Tag Archives: Dingman Center Angels

A Round of Golf with the Dingman Center Angels and Baltimore Angels

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On June 8, the Dingman Center Angels ended their 2015-2016 investment year. This year, the Baltimore Angels were also extended an invitation to the final investor meeting and annual golf event. In the morning, the investors reviewed a strong lineup of startup companies including Cybrary, Devensoft, InHerSight, Inky and Zoobean. After some engaging discussions and light lunch networking, the Dingman Center Angels and Baltimore Angels joined the Dingman Center team for a round of golf.

Each group played a 4-man scramble, so both early stage and mature golfers had opportunities to shine. Closest to the pin and longest drive contests on the 8th and 9th hole kept things interesting for the more competitive players. The positive energy of the morning investor meeting coupled with the beautiful weather made for a relaxing, fun afternoon. We hope that even more players will sign up for next year’s golf event. Angels, have a great summer and we’ll see you in the fall!


Interested in joining the Dingman Center Angels? Find out more on the Dingman Center website.

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Dingman Center Angels Portfolio Deepens with New and Follow-On Investments

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The Dingman Center Angels is a Maryland based angel investment group, managed by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, which provides funding to early-stage companies within the Mid-Atlantic region. Since inception, the group has invested more than $12 million in more than 50 companies primarily in the enterprise software and consumer internet sectors. The Dingman Center Angels recently completed another successful year, expanding the portfolio and hosting meetings in College Park, Baltimore and Crystal City. Keep reading for an overview of the group’s activities over the past investment season. Continue reading

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Mark Your Calendar: Spring is Full of Entrepreneurship Events for Terps

It’s officially spring, and with that comes many exciting entrepreneurship events for the Terp community. Here are some highlights you won’t want to miss!

Apunnamedril 8 & June 11: Dingman Center Angels Pitch Sessions

The final two investor pitch sessions will be held for the Dingman Center Angels. Members will gather to hear pitches from promising regional startups. Click here for more information.

April 10 & 17: Pitch Dingman hops on the TerpRide bus.

In celebration of UMD’s 3rd Annual 30 Days of Entrepreneurship, the Dingman Center EIRs will be on the TerpRide bus on these two dates to provide startup feedback to Terps. The bus will be parked outside the Stamp Student Union. Terps can pitch their business ideas on the bus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

April 22: 10th Anniversary Cupid’s Cup Competition

Join Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and an all-star panel of judges as six student entrepreneur finalists compete for more than $115K in cash prizes in one of the world’s toughest business competitions. RSVP today, space is limited and the event will sell out!

3:30-5:30 p.m. Startup Showcase
6 p.m. Final Competition
Register at www.cupidscup.umd.edu

cupidscupMay 6: Inaugural Rudy Awards presented by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship  

Guests will be invited to join the Center for its inaugural awards celebration where honors will be given to a Student Entrepreneur of the Year; Mentor of the Year; Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year; a Faculty Award and more. Invitations will be distributed in the upcoming weeks.

May 7-9​: Smith Entrepreneurship Research Conference

The Robert H. Smith School of Business’ Management and Organization Department will host the 11th Annual Smith Entrepreneurship Research Conference (SERC) in Van Munching Hall. The conference is a gathering of PhD students and professors who perform research on the topic of entrepreneurship. It’s an opportunity for researchers across the world to exchange ideas about their work. Click here for more information.

DCE logoMay 21: UMD Commencement Ceremony

The Dingman Center will see many Fearless Founders, MBAs and other student entrepreneurs walk across the graduation stage. For details, please visit ww.rhsmith.umd.edu/commencement/.

May 23-31: AdVENTURE Challenge: China

The Dingman Center will travel to China for the 9th Annual China Business Model Competition. This year’s delegation includes MBA students from the Smith School and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Check out more details here.

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Be sure to visit the Dingman Center’s website for information on additional events and student resources.

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In case you missed it… What’s up at the Dingman Center?

Every two weeks, the Dingman Center distributes The Pitch, which highlights happenings in our community. In case you missed it, here’s a look at what’s up in entrepreneurship:

Dingman Speaker Series feat. Social Entrepreneur & VC Wayne Kimmel

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Wayne Kimmel, ’92

On October 23rd, serial entrepreneur and UMD alumnus, Wayne Kimmel, ‘92, will join Dingman for the Center’s Speaker Series. Kimmel is the Founder and Managing Partner of SeventySix Capital.

