Tag Archives: competition

Winning the China Business Model Competition

By: Tiffany Chang

L-R: Prerana Delal, Tiffany Chang, Justin Taubman, Shuichi Manabe, Brent Goldfarb

L-R: Prerana Delal, Tiffany Chang, Justin Taubman, Shuichi Manabe, Brent Goldfarb

I can’t believe the competition is already over and our trip to China is winding to an end…but another thing I’m still trying to wrap my head around is WINNING FIRST PLACE!!

My team and our business idea, Style Star, a personal stylist mobile app, took first place among some truly excellent competing models, and the Smith School once again is coming home with such great honor and such excitement to actually put our $3,000 prize money to good use in launching our app development. Terps also took 2nd place and an assortment of individual awards. Continue reading

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College Park, MD – February 24, 2015 – Twelve startups have been selected from nearly 200 worldwide entries to advance to the semifinal round in the Tenth Annual Cupid’s Cup Business Competition, presented by Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank and the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. The entrepreneurs will present on March 10 at Under Armour’s global headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland. The top five startups will compete for $115,000 in total prizes at the final round to be held April 22 at the University of Maryland in College Park.

Semifinalists will travel from across the country and Canada to spend the day pitching their businesses and interviewing with the investors, entrepreneurship experts, and Under Armour executives who will serve as judges. Plank and the judges will narrow the applicant pool to five finalists who will compete for a transformative prize package including $115,000 in total cash prizes ($75,000 for the grand-prize winner), coaching from a team of successful entrepreneurs, and the prestigious Cupid’s Cup.

The twelve semifinalists represent 11 universities and a broad range of industries. They are:

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Checking In with John Lewandowski, Cupid’s Cup 2014 Grand Prize Winner


On Nov. 1, the application opened for the 10th Annual Cupid’s Cup; the University of Maryland’s national business competition chaired by Kevin Plank ’96, founder and CEO of Under Armour. In thinking about the 10th anniversary of Cupid’s Cup, we’re taking a look back at past winners and semifinalists whose companies have made it “big” after participating in the nation’s toughest business competition. We’ll start with last year’s grand prize winner, John Lewandowski.


RAM (Rapid Assessment of Malaria)

ddg logo final

John is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the founder and CEO of Disease Diagnostic Group (DDG), a medical device company specializing in the development of rapid, accurate, reusable, mechanical, and inexpensive disease diagnostic tests. DDG’s flagship product is RAM (Rapid Assessment of Malaria), a potable device that can detect an infection using, basically, a laser pointer and a refrigerator magnet.


Cupid’s Cup 2014 Grand Prize Winner, John Lewandowski, with Kevin Plank, Founder & CEO of Under Armour

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Inside the Cupid’s Cup Semifinals

Typically, when you hear Cupid’s Cup you think of a big stage, cash prizes, 1,000 people in the audience, and five student entrepreneurs pitching to Under Armour Founder & CEO, Kevin Plank. Yes, the final competition is grand. But what often gets overlooked is the day-long semifinal round at the Under Armour headquarters. According to the semifinalists themselves, this is one of the most valuable aspects of the Cupid’s Cup experience, even for those who don’t advance to the final round.

In February, 12 of the country’s top student entrepreneurs will be flown to Baltimore, MD to participate in the semifinals at the Under Armour headquarters. During this rigorous competition at the legendary Under Armour campus, semifinalists will hear an exciting address from Plank and pitch their business to judges from Under Armour and the Dingman Center. At the end of the day, Plank will announce the five student entrepreneurs who will take the big stage on April 4.

Does you have what it takes to compete in Cupid’s Cup? Would you like to join us at the semifinal round at the Under Armour headquarters? Submit an application by the January 6 deadline by visiting www.cupidscup.com.

Questions about Cupid’s Cup? Contact Holly DeArmond at hdearmond@rhsmith.umd.edu

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Pitch Dingman Competition Finalists Announced

A better job search system. Destroyed iPhones. Email without boundaries. Bacon. Those are just some of the business ideas submitted for the fall Pitch Dingman Competition set for Thursday, Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m. The Dingman Center is hosting the competition as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. For those of you in the know, this will be no ordinary Pitch Dingman Competition. We have secured an all-start line-up of judges lead by Timothy Chi, CEO of WeddingWire. Chi will deliver a keynote address before the finalists take the stage to pitch. Joining Chi on the judge’s panel are Alex Triantis, Dean of the Smith School; Tari Cash, Under Armour; Amy Millman, Springboard Enterprises; and Smith School alumnus Lane Wiggers, Cordam Group.

