Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice; all from the University of Maryland. Mike is the CEO of Max Cybersecurity LLC. He launched the company after 7 years at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  In 2015, Mr. Echols became the White House point person for the rollout of Presidential Executive Order 13691 – Promoting Private Sector Cyber Information Sharing. Most recently Mr. Echols authored five Forbes articles and was featured on a PBS cybersecurity special. Mr. Echols has also led two organizations to CSO 50 Award honors for information sharing in the last three years. He is currently on the Health and Human Services CISA Cyber Awareness Task Force.

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

Things are slowing down at the Smith School. Students are taking their last finals, and we’re finishing up work to prepare for a blissful holiday season ahead. So grab a cup of cocoa and take a trip with us down memory lane as we recap a fantastic fall semester of events, programs and more at the Dingman Center!

A Rise in the Rankings

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University of Maryland rose in the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine’s rankings to #7 in undergraduate programming, and #3 for public universities. This marks our fifth consecutive year in the top 10! Read about the rankings here.

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Get to Know the Dingman Center: Lottie Byram

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Lottie Byram: Venture Programs Manager

Lottie Byram is the Venture Programs Manager at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. In addition to running all of the student entrepreneurship programs, she supports and guides early-stage entrepreneurs across campus to dream big, to embody the courage and creativity of entrepreneurship, and to develop their ideas into viable ventures. Prior to joining the team in Fall 2019, Lottie led operations and evaluation at Circus Harmony, a social circus in St. Louis, Missouri dedicated to making social change through the teaching and performing of circus arts.

Lottie’s work as an entrepreneur, researcher, and project manager in violence prevention and social arts has taken her throughout the country and around the world. She is committed to empowering people from all walks of life to be well and achieve their highest potential. She holds an MPH from the George Washington University and a BA in Anthropology magna cum laude from the University of Georgia.

What excites you most about your job?
I really, really love to hear other people’s crazy ideas. The greatest moment is when someone’s crazy idea completely transforms their life, or the way they view the world and themselves in the best possible ways.

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

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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.

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A Tour of Entrepreneurship & Innovation in France & Morocco

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Medina in Marrakech

In collaboration with the Center for Global Business at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship sent Student Venture Programs Manager Chris Rehkamp, MS ’18 on a study abroad program highlighting innovation and entrepreneurship in France and Morocco. The program was led by Smith School Associate Professor Oliver Schlake. The following is one student’s reflection of their experience.

by: Hannah Shraim ’20

In the span of ten days, I visited three countries, submerged myself into two very distinct cultures, and drank lots and lots of tea. Let me explain.

Rather than simply getting an education, securing a job, and acquiring a well-paying salary, I want to do more with my degree. I am a big believer that business can be used to solve social issues, so starting organizations that can utilize profits that serve underprivileged communities is something I have always been eager to explore.

I was granted the opportunity to study entrepreneurship and innovation in France and Morocco with a remarkable group of Terps. As a person who studied French since the age of four, I was particularly excited to go on this trip. While we stopped by Monaco for a day—hence the third country—the jist of our learning came from France and Morocco, which are connected by forty-four years of French occupation.

Besides the fact that both are francophone nations, there are certain commonalities within the entrepreneurial practices in France and Morocco. Notwithstanding, there are vast differences as well.

Now, let’s dive into what went down.

 

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That’s a Wrap! Fall 2018 Highlights at the Dingman Center

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

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Students playing spark: The Card Game

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.

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Recapping the 3rd Annual spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start

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by: Megan McPherson, Events & Marketing Coordinator

Now in its third year, spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start is an event hosted by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and Startup Shell to give students at University of Maryland who are interested in entrepreneurship but don’t have a venture a platform to brainstorm business ideas with their peers. The first two iterations of spark were hosted in Van Munching Hall over a two-day period, but with Robert H. Smith School of Business clinical professor Oliver Schlake running the programming, this year’s spark on September 29, 2018 ran in just one day, starting with breakfast and check-in at 9 a.m. and ending before 5 p.m. The event also relocated to the beautiful and innovation-friendly Edward St. John Learning & Teaching Center.

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That’s a Wrap! Spring 2018 at the Dingman Center

With the academic year drawing to a close this past weekend, 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 2018 Terp Startup Cohort.

Feb. 13 – Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series: Young Founders Panel

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We kicked off the spring semester with an exciting Hisaoka Speaker Series featuring an intimate conversation between Robert Hisaoka ’79 and four young entrepreneurs from the UMD community: Ali von Paris ’12 of Route One Apparel, Evan Lutz ’14 of Hungry Harvest, and Brandon Deyo and Bradley Deyo of Mars Reel. 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 Young Founders Panel here.

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3 Key Lessons from the Inaugural Ladies First Founders Cohort

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From left: Fiona Whitefield, Jasmine Snead, Natalie Urban, Yinyin Liao, Jess Rosenthal, Sara Herald, Sydney Parker, Audrey Awasom, Megha Guggari, Maria Chen & Breonna Massey

Last week, the inaugural cohort of Ladies First Founders gave presentations on their entrepreneurial journeys. Each female student reflected not only on the growth of their business, but also on how they have personally grown since joining the class. Presentations were followed by feedback from the rest of the cohort, and for every young woman who presented, each of her peers had something uniquely positive to compliment about her confidence, delivery, style or attitude. Witnessing these women celebrate one another and show empathy for their shared struggles was a beautiful experience.

Throughout the presentations, it was evident that before Ladies First Founders, many of these women suffered in isolation from shared issues that, once together, they were able to properly identify and work to overcome. Here are some of the greatest outcomes of taking workshops and connecting with fellow female entrepreneurs in Ladies First Founders:

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