Category Archives: Events

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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Dingman Center Supports Female-Founded Ventures at Technica

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Sara Herald, MBA ’11, Ladies First champion and Director of Venture Development, with Blaze Tracker, the winning team at Technica.

The weekend of November 9th, the Dingman Center hosted a table and sponsored a prize at University of Maryland’s Technica, the nation’s largest female and non-binary hackathon. The Dingman Center table was manned by alumnae of the Ladies First Founders program, a 1-credit course for female and nonbinary students to form a community and overcome gender bias issues in entrepreneurship. The course is the flagship program of the Center’s Ladies First Initiative to get more female and nonbinary students at UMD engaged with entrepreneurship. Many students were excited to learn how they can get more involved with the Dingman Center to help grow their business ideas beyond the hackathon. At the end of the 48 hour hackathon on Sunday, the Dingman Center presented a Kate Spade wallet to Blaze Tracker, the best venture at Technica. Blaze Tracker consists of a team of four computer science freshman who created an app to provide information to those affected by the California wildfires in real time, and for others nearby to open their homes as temporary lodging. They were awarded this prize for having an innovative, unique, and profitable idea. We look forward to the next edition of Technica!

Student Insights from the Hisaoka Speaker Series featuring Seth Goldman

On October 30, 2019, the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship’s Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series invited Seth Goldman, the co-founder and Tea-EO emeritus of Honest Tea and Executive Chair of Beyond Meat, for an intimate conversation with Robert Hisaoka ’79 at The Clarice. Read on for one student’s insights on Goldman’s talk.

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by: Allison Criswell ’21

In a world where obesity is on the rise and Mother Nature is on the fall, “healthy and sustainable” has become something of a societal trend. Eating clean and taking care of the earth has never been cooler. But when it comes to our taste buds, we don’t like to make sacrifices unless the alternative is just as delicious. Lucky for us, Seth Goldman, Co-Founder of Honest Tea and Executive Chair of Beyond Meat, has spent the last two decades making it possible to be an environmentalist and a health nut without giving up flavor.

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Spilling the (Honest) Tea: 5 Facts About Seth Goldman

NEW HEADSHOT 7.9.18.tif (1)by: Hannah Shraim ’20, Dingman Center Marketing Intern

If you haven’t already heard, Seth Goldman is coming to campus as part of our Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series. Goldman is best known for co-founding Honest Tea. You know, Honest Tea — the company that Coca-Cola paid $43 million for.

There’s a lot of hype surrounding this event as the industry pioneer is set to share his experiences as a socially conscious entrepreneur. In light of this, we wanted to share five fast facts about Goldman to get you ready for conversation. 

Seth Goldman has a background in government

Goldman graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in government from Harvard University in 1987. Before his bustling career as an entrepreneur, he worked on Michael Dukakis’ presidential campaign. After attempting to solve social issues through a governmental lens, he eventually switched to business with the same goal in mind. 

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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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Celebrating Smith Day: Why the Dingman Center is #UMDSmithProud

For this year’s Smith Day on November 14, 2018, we asked the current students and alumni who help make our Center run what makes them #UMDSmithProud. Check out some of their responses!

 

RudyLamone-1504143351-1542228917265.pngUnder the leadership of Dean Triantis, the Smith School has organized an extraordinary team of faculty, staff, alumni, students and friends who are passionately committed to maintaining the Smith School as one of the leading business schools in the world. For more than 32 years, The Dingman Center at the Smith School has been a major player on the campus, the region, and the world in developing entrepreneurial ecosystems that foster the development and growth of innovative new startups. – Rudolph “Rudy” Lamone, former Dean of the Smith School and founding director of the Dingman Center.

 

BillBoyle1Every time I attend a Dingman Center event at the Smith School, I am impressed how our students presentations are stronger than many seasoned professionals. – Bill Boyle ’81, board chair of the Dingman Center Board of Advisors, an active Dingman Center Angels investor and Dingman Center venture mentor, with experience mentoring companies in the Fearless Founders Accelerator and as a coach in Pitch Dingman Competition.

 

HollyDearmondI am proud of the diverse community of students, mentors, faculty and staff we have built at the Dingman Center. Creating programs that help Terps spark a venture idea is so exciting. Once that idea is sparked, it’s fulfilling to provide the structure, resources and connections students need in order to bring those ventures to life. – Holly DeArmond, MBA ’17, Interim Managing Director of the Dingman Center and a recent graduate of the Smith School’s prestigious part-time MBA program.