As part of the expanded competition, applicants participated in an additional round of screening. Last week, ten semifinalists pitched Dingman Center staff and entrepreneur-in-residence, Harry Geller. The pitches were strong and the decision was tough. Take a look below to learn about the five startups competing for $3,500 in prize money in the final round. Attendees also get a say–register today to make sure you get a seat and vote for your favorite startup to win the $500 Audience Choice Prize.  Congratulations to the finalists!


Bacon Barbell / Toni Zhang:  Bacon Barbell makes tank tops for gym bros. The founder has designed tank tops that accentuate the muscles lifters work so hard to gain.

Kivvik /  Leon Nwankwo: Kivvik plans to revolutionize the job search industry by establishing a user friendly system that improves compatibility between employers and professionals.

Pride Shorts / Ian Moritz:  Pride Shorts combine classic khaki shorts with college pride patterned embroideries creating clothing that incorporates college spirit with everyday lifestyle.

Quickmailcheck / Sam Feldman:  This service allows “dumb phone” owners to access email without Internet. The service works 100% through text and picture messages.

SellMyOldTech.com / Harrison Baum:  This startup provides the fastest and easiest way to sell old or broken smartphones. The team erases the phone and disassembles it to use the parts in another device.

About Timothy Chi


Timothy Chi
Chief Executive Officer, WeddingWire

Timothy founded WeddingWire with the vision of infusing technology into the wedding and event industry. In less than five years, WeddingWire has become the largest online marketplace connecting local merchants with engaged couples. For over 100,000 local merchants, WeddingWire provides a marketing platform to reach prospective clients, to manage multi-media assets, and to network with other merchants. For engaged couples, WeddingWire provides vendor recommendations, local business reviews, personal website creation, and a suite of online planning tools.
Previously, Timothy co-founded Blackboard Inc. in 1998. While at Blackboard, Timothy pioneered many of Blackboard’s product and strategic initiatives, helping the company grow to over 600 employees and a valuation of over $750 Million.
Timothy holds a B.S. degree in Operations Research/Industrial Engineering from Cornell University and a Master’s of Science degree in Engineering Management from Tufts University.

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Worth Reading 8/30/13

It was an exciting week for The Dingman Center. We are thrilled to see MBA students coming back to campus for the start of another great academic year. A highlight from the week was Wednesday when the first year MBA students hosted MBA Marketplace, a fundraising competition to test out students’ creativity. Staff had fun using monopoly money to shop at the Marketplace. We also welcomed a new Dingman team member, Adam Van Wagner. Adam is our Community and Venture Programs Coordinator so many of you hear from him via email. When you’re in the office stop by and say hello.

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Let’s check out what’s worth reading for this week:

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Dingman Center Summer Preview

The Dingman Center is gearing up for a productive yet fun summer. While many students in our community will be away at exciting internships and visits home, the Dingman Center will offer a range of activities for those still in the area. Entrepreneurs-in-Residence will be here to advise students on their business ideas. A group of Chinese MBA students will visit to experience how we practice entrepreneurship. Finally, we’ll host Jumpstart, a bootcamp where budding entrepreneurs will learn and apply the principles of the lean startup methodology. Take a deeper look into our summer plans.


Pitch Dingman doesn’t stop for the summer. While sessions will not be held every Friday as they are during the academic year there are still opportunities to receive feedback and advising from Entrepreneurs-in-Residence. Go to ter.ps/EIR2013 to view available appointment times and sign-up.

