Category Archives: Terp Startup

Terp Startup Morning Light Esports brings some old-school competition

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 12 student startups who are participating in our virtual Terp Startup summer accelerator. Participating student entrepreneurs received a stipend up to $5,000 that would enable them to work exclusively on their startups over eight weeks in the summer.

Morning Light Esports

Founder: Harrison Burke ’20

DC: Tell us about your startup. What problem are you solving and for whom?

Burke: Morning Light is an Esports organization focused on bringing a vintage and rustic aesthetic to an industry that is currently filled with companies that are carbon copies of one another. The assumption that everyone interested in Esports wants to see brands that are edgy, neon colored, and filled with intensity, is a massive misconception to me. Everyone wants to champion something whether it’s a band, their university, or a professional team. My ambition is to build an Esports org for people who are bored of the same old thing and give them something to champion.

DC: How did you first come up with your idea?

Burke: I’ve been involved in Esports since 2013 and my obsession with antiques, vintage clothes, and classic rock goes back further than my memory serves me. When I realized that I wanted to run my own Esports organization after having worked in Esports for 2 years, it felt only right to make it harder than I had to for a challenge’s sake. I could create another boring, neon-light-covered, obnoxious brand like everyone else, or I could go a different route and look to create something that hasn’t been done before. It hit me that creating an Esports brand based on vintage and rustic themes would be a way for me to make my work an extension of myself and my identity while bringing something new to the scene.

DC: What are some major milestones you’ve achieved so far?

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360° real estate shopping by drone? Meet Terp Startup Door Robotics, Inc

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 12 student startups who are participating in our virtual Terp Startup summer accelerator. Participating student entrepreneurs received a stipend up to $5,000 that would enable them to work exclusively on their startups over eight weeks in the summer.

Door Robotics

Founders: Joshua Ermias ’20, Vincent Jaugan ’21, Patrick Crowe

DC: Tell us about your startup. What problem are you solving and for whom?

Ermias: Door Robotics is a 360-camera indoor capable drone company based in Maryland. An expensive problem that real estate photographers and content creators have is the amount of time it takes to complete a job. We set out to provide an autonomous solution that combined 360 cameras and drones. The vision for our drone is to have a Roomba-like functionality and follow-me feature that optimizes the capture of quality video/photo shots with a 360 view.

The Door Robotics Team

DC: How did you first come up with your idea?

Ermias: Initially, I came up with the idea when I was first working on drones, cameras, and 360 footage. My friend had asked me to help him make a 360 app while I was working on a drone project. I put the camera I had on the drone and realized that it added a unique perspective. At the time, there were no other drones that could do something like this, and I was inspired to dive into the startup world.

DC: What are some major milestones you’ve achieved so far?

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Small businesses now deliver with drones – Terp Startup Blimp Logistics

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 12 student startups who are participating in our virtual Terp Startup summer accelerator. Participating student entrepreneurs received a stipend up to $5,000 that would enable them to work exclusively on their startups over eight weeks in the summer.

Blimp Logistics

Founders: Camilo Melnyk ’21

DC: Tell us about your startup. What problem are you solving and for whom?

Melnyk: Blimp Logistics is a drone delivery company. We are trying to develop a complete drone logistics network that will be capable of providing ultra-fast delivery between local businesses and their customers.

DC: How did you first come up with your idea?

Melnyk: It was a mixture of following the news, interest in drones, writing a research paper for class, and boredom on a family road trip.

During the summer of 2018, my family and I were driving back to Maryland after a family vacation in Canada. A research paper I had just written on drone legislation was fresh in my mind, and to keep from falling asleep my dad and I were taking about business ideas, drones, hobbies, etc. We talked about competitors in the field, ideas blended, and I came up with what I thought was a novel approach to drone delivery.

Camilo Melnyk

After getting home I sat down and did some research. I was hooked. I had a novel idea, at this point I had already been flying and building drones for 6 years, I was majoring in aerospace engineering, and I wanted to be my own boss when I graduated. Starting my own business seemed to be the only option!

DC: What are some major milestones you’ve achieved so far?

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Modify your snacking with Terp Startup ModBars

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 12 student startups who are participating in our virtual Terp Startup summer accelerator. Participating student entrepreneurs received a stipend up to $5,000 that would enable them to work exclusively on their startups over eight weeks in the summer.

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ModBars

Founders: Jeff Su ’21, Wyatt Talcott ’21, Max Levine, Joe Oleynik

DC: Tell us about your startup. What problem are you solving and for whom?

