Category Archives: Pitch Dingman

That’s a Wrap! Spring 2020 at the Dingman Center

wrap up pitch spring 2020

Spring 2020 will be remembered forever as the season that brought COVID-19 to our lives. This has been a tumultuous time for everyone, and no less for the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship community. We would like to take a moment to look back on our successes this spring, both in-person and virtual, and to thank the students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners for their perseverance in a pandemic and their dedication to showcasing the best in entrepreneurship at University of Maryland. We are proud to see our founders continuing to thrive, and look forward to the opportunities of creating a virtual Terp Startup accelerator cohort this summer.

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Where Are They Now: Myisha Gatson of Pearl Long Term Care Solutions, LLC

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In fall 2018, the Dingman Center met part-time MBA student Myisha Gatson, MBA ’20, who applied to Pitch Dingman Competition for her company, Pearl Long Term Care Solutions, LLC, a double-sided marketplace for long term care solutions to help people find safe and affordable care for their loved ones. Myisha pitched in the Semifinals, and though she did not move on to the Finals that year, she remained engaged with the Center. In the summer of 2019, she took on an intern through our Kathryn Stewart Fellowship Program, which provides a $5,000 stipend for students working at early-stage startups that may not otherwise have the resources to pay for an intern. Since her pitch at the fall 2018 Semifinals, she has continued to work on her business full-time, and has met many additional milestones:

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Senior Send-Off: The Synapto Team

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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From left: Chris Look, Anoop Patel, Megha Guggari, David Boegner, Dhruv Patel

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Co-founder & CEO – Dhruv Patel ’20, Bioengineering major
Co-founder & CTO – Christopher Look ’20, Bioengineering major
Lead Systems Engineer – David Boegner ’20, Bioengineering major
Lead Software Engineer – Megha Guggari ’20, Bioengineering major
Lead R&D Engineer – Anoop Patel ’20, Bioengineering major

The Synapto team is made up of five University of Maryland bioengineering majors who are using a portable EEG and machine learning to provide doctors with a more efficient tool to diagnose Alzheimer’s. Having worked on this idea since 2017, the team has achieved many milestones along the way, including a prize from NIH, second place at the 2018 Do Good Challenge, and third place at the 2019 Pitch Dingman Competition Finals. The Dingman Center has had numerous opportunities to watch these founders grow: Chris Look enrolled in our Terp Startup accelerator for a different idea, Senvision, as a freshman; David Boegner and Anoop Patel represented Synapto in the 2018 Terp Startup cohort; and Megha Guggari was part of the first cohort of Ladies First Founders. The Synapto team took home our Rudy Award for Social Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2019, and we are excited to see how these impressive founders continue to shine post-graduation.

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Senior Send-Off: Dan Raithel, founder of BraceLint

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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BraceLint_Brand-01Daniel Raithel – BraceLint

Dan Raithel ’20, a graduating senior and Economics major, had his first encounter with the Dingman Center at spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start in Fall 2018, but by then he had already been cooking up his idea for BraceLint, a flat and portable alternative to lint rollers. Dan eagerly enrolled in New Venture Practicum in Spring 2019, then was accepted into the Summer 2019 Terp Startup cohort. A veteran of the Marines, Dan proved himself to be a hardworking, focused entrepreneur, and built countless prototypes of his ideal BraceLint before he found one he was happy with. Now as a finalist in Pitch Dingman Competition, he’s ready to show that his hard work has paid off. Root for Dan at virtual Pitch Dingman Competition Finals tomorrow, April 22 from 4-6 p.m. live via Zoom. Don’t miss this last chance to support him!

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Senior Send-Off: The Hydraze Team

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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Charles Grody, Tuvia Rappaport and Jack Sturtevant of Hydraze with Public Policy Dean Robert Orr after winning the Hult@UMD Competition

hydraze_high_resHydraze

Founder & CEO – Charles Grody ’20, mechanical engineering major
CTO – Jack Sturtevant ’20, computer engineering major
Lead Engineer – Tuvia Rappaport ’20, aerospace engineering major

The Hydraze team, comprised of three QUEST Honors Program students, has taken University of Maryland by storm with their engineered solution to the “phantom flushes” caused by inefficient automatic flushing toilets. After piloting the Hydraze flushing mechanism in The Clarice, they won the 2019 Do Good Challenge, then Hult@UMD — our local edition of the global Hult Prize social entrepreneurship case competition — and now have made it to the final round of Pitch Dingman Competition. The team will be competing in the virtual Pitch Dingman Competition Finals next week, on April 22 from 4-6 p.m. live via Zoom. Don’t miss this last chance to support them!

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An Interview with Pitch Dingman Competition Finalist: SweetsbyCaroline

In anticipation of the final round of the 2020 Pitch Dingman Competition, the Dingman Center is interviewing each of the five startup finalists about their progress and upcoming challenges as they prepare to compete for the $15,000 Grand Prize on March 10th in the Grand Ballroom of Stamp Student Union. Learn more and register to attend the competition here.