Jumpstart-24Aug12-1In July, the Dingman Center along with the Office of Global Programs will host a group of MBA students from Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management with an interest in entrepreneurship. This visit reflects the ongoing relationship between the Dingman Center and Peking University, located in Beijing, China, as they host the Center’s annual China Business Plan Competition. The visit includes lectures from distinguished faculty and workshops focused on venture creation. The group will spend time off campus visiting local startups and institutions such as the World Bank, George Washington University and the Maryland Capital State House.

dingmanjumpstartAs is our tradition, we will close the summer with Dingman Jumpstart, an intensive five-day boot camp where University of Maryland students and alumni can learn to build and refine their own businesses. Jumpstart will take place August 19-23 at Van Munching Hall, home of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Here’s a preview of what to expect at Jumpstart!

554602_10151141596321692_1878693767_nLearn from the best through hands-on workshops and interactive advising sessions led by successful entrepreneurs, business executives, and investors.

523084_10151120817821692_1570764542_nMeet like-minded entrepreneurs in your own community and start building your network of mentors and peers.

Jumpstart-24Aug12-8End the week by pitching your business idea to a panel of expert entrepreneurs. Following program completion, apply to the Dingman Center’s EnTERPreneur Academy where you can have access to a wide variety of workshops and the option to compete in Pitch Dingman Competitions held throughout the school year.

So what are you waiting for? End your summer by starting your business at Dingman Jumpstart!  Details and registration information can be found at ter.ps/jumpstart

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Meet the 5 Startups Competing in Friday’s Pitch Dingman Competition

The last Pitch Dingman Competition of the school year will take place this Friday, May 3 at 11 a.m. in Tyser Auditorium, Van Munching Hall.  Five ambitious student startups from the University of Maryland will compete for the chance to win $2,500 in startup funding. After the pitches, attendees will vote to award their favorite startup $500 for the Audience Choice Award. After the competition, students can stay for an entrepreneurial mixer where we will celebrate another successful year of Pitch Dingman. Lunch will be provided!  You can RSVP to attend Pitch Dingman here.

To get you ready for Friday, here’s a little preview of our finalists:

Cart Noodlescart noodles logoTeam: Hon laam Fung

Our mission is to provide affordable and authentic Hong Kong styled cuisine served in a fast and convenient manner tailored towards college students. With all ingredients ready and cooked, customers only need to specify what they want in their order, and the time they spend waiting is however long it takes to move through line. In less than three minutes, the transaction is complete and the consumers enjoy gourmet soup noodles with a price lower than anywhere on campus.

Sweet Buds

Team: David Kravitz, Ningwei Li, Allan Nicholas, Peter Weng and Erica Yingling

Imagine a future where all you have to do to smell great is put on your earrings. Sweet Buds allows for a functional and worry free way to smell great throughout the day. Our innovative idea revolutionizes the way you wear perfume by conveniently placing it in your earring backing. The perfume releases when our customer puts on the earring and punctures the plastic backing. The perfume then diffuses slowly from the opening allowing the user to smell great all day. This will change the way people wear perfume.

Ethan Grundleger, Mohammad Zia, Hafie Yillah and Saheed Badmus

BOVER is an E-commerce platform that connects small-scale farmers with large scale retailers. Our system uses SMS technology paired with a web-based marketplace to enable small scale and low yielding farmers to aggregate their yields, and sell at a fair market price to small and large buyers. The mobile application and website will work in tandem to streamline agricultural value chains around the world. The project’s innovation lies in its ability to move the agriculture value chain towards the 21st Century by increasing transparency and promoting modernization


Team: Mark Olcott, Kalpesh Raval, Aman Sharma, Greg Rea and Kristina Bailey

As a practicing veterinarian, I can say with complete confidence that the way we share medical information in the pet industry is broken and outdated. At Vitus, we will use modern IT to create innovative, web-based personal health records for pets that will help veterinarians grow their practice, improve hospital efficiency, and save lives.


Terpeture logo NEWTeam:
Johnny Dubbaneh, Ronnie Dubbaneh, Danny Dubbaneh, Alacendro Paratore and Shahzad

Terpiture is a furniture rental business created to help make the move-in and move-out process smooth for both students and their parents. Having Terpiture on campus will be an asset exclusive to the Maryland community, making students’ time here more enjoyable.The great thing about Terpiture is that it’s very simple and easily accessible. It will be available via social networking, texting, and email, which will make the students’ experience even more personal than having to deal with a large corporation.

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Alla Corey Recaps the 2013 Cupid’s Cup

By Alla Corey, Program Manager at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship
Originally posted in the Smith School Part-Time MBA Blog.