A known entrepreneur, venture capitalist, philanthropist and tireless networker, some of Kimmel’s most successful investments include:

  • SeamlessWeb acquired by ARAMARK now public as GrubHub (NYSE:GRUB)
  • Take Care Health Systems acquired by Walgreens
  • NutriSystem (NASDAQ:NTRI) top performing stock in the U.S. for 5 consecutive years
  • Bread acquired by Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO)

During the event, Wayne will share his insights on entrepreneurship, networking and giving back. The program will take place from 12:30-1:30pm in 2333D Van Munching Hall. Lunch will be provided.

Click here to register.

Continue reading

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Global Entrepreneurship Week Roundup

Global Entrepreneurship Week at the Dingman Center was a huge success! With at least one event every day of the week, we contributed to a global movement of more than 112,000 events with 25 million participants worldwide.

  • Monday: We kicked off the week with movie night as we screened the documentary “Extreme by Design.”  The screening lead to an interesting discussion on using design thinking to create businesses that solve global problems. The same day, the Dingman Center Angels saw three-minute pitches at the Fast Pitch session during TEDCO’s Entrepreneur Expo.
  • Tuesday: Elana Fine participated in a panel on technology commercialization during Bioscience Day. In the evening, we hosted an Entrepreneurship Connector that brought together students from across campus who are interested in sharing their ideas and passions.
  • Wednesday: Terp Marketplace was buzzing with more than 20 student vendors testing the market and selling their products.
  • Thursday:  It was standing room only at the Pitch Dingman Competition which drew more than 260 attendees. Timothy Chi, Founder & CEO of WeddingWire delivered an inspiring keynote and lead the judges in choosing the winners. Harrison Baum took home top prize winning $2,000 for SellMyOldTech.com. Sam Feldman took home $1,500 winning both 2nd place and the Audience Choice award.
  • Friday: We wrapped up the week with a record number of students at Innovation Fridays and six DC startups presenting at Dingman Center Angels Review Day.

Thank you to everyone who participated in Global Entrepreneurship Week! For more photos, go to the Dingman Center Facebook page.

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Celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week With the Dingman Center

During the week of November 18–22, the Dingman Center will participate as a partner in Global Entrepreneurship Week – the world’s largest celebration of innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. The week will be full of exciting events with participants from across our community. Take a look at what we’ve got planned and become part of something truly remarkable.

Monday, November 18
Fast Pitch at TEDCO Entrepreneur Expo
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., BWI Marriott
At this session during TEDCO’s Entrepreneur Expo, companies will test how well they can communicate their business in a three-minute fast pitch to a panel of Dingman Center Angel Investors.

Extreme by Design Movie Screening
5:30–7 p.m., Frank Auditorium, Van Munching Hall
Watch this documentary following three Stanford University students as they design and build products to meet the basic needs of the world’s poor. The Center for Social Value Creation, the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and the Office of Global Initiatives will host a discussion following the film. Register to attend at ter.ps/screening

Tuesday, November 19
Networking Panel at Bioscience Research & Technology Review Day
11-12 p.m., Jimenez Room, Stamp Student Union
Managing Director of the Dingman Center, Elana Fine, will facilitate a networking panel during Bioscience Research & Technology Review Day presented by the University of Maryland’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. The event aims to join executives and professionals with scientists to promote the potential for academic-industry-government collaboration. Read more about Bioscience Day.

Entrepreneurship Connector
5:30–7 p.m., 2511 Van Munching Hall
Hosted by the Dingman Center and Mtech, students will network with others interested in all things innovation and entrepreneurship. Learn about opportunities across campus, exchange ideas and meet your next co-founder. Attendees will also discuss ideas for a new campus-wide entrepreneurship club that is in development. Dinner will provided. If you’re on Facebook, let us know you’re coming.

Wednesday, November 20
Terp Marketplace
11 a.m.–2 p.m., Grand Atrium, Van Munching Hall
Student entrepreneurs will test the market by selling their products and services to potential customers. Join us for an afternoon of fun and shopping in Van Munching Hall.

EIR Advising Sessions
5:30–8 p.m., Smith School DC Campus, Ronald Reagan Building
Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Harry Geller, will be available by appointment to provide feedback and next steps for your business idea. These sessions are great for any part-time MBA students that can’t get to Van Munching Hall for Innovation Fridays. If you are interested, sign up for an appointment.

Thursday, November 21
Pitch Dingman Competition
6:30–8:30 p.m., Tyser Auditorium, Van Munching Hall
The signature event of Global Entrepreneurship Week will be the biggest Pitch Dingman Competition to date! Five student entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas to an all-star panel of judges led by CEO of WeddingWire and keynote speaker Tim Chi. Check out the five finalists here. Attendees will have chance to vote for their favorite company to award them the $500 Audience Choice prize! Arrive early to receive a t-shirt, snack pack and other giveaways. Register to attend at ter.ps/Nov21

Friday, November 22
Dingman Center Angels Review Day
10 a.m.–1 p.m., 1518 Van Munching Hall
Hear presentations by local startups seeking funding from angel investors. Learn the lingo, hear comments regarding startup strategy, learn about entrepreneurial financing options, and get presentation tips from the investor feedback. RSVP to attend HERE.

