Tag Archives: dingman center

Event Recap: 2015 Smith Entrepreneurship Research Conference

Each year, the Smith School of Business hosts leading and up-and-coming stars in entrepreneurship research from around the globe for a three-day academic research conference. This year celebrated the 11th anniversary of the Smith Entrepreneurship Research Conference, which was held from May 7-9, in Van Munching Hall at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. The invitation only conference is co-chaired by Anil Gupta, the Michael D. Dingman Chair in Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Smith School, and David Kirsch, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at the Smith School.

The goal of the invitation-only event is to gather both junior and non-tenured faculty to present early stage entrepreneurship research to senior, tenured faculty for discussion and feedback — very similar to the way in which entrepreneurs constantly pitch their ideas, hear reactions and pivot. Continue reading

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Do you have what it takes? Top 10 Reasons to Apply to Cupid’s Cup 

Kevin Plank’96, founder and CEO of Under Armour, is looking for the world’s most passionate student entrepreneurs for the 10th Annual Cupid’s Cup. If you are a student entrepreneur with a game-changing business idea, here are 10 reasons you should apply today.

Continue reading

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Fearless Founder Helps Those with Curly Hair Find the Right Products

By Danielle Bennings

Fredrica Antwi is the founder of Locks of Curls, a customized subscription box service for people with naturally curly hair. She’s tackling a problem that curly haired people have known forever: not all curls are the same and thus cannot be treated the same. To help the millions of people taming their curly hair users of Locks of Curls receive five sample sizes of products chosen specifically for them based on a questionnaire that they fill out on the Locks of Curls web site. After a few months, users should be able to identify products that work for their hair and lifestyle.

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Continue reading

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Meet Fearless Founder Chris Lane

By Danielle Bennings

Chris Lane is a Smith School student that wears many hats: entrepreneur, Fearless Founder and campus leader, just to name a few. The role we at the Dingman Center know him best for is founder and CEO of Procity, a University of Maryland service network that rewards users for doing Procity Logo 2014 good. Chris got the idea for Procity, during his first semester at UMD. While taking a Psychology 101 course, he learned about reciprocity; doing something good that may result in getting something good in return, but not asking for it. Chris developed Procity to combat the idea that money is the only value in society. Using his platform, you can do good in your community and receive rewards such as discounts from restaurants or ProPoints used to obtain items from the site. The company launched on September 17, 2013 and now has more than 470 users.

Procity Team Continue reading

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MBA Students Work for MD Startup VisiSonics in Venture Practicum Course

In the second installment of our Venture Practicum series, Dingman Center marketing graduate assistant Grant Lee interviews Salomon Camhi, a second year MBA student focused on marketing strategy. Camhi joined Venture Practicum to experience what startup life is all about.

Grant Lee (GL): What startup will you be working with this semester?
Salomon Camhi (SC): The startup I am working for is VisiSonics. Specifically, I am working for the product, RealSpace 3D Sound. RealSpace creates 3D immersive sound effects that allows users to use headphones enjoying sounds from 360 degree. The traditional sound effect is more flat and comes from 2D, whereas the RealSpace is more complete and exciting.

Grant Lee (GL): Describe your project? What are the deliverables?
Salomon Camhi (SC): My focus in the MBA program is marketing strategy, and this project is all about marketing and new product development. For the project, my MBA team partner, Semret Lemma, and I will be working on the competitor and SWOT analysis. We need to analyze VisiSonics’s own SWOT, create a go to market strategy and find a channel to enter. Other things that we might be tackling include webpage design and product positioning.

Salomon

Grant Lee (GL): What do you want to take away from this project?
Salomon Camhi (SC): Prior to Smith MBA, I had ten years experience in the sales, but I have never been involved with the strategic planning process. This project serves a good opportunity for me to develop the strategy and actually implement it. Also, this is a real company not just a school project. I will see the impact of my work in real life.

Grant Lee (GL): Have you worked in a startup before? Describe the experience.
Salomon Camhi (SC): Yes, last summer I worked as a marketing and development intern for UberOffices in Virginia. My project was similar but the scale is much bigger this time. Working at a startup is different from a traditional corporate environment. It is less structured and the organization is more flat so communication is faster.

Grant Lee (GL): Describe the working environment. Is your startup located in a co-working space–like an incubator? Or, do they have their own office space?
Salomon Camhi (SC): Visionics belongs to Technology Advancement Program on the UMD campus. It is a cool place. I know two people who currently work there are UMD graduates. It used to be a chemistry lab, but now it is more of a demo-testing center. There is little office space there.

Grant Lee (GL): What skills do you think you can contribute to Visisonics?
Salomon Camhi (SC): Coming from the sales background, I understand the sales process. This specialty allows me to think from a sales’ perspective when creating marketing strategy. I will be able to develop more realistic and actionable strategy for the company to implement. Also, personally I like technology, especially gaming. This will help me to be familiarized with the industry.