Cupids Cup - pic 2While there are plenty of business plan competitions, the Cupid’s Cup Business Competition is the only one of its kind – students must be beyond writing a plan and have an operating business. This raises the bar significantly and makes the competition a lot more interesting.

Judged and sponsored by Kevin Plank’96, founder and CEO or Under Armour, Cupid’s Cup was launched in 2006 and has grown from a small event in Van Munching Hall to a national competition and showcase with 1,000 attendees.

This year the event was held April 5 at UMD’s College Park campus, hosted by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. Six finalist startups from across the nation had six minutes to deliver a business pitch to Plank and a panel of five other judges in front of 1,000 attendees at UMD’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. The audience also heard Plank’s words of inspiration on building a business as he rallied the entrepreneurs in attendance.

Cupids cup - pic 3The University of Maryland’s Earth Starter, maker of the Nourishmat modular garden kit, took home $52,500 as the Grand Prize Winner and Audience Choice Award Winner. Earth Starter will also benefit from exclusive access to Plank’s professional network, one of the added bonuses of winning this year’s expanded competition.

Here is the breakdown of all winners:

cupids cup - pic 5$50,000, 1st place: Earth Starter LLC, University of Maryland – maker of products to accelerate and simplify growth and yield for garden

$15,000, 2nd place: CoverPlay LLC, University of Virginia – maker of an ultra-thin Bluetooth speaker for mobile devices called the Mojo

$5,000, 3rd place: Diagnostic anSERS, University of Maryland – maker of ink-jet printed sensors for detecting trace amounts of chemicals, from explosives to narcotics

$2,500, Audience Choice Award, decided by text voting during the event – Earth Starter LLC (sponsored by Sam Medile ’80, a successful entrepreneur and former Terp student athlete)

Medile also sponsored a $5,000 prize for the University of Maryland company who best leveraged all of the university’s resources in launching their company, which went to Diagnostic anSERS. UMD applicants who made it to the semifinal round of Cupid’s Cup were eligible.

The day also included the Business & Innovation Showcase, sponsored by BB&T, highlighting more than 50 campus and regional startups and entrepreneurship organizations in a lively tradeshow format at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center.

Cupid’s Cup is named for a Valentine’s Day rose delivery business Plank started as a student at the university. As an athlete, he wasn’t permitted to have an outside job, so he turned to entrepreneurship. Plank worked with the Dingman Center to start a business competition to foster similar student entrepreneurship.

The competition was open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at accredited U.S. colleges and universities who are running companies that have generated at least $5,000 in revenue or have a version 1.0 product with proof of traction. Entrepreneurs from 25 universities in 16 states entered the competition. The finalists received intensive coaching from successful entrepreneurs to prepare for the final competition.

Other Cupid’s Cup finalists were Hole Patch LLC from Case Western Reserve University, a developer of a new method for patching potholes; Moolaguides.com from Florida State University, provider of a service for college students to buy and sell class notes; and Neural Analytics from the University of California Los Angeles, a developer of a portable non-invasive medical device to diagnose traumatic brain injuries on the football field or the battlefield.

Interested in competing in next year’s Cupid’s Cup? Visit www.CupidsCup.com for updates about the application deadline and other details.

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Meet the 2013 Cupid’s Cup Finalists!

Cupid’s Cup is fast approaching! Have you reserved your seat yet? Don’t miss the action on April 5 as six startups from across the nation compete in the final round of Cupid’s Cup, the national business competition held by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. This annual competition is sponsored by Kevin Plank, CEO and founder of Under Armour. Find out more about our amazing finalists below.

Leo Petrossian – Neural Analytics – University of California, Los Angeles

Phil Weiner – EarthStarter LLC – University of Maryland

Thomas Brady – Moolaguides.com – Florida State University

Sean Virgile – Diagnostic anSERS – University of Marryland

Noah Gostout – HolePatch LLC – Case Western University

David Marriott – CoverPlay LLC – University of Virginia

Watch all six teams pitch one last time to Kevin Plank at the Cupid’s Cup finals on Friday, April 5, 2013. You can register now at http://cupidscup.eventbrite.com/

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