Innovation Fridays
11 a.m.–1 p.m., 2518 Van Munching Hall
Meet with an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for an informal session to receive valuable feedback on your business idea. No suits or business plans required. All you need is an idea.

Friday, November 22 – Sunday, November 24
College Park Sustainability Jam
2333 Van Munching Hall

Join the Center for Social Value Creation for  the 2nd annual College Park Sustainability Jam (CPSJ) – a weekend long engagement aimed at creating new, real-world ideas to promote and advance sustainability. The purpose of the Jam is to learn about design thinking, build new ideas, explore our understanding of sustainability, meet cool people, work hard, and HAVE FUN! The end result is a set of “workable prototypes” that will be uploaded to an international shared database. Activities will run roughly 5-8 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m-6 p.m. on Saturday; and 10 a.m-3 p.m. on Sunday. Register at http://ter.ps/3yp  

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Dingman Center Angels Named Top 5 Most Active Groups in the Country

The Dingman Center Angels has experienced its most active investment season to date with more than $3M in invested capital in 18 deals. Adding to an impressive year, the Angel Resource Institute’s Halo Report named the Dingman Center Angels among the top five most active angel groups in the country.

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Source: http://www.svb.com/halo-report/

Joel Marquis (@jymarq), Assistant Director of Venture Programs, leads the Dingman Center Angels and has watched the group thrive over the past year. “What sets our group apart is not only that we funded new companies but also provided follow up funding to a number of existing portfolio companies which are experiencing significant growth,” said Marquis.

He is pleased that the Dingman Center Angels are recognized as one of the most active groups in the country and hopes to continue to make new investments and support existing portfolio of companies in the next 12 months.

Read here to see highlights of the full report and the list of the most active angel groups for Q2 2013. For more information on presenting to the group or joining as an investor, visit the Dingman Center Angels website.

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Dog Days Are Over: Part 2

Always iterate. Pivot when needed. Listen to your customers. At the Dingman Center, we teach these principles every day to students. And, we practice what we preach. In Elana Fine’s latest blog post, she let you know that we spent the summer examining our signature programs to make sure we’re delivering the strongest portfolio of programs, services and products possible. Some programs got a name change, some a curriculum change but all were examined to make sure we’re delivering on our mission to build a remarkable community of entrepreneurs.

Innovation Fridays – For years, the Dingman Center has been dedicated to inspiring Fearless Ideas through our weekly Pitch Dingman sessions. Over the past year, we have been collaborating with several campus groups to transition Pitch Dingman to campus-wide Innovation Fridays sessions. Only the name has changed–the process remains the same. By joining our colleagues we are able to reach more students. Read here for all the details of this expanded commitment to student entrepreneurs. http://ter.ps/39w.

Fearless Founders – As we continue our movement to focus more on the people in our community we’re offering V 2.0 of our EnTERPreneur Academy. A cohort approach to guiding students from idea to launch that leverages tenets of the lean startup methodology, including customer discovery and developing an MVP. The new curriculum focuses more on equipping the founders and more closely resonates with the students we serve.

AdVENTURE Challenge: China – Amazing Race meets Shark Tank this May in Hong Kong and Beijing. A more immersive and impactful China Business Plan Competition where MBA students will earn points visiting startups, multinational corporations and cultural sites. The challenge will culminate with a final competition at Peking University. Students compete for cash prizes alongside peers from Smith, Peking, other Chinese business schools, and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. In an expanded effort to teach the students the complexities of global business, they will work on cross-cultural teams to compete in the competition.

Dingman Center Angels  – the region’s most active angel network does it again. This year we will set up shop at partner incubators and workspaces like Uber Office, 1776, Acceleprise, Bethesda Green and ETC to increase access for regional companies.

The Pitch – We have developed a new communications vehicle, The Pitch. This email digest is sent bi-weekly on Tuesdays to communicate to our audience the Dingman Center’s breadth of activities and leadership throughout the region.

While it may seem much has changed, our commitment to discovering, equipping, connecting and celebrating entrepreneurs remains the same. If you’re interested in joining our community or participating in any of these programs, send us an email at dingman@rhsmith.umd.edu. To stay connected with the Dingman Center follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.

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Dingman Center Angels: A Year in Review

The Dingman Center Angels connects regional startup companies seeking seed and early-stage funding with angel investors. In this special edition of Worth Reading, we are featuring an info-graphic showing the metrics from this year’s investment season.