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SweetsbyCaroline

Caroline Ta ’21, Marketing

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DC: Tell us about your startup.

Ta: SweetsbyCaroline is a catering business that specializes in french macarons, cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts for weddings, parties, and many more events! I aim to turn your vision into a unique and delicious product by tailoring it to your event.

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An Interview with Pitch Dingman Competition Finalist: Door Robotics

In anticipation of the final round of the 2020 Pitch Dingman Competition, the Dingman Center is interviewing each of the five startup finalists about their progress and upcoming challenges as they prepare to compete for the $15,000 Grand Prize on March 10th in the Grand Ballroom of Stamp Student Union. Learn more and register to attend the competition here.

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Co-founder Josh Ermias with the Door Robotics drone prototype

Door Robotics

Joshua Ermias ’20, Public Health Sciences
Vincent Jaugan ’21, Communication and Media Studies

image005 (1)DC: Tell us about your startup.

Door Robotics: Door Robotics is helping build a future of better content. We are building a 2D and 360 camera drone and custom software enabling for lower barriers to entry for 360 content creating and post-production. A huge market facing issues with 360 cameras is the real estate virtual tour market. There are over a million real estate photographers on LinkedIn. In order to create virtual tours to post to listing site, a photographer needs to position a 360 camera on a tripod in a property, get out of the camera shot, click and capture, reposition a few feet away, and repeat the process until the whole property has been captured. They then need to pay to use 3rd party software to create virtual tours and 3D mapped layouts from the series of pictures. Our drone can autonomously fly through a property in a quarter of the time it currently takes and upload fully generated virtual tours to the cloud immediately after the flight.

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An Interview with Pitch Dingman Competition Finalist: BraceLint

In anticipation of the final round of the 2020 Pitch Dingman Competition, the Dingman Center is interviewing each of the five startup finalists about their progress and upcoming challenges as they prepare to compete for the $15,000 Grand Prize on March 10th in the Grand Ballroom of Stamp Student Union. Learn more and register to attend the competition here.

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BraceLint

Daniel Raithel ’20, Economics

BraceLint_Brand-01DC: Tell us about your startup.

BraceLint is a consumer convenience product based around the simple idea of a lint roller. During the year there are many occasions where we have to look or dress our best and present ourselves with confidence. Whether it be an interview, meeting, or a date, feeling good about your appearance is one of the best ways to get over those sometimes uncomfortable hurdles. After leaving the house you can fix your hair or makeup, but your clothes are kind of stuck the way they are. Lint rollers are bulky, often covered in hair, and are not designed to be brought out of the house. This is where the BraceLint comes in! BraceLint is an easy single-use version of a lint roller that fits flat into your pocket or bag until being propped open and used to fix your clothes in a “pinch” and get your mojo back.

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An Interview with Pitch Dingman Competition Finalist: Hydraze

In anticipation of the final round of the 2020 Pitch Dingman Competition, the Dingman Center is interviewing each of the five startup finalists about their progress and upcoming challenges as they prepare to compete for the $15,000 Grand Prize on March 10th in the Grand Ballroom of Stamp Student Union. Learn more and register to attend the competition here.

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Dean Robert Orr presenting the Hult@UMD award to Hydraze co-founders Charles Grody, Tuvia Rappaport and Jack Sturtevant

Hydraze

Charles Grody ’20, Mechanical Engineering
Jack Sturtevant ’20, Computer Engineering
Tuvia Rappaport ’20, Aerospace Engineering

hydraze_high_resDC: Tell us about your startup.

Hydraze: Hydraze is a water conservation focused startup that delivers high performance automatic toilet flushing technology for commercial buildings. Our stall-latch activated flushing product can save hundreds of dollars per toilet by reducing the number of times it flushes compared to competitor products.  We have also developed a proprietary flush tracking and optimization platform that can drastically improve a facility manager’s ability to maintain their bathroom. Hydraze drives water conservation by improving bathroom performance and generating savings.

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An Interview with Pitch Dingman Competition Finalist: AlgenAir

In anticipation of the final round of the 2020 Pitch Dingman Competition, the Dingman Center is interviewing each of the five startup finalists about their progress and upcoming challenges as they prepare to compete for the $15,000 Grand Prize on March 10th in the Grand Ballroom of Stamp Student Union. Learn more and register to attend the competition here.

AlgenAir

AlgenAir

Dan Fucich, PhD ’20 (presenting), Marine Estuary and Environmental Science
Kelsey Abernathy, PhD ’20, Environmental and Molecular Biology (UMB)

DC: Tell us about your startup.

AlgenAirLogoWithTagLineAlgenAir: AlgenAir is a photobioreactor company in Baltimore, MD that creates functional algae installations to improve the public’s health. We developed the aerium, the first natural air purifier that uses algae to clean the air we breathe. The aerium works as efficiently as 25 house plants reduce carbon dioxide and increase oxygen in your home and office space. It is available for sale on our website.

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