Grant Lee (GL): How do you think the project will help you in your career?
Salomon Camhi (SC): This project will give me hands on experience in developing marketing strategy. It also gives me a picture of how a new technology product will be launched into the market.

About Salomon Camhi
Salomon Camhi is a second year full time MBA student at Smith School of Business. He was born and raised in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He graduated from Purdue University with dual degrees; one in Management with a Minor in Marketing and a the second in Computer Programming Technology. Professionally, he work as a sales representative for two different construction material companies in DC area. Solomon worked for a lumber yard in the DC before beginning his MBA journey.

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Grant Lee is a second year full-time MBA student focused on Marketing Strategy at Smith School of Business. Prior to MBA, he had four years of experience in retail marketing and advertising in Taiwan. During first year, he differentiated himself by participating in three business plan competitions and won top five in Wake Forest Retail Innovation Challenge. Now in his second year, he is dedicated to learning more about entrepreneurship by working as a Marketing Graduate Assistant for the Dingman Center, where he enjoys every moment of it. Grant shares his perspectives in his personal website mrgrantlee.com 

About VisiSonics
VisiSonics’ was spun out of the department of computer science at UMD, and is led by the original scientific team working with experienced entrepreneurs. The technology, based on a deep understanding of how the human brain perceives 3D sound, allows creation of immersive sound over any headphones with pinpoint precision. This allows stunning virtual realism in gaming, movies and music. VisiSonics hardware also can capture and stream sound at live events with precision, creating a “best seat in the house”  experience.Visisonics Logo

Follow the Dingman Center blog for updates on the other students and startups participating in Venture Practicum.

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Dispatches from Inside the Classroom: Day 8

Best Marketing’s Liz Sara, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Dingman Center of Entrepreneurship and former Dingman Board member, concluded the Business to Business Marketing course with a tall order for the part-time MBA students: create and present a marketing plan for a real startup. Four company CEOs participated in this project:  Sean Virgil, founder of last year’s Cupid’s Cup finalist company Diagnostic anSERS; Brian Johnson, founder of Divvy Cloud; Jack Reis, founder of ManageUrID; and Payam Fard, founder of Subject-7.  All four CEO’s attended class, listened, probed and commented on the marketing plan presentations.

This type of pitch was a first for many students including Antwan Jefferson. “This was the first time in my education I have had the opportunity to interact with an actual company. Being afforded the opportunity to provide solutions to a CEO is one of the more exciting experiences that I have had,” said Jefferson.

After the final class Sara felt the students took a sip from the fire hose of B2B Marketing. “From hearing more than a dozen CEOs who took the time to present a marketing challenge to class discussion to actually developing a plan for a real company – well it just doesn’t get more experiential than that,” Sara concluded.

Sara-05Aug13-97Liz Sara has 20 years of experience in the local high tech community as an entrepreneur, business leader, angel investor and philanthropist. In 2001, she founded Best Marketing, LLC to provide early stage software companies with strategic marketing, PR and business development services. Her company offers clients all the benefits of a full-scale, seasoned marketing department on a ‘virtual’ basis — eliminating overhead and headcount associated with full-time staff. Previously, she played a principal role as co-founder of SpaceWorks, an eCommerce software company, where she facilitated its startup and growth to nearly $25 million in revenue; at America Online, where she designed the PR program and investor road show for the IPO; at United Press International, where she facilitated a turn-around strategy; and for LEXIS/NEXIS, where she was instrumental in the creation and successful launch of a new division. Ms. Sara holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland. She is a member of the Business & Professional Women’s Committee of the Corcoran; the Women’s Committee of National Museum of Women In the Arts; and the Board of the Capital City Ball. In addition, Ms. Sara is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.

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Dispatches from Inside the Classroom: Day 6 & 7

Best Marketing’s Liz Sara continued her Business to Business Marketing class on Monday with a discussion about how to best use events and trade shows in the marketing mix. From high tech to low tech, from small to large, the class got a dose of the best ways to use third-party events. Students also learned that whether on the Internet or on the ground, sometimes it’s best to create your own event. Ryan Healey, founder of Brazen Careerist (a Dingman Center Angels portfolio company) talked about how his company uses industry trade shows and virtual events to generate leads for their offering – a virtual event platform itself. Ran Farmer, a senior managing partner at  boutique econometric consulting firm ARPC, talked about how his company leveraged events in the legal industry to drive business last year.

Tuesday’s class began with a clip from an old “Saturday Night Live” episode that pokes fun at the rock band Bon Jovi for naming the band after its founder. Joking aside, the class was all about branding and what B2B companies should consider when they go through a re-branding. Alex Gordiyenko, co-founder of LightMix Design Studio, showed some examples of what happens when a global B2B company attempts to rebrand in a changing and dynamic marketplace.

“As consumers, we see the end result of a company re-brand, but we don’t know the hoops the marketing and management team jumped through to get there. Last night’s installment of the class focused on the hoops,” Sara explained. Stay tuned for our final dispatch tomorrow.

