Category Archives: E-Fund

A Stitch in Time: Slut for Yarn Weaves Success with E-Fund Award!

Here at Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, we’ve always known that the textile of success is woven with the yarns of innovation, determination, and creativity. It’s why we’re absolutely thrilled to spotlight one of our latest E-Fund recipients, a rising star in the world of fashion and sustainability: Slut for Yarn!

Crafting a Solution to Sartorial Dreams

Slut for Yarn isn’t your run-of-the-mill clothing venture. In a world where ethical fashion is becoming increasingly paramount, this entrepreneurial gem has hit the needle on the head. By creating customizable, ethical crochet and knit apparel, Slut for Yarn stitches together the diverse threads of customers’ personalities, allowing them to shine at festivals, vacations, themed events, and much more.

Imagine having an easy, affordable option for snagging that perfect unique outfit tailored specifically to your taste and ethos. That’s precisely what Slut for Yarn offers—a bespoke service that doesn’t pull the wool over your eyes but instead wraps you in authenticity.

Investing in the Fabric of the Future

So, what’s the E-Fund being spun into? We’re proud to report that Slut for Yarn has been awarded a total of $1,000 to fuel their growth in this bustling marketplace. The bulk of this cozy cashmere sweater of funding—approximately $400—will be threaded toward registering a federal trademark for their distinctive name and logo, safeguarding their brand and ensuring they’re not just another drop stitch in the industry.

Next up, a sum of $500 will be invested in a Brother SE700 sewing and embroidery machine. This isn’t just any machine; it’s the catalyst for Slut for Yarn to interlace their crochet and knit magic more swiftly and seamlessly. It’ll expand their product range to include sewn and embroidered fabric, letting their creativity zigzag across even more styles and textures.

A Pattern of Success

What about the last few strands of that funding? A cozy $100 blob of cashmere will be plowed into a bulk purchase of high-quality yarn. And not just any yarn—this is the good stuff. This budget-friendly yet upscale material means even more sustainable, splendid creations for customers and a patchwork of new possibilities for the venture.

Wrapping Up Warmed in Success

In the loop of entrepreneurship, it’s ventures like Slut for Yarn that truly purl above the rest. The Dingman Center is beyond proud to support such a venture that’s knot only passionate about their craft but also mindful of the mark they leave on the world and in the wardrobes of their customers.

Stay tuned to see how Slut for Yarn spins this golden opportunity into a tapestry of triumph.

Let’s raise our knitting needles and embroider some hearty congratulations for Slut for Yarn—may your stitches stay tight, your patterns bright, and your success ever-knitting.

Excited to know more about Slut for Yarn and other entrepreneurial ventures taking shape? Keep an eye on the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship blog for further updates and stories of innovation and determination we can all get wrapped up in!


Wittle Spoonies: A Beacon of Creativity and Support for Spoonies Everywhere

The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship is thrilled to shine a spotlight on an inspiring venture that is not only an embodiment of creativity but also an agent of awareness and encouragement. Wittle Spoonies has captured the hearts of many and stands out as a rising star in our community. We are excited to announce that Wittle Spoonies has been granted an E-Fund investment of $485 to propel their admirable mission forward.

Bringing Creativity and Comfort to the Spoonie Community

Wittle Spoonies is more than just a brand—it’s a heartfelt initiative that supports individuals living with Fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions. By cleverly using the term “spoonies” – a moniker embraced within chronic illness communities to signify units of energy – the venture creates delightful merchandise designed to resonate deeply with those who understand the daily struggle of managing their spoons.

The products offered by Wittle Spoonies are a blend of whimsical artistry and considerate representation. Through their charming merchandise – which includes glow-in-the-dark stickers, epoxy stickers, shaped pillows, tote bags, and mirror keychains – Wittle Spoonies becomes a voice for those who often feel invisible or misunderstood. These small yet powerful tokens serve a dual purpose: to raise awareness about Fibromyalgia and to spread joy among those who fight unseen battles every day.

