Category Archives: student entrepreneur

Senior Send-Off: Nadia Edet of BlessedBraids

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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Nadia Edet – BlessedBraids

Nadia Edet ’20, a Maryland Smith International Business major, is the founder of BlessedBraids, a hair braiding business she has been operating full steam for four years. Last summer, she was accepted into our Terp Startup summer accelerator and achieved her goal of opening her first braiding shop. We look forward to staying connected with Nadia to hear how BlessedBraids continues to grow.

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Senior Send-Off: Jonathan Schneider, COO of ENLY

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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Jonathan Schneider – ENLY

Jonathan (Jonny) Schneider ’20, a senior finance and information systems double major, first connected with the Dingman Center as the chief operations officer of ENLY, a fashion tech app to allow fashion customers to try on and buy designer clothing in a virtual marketplace. ENLY’s founder and CEO, finance major Tom Savransky ’20, participated in the 2019 Terp Startup Accelerator, and later graduated to our pilot of the Terp Startup Fellows program, which provides additional seed funding up to $20K and co-working space for Terp Startup alumni who have demonstrated a strong commitment to their venture. Tom moved in and brought Jonny with him, where they proceeded to work on ENLY for 10 hours each week at the Dingman Center. Through Terp Startup Fellows they were able to attend strategic fashion shows and forge connections with retailers and investors to help refine their business model. They also completed development of their app and redesigned their website. It has been a pleasure for our staff to get to know Jonny during this time, and we look forward to staying connected with him and ENLY after graduation.

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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: Ladies First Founders

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: Jessica Rosenthal, Monica Pizzo, Hannah Shraim, Lucy Bedewi, Dana Hashem

Ladies First Founders

Lucy Bedewi ’20 (Cohort 3), Marketing major, founder of Wanderlust Wardrobe
Dana Hashem ’20 (Cohort 2), Neuroscience major, founder of Care for a Terp
Monica Pizzo ’20 (Cohort 3), Chinese Language major, founder of LUMXN
Jessica Rosenthal ’20 (Cohort 1), Mechanical engineering major, founder of Good Stuff Good Works
Hannah Shraim ’20 (Cohort 3), Business management major, founder of Libre Looks

Today is the final day of classes for cohort 3 of Ladies First Founders, our course for female and non-binary founders to gain the necessary business skills and soft skills to successfully launch a startup. We sat down with some past and present cohort members who are graduating this spring to touch base on their ventures, their post-graduation plans and learn more about how they grew during and after the course.

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Dingman TV: The Sustainable Socialite

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. 

SustainableSocialiteThe Sustainable Socialite

The Sustainable Socialite is a sustainable fashion startup founded by University of Maryland student Sarah Lader ’20.  Sarah completed this video for the Dingman Center’s Fearless Founders: New Venture Practicum course, taught by Maryland Smith professor Oliver Schlake. In addition to New Venture Practicum, Sarah is a member of the spring 2020 Ladies First Founders cohort and will be participating in the Summer 2020 virtual Terp Startup Accelerator. She also aims to spread her passion for entrepreneurship as the new President of EnTERPreneur, the undergraduate entrepreneurship club at UMD.

Follow The Sustainable Socialite, browse and buy their looks on Instagram: @thesustainablesocialite.

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

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

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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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Tips for Entrepreneurs Looking to Stay Busy in Spring 2020

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Updated April 6, 2020

Terps, you’re officially back from break but hopefully home, safe and healthy while our country navigates the COVID-19 crisis for the foreseeable future. Staff at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship know this time is especially tough for entrepreneurs and freelancers. We hear you and we are here for you to help you maintain your momentum. Even if you’re putting sales and traction on hold, there are other ways that you can build your business and keep the hustle alive. Remember, Isaac Newton invented calculus and Shakespeare wrote King Lear under quarantine from plagues. Below are some resources and recommendations from the Dingman Center on how to make the most of this opportunity for productivity and creativity. We’ll continue to update this post with more resources as we find and share them.

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Introducing the 2020 Ladies First Founders Cohort

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by: Hannah Shraim ’20, Dingman Center Marketing Intern

Ladies First Badges-RosesmallIt’s Women’s History Month! While every month should commemorate the contributions that women have made and continue to make in society, any opportunity to highlight the stories of fearless women is one that we should take. As part of the Dingman Center’s Ladies First initiative to get more female and non-binary founders involved in entrepreneurship at University of Maryland, we select a cohort of students every spring for our Ladies First Founders course. Taught by Sara Herald, MBA ’11, the Center’s Director of Venture Development, Ladies First Champion and Maryland Smith’s co-chair of the Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, students enrolled in Ladies First Founders learn soft skills to achieve success in entrepreneurship and beyond. During Women’s History Month, we are excited to introduce the diverse and talented group of young women that make up the third cohort of Ladies First Founders.

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