Sara-05Aug13-97Liz Sara has 20 years of experience in the local high tech community as an entrepreneur, business leader, angel investor and philanthropist. In 2001, she founded Best Marketing, LLC to provide early stage software companies with strategic marketing, PR and business development services. Her company offers clients all the benefits of a full-scale, seasoned marketing department on a ‘virtual’ basis — eliminating overhead and headcount associated with full-time staff. Previously, she played a principal role as co-founder of SpaceWorks, an eCommerce software company, where she facilitated its startup and growth to nearly $25 million in revenue; at America Online, where she designed the PR program and investor road show for the IPO; at United Press International, where she facilitated a turn-around strategy; and for LEXIS/NEXIS, where she was instrumental in the creation and successful launch of a new division. Ms. Sara holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland. She is a member of the Business & Professional Women’s Committee of the Corcoran; the Women’s Committee of National Museum of Women In the Arts; and the Board of the Capital City Ball. In addition, Ms. Sara is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.

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Worth Reading 11/8/13

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Global Entrepreneurship Week is coming up and we have a full lineup of events planned. We’ll be highlighting the events on Twitter and our new Instagram account! Be sure to folow us for behind the scenes picutres. Instagram: dingmancenter

Now, here’s what’s worth reading.

Stay connected with the Dingman Center FB-f-Logo__blue_1024 twitter-bird-white-on-blue

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Worth Reading 10/18/13

This week the Dingman Center team welcomed the first cohort of Fearless Founders! We hosted a kick-off event for the group where they attended their first workshop and celebrated in the Dingman Center bullpen. Read our last post “Introducing the Fearless Founders” for details on the 22 accepted companies.
We’ve also begun receiving applications for Cupid’s Cup! Check out cupidscup.com for details on this year’s bigger competition. Not sure if you’re ready to apply? Hit the “Apply Later” button on cupidscup.com and we’ll invite you to a webinar on November 6 to answer all your questions.

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Now, let’s enjoy this week’s Worth Reading:

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Introducing The Fearless Founders

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The Fearless Founders program helps prepare student entrepreneurs from idea generation to business launch. The program demystifies the venture creation process by dividing it into three stages: Idea Shell, Hatch, and Terp Startup, each of which with its own deliverables. Powered by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship in partnership with the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), the program will offer students with necessary resources to meet their business requirements.

In this first Idea Shell cohort, the goal for the teams is to identify the value proposition through market research and the customer discovery process. They will participate in a series of workshops over the course of seven weeks and learn the necessary skills to refine their business and better understand their customers. In the final week, each team will be required to present on their progress and will receive $500 dollars in seed funding.

This fall, we were impressed by the quality and number of applications, but ultimately selected 22 teams for the first Idea Shell cohort. Congratulations to all the teams!

417 App Studios
Ghedalia, Gold-Pastor Major: Mechanical Engineering
Zach Matz Major: Kinesiology
Ed Luo Major: Finance

Advanced Heliostats
Andrew Oles Major: Mechanical Engineering

Amlith
Carson, Myers Major: Computer Engineering
Daniel Bolton Major: Mechanical Engineering
Manjur Ahmed Major: Electrical Engineering

Bacon Barbell
Toni, Zhang Major: Marketing and Neurobiology

Casco Tech
Pedro Henrique, Santos Carvalho Major: Civil Engineering
Felipe Israel, Camargo Pereira Major: Computer Science

Color Changing Soap
Erica, Long Major: MBA
Laura, Long Major: MBA

Ethical Clothing
Chetan, Singh Major: Economics

Food Recovery Network
Ben Simon Major: Government and Politics
Evan Lutz Major: Business

Grid-Works-Inc
Thomas, Luginbill Major: Entrepreneurship

GYM SUPREME LLC
Obidi, Orakwusi Major: Government and politics
Kachi Ilochonowu Major: Economics

Imaginex
Eric, Mintzer Major: Business Management
Anthony, Ingelido

Leagueflow
Aaron, Schwartz Major: Economics

Live Unchained
Kathryn, Buford Major: Sociology
Gary Fong

MyLevelLearning
Meir, Snyder Major: Entrepreneurial Operations

Parallel Tracks
Daniel, Noskin Major: Business Management and Marketing

PoliRoots
Mohsen, Farshneshani Major: Government and Politics
Mohsen Farshneshani, Lamar Rogers

Prasidiux, LLC
Kevin, Diehn Major: Chemical Engineering
Bani Cipriano Major: Chemical Engineering

Rafiki Beads
Kikanae, Punyua Major: Economics
Mackenzie Burnett Major: Government and Politics

Sweet Buds
Allan, Nicholas Major: Engineering and Business
Erica Yingling Major: Biology
Ningwei Li Major: Finance and Economics
Peter Weng Major: Biology

The Island Pop Shop
Tenaj, Ferguson Major: Nutrition and Food Science

VentureBoard
Scott, Block Major: Information Systems
Justin, Searles

We wish all the participating teams good luck. We will keep our readers updated on their progress in future blog posts. Stay tuned!

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