DC: What is your name, major, and graduation year? Orgel: Ilan Orgel, Finance, graduating in May of 2022.
DC: Which Dingman Center programs have you been involved with? Orgel: Pitch Dingman Competition 2022.
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup? Orgel: Fusion100 is a global lifestyle clothing brand whose mission is to inspire people to become the best version of themselves.
DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup? Orgel: Marketing through professional athletes in the NBA and NFL.
DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months? Orgel: We were featured on the biggest sports media outlets in the world Sportscenter, Bleacherreport, and NBA on ESPN. We have shipped our products to countries outside of the United States.
DC: What’s the most important thing you are working on right now and how are you making it happen? Orgel: Currently working on an entire summer collection that is going to launch at the end of April. It will include shirts, shorts, and more.
DC: As the founder of Fusion100, how do you define success? Orgel: Building a community around the world and have people feel a certain way when they are wearing Fusion100. Continuing to work with big names and expand the brand.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be? Orgel: Believe in yourself and have a vision.
To learn more about Fusion100 please visit the website here.
DC: What are your names, majors, and graduation years? Houlton: Bryan Houlton, Computer Science and Robotics, Winter 2023. Ryan Downing, Finance and Computer Science, Spring 2022.
DC: Which Dingman Center programs have you been involved with? Houlton: I’m involved in a lot of startup stuff at UMD. For Dingman, my company is participating in the Pitch Dingman Competition for 2023. We’re in the Quattrone track and competing for $30,000, but I’m also involved in the Hatchery and Startup Shell.
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup? Houlton: We make tools for algorithmic trading, a field where people make use of complex formulas and mathematical model to make decisions to buy or sell stock. Our product basically boils down to a web platform where you can log on, build an algorithmic investing strategy, test it over years of market data to see how it would have performed, and if you like the results, start trading with real or fake money. Then, you can list your strategy on the marketplace for others to invest in, and you’ll make a commission on their profits: essentially making everyone their own hedge fund.
DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup? Houlton: We’ve had a lot of support from the UMD entrepreneurship community. We were accepted into the Hatchery, a new UMD incubator, and are being mentored by some amazing people there. We also have great connections through Dingman, Startup Shell, etc. To shoutout a few, I’d say Haroon, Idris, and Zeki Mokhtarzada, Juliana Neelbauer, the Startup Shell admin team, and our main Dingman contacts, Lottie Byram and Alex Onufrak.
DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months? Houlton: Well, we’ve only been around for ~5mo and are launching our product in May. So, our big updates are that we were accepted into the Hatchery and are close to finishing our initial product. We’ve also managed to onboard two awesome people to work with, one of which is another UMD student helping with some software engineering, and another is a UI/UX designer based out of California. I would consider getting them onboard to be a significant accomplishment purely because of how much they have contributed to the company and how important they have been to our success so far.
DC: What’s the most important thing you are working on right now, and how are you making it happen? Houlton: Right now, our most important thing is making sure that the product is ready for launch by the end of May. We’re working hard on building out the last couple features that we need, fixing bugs, iterating on our user experience, and marketing. Both Ryan (my cofounder and CTO) and I are working probably 50+ hours a week to really push this through, so organizational processes like sprints have been a must for consistent execution. We’re also looking to raise some money in alignment with the product launch, so opportunities like Pitch Dingman, Y Combinator, Contrary, and other VC firms that we have connections to are a hot topic for us right now.