ModBars: We are ModBars, a snack bar company with the mission to provide snacks that are nutritious, filling, and that cater to various dietary restrictions. We currently hold six flavors including two whey protein bars, two trail mix bars, a s’mores bar and a coffee energy bar. We will soon introduce complete customization to ensure individual freedom and unique value to our customers. By visiting our website you will be able to choose from a list of ingredients and create your own bars from scratch. Our target audience includes health conscious, young people who aim to accommodate their chosen lifestyles, diets, and/or allergies.

DC: How did you first come up with your idea?

ModBars: Growing up with a severe tree-nut allergy, I [Jeff] had to be extremely cautious about what I was eating. When I started high school, I began taking nutrition more seriously for my competitive swimming career. I noticed, however, that it was difficult to find a nut-free protein bar that I could eat after practice. The ones I did find either tasted awful, were too sugary, or contained chemicals that weren’t even pronounceable. Fed up with the lack of available options, I recruited four other student-athletes and together we created our own bar. We spent five months researching and experimenting with different kinds of ingredients. After batch #94, the five of us finally achieved a low-sugar, nut-free, high-protein granola bar, known today as the Viking Whey. We immediately received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our classmates and teachers at school, and thus, ModBars was born. Since then, we have developed new recipes and expanded our business to a larger community. We hope you enjoy our bars!

DC: What are some major milestones you’ve achieved so far?

ModBars: Since obtaining our LLC in early 2017, we have taken many large steps towards achieving our goal of being in multiple Whole Foods. We have created six starter flavors ranging from whey protein bars to trailmix and dessert bars. In the Summer of 2019, we were able to get our product in our local summer swim club snack bars. That Fall, we were semi-finalists at the annual Pitch Dingman Competition. This Spring, we received the Jason ‘96 & Jamie Cohen Entrepreneurship Fund Award, given to budding University of Maryland startups, along with a small grant.

DC: What drives you to keep going?

ModBars: There’s no better feeling than exceeding someone’s expectations when you have them try your product for the first time. We want to get rid of the stigma associated with the bad taste of protein bars, one person at a time. We want to help people with severe allergies like our CEO Jeff to find an affordable snack.

DC: How do you feel about working in a cohort with fellow student entrepreneurs?

ModBars: Luckily, we’ve had the opportunity to work with other UMD startups over the spring semester in Dingman’s New Venture Practicum course and it was a really great experience for us there. We were able to meet with many companies outside of our industry and even some competing snack bar companies, which offered us a wide variety of knowledge and expertise. We hope to continue to explore the relationships we’ve built with other student entrepreneurs, both through that course as well as our other involvement with Dingman. We greatly value the importance of collaboration and are thankful to be part of Terp Startup!

DC: What are you hoping to achieve during Terp Startup this summer?

ModBars: With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing us from manufacturing, we hope to focus on our company’s R&D — from creating a newsletter to developing a more user-friendly website to gathering more consumer data — over the summer so that when the school year starts and we move back into our kitchen, we can hit the ground running.

For the booked, the busy and the bougie: Terp Startup O.pal.es.cent Nails

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 12 student startups who are participating in our virtual Terp Startup summer accelerator. Participating student entrepreneurs received a stipend up to $5,000 that would enable them to work exclusively on their startups over eight weeks in the summer.

O.pal.es.cent Nails

Founder: Doyinsola Oladimeji-Stevens ’20

DC: Tell us about your startup. What problem are you solving and for whom?

Oladimeji-Stevens: O•pal•es•cent Nails is a custom handmade press-on nail company for the booked, the busy, and the bougie. Our purpose is to give people back their time, convenience, and money without sacrificing on quality. We are targeting people who are tired of spending hundreds of dollars a month on nails that on average only last 2 weeks before they have to go in and do the same thing all over again. Millions of dollars are spent annually on nails that might last for 3 weeks at best. Why buy something temporary when you can invest in something long-lasting?

DC: How did you first come up with your idea?

Doyinsola Oladimeji-Stevens

Oladimeji-Stevens: I had always been interested in nails and nail art. In high school, I would spend hours on a Saturday doing a nail design on my left hand that would end up chipping by the next week. I initially bought some nail tips sophomore year of college to be able to do the same designs but in a form that I could reuse. I first came up with my business idea in October and it was as if a light bulb went off. I honestly thought to myself, “Why hadn’t I been doing this sooner?!”

DC: What are some major milestones you’ve achieved so far?