E-Fund Investment: Fueling Growth and Reach

With an array of items designed to be both personal and shareable, the use of the $485 E-Fund couldn’t come at a better time for expanding Wittle Spoonies’ scope of influence. The investment will be thoughtfully allocated across various needs to maximize impact:

  • $43 for 100qty. of 2.5″ glow-in-the-dark stickers.
  • $14 for 50qty. of 1.5″ glow-in-the-dark stickers.
  • $78 for 200qty. of 2″ epoxy stickers.
  • $89 for 15qty. of 7″ shaped pillows.
  • $87 for 25qty. of 34x38cm tote bags.
  • $37 for 80qty. of 58mm mirror keychains.
  • $105 for shipping to ensure the merchandise reaches spoonies far and wide.
  • $10 for self-adhesive hangers to showcase the creative stickers attractively.
  • $22 for Azar display hooks to enhance the visual appeal at events.
  • $80 for transportation to upcoming events, where the Wittle Spoonies story can be shared and celebrated.

Join Us in Celebrating and Supporting Wittle Spoonies

The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship proudly congratulates Wittle Spoonies on their E-Fund investment and eagerly anticipates the wonderful strides they will make in advancing their cause. We urge you, our cherished community, to join us in supporting and celebrating this remarkable venture.

Whether you identify as a spoonie, love someone who does, or simply appreciate the artistry and mission of Wittle Spoonies, your support can take many forms. Follow their journey, purchase merchandise to gift or keep, or spread the word to help Wittle Spoonies reach all corners of the spoonie universe.

With creativity as their canvas and compassion as their brush, Wittle Spoonies is poised to make a colorful splash in the lives of many. Let’s rally behind them and watch them grow!

To learn more about Wittle Spoonies and other ventures paving the way for a better tomorrow, stay tuned to the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship blog and follow us on our social media channels.

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Dream of Coffee: Brewing a New Generation of Specialty Coffee Lovers With the E-Fund Grant

Calling all coffee enthusiasts and entrepreneurial spirits! The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship is thrilled to pour out some fantastic news – “Dream of Coffee” (DOC), an innovative venture steaming with potential, has been awarded an E-Fund grant to energize and expand their operations. We are ecstatic to announce that they will be receiving a bold infusion of $1,500 to help them on their mission to revolutionize the coffee industry for the new wave of java aficionados.

Perking Up Coffee Culture

Dream of Coffee is far from your average café startup. It’s spearheaded by a group of go-getters determined to confront a bitter truth in our coffee culture. Today’s vibrant GenZ crowd craves not just a caffeine kick but also a flavorful and social experience when it comes to their coffee habits. Sadly, they’re being served a cup of compromise – cheap, commercial-grade beans masked with artificial flavorings.

DOC isn’t just about brewing cups; it’s about revamping perceptions and connections. They’ve identified an unmet need amongst GenZ coffee lovers for authentic, specialty-grade coffee and are on a mission to fill this void with sustainable passion. Their goal? To rebrand coffee as a connective thread that weaves together social interactions while promoting specialty coffee roasters and equipment companies.

Caffeinating the Campus and Beyond

Operating primarily on campus, Dream of Coffee has sparked conversation and community with their weekly coffee socials, demonstrating the varied, rich tapestries of coffee brewing methods directly to the University of Maryland students. These gatherings have become a hub for connection, learning, and enjoyment, with attendance reaching the hundreds – a testament to the venture’s resonance and allure.