DC: As a young business owner, what motivates you? Houlton: There are two answers to this: the internal and the external. Internally, it’s the cliché “I’ve always liked to build things”. It’s what everyone says, but for most people that are into this kind of stuff, it’s true. Getting to build a product that you’re excited about and see other people also get excited about is a truly unique experience. The external motivation is the people I get to interact with by being a part of UMD entrepreneurship. This ranges from my fellow students in Startup Shell to the Mokhtarzada brothers running the Hatchery, as they all come together to drive UMD in the entrepreneurship space. Watching every one of them be passionate about UMD’s startup community makes me want to participate in the great opportunities popping up all over the university.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be? Houlton: I’m assuming anyone reading this is going to be from UMD, so my advice we be to get involved in the UMD startup communities. My background is in tech and a solid portion of what I do at Quandry is coding, but I find that more and more of running a startup is about people. Who are your mentors, who are you learning from, how well do you get along with your cofounders and core team, who are you hiring, etc. We’re not at this point yet but what I’ve heard is that, especially as your company grows, you’ll be spending less and less time on the base level work (coding, cold calls, so forth). It’s important to have a team that you can trust and rely on to be able to delegate to and propel the company forward. To find people, some great communities to get involved in are Startup Shell (would HIGHLY recommend for any students), Dingman Center (great events like Pitch Dingman and the Summer Accelerator), and the Hatchery (applications are every September). At these places you can find some amazing people to learn from, but also, working for a startup is a good way to see if you want to make your own. You’ll get a good idea of what the job looks like for founders, as well as learn a lot about tech, marketing, or whatever you’re working in to help when you start your own company. To summarize, focus a lot of your time on finding great people that have skills that compliment your own, and learn as much as you can about startups through work experience or campus communities. There will probably never be a better time in your life to take a risk on a startup, so if you’re thinking about it, just go for it.
To learn more about Quandry, please visit the website here.
Ladies First Founders is the Dingman Center’s one-credit spring semester course for female and non-binary students interested in entrepreneurship. Taught by Sara Herald, champion of our Ladies First Initiative, the course helps students build soft skills for overcoming gender biases in entrepreneurship. Students do not need to have launched a venture, as the focus of the course is on demystifying entrepreneurship. The syllabus includes a blend of skill-building workshops and networking events. Topics include the how to’s of networking and mentorship, finding balance as a founder/student/human, overcoming imposter syndrome, startup pitching and body language, funding and how to get it, and more.
Read on to learn more about this cohort’s exciting student founders and some of their businesses!
Yemi Ikotun ’23 (Business Management) “I signed up for the Ladies First Founders class because I’m surrounded by female entrepreneurs in my life and I wanted to learn more about what inspired them!” -Ikotun
Terriana Jones ’25 (Architecture) “I hope to gain knowledge about the entrepreneur world from the perspective of woman. I would also like to build my entrepreneurial mindset!” -Jones
Luo Nanxin ’24 (Finance and Information Systems)– EFuxion Studio We are a company that focuses on the development of voice synthesis software in collaboration with major companies for music composers and educational facilities. We also provide a virtual male icon in accordance with our software, providing the project the duality of both Technology Software and Virtual pop singer idols.
“[I signed up for Ladies First Founders because] I want to build up connections with more talented women entrepreneurs on campus and learn how to launch a business systematically.” -Nanxin
Jordan Marshall ’23 (Marketing and Technology Entrepreneurship) “I joined the Ladies First Founders class to gain knowledge that would help me turn my entrepreneurial dreams into actionable plans.” -Marshall
Syona Mehta ’25 (Public Health, PreMed) “I signed up for Ladies First Founders to become inspired and empowered to follow my dreams.” -Mehta
Michael Ndiaye ’22 (Finance) “From BMGT369D I hope to gain more perspective into the POV of being a female entrepreneur, and the struggles that come with it.” -Ndiaye
Kamsiyonna Ogochukwu Obiora-Offor ’22 (Operations Management, Business Analytics and Technology Entrepreneurship)– ANY Art Collective ANY Art Collective is an Art Zine that focuses on highlighting Black and POC artists.
“I want to learn more about the process of launching a business and take more steps to developing my own.” -Obiora-Offor
Takiyah Roberts ’25 (Material Science Engineering) “I wanted to take Ladies First Founders to learn more about what it means to be a female entrepreneur. I also took this class to learn how to overcome the struggles that come with being a black woman in the field of entrepreneurship.” -Roberts
Keying Sun ’23 (Statistics) “I hope to learn the intelligence and power of women, and I want to know other people’s ideas on starting business.” -Sun
Benis Tambe ’23 (Information Science and Technology Entrepreneurship) “As member of Ladies first founders, I hope to learn what is needed to start a business.” -Tambe
New Venture Practicum is one of the Dingman Center’s signature courses. Taught by Maryland Smith Clinical Professor Oliver Schlake during the Spring semester, students experiment with business models, revenue streams and go-to-market strategies. By the end of this course, some startups are securing their first customers and generating revenue, while others are working on a beta or pilot. In the final class, students pitch for seed funding to move their business forward.
Read on to learn more about this cohort’s exciting student founders and their businesses!