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Terp Startup Sow Co: Reap (and eat) what you sow

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 12 student startups who are participating in our virtual Terp Startup summer accelerator. Participating student entrepreneurs received a stipend up to $5,000 that would enable them to work exclusively on their startups over eight weeks in the summer.

Sow Co

Founder: Jacques Marais ’20

DC: Tell us about your startup. What problem are you solving and for whom?

Sow Co aspires to help you satisfy your human need to be involved in the process of growing and enjoying food while appreciating the warmth and personality of a bountiful, hanging, in home veggie garden.

DC: How did you first come up with your idea?

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Suss Up Your Wardrobe with Terp Startup Sustainable Socialite

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 12 student startups who are participating in our virtual Terp Startup summer accelerator. Participating student entrepreneurs received a stipend up to $5,000 that would enable them to work exclusively on their startups over eight weeks in the summer.

The Sustainable Socialite

Founder: Sarah Lader ’20, Family Science

DC: Tell us about your startup. What problem are you solving and for whom?

Founder, Sarah Lader

Lader: Vintage fashion isn’t affordable, thrift stores aren’t time efficient, and retail stores are not only poor quality, but harm the environment with every new item made. The Sustainable Socialite curates bold, quality, unique pre-loved pieces to sell at an affordable price so that you can stand out from the crowd while standing up to fight against fast fashion. Not only that, but we’ll be bringing the product directly to you to try and fall in love with! With a new mobile boutique, this innovative company will be a one of a kind shopping experience.

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Upgrade Your Style with Terp Startup Wanderlust Wardrobe

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 12 student startups who are participating in our virtual Terp Startup summer accelerator. Participating student entrepreneurs received a stipend up to $5,000 that would enable them to work exclusively on their startups over eight weeks in the summer.

Wanderlust Wardrobe

Founder: Lucy Bedewi ’20, Marketing

Logo (1)

DC: Tell us about your startup. What problem are you solving and for whom?

Bedewi: Shopping is confusing. Styling yourself and dressing well is an art. Every single day we are flooded with ads telling us what to wear, where to shop, what’s in style and that we have to buy all of it. Through Wanderlust Wardrobe, I help people discover what to wear through easy and accessible fashion styling resources. By using a combination of face to face styling, video chatting and texting, everyone is now able to find confidence in their wardrobe every single day.

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Terp Startup Vitalize Solves Physician Burnout with Dedicated Wellness App

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 12 student startups who are participating in our virtual Terp Startup summer accelerator. Participating student entrepreneurs received a stipend up to $5,000 that would enable them to work exclusively on their startups over eight weeks in the summer.

Vitalize

Founders:

Sanketh Andhavarapu ’23, Neuroeconomics (Individualized Studies); Neurobiology and Physiology double major; Innovation and Entrepreneurship minor (left)
Veeraj Shah ’21, Neurobiology and Physiology; Health Sciences, Policy and Technology double major (right)

Interested in becoming a customer? Fill out this customer discovery form.

VitalizeDC: Tell us about your startup. What problem are you solving and for whom?

Our startup, Vitalize, is the first wellness app designed specifically for physicians. 

42% of our country’s physicians report experiencing burnout, a syndrome characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and diminished sense of accomplishment. The consequences of physician burnout are multifold, severely affecting physicians themselves, patients, and hospital systems. The extensive body of literature around the topic of physician burnout culminates into a crucial conclusion: a high performing healthcare system isn’t possible with such high rates of burnout. Simply put, physician burnout is a public health crisis.

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Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with Terp Startup SweetsbyCaroline

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 12 student startups who are participating in our virtual Terp Startup summer accelerator. Participating student entrepreneurs received a stipend up to $5,000 that would enable them to work exclusively on their startups over eight weeks in the summer.

SweetsbyCaroline

Founder: Caroline Ta ’21, Marketing major

logo 2 (1)DC: Tell us about your startup. What problem are you solving and for whom?

Ta: SweetsbyCaroline is a baking business that specializes in custom gluten free french macarons, as well as cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts that are perfect for engagements, weddings, parties, and other events. It’s estimated that over 32 million Americans have food allergies and 1% of the U.S. population has Celiac disease. As consumers today are opting to follow a healthy lifestyle and reaching for all natural and convenient options, we want to provide health conscious people with affordable, custom gluten free bite sized desserts, to satisfy their sweet craving. We have an assortment of unique flavors such as fruity pebbles and s’mores and a variety of packaging options that are great for any event.

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