With the awarded E-Fund, Dream of Coffee plans to intensify these experiences, brewing beyond the campus confines. The E-Fund grant will facilitate the purchase of much-needed equipment and merchandise, including:

  • A professional Breville the Bambino® Plus Espresso Machine – Because every great coffee social depends on a great espresso ($500)
  • Merchandise like t-shirts and hats – So sip in style and showcase your coffee community support ($300)
  • A Baratza Encore ESP (Electric Burr Coffee Grinder) – For the freshest grind and the best flavors ($200)
  • Three Slow Pour Supply Latte Art Pitchers – Elevating the art in your coffee art ($150)
  • Two Origami Dripper Bundles – Combining traditional techniques with modern flair ($130)
  • Two Fellow Stagg Pourover Sets – For the pursuit of a perfect pour-over ($160)
  • A budget for tax, shipping, and those inevitable unexpected costs ($60)

Charting New Grounds

Dream of Coffee is not content with merely dodging the drip of the status quo. They are enrolled in BMGT468R – Fearless Founders, underlining their commitment to entrepreneurship and education. As they plan to host larger coffee socials and cast their net further into and beyond the Maryland community, Dream of Coffee is ready to steep their vision into reality.

Heartfelt congratulations to Dream of Coffee for being selected as an E-Fund grant recipient! Watch this space, as DOC and its passionate founders are poised to make a splash in the coffee scene, one cup at a time. Share this journey with them, and let’s raise our mugs to their success!

To all the entrepreneurial dreamers out there – the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship is your partner in bringing those dreams to life. Who knows? Perhaps your venture will be featured here next, providing just the jolt our community needs. Keep on brewing those ideas! ☕🌟

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Revolutionizing Essay Grading: EssayGraderAI Receives E-Fund for AI-powered Innovation

Here at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, we are always thrilled to highlight groundbreaking ventures that are reshaping industries through innovative solutions. Today, we are proud to congratulate EssayGraderAI for securing a significant funding grant from our Entrepreneurship Fund (E-Fund). EssayGraderAI, an exceptional startup, has been leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to revolutionize the way professors grade essays. In this blog post, we will delve into the remarkable features and benefits of EssayGraderAI while shedding light on the financial support they received from the E-Fund to further fuel their mission.

Solving a Common Pain Point:

EssayGraderAI addresses one of the most tedious and time-consuming elements of a professor’s role – grading essays. With their cutting-edge technology and AI algorithms, EssayGraderAI significantly streamlines the essay grading process, allowing professors to say goodbye to long, sleepless nights spent marking papers.

Benefits that Boost Productivity:

The core strengths of EssayGraderAI lie in its extraordinary features that set it apart from traditional grading methods:

  1. Lightning Fast Feedback: By harnessing the power of AI, EssayGraderAI can grade essays in the blink of an eye. No more laborious hours spent deciphering students’ work and providing feedback – EssayGraderAI delivers results rapidly, allowing professors to efficiently allocate their time to other valuable academic tasks.
  2. Reliable Outcomes: Powered by Retrieval Augmented Generation, EssayGraderAI eliminates grading discrepancies and ensures dependable results. Professors can trust that the feedback provided by their AI-enabled assistant adheres to the highest standards.
  3. Personalized Criteria: EssayGraderAI offers customizable rubrics and grading instructions, empowering professors to maintain their unique teaching style and standards. This flexibility ensures that the grading process remains tailored to individual professors while embracing the advantages of AI technology.
  4. Deep-Dive Analytics: With EssayGraderAI, professors gain access to advanced analytics at both the student and class levels. These insights help them foster a thorough understanding of their students’ progress and enable them to make more informed instructional decisions.
  5. Seamless Integration: EssayGraderAI seamlessly integrates with existing Canvas Learning Management Systems (LMS), minimizing disruption and allowing professors to adopt this innovative tool with ease. No extensive changes to their workflow are necessary.

Financial Support for Growth and Development:

With the grant received from the Dingman Center’s E-Fund, EssayGraderAI can scale up its operations and continue delivering exceptional value to professors within the educational community. The funds allocated for a 3-month period will cover various vital costs:

  • AWS Lightsail server (2 months): $50
  • Bubble prototyping (1 month): $30
  • Website hosting (3 months): $39
  • OpenAI API: $121
  • Domain name: $10
  • Total: $250


EssayGraderAI’s groundbreaking approach to essay grading is transforming the landscape of education through the power of AI. By successfully securing funding from our Entrepreneurship Fund, EssayGraderAI is poised to revolutionize the industry by providing professors with lightning-fast, reliable, and personalized feedback for their students. As we congratulate EssayGraderAI on their accomplishment, we eagerly anticipate witnessing the positive impact they will continue to make in classrooms worldwide. Stay tuned for more exciting updates from the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship!