Build Bigger – Jonathan MacGregor ’22 Build Bigger is a gym clothing brand company that builds community among people who go the gym. Targeted at mostly male audience aged (15-22), but increasing market fit.
Easy Park – Sarthak Patel ’25 An app that aims to make parking as convenient as possible by completely digitalizing the parking process where drivers would just have to park their car at their desired spot and they are one click away from parking their car.
Em G Art Design Studio – Emily Garcia ’24 (Studio Art and Art Education) Em G Art Design Studio offers handmade and personally designed products that can be gifted or used to personalize everyday living. These products are designed to be used as a source of inspiration, expression, and creativity.
Heart2Starr – Ileana Lozano ’22 Heart2Starr explores the influencer interface by taking its community members behind the scenes of the life and works of Ileana Lozano through a series of tweets. Heart2Starr creates conversations, inspires users worldwide, and offers community to users who resonate with its messages.
Odin Electric – Paul Mouring ’22 (Mechanical Engineering) A company focused on developing and implementing an alternate energy source that is cheap, safe, green and reliable. Odin’s generators will be necessary innovation that will help end the climate crisis.
Sequester Carbon Certified – Nathan McMullen ’23 Many farms in Maryland are actively sequestering atmospheric CO2 in their soil, but consumers aren’t aware of these businesses impact on climate change. My venture certifies and labels products that sequester carbon for added value and visibility for eco-conscious consumers.
Shai Consulting – Shiv Agarwal ’23 I build Stand Operating Procedures that enable entrepreneurs ($1M-$10M revenue, 5-20 team members) to remove themselves from the execution of various business functions so that they can scale their operation. Additionally, my service streamlines, optimizes, and refines processes, however, this is not the target pain point.
Stockadoo – Hrithik Bansal ’22 (Computer Science) and Justin Fenn ’22 (Computer Science) Stockadoo is a stock market for content creators. Users can buy and sell shares of their favorite creators, and creators receive an alternative source of monetization.
Sparza – Ryan Myer ’22 (Finance and Innovation and Entrepreneurship) My team and I have created A Balancing Act card game which is a hilarious and wild combination of charades and Jenga. A Balancing Act is a card game that will eventually help fund Solis School, a school meant to provide unfortunate children with the opportunity to learn essential life skills and become successful in life.
Treasuremybeaute’– Treasure Valdez ’23 (Communication) Treasuremybeaute’ is a brand designed for women with demanding lifestyles that are in need of high-performing products that saves time without compromising quality. TreasureMyBeaute’ products were created to add value, premium quality, and exclusivity to Women across the globe. Creating an experience of glamour that starts with our packing sparking and emotional charge as YOU unlock your gorgeousness.
Tribar – Perri Moeller ’22 This company makes protein bars made out of proprietary blend of jerky (beef, turkey, mushroom), seeds and veggies. The target market is for the active person who wants to stay satiated, with a bar that’s yummy and a complete macronutrient break down.
UCleaner – Blake Kuzemchak ’23 Geriatric and hospitalized individuals have reduced fine motor skills that makes it for them to adequately maintain their oral hygiene. As the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation is projected to significantly increase the geriatric population by 2030 and beyond, we aim to develop a product that facilitates oral hygiene within this vulnerable demographic.
Undefined Dreamerz – Takiyah Roberts ’25 (Material Science Engineering) Undefined Dreamerz is a clothing brand that allows customers to be themselves unapologetically both in this reality and virtual realities. Undefined Dreamerz is a cutting edge streetwear fashion brand that is integrating technology with fashion.
Venture – Isaac Lefkovitz’24 Samai Patel’24 When people move to new places, they need events to go to and people to go with. Venture solves this problem by connecting people to events where they can meet others who want to go, taking away the awkwardness that comes from having to make plans with someone new.
DC: What is your name, major, minor, and graduation year? Boyd: My name is Anna Boyd. I am a plant science major with a sustainability minor, 2024 graduation year.
DC: Which Dingman Center programs have you been involved with? Boyd: I am participating in Terp Marketplace this semester.
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup? Boyd: I have a crochet business and I sell items like beanies, bucket hats, shirts, skirts, dresses, stuffed animals and more. I have had this business for about ten years and had my first table at a holiday sale when I was 13.
DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup? Boyd: My Grandma, Gg and my Aunt Kelly. Gg taught me how to knit when I was ten years old. She would always bring us crafts as kids and made me love knitting and being creative. My Aunt Kelly knits as well and is an amazing woman. She is so incredibly talented and helps me so much with patterns and ideas. I wouldn’t be where I am without them and the support of my mom, dad, and whole family.
DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months? Boyd: In the last six months I have made over $2,500 selling my crochet items through my instagram and Etsy, also a friend of mine, Olivia Wolfson wrote an article on my business for Her Campus magazine. I am also very proud of how much positive feedback I get from customers, I get a lot of people who order from me multiple times which I love and overall get so much support from my friends and customers. I am also very excited to be apart of Terp Marketplace.
DC: What’s the most important thing you are working on right now and how are you making it happen? Boyd: I am working on expanding my business more and participating in more events. I updated my etsy account to have a wider variety of my items, I will have a table at Terp Market place and am looking to apply for art attack in May. A big part of that is creating new fun things people like. I have some new stuff for Terp Marketplace that I am really excited to see if people enjoy and overall am working on many new styles and items to release.
DC: As a business owner, how do you define success? Boyd: Even though I don’t have a big business by any means I consider myself successful. I think success is creating something you are proud of and the feedback you get from others.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be? Boyd: Find what you’re passionate about and stick with it. If you enjoy and are excited about your project, keep working on it and don’t give up.
To learn more about AnnasHandmadeHats please visit the Etsy here.
WISE Cities is a platform designed to address social isolation among seniors.
DC: What is your name, major, minor, and graduation year? Brodsky: Marie Brodsky, Mathematics major, STEM Ethics and Policy and Computer Science double minor, spring 2024 graduation year.
DC: Which Dingman Center programs have you been involved with? Brodsky: Dingman Fridays Advising and the 2022 Pitch Dingman Competition.
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup? Brodsky: WISE Cities designs accessible technology to address social isolation among the elderly. Our first mobile app allows senior citizens to form local groups, and gives community centers and local businesses the opportunity to connect with this hard-to-reach audience.
DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup? Brodsky: Our most important decisions are inspired by the individuals for whom we’re solving this problem – seniors in our own lives. We are also moved by what we hear from city representatives and community organizations trying to connect with the senior population. Finally, we are grateful for a trusted set of advisors who we can turn to when we feel unsure in our next steps.
DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months? Brodsky: Last spring, we were fortunate to have been offered a year-long pilot project with the City of Fairfax. Now, while continuing the pilot, we are deeply involved with our target market, both on administrative and personal levels, and both in our local communities and in national networks. We’ve received a lot of support for intergenerational thinking, and have been welcomed by organizations which serve seniors and wish for better ways to engage them through technology. In parallel, we’ve made significant steps in implementing our app as well as revamped our website at wisecities.us!
DC: What’s the most important thing you are working on right now and how are you making it happen? Brodsky: In an effort to make the biggest difference, we are making it incredibly high priority to precisely understand the gaps in the current system that seniors find themselves in. That is, we are gaining input through avenues such as focus groups, interviews with seniors and families, and meetings with city officials ranging from those working in economic development to those leading committees in the health department. As our network and knowledge expands and we become further integrated into this community, we are able to design a solution that can be most helpful for a group that is often overlooked!
DC: As a young business owner, what motivates you? Brodsky: Being able to meaningfully contribute to addressing a very real issue is so motivating. Personally, I was inspired to start this project when my grandfather was living with me and I observed daily how little social interaction he got and how difficult it was for him to use all these apps covered in buttons and unnecessary features. Also, working in an enthusiastic team keeps us all going with this! It’s exciting to be in control of a new idea that could grow into something useful for many people.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be? Brodsky: Make sure to reach out to people who you can learn from! Creating a startup is really hard, and many problems are ones that you can’t predict in advance, but if you have people you can rely on for advice, you’re much more likely to make it work 🙂
To learn more about WISE Cities, please visit the website here.
Founder, Emily Garcia ’24, selling original artwork and products at Terp Marketplace.
DC: What is your name, major, minor, and graduation year? Garcia: Emily Garcia, Studio Art & Art Education double major, 2024 graduation year.
