Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

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. 

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

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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: Door Robotics

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.

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Co-founder Josh Ermias with the Door Robotics drone prototype

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Joshua Ermias ’20, Public Health Sciences
Vincent Jaugan ’21, Communication and Media Studies

image005 (1)DC: Tell us about your startup.

Door Robotics: Door Robotics is helping build a future of better content. We are building a 2D and 360 camera drone and custom software enabling for lower barriers to entry for 360 content creating and post-production. A huge market facing issues with 360 cameras is the real estate virtual tour market. There are over a million real estate photographers on LinkedIn. In order to create virtual tours to post to listing site, a photographer needs to position a 360 camera on a tripod in a property, get out of the camera shot, click and capture, reposition a few feet away, and repeat the process until the whole property has been captured. They then need to pay to use 3rd party software to create virtual tours and 3D mapped layouts from the series of pictures. Our drone can autonomously fly through a property in a quarter of the time it currently takes and upload fully generated virtual tours to the cloud immediately after the flight.

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Meet the Speakers: Being Black in Entrepreneurship Fireside Chat

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by: Hannah Shraim ’20 (Ladies First Founder and Dingman Center Marketing Intern)

Passion, tenacity, and courage — all three qualities are essential to being an entrepreneur. With that being said, those brave enough to take on the Herculean task must navigate through numerous obstacles. In a system that disproportionately excludes people of color from entrepreneurial spaces, and with the amount of struggle that entrepreneurs face by nature, it is paramount to uplift the voices of black entrepreneurs.

The Being Black in Entrepreneurship Fireside Chat on Feb. 26 from 6-8 p.m. in 2333 Van Munching Hall is supported by Maryland Smith’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, the Office of Diversity of Inclusion, the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Student Success Leadership Council. The event that will bring together black entrepreneurs for evening of discussion and breakout sessions. If you’re thinking of starting a business, this session will provide you with a toolkit that you can use to understand what it really means to be an entrepreneur. Register today!

There are some incredible speakers lined up for the evening — let’s take a quick look into their experiences:

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Michael Echols ’87 – Founder and CEO of MAX Cybersecurity

Michael A. Echols (Mike) is a graduate of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative – Harvard Kennedy School of Public Health and the Federal Executive Institute. He holds a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Science in Biotechnology, a Graduate Certificate in Technology Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice; all from the University of Maryland. Mike is the CEO of Max Cybersecurity LLC. He launched the company after 7 years at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  In 2015, Mr. Echols became the White House point person for the rollout of Presidential Executive Order 13691 – Promoting Private Sector Cyber Information Sharing. Most recently Mr. Echols authored five Forbes articles and was featured on a PBS cybersecurity special. Mr. Echols has also led two organizations to CSO 50 Award honors for information sharing in the last three years. He is currently on the Health and Human Services CISA Cyber Awareness Task Force.

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Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series Preview: Tom Davidson

The Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series continues with the Founder & CEO of EVERFI, Tom Davidson, on Wednesday, April 10 from 5:00-6:00 p.m in 2204 Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center. In a conversation with Robert Hisaoka ’79, attendees will gain insights into the mind and career of Tom Davidson. Space is limited, so be sure to register now to attend.

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Tom Davidson is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of EVERFI, Inc. based in Washington, D.C. Since starting the company in 2008, Tom has led EVERFI from a startup in a Georgetown apartment to an organization with over 4,300 corporate customers and financial institutions.

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An Interview With Pitch Dingman Competition Finalist: OpenPoll

In anticipation of the final round of the 2019 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 7th in the Grand Ballroom of Stamp Student Union. Learn more and register to attend the competition here.

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OpenPoll

Zachary Wynegar ’19, Founder & CEO

DC: Tell us about your startup.

OPENPOLLLogo.pngZW: OpenPoll is a startup focused on changing the way opinion data is collected. Unlike other online survey tools, OpenPoll allows decision makers to distribute surveys using push notifications, see who hasn’t responded, and gather responses easily. Users heavily prefer OpenPoll over other survey tools due to the ease of use, short length, and rewards they earn for taking polls. Within a minute of publishing a poll, decision makers begin getting real time information from their audience without sending a single email. We offer completely free options for associations, with almost no limits.

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Hisaoka Speaker Series Founders Panel Preview: Paul Capriolo ’06

The Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series continues with a Founders Panel on Tuesday, February 19 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. Panelists Paul Capriolo ’06, Kristen McClellan and Jeff Grass are all successful entrepreneurs who started their businesses as students. In a panel moderated by Robert Hisaoka, students, staff, faculty and alumni will hear about the experiences and challenges each founder faced transforming their ideas into lucrative businesses. Register now to attend, and stay tuned to our blog to learn more about each of the panelists.