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E-Fund Grant Winners | Fall 2022

Public Health Beyond Borders Inc.

Student: Sara Miller
Prize: $324.00

Globally, incredible amounts of morbidity and mortality are caused by preventable diseases that can be mitigated by changes in health behavior and community-level health interventions. Oral diseases impact nearly 3.5 billion people, malaria affected 241 individuals in 2020, and diet-related noncommunicable diseases are linked to unhealthy eating behaviors that persist internationally (WHO). Public Health Beyond Borders, Inc. is determined to empower families and communities both locally and globally, to achieve their best health through sustainable education workshops and advocacy. We envision a world where the next generation of global health professionals works collaboratively with communities to identify, combat, and reduce health disparities.

Current PHBB, Inc. projects are located in Compone, Peru; Calaba Town, Sierra Leone; Varanasi, India; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and locally in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Since the founding of PHBB in 2013, nearly 1,000 students, faculty, and graduate students have traveled on 13 international trips and reached nearly 3,000 children and community members. PHBB is focused on building sustainable relationships with partner communities and approaching its work through a culturally competent lens. All PHBB, Inc. interventions are based on needs-based assessments that ensure the development of relevant and effective material. Ties with our partner community are sustained through constant communication, even through the COVID-19 pandemic, in which projects were still completed including fundraising for school materials for SouthPoint elementary school in India, the creation of COVID-19 health promotion videos for our partner school in Compone, Peru, the sending of an iPad to Abigail D. Butscher Primary School in Calaba Town, Sierra Leone, and other fundraising events and projects in all partner communities. PHBB, Inc.’s efforts are directed towards making a change in these partner communities on a personal level by understanding what the focus of the most effective intervention would be. In addition to having a global influence, the goal is to reduce health disparities while instilling long-lasting knowledge of cultural competency in the group members to create a generational impact.

Use of Funds

Public Health Beyond Borders, Inc. previously received $314 from the Dingman Center for similar costs incurred by our start-up, which allowed us to continue hosting our website and maintain our social media.

JuJu Inc.

Students: Kent Wang, Zeyang Liu, Nanxin Luo
Prize: $1000.00

Juju Food Delivery provides affordable food delivery for busy students and workers. We use bulk delivery and food locker pick-up to improve efficiency and reduce delivery costs.

Learn more at

Use of Funds

  1. Marketing Events, Tabling Event ($400)
  2. Website Server, API, Text API ($400)
  3. Branding Material, worker’s brand clothes ($200)

Herbin’s Fashion

Students: Herbert Obeng
Prize: $1000.00

Herbin’s Fashion mission is to promote the heritage and style of African culture and use some of the profits to donate to the less privileged in the Society.

Learn more in their feature at on the Diamondback.

Use of Funds

  • Inventory: $500
  • Transportation: $200
  • Shipping: $300

NotUrAverage Candles

Students: Courtney Johnson ’23
Prize: $1500.00

NotUrAverage Candles’ mission is to highlight the wonders of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through fragrance. They aim to not only provide phenomenal candles with dynamic scents but expose our customers to various STEM fields and phenomena. Each line released will be centered around a different field. All NotUrAverage Candles are hand-poured and made with sustainability in mind. All materials in our candles are environmentally friendly, phthalate-free, and reusable.

They will use their funds to prepare for the holiday season.

Use of Funds

  • Wax: $360
  • Fragrance Oils: $300
  • Wicks: $110
  • Jars: $270
  • Lids: $240
  • Storage Shelf: $100
  • Canva Pro: $120

Game Changers New York

Students: Sara Blau ’24
Prize: $1000.00

Game Changers New York is a 501(c)3 non-profit organizations that collects and distributes sports equipment for kids in need globally.

