Category Archives: Speaker Series

Lessons Learned from the Hisaoka Speakers Series Founders Panel

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From left: Moderator, Robert Hisaoka; Jeff Grass; Kristen McClellan; Paul Capriolo ’06

By: Matthew A. Talley ’21, Dingman Center Marketing Intern

On Tuesday, February 19th, the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship hosted the fifth event in our Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series, a Founders Panel which featured three successful entrepreneurs who started their businesses as students. In a panel moderated by Robert Hisaoka ’79, Paul Capriolo ’06, Kristen McClellan, and Jeff Grass shared some of the insights they learned along with the challenges they’ve faced turning their ideas into incredibly successful and thriving companies.

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Hisaoka Speaker Series Founders Panel Preview: Jeff Grass

The Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series continues with a Founders Panel on Tuesday, February 19 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. Panelists Paul Capriolo ’06, Kristen McClellan and Jeff Grass are all successful entrepreneurs who started their businesses as students. In a panel moderated by Robert Hisaoka ’79, students, staff, faculty and alumni will hear about the experiences and challenges each founder faced transforming their ideas into lucrative businesses. Register now to attend, and stay tuned to our blog to learn more about each of the panelists.

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HUNGRY – Jeff Grass

In 1998 while pursuing his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Jeff Grass co founded PayMyBills.com, which he led until it’s eventual sale for $67 million in 2001. Since then, Jeff has emerged as a serial entrepreneur and proven leader with a track record of building great teams and successful businesses, including: LiveSafe, Inc., buySAFE, Inc., and HUNGRY.

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Hisaoka Speaker Series Founders Panel Preview: Kristen McClellan

The Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series continues with a Founders Panel on Tuesday, February 19 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. Panelists Paul Capriolo ’06, Kristen McClellan and Jeff Grass are all successful entrepreneurs who started their businesses as students. In a panel moderated by Robert Hisaoka, students, staff, faculty and alumni will hear about the experiences and challenges each founder faced transforming their ideas into lucrative businesses. Register now to attend, and stay tuned to our blog to learn more about each of the panelists.

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SnappyScreen, Inc. – Kristen McClellan

Kristen is the Founder & CEO of SnappyScreen. SnappyScreen is the world’s first touchless sunscreen application system. Customers select their SPF, height and receive an even application of sunscreen in seconds. SnappyScreen’s proprietary sunscreen, SunStyles, is one of the only formulas that is oxybenzone-free, paraben-free, reef-safe and does not stain clothing.

SnappyScreen was born on a family vacation after Kristen watched her sister apply sunscreen for 20 minutes and still end up with a splotchy tan. After researching sunscreen, Kristen realized more people have skin cancer than all other cancers combined yet sunscreen sales continue to soar. While people are purchasing sunscreen, only 1/3 apply correctly. Kristen then dedicated her undergraduate career at Cornell to finding a solution. While at school, she built 3 prototypes and beta tested the machine at two Caribbean hotels. In 2015, Kristen competed in the 10th annual Cupid’s Cup business competition and won third place and $5,000.

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Hisaoka Speaker Series Founders Panel Preview: Paul Capriolo ’06

The Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series continues with a Founders Panel on Tuesday, February 19 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. Panelists Paul Capriolo ’06, Kristen McClellan and Jeff Grass are all successful entrepreneurs who started their businesses as students. In a panel moderated by Robert Hisaoka, students, staff, faculty and alumni will hear about the experiences and challenges each founder faced transforming their ideas into lucrative businesses. Register now to attend, and stay tuned to our blog to learn more about each of the panelists.

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Social Growth Technologies – Paul Capriolo ‘06

Throughout his career as an UMD alumnus and serial entrepreneur, Paul has founded and led a multitude of technology startups to successful acquisitions. In 2009, Paul noticed the explosive growth in the social gaming industry and the lack of a monetization method to capitalize on its user base. Paul started Social Growth Technologies to serve as a flexible platform that allows companies to monetize the social gaming market through in-game advertising. After seven years of growth and expansion, Paul recently secured an acquisition of Social Growth Technologies by Kiswe Mobile in 2016.

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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 Entrepreneurship Day in Van Munching Hall

By: Eric Elliot

The Dingman Center is lucky to be a part of a fantastic community filled with motivated student and alumni entrepreneurs. To celebrate this strong spirit of entrepreneurship at UMD, we hosted Entrepreneurship Day on Tuesday, April 17, which featured student startups at Terp Marketplace during the afternoon and serial technology entrepreneur Raul Fernandez at the Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series later that evening.

