Category Archives: New Venture Practicum

Senior Send-Off: Jacques Marais, Founder of Munch

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. 

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Jacques Marais – Munch

Jacques Marais ’20 is an architecture major who in his last year at University of Maryland has become increasingly involved with the Dingman Center for his startup, Munch, a company offering a portable grow-it-yourself kit for customers to produce three pounds of microgreens per week in their own kitchens. Jacques pitched Munch during our regional round of The Hult Prize in November, and in the spring joined our New Venture Practicum class. Last week, Jacques went on to win the 2020 AgEnterprise Challenge launched by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. In partnership with F³Tech accelerator, Munch will gain access to $30,000 in seed funding for commercialization through the competition. To cap off a strong year of entrepreneurship for Jacques, Munch was accepted into our virtual Terp Startup accelerator this summer, which provides a $5,000 stipend, access to workshops and ongoing advising. We hope to see Munch the company grow as prodigiously as its microgreens.

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Dingman TV: ModBars

Dingman TV is a channel brought to you by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at Maryland Smith featuring all infomercials, all the time! These commercials are produced by student entrepreneurs at University of Maryland to showcase their products and services, drive traffic to their websites and gather feedback and support from potential customers in the UMD community and beyond. 

modbars jpeg (2)ModBars, LLC

ModBars, LLC is a startup founded by University of Maryland students Jeff Su ’21 and Wyatt Talcott ’21. Also on the ModBars team are UMD students Max Levine ’22, Joe Oleynik ’23 and
Nate Stevens ’21. Jeff and Wyatt completed this video as students in the Dingman Center’s Fearless Founders: New Venture Practicum course, taught by Maryland Smith professor Oliver Schlake. ModBars also competed as semifinalists in Pitch Dingman Competition in fall 2019.

At the end of each academic year, Dingman Center supporter and successful alumni food entrepreneur Jason Cohen ’96 gives out the Jason ’96 & Jamie Cohen Entrepreneurship Fund Award of $1,000. ModBars was selected by the Dingman Center team to receive this year’s award.

Visit their website: www.modbars.com

Announcing the Fearless Founders: New Venture Practicum 2019 Cohort

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New Venture Practicum is a three-credit course within the Dingman Center’s Fearless Founders accelerator where, under the guidance of Maryland Smith Clinical Professor Oliver Schlake, students build and test their business ideas using lean startup methodology. Each business is assigned a venture mentor from the Dingman Center Mentor Network. Upon completion of the course, students will be eligible for seed funding.

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

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