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Social Growth Technologies – Paul Capriolo ‘06

Throughout his career as an UMD alumnus and serial entrepreneur, Paul has founded and led a multitude of technology startups to successful acquisitions. In 2009, Paul noticed the explosive growth in the social gaming industry and the lack of a monetization method to capitalize on its user base. Paul started Social Growth Technologies to serve as a flexible platform that allows companies to monetize the social gaming market through in-game advertising. After seven years of growth and expansion, Paul recently secured an acquisition of Social Growth Technologies by Kiswe Mobile in 2016.

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A Tour of Entrepreneurship & Innovation in France & Morocco

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Medina in Marrakech

In collaboration with the Center for Global Business at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship sent Student Venture Programs Manager Chris Rehkamp, MS ’18 on a study abroad program highlighting innovation and entrepreneurship in France and Morocco. The program was led by Smith School Associate Professor Oliver Schlake. The following is one student’s reflection of their experience.

by: Hannah Shraim ’20

In the span of ten days, I visited three countries, submerged myself into two very distinct cultures, and drank lots and lots of tea. Let me explain.

Rather than simply getting an education, securing a job, and acquiring a well-paying salary, I want to do more with my degree. I am a big believer that business can be used to solve social issues, so starting organizations that can utilize profits that serve underprivileged communities is something I have always been eager to explore.

I was granted the opportunity to study entrepreneurship and innovation in France and Morocco with a remarkable group of Terps. As a person who studied French since the age of four, I was particularly excited to go on this trip. While we stopped by Monaco for a day—hence the third country—the jist of our learning came from France and Morocco, which are connected by forty-four years of French occupation.

Besides the fact that both are francophone nations, there are certain commonalities within the entrepreneurial practices in France and Morocco. Notwithstanding, there are vast differences as well.

Now, let’s dive into what went down.

 

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Steve Case: From a Director of New Pizza Development to Getting America Online

On October 9, 2018, Steve Case spoke at Gildenhorn Recital Hall at the Clarice Performing Arts Center as featured speaker at the Dingman Center’s Robert G. Hisaoka Speaker Series. The speaker series was created as part of a generous three-year gift from alumnus Robert Hisaoka ’79 to bring business leaders and startup founders to UMD that will inspire students to explore entrepreneurship by providing real-world context for business and venture creation. The following is one student’s account of the experience.

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by: Mandar Kashikar, MBA ’19

As the founding CEO of AOL, the first internet company to go public, Steve Case is an icon of the first wave of the internet. At its peak, AOL (America Online) was used by half of the total online population in the US! I can’t even fathom the power it held. Needless to say, it was my pleasure listening to Steve’s advice for us students.

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Recapping the 3rd Annual spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start

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by: Megan McPherson, Events & Marketing Coordinator

Now in its third year, spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start is an event hosted by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and Startup Shell to give students at University of Maryland who are interested in entrepreneurship but don’t have a venture a platform to brainstorm business ideas with their peers. The first two iterations of spark were hosted in Van Munching Hall over a two-day period, but with Robert H. Smith School of Business clinical professor Oliver Schlake running the programming, this year’s spark on September 29, 2018 ran in just one day, starting with breakfast and check-in at 9 a.m. and ending before 5 p.m. The event also relocated to the beautiful and innovation-friendly Edward St. John Learning & Teaching Center.

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Fearless Founders Chosen as Forbes Under 30 Scholars for Under 30 Summit

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The Dingman Center is excited to support three Fearless Founders who have been accepted as Forbes Under 30 Scholars for the 2018 Under 30 Summit to be held in Boston on September 30. As a Forbes scholar, students will be granted access to the Opportunities Hub, a recruitment fair powered by WayUp, and will have networking access to investors, entrepreneurs, celebrities, musicians, fashion designers, sport stars, cultural icons, world-renowned chefs, educators, political leaders and business icons who represent the entrepreneurial spirit of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

Among the selected students are University of Maryland students Emily Gee ’20, Matthew Talley ’21, and Brianna Queen ’19:

headshot-3.jpgEmily Gee, a junior at UMD, enjoys leadership roles at several campus organizations. As assistant marketing director for Technica, the university’s all-women hackathon, she supports women in STEM and has attracted more than 800 participants to the hackathon this year. She also serves as president of EnTERPreneur-UMD, the campus’ newest entrepreneurship club.

MTalley HeadshotMatthew Talley, a finance major at UMD, is the CEO and founder of Sonder Innovations. He is a Fearless Founder who graduated from the New Venture Practicum course in Spring 2018. Like Emily, he also serves a VP of External Relations for EnTERPreneur UMD.

Brianna Queen AwardBrianna Queen, an Information Science Junior at UMD, is the founder of BEEQBOX, a cosmetics company that makes illuminating makeup with a branded feminist twist. BEEQBOX has grown virally since its launch in 2016 and now has an impressive 57K followers on Instagram. The company specializes in beauty products that are vegan, cruelty-free, and all-natural and was able to generate over $100,000 in revenue in its first year. In 2018, Brianna came in second place in the 2018 Pitch Dingman Competition, winning $7,500 in funding for her startup.

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