Terp Marketplace

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Terp Marketplace was an opportunity for student startups to showcase and sell their products & services directly to the Smith community. This semester, we had a huge turnout from students, staff, faculty and alumni who were eager to see the 30 startups on display. A few participants featured included Pitch Dingman Competition second place winner Brianna Queen ’18 of BEEQBOX with her popular F*ckboy Repellent illuminating setting spray, and alumni startup FroDoh, who brought samples of their tasty frozen doughnut holes. The students who participated have taken part in our Fearless Founders Accelerator program, Ladies First Founders or Professor David Kressler’s 461 Entrepreneurship class.

Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series featuring Raul Fernandez

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UMD alumnus and highly successful entrepreneur Raul Fernandez ’90 traveled to Van Munching Hall for an intimate conversation with Robert Hisaoka ’79 on his experiences in entrepreneurship. As the former founder of Proxicom and currently the Vice Chairman and Owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Raul shared some of the key lessons he learned through his journey and valuable pieces of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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10 Things to Know About Raul Fernandez

by: Eric Elliot

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The next Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series takes place on April 17 at 6 p.m. in Frank Auditorium and will feature UMD alumnus Raul Fernandez ’90, the current Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. Click here to register for the event and read on for some interesting facts about this successful entrepreneur and philanthropist!

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Key Takeaways from the Hisaoka Speaker Series Young Founders Panel

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From left: Moderator, Robert Hisaoka; Bradley Deyo; Brandon Deyo; Evan Lutz; Ali von Paris

By: Eric Elliot

On Tuesday, February 13, the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship hosted the second event in our Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series, a Young Founders Panel which featured four successful entrepreneurs who launched their ventures as students. In a panel moderated by Robert Hisaoka, Ali von Paris ’12, Evan Lutz ’14, Brandon Deyo and Bradley Deyo shared some of the insights they learned along with the challenges they faced turning their dorm room ventures into thriving businesses.

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Hisaoka Speaker Series Young Founders Panel Preview: Brandon and Bradley Deyo

By: Eric Elliot

RGHisaoka_LOGO_2The Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series continues with a Young Founders Panel on Tuesday, February 13 from 5:00-6:45 p.m. Panelists Ali von Paris ’12, Evan Lutz ’14 and Brandon and Bradley Deyo are all successful entrepreneurs who started their businesses as students. In a panel moderated by Robert Hisaoka, students, staff, faculty and alumni will hear about the experiences and challenges each founder faced while turning their dorm room startups into lucrative businesses.

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Mars Reel – Brandon and Bradley Deyo

Mars Reel started eight years ago in February, 2010, when Brandon and Bradley Deyo were sophomores playing basketball at Richard Montgomery High School. They dreamed of being recruited by a college basketball program and landing a scholarship; however, they were just like everybody else. Teammates and other high school athletes were also vying for the same limited media attention. In an attempt to get noticed by recruiters, Brandon and Bradley began recording highlights of their games and sent them to recruiters. Word quickly began to spread about the brothers who brought cameras to every game, and soon, friends, teammates, and players from other teams began asking for help. The brothers served as contractual cameramen and taught themselves how to edit videos. Mars Reel quickly became a small production studio for high school basketball athletes looking to get noticed, and the highlight clips on Mars Reel grew exponentially. Within a year, Brandon and Bradley Deyo received the 2011 Ernst & Young “Youth Entrepreneur” of the Year Award.

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Hisaoka Speaker Series Young Founders Panel Preview: Ali von Paris

By: Eric Elliot

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The Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series continues with a Young Founders Panel on Tuesday, February 13 from 5:00-6:45 p.m. Panelists Ali von Paris ’12, Evan Lutz ’14 and Brandon and Bradley Deyo are all successful entrepreneurs who started their businesses as students. In a panel moderated by Robert Hisaoka, students, staff, faculty and alumni will hear about the experiences and challenges each founder faced while turning their dorm room startups into lucrative businesses. Register now to attend, and stay tuned to our blog to learn more about each of the panelists.

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Route One Apparel – Ali von Paris ’12

In November 2010, Ali von Paris was faced with no work after the bar she worked at, the Thirsty Turtle, closed down. Wanting to honor the fallen bar along with her co-workers, Ali designed her first product, the “Turtle Survivor” jersey. Even though the jersey was initially targeted toward the employees, other fans of the bar quickly became interested. Ali saw this as an opportunity to leverage her passion for design and creativity into a business. Utilizing her social media channels, Ali advertised the jersey to her friends and family and secured 600 pre-orders for the product within just a few weeks, marking the start of Route One Apparel.

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