Category Archives: Terp Startup

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. 


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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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. 


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: 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.

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. 


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

SynaptoLogo on white_White BkgrdSynapto

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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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.



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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Learning the Mind Palace Technique with Terp Startup NuroSTREAM

On Nov. 20, 2020, Terp Startup NuroSTREAM hosted a free Mind Palace workshop at Startup Shell, UMD’s student-run incubator. The workshop was designed to test their startup’s neuroscience-based study platform. NuroSTREAM is participating in the Dingman Center’s Terp Startup Fellows program pilot, which provides continued resources and funding support for selected graduates from our Terp Startup summer accelerator. The following is one student’s account of her experience in the workshop.

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by: Allison Criswell ’21

Just in time for finals season, NuroSTREAM hosted a memorization strategy “Mind Palace”at UMD. The mind palace technique originated in ancient Greece, when a poet experienced a disaster and was later able to walk himself through the scene in his mind, recalling where each person was sitting when it happened. Beyond remembering where dead people were, NuroSTREAM is bringing this to students as a study method. Students can link facts or sequences with specific locations, senses (smell, touch, etc.), and emotions in order to keep them in their mind when that big exam comes. To explain, let me use the number memorization example given in the workshop.

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Catching Up With Ladies First Founder Jasmine Snead of Aurora Tights


by: Hannah Shraim ’20, Dingman Center Marketing Intern

Updated March 31, 2020

Jasmine Snead ’17, MPP/MBA ’21 is a first year MBA student at the University of Maryland. She is set to graduate with a joint degree in policy and business in 2021. Snead majored in Government and Politics as an undergraduate at UMD and was part of the pilot Ladies’ First Founders cohort. 

We sat down with Aurora Tights Co-Founder and 2019 Pitch Dingman Competition winner Jasmine Snead to talk about her experiences as an entrepreneur. 

Snead was a part of Ladies’ First, a course launched by the Dingman Center to help increase the number of women involved in entrepreneurship at UMD. After launching the program, Dingman saw that female engagement in our programs increased from 25% to 40%. 

While Snead makes it look seamless with her many accolades, starting a venture is no easy feat. After launching her company, which sells apparel for performers of all skin tones and sizes, Snead was in search of guidance and mentorship. 

“I wanted to be in an atmosphere to grow with women founders and discuss [the challenges] we were facing,” she said. Ladies’ First became that community for her. 

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Get to Know the Amazing Team Behind Terp Startup

In addition to Dingman Center staff, this summer we brought on two Terps to help run the day-to-day operations of our Terp Startup accelerator. Recent Smith MBA graduate Katharine McHugh, MBA ’19 joined as a Venture Associate to take the lead in managing the programming, providing on-site advising and support, tracking goals and helping the cohort generally make the most out of their experience. Katharine’s efforts were supported by Accelerator Intern Tunji Onigbanjo ’19, a Smith School finance major and recent graduate who will be starting a position at Bloomberg in the fall. We are so grateful for their support this summer. Read on to hear their perspective on Terp Startup.


Katharine McHugh, MBA ’20, Venture Associate & Tunji Onigbanjo, Accelerator Intern

DC: What got you interested in entrepreneurship and Terp Startup?

Katharine: I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship because I love innovation and thinking about how things might be done in new and different ways. I also love entrepreneurs — nothing like taking a risk to get the blood pumping! I did my MBA at UMD because of the Dingman Center and have enjoyed participating in the center’s various initiatives. I am beyond thrilled that I got to be involved in Terp Startup.

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Terp Startup The DMV Come Up is a Production Company Serving People of Color

This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the fifteen student startups who are participating in our Terp Startup summer accelerator at the College Park WeWork. 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 DMV Come Up

unnamedFounder & CEO: Sadia Alao ’20, Marketing & Theater Double Major

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

Alao: The DMV Come Up is a nonprofit, college-age run, DMV-based creative multimedia production collective for people of color that produces imaginative and original content. Young minority creatives are currently inaccurately and stereotypically represented in the media industry from the angry black woman, the welfare queen to the latino high school dropout and impoverished Native American. I also know firsthand that many of us in the DMV don’t have the resources, network, or support system to nurture our creative talents. We’re aiming to empower young underrepresented creatives in the multimedia industry to create the content they want to see in the world and understand that it does not have to be done alone. 

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