They will use their funds to help underrepresented children who don’t have access to sports equipment.

Use of Funds

  • $360 – one year subscription to Quickbooks
  • $444 – 6 hours of work of website developer
  • $196 – 2.45 hours of work of our accountant


Students: Robert Choe ’23
Prize: $500.00

There are 4 million individuals (3 million adolescents and 1 million adults) that receive dental braces treatment every year. Unfortunately, braces wearers face a long and complicated oral hygiene routine that compromises their oral health. Specifically, this population faces an increased risk of developing cavities and gum disease during/after treatment. When we overview the market, there is no oral hygiene product that specifically caters to this population. Our venture aims to develop a full-mouth oral hygiene device that primarily utilizes fluid-jet action to remove the debris and plaque off the high-risk area on teeth and dental braces.

Use of Funds

  • $500 – Prototyping and redesign of device casing

Exercise Network

Students: Candace Austin ’23
Prize: $1500.00

At Exercise Network we design fitness and aquatics programs to help individuals Live.Life. Healthier. We are solving the problem of physical activity levels declining especially among children. Researchers have found that this decline is linked to an increase in chronic disease cases, such as sudden cardiac arrest and obesity, developing among children.

Use of Funds

  • $900- Licenses and Certifications necessary for Fitness Instruction
  • $250- Website/online development (Updating website, creating digital promotional content)
  • $200- 1 month of space rental for class demos
  • $100- Equipment for classes
  • $50- Marketing & Ads (Printing Flyers, Signs, Digital Ads)

That’s a Wrap! Fall 2021 at the Dingman Center

The Dingman Center team celebrated Venture Programs Intern Barathi Aravindan’s Fall 2021 graduation at Terpzone.

The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship is wrapping up a semester of live, virtual and hybrid programming. We are pleased to report that our students are excited to engage with us in person while still having some virtual options. As finals week comes to an end and holiday break begins, we want to take the time to reflect on the Dingman Center’s successful programs, events and more. Join us in looking at our Fall 2021 semester recap!

Continue reading

E-Fund Recipients of Spring 2021

Through generous gifts from Carly Fiorina and Kevin Plank, the Dingman Center provides ad-hoc seed funding for University of Maryland startups, called the E-Fund. These nondilutive grants range from $250-$1000. Funding typically goes towards equipment purchases, website hosting, rapid prototyping, incorporation fees or any other costs that you see a barrier to getting an idea to market.

Check out this semester’s E-Fund recipients!



Founders: Eric Patel ’21 and Esha Vangara

Edullo is a platform created by students for students. They connect scholars to freelancers to do their part of level the playing field in education. Their $500 E-Fund will go towards supporting and maintaining their data-heavy website platform.

WISE Cities, LLC

Founder: Marie Brodsky

WISE Cities recently won a pilot project with the City of Fairfax following a smart city challenge competition, proposing WISE Cities: Where Innovating Supports the Elderly. Stemming from what they saw facing their own grandparents: a major problem that continues to worsen is the isolation and inactivity experienced by seniors, especially in lower income communities, associated with depression as well as neurodegenerative conditions and long-term health problems. They are working towards two goals: in the shorter term, a geographically-based senior social network app, and in the longer term, the construction of WISE spaces (senior areas for exercise and interaction) in several DMV locations. Their $640 E-Fund will be applied to developing the app. *Update: an additional $360 E-Fund will be applied to further development and user interface design to improve the app’s ease of accessibility.


Founder: Oluwafunsho Adeyale, ’21

A new clothing collection, GoodNewsUniversity is coming into the world with some bold fresh trends. Their $500 E-Fund will be used for airbrushing their next line.

Camp Segal, LLC

Founders: Max Segal ’21 and Jacob Nelson ’21

Camp Segal provides the support and infrastructure for college-aged individuals to open up small summer camps. They look to establish a series of camp locations in a time where parents look for camps to focus on safety, proximity, and flexibility. Their $1000 E-Fund will be applied to website development and to expand marketing outreach in New Jersey and New York.