DC: Which Dingman Center programs have you been involved with? Garcia: Terp Marketplace and Fearless Founders: New Venture Practicum (BMGT 468R)
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup? Garcia: Em G Art Design Studio offers handmade and personally designed products that can be gifted or used to personalize everyday living. These products are designed to be used as a source of inspiration, expression, and creativity.
DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup? Garcia: I understand what it’s like to juggle stressful events, illness, and lack of stability. Art is my source of expression. It is a place where I can create freely and with no restraints. But what also fuels my work is making someone smile from something I have made. Making someone smile is one of the best things in the world. For this reason, I strive to spread joy, inspiration, and hope through my startup.
DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months? Garcia: Within the last six months I have opened an Etsy shop, designed and made new products, registered into BMGT, applied for the TiE University Pitch Competition, designed my own business cards and certificates of authenticity for my paintings.
DC: What’s the most important thing you are working on right now and how are you making it happen? Garcia: I am working on getting more people to know about my business and presenting it in a professional way. In order to accomplish this, I have started creating videos to spread interest and to show behind the scenes on how I make my products. As well as, registering into BMGT at UMD.
DC: As a business owner, how do you define success? Garcia: Success is when you set a goal and actively worked on achieving that goal. It involves learning from mistakes, identifying what worked and what did not.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be? Garcia: Do not be afraid of moving passed the “planning” stage. Take the steps to make your venture a reality, even if they may be small steps. Go for it!
To learn more about Em G Art Design Studio please visit the Etsy here.
DC: What is your name, major, minor, and graduation year? Valdez: My name is Treasure Valdez, my graduation year is 2023, and I major in Communications with a minor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
DC: Which Dingman Center programs have you been involved with? Valdez: So far, I have been involved with the Dingman Center by attending Dingman Fridays.
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup? Valdez: I would describe Treasuremybeaute’ as a brand that is designed for women with demanding lifestyles that are in need of high-performing products that saves time without compromising quality. TreasureMyBeaute’ products were created to add value, premium quality, and exclusivity to Women across the globe. Creating an experience of glamour that starts with our packing sparking and emotional charge as YOU unlock your gorgeousness.
DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup? Valdez: My mother has been my biggest influence for my startup because she is the reason why I am the person I am today. She continues to push me and always encourages me to never play small and to walk in my power. With that being said, I have broken generational curses and will continue to break more as I build my legacy and create generational wealth for future generations.
DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months? Valdez: In the last six months, I was granted opportunities to be featured on different platforms, increasing awareness about Treasuremybeaute’ products and how they solve issues for women on the go that allows them to achieve pro-like results in minutes.
DC: What’s the most important thing you are working on right now and how are you making it happen? Valdez: The most important thing I am working on right now is launching an editorial campaign to increase visibility for the product lines Lip Heist Collection and Blink Obsession Collection. I plan on making this happen by hiring a creative director, an image consultant, and a professional editorial photographer.
DC: As a business owner, how do you define success? Valdez: I define success as self-love, when you are comfortable in your own skin and happy with who you are every day that you wake up. Also, using that self-love to build a legacy that I can be proud of.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be? Valdez: The phrase that I live by is to learn to become comfortable with being uncomfortable because this takes away any limitations that are placed upon you. Do not allow yourself to become the projections of someone else’s fears. Take that risk!
To learn more about Treasuremybeaute’ please visit the website here.
DC: What is your name, major, minor, and graduation year? Asonye: My name is Ijeoma Asonye. I am a junior mechanical engineering major and creative writing minor graduating in 2023. I am also part of the QUEST Honors Program.
DC: Which Dingman Center programs have you been involved with? Asonye: I have been involved in Ladies First Founders. In the past, I would actively come to First Fridays!
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup? Asonye: With our foundations from the novel “The Beautiful Math of Coral”, E. Ozie Productions is a multimedia creative house. We are using our creative voice to rise to the forefront of revolutionary conversations about community, society, and identity. We believe in the power of art, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and storytelling for social impact through various different mediums.
DC: At what point did you know you wanted to start your own venture? Asonye: I’ve always loved books so the idea of writing a book came across my mind during the pandemic and I just jumped on the opportunity. My venture started off with my book “The Beautiful Math of Coral” after watching a TEDtalk of the same name. I would call my book a coming-of-age story that creates metaphors with concepts in STEM, mixed with lots of love and other intangible things. I think it’s a very swoon-worthy book. Now I am looking forward to expanding what kind of creative works we do in the future as a creative house like an AR app for books we are working on.
DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup? Asonye: As of right now, ARTECHOUSE plays a big influence for my startup showing the beauty in STEM with their recent exhibition of “Life of A Neuron”. I love how ARTECHOUSE integrates art, science, and technology in the visual sphere. I also was inspired to create my own creative house by learning more about Einhorn’s Epic Productions which is an entertainment creative house. I think they are doing some really cool stuff for underserved gen-z fandoms which is an industry I am tapping into with my book. One of the co-founders of the company purchased my book and that is how I learned more about them.
DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months? Asonye: My most significant accomplishment, as of right now, would have to be that my book “The Beautiful Math of Coral” debuted as a #1 New Release on Amazon! I also participated in Terp Marketplace which was super exciting. I sold a few copies and was able to meet lots of people with an interest in books. My book got featured in the mechanical engineering department magazine, Metrics. Although I don’t consider it as a direct project under my company, the research I started as an undergraduate researcher, which is similar to the values of my company called “E.Ozie and The Mixed Reality For Humanity Project” received a grant from the Do Good Institute at UMD!
DC: As a young business owner, what motivates you? Asonye: What I look to for motivation changes every day. It could be an hour long conversation I had with someone in the film industry that pumps me up or simple affirmations I say every day. As of lately, the music group BTS has motivated me to work hard. Funny enough my college essay was about their influence on me and now I’m a university student so I guess it must be working. I have a poster of them in my room on the cover of TIME Magazine with the headline “Next Generation Leaders”. Although the title “Next Generation Leader” seems like a lot to bear to me I imagine myself as one. Also hearing stories of boss women doing their thing in different industries like music, business, technology, etc.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be? Asonye: Three things: grow your network, explore, and surround yourself with like minded individuals.
To learn more about E. Ozie Productions please visit the website here.
DC: What is your name, major, and graduation year? Djampa: Edwin Bright Djampa, I go by my middle name Bright. My major is Nutritional Food Science, Graduation May 2022.
DC: Which Dingman Center programs have you been involved with? Djampa: I have been involved with the Pitch Dingman Competition in 2021.
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup? Djampa: At Omega 3, we aim to provide consumers with an easy, accessible, and delicious way to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids into their daily diets and reap the many health benefits of this essential, brain-boosting nutrient. We hope to empower people to take charge of their mental health through nutrition. We want the link between nutrition and brain function to be at the forefront of the dialogue surrounding mental health. We hope one day, you can walk into any local grocery store and find a section of food items dedicated to brain support.
DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months? Djampa: In the last 6 months we’ve been able to get into all the retail locations and cafes on UMD campus. We have also been able to get on to Georgetown University retail locations. We have also been able to partner with NAMI to provide participants with granola bars. NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives.
DC: Can you describe your typical day as a student business owner? Djampa: My typical day is: I wake up at 6am and review all emails and all potential orders. I work to respond to emails and fulfill orders. Then around 7am I either run around and check up on stores in person or I ship the online orders. Around 8am I eat breakfast and begin my class work for the day. My classes typically end at 12pm. I then take a 1 hour break to relax. At 2pm I begin to work on social media and branding content to promote Omega 3 (this typically takes about an hour and a half). For the remainder of the day 4-8pm, I then work to find new gyms, stores, universities, and yoga studios to enter into. From 8 till about 12am I return to school work/class assignments.
DC: What’s the most important thing you are working on right now, and how are you making it happen? Djampa: Currently at Omega 3 we are working on a huge rebranding effort. To make it more clear on our packaging and social media platforms that we are a brain-centric food company. The rebranding efforts will be completely done in Mid January 2022.
DC: As a business owner, how do you define success? Djampa: It is honestly very hard to define success as a business owner because the marker for success is ever-evolving. I would say true success for most business owners is when the business is no longer running them, but instead, they are in a position where they are running the business.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be? Djampa: Your internal compass is the only thing that will get you through this entire journey of entrepreneurship. Remain true to your internal compass. Also never ride the highs for too long and certainly don’t ride the lows. As hard as it may be, try and remain even-keel as much as possible.
To learn more about Omega 3, please visit the website here.