DCA Year Review (1)

Background on the companies Dingman Center Angel members invested in from September 2012 to August 2013.  

  • 6th Street Commerce: focuses on simplifying and streamlining the critical business processes associated with managing a successful E-commerce business.
  • Astrapi Corporation: Astrapi’s patented Compound Channel Coding™ (cCc™) allows for dramatic improvements in communication performance by smoothly integrating periodic and exponential signal parameters.
  • Brazen Careerist: a growing community of connectors, coaches, job-seekers, recruiters and entrepreneurs to help you find your next great opportunity.
  • Cirrus Works: a scalable integrated infrastructure solution that forms the basis of efficient technology management in commercial networking environments.
  • Distil Networks:  protects websites against web scraping, content theft and competitive data mining.
  • E-ISG Asset Intelligence LLC: delivers cost efficient solutions to help customers manage and track their assets so they can reduce costs and improve operation efficiency.
  • ExecOnline: provides every executive at the world’s great companies with access to superb training opportunities.
  • Foodem: an online trading, business intelligence, and process automation solution for the $670 Billion U.S. wholesale food distribution industry.
  • InGo: the revolutionary solution which brings data-driven value to face-to-face sales and marketing. InGo provides Social Event Marketing with Meeting Matching for show growth and guaranteed value for every user.
  • Mobile Systems 7: allows enterprises to securely deploy smartphones and tablets by monitoring deployed systems, securing sensitive data and enforce corporate policies without relying on software agents.
  • Naaya: a game-based social learning platform for Elementary Schools (K-5) focused on global and social studies and 21st Century Skills – Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Character.
  • Nexercise: a free mobile application that rewards users with virtual medals, discounts and free merchandise for good health.
  • Plant Together: a platform to mobilize youth and families, in partnership with other agencies, to plant trees and promote reforestation in critical zones on the African Continent.
  • Riskive: provides enterprise grade security technology dedicated to identifying, monitoring and preventing risk across the socially connected enterprise.
  • Spinnakr: increases click-throughs and conversions by automatically displaying the right message to the right visitor.
  • Visisonics: brings to market state of the art products and solutions in 3D sound capture, analysis and reproduction.
  • YaSabe: connects businesses, Latino culture and community by allowing users to be “in the know” and confidently make choices about how and where to spend their time and money.
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Startup Success: Social Tables

The Startup Success series features interviews with regional entrepreneurs who received funding from the Dingman Center Angels investor network. Click HERE to see all of the companies that presented and received funding from the Dingman Center Angels this past year.

 

Social Tables created a web-based event planning platform for large, seated events. About a month after closing their seed round, which was oversubscribed by $250K, Social Tables launched a new version of the platform that is a total rewrite of the previous one. Founder and CEO of one of the most elegant event management software platforms on the market, Dan Berger sat down with the Dingman Center to discuss his entrepreneurial experience with Social Tables. Keep reading for Q&A with Dan Berger.

How did you get the idea for your business? 
I was going to a destination wedding and thought to myself “wouldn’t it be amazing if I could see the seating chart before I got there?”  Since then, the idea has evolved to include a suite of event planning products, but the root of the idea is still always on my mind.

Why a startup?
I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I love building teams, beautiful products, and winning.

As a startup, what are some of the greatest challenges you face? 
Letting someone go is probably the hardest thing I have to do but it’s part of building great teams.

What piece of advice/information have you received that has added the most value to your business?
“What you don’t know, you don’t know.” In other words, don’t be all-knowing because there are some things you haven’t experience.

What was the Dingman Center Angels review process like? 
It was exhilirating and seamless. The Dingman Center staff, especially Elana Fine, played a critical role in moving us through the process. She gave me pointed and actionable feedback that helped us tremendously.

Have you had to pivot with your current business plan?
We’re constantly pivoting to build features people want (not just what we think they want). Our biggest pivot, however, was moving away from a guest platform to a planning platform.

What do you think about the current state of the entrepreneurial community in Washington DC and Baltimore? 
I think it’s really exciting to be a part of. I see it as a second coming of sorts for the tech scene in the DC metro area. It’s so invigorating. I hope more startups continue to emerge and that new angels emerge as a result.

What advice would you give student entrepreneurs who want to start their own business? 
Just do it! Quit your job, energize people, and do it. That said, never lose sight of good customer development. Don’t just build something because you want it. Talk to as many potential customers as possible!

Dan Berger has planned and staffed hundreds of events. Prior to Social Tables, he worked for a Member of Congress. He has been building websites over 10 years and has an MBA from Georgetown and a BA from Hunter College. He loves languages and traveling (35 countries!). 
Connect with Social Tables on Facebook and Twitter
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