 

SaraHerald2.pngI’m UMD Smith proud because I get to work with students who are determined to change the world.  From female founders wanting to make their mark in entrepreneurship to aspiring social entrepreneurs who want to tackle really difficult social problems, the students we work with are going amazing places. – Sara Herald, MBA ’11, Associate Director for Social Entrepreneurship at the Dingman Center, head of our Ladies First Initiative and Smith School Adjunct Professor for Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps and Ladies First Founders.

 

PuriA-26Oct17-10School is all about what students put into it. Here at Smith our professors not only appreciate enthusiasm but champion those of us who want to take on more responsibilities and learn more than what is required. For this I am #UMDSmithProud. – Amit Puri, MBA ’19, a second-year MBA student and graduate assistant at the Dingman Center, with roles supporting the Dingman Center Angels from behind the scenes and as a venture associate. He is also head of the MBA E-Club and leading this year’s VCIC Competition.

 

KashikarM-26Oct17-12The Dingman Center provides opportunities that make Smith MBA a unique experience. Through the Dingman Center, I have met with entrepreneurs and leaders not just from the area but also on the west coast, my dream job destination. The Dingman Center and its people are my go-to people on campus. I am truly #UMDSmithProud. – Mandar Kashikar, MBA ’19, second-year Marketing Analytics graduate assistant at the Dingman Center.

 

headshot-3-1.jpgThe thriving entrepreneurship scene and supporting community here makes me #UMDSmithProud. – Emily Gee ’20, a junior majoring in Operations Management & Business Analytics and Information Systems. Emily is our undergraduate Venture Programs intern at the Dingman Center and acting President of EnTERPreneur, the undergraduate entrepreneurship club.

 

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I’m #UMDSmithProud of the great resources and programs offered to students that allow us to make a meaningful difference right out of college. – Eric Elliot ’18, a senior Marketing major at the Smith School and the Dingman Center’s Events and Marketing intern since Fall 2017.

 

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Spotlight on Role Models at the Third Annual Ladies First Fall Dinner

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by: Megan McPherson, Events & Marketing Manager

The Ladies First Fall Dinner is the flagship event of the Dingman Center’s Ladies First initiative to expose more female students at University of Maryland to entrepreneurship. Each year, it attracts young women from all across campus for an evening where they can explore the unique challenges and strengths shared by women as they look to launch companies or lead them post-graduation. The third annual Ladies First Fall Dinner on November 1 in Van Munching Hall focused on “role models”, introducing a room comprised solely of female undergraduate students to two inspirational female founders in the cosmetics industry: alumna and serial entrepreneur Mary Schulman ’97, co-founder of PYT Beauty; and current student Brianna Queen ’19, founder of BEEQBOX and second place winner of the 2018 Pitch Dingman Competition. In a fireside chat moderated by associate director and Ladies First leader Sara Herald, MBA ’11, Brianna and Mary shared their inspiring founder stories and imparted valuable wisdom to 65 student attendees. Below are some of the recurring themes that both entrepreneurs touched upon during the discussion.

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Announcing the 2019 Pitch Dingman Competition Semifinalists

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This year’s Pitch Dingman Competition application phase saw a wide range of applications from undergraduate, graduate and PhD students from across UMD. After undergoing a quarterfinals review from alumni judges, we’re excited to announce the 2019 Pitch Dingman Competition semifinalists and second cohort of Hisaoka Entrepreneurs. The founders of the semifinalists teams will receive mentoring and coaching to help them further accelerate their businesses, whether or not they make the cut for Pitch Dingman Competition Finals. On Thursday, Nov. 15 from 6-7:30 p.m. in Frank Auditorium, Van Munching Hall, these 10 student startups will pitch their businesses to an expert panel of judges at the Pitch Dingman Competition Semifinals, chaired by Robert G. Hisaoka. The audience will have a chance to vote for their favorite semifinalist to take home a $500 prize. We’re excited to see who wins the opportunity to pitch at the Finals on March 7, 2019 for a shot at the grand prize of $15,000!

Register here to attend and read on about each semifinalist in their own words below.

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Steve Case: From a Director of New Pizza Development to Getting America Online

On October 9, 2018, Steve Case spoke at Gildenhorn Recital Hall at the Clarice Performing Arts Center as featured speaker at the Dingman Center’s Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series. The speaker series was created as part of a generous three-year gift from alumnus Robert Hisaoka ’79 to bring business leaders and startup founders to UMD that will inspire students to explore entrepreneurship by providing real-world context for business and venture creation. The following is one student’s account of the experience.

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by: Mandar Kashikar, MBA ’19

As the founding CEO of AOL, the first internet company to go public, Steve Case is an icon of the first wave of the internet. At its peak, AOL (America Online) was used by half of the total online population in the US! I can’t even fathom the power it held. Needless to say, it was my pleasure listening to Steve’s advice for us students.

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