Tag Archives: Innovation

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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An Insider View of spark, UMD’s First Idea Festival

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Lakshmi in the front right in a photo with her spark team, “Steam Dream.”

by: Lakshmi Shyamakrishnan

As someone who is unsure of what she wants to do after college, I’ve had to be a bit experimental in the activities I pursue. I was already in the Smith School of Business, but I did not know where my talents or interests lay within the department. I decided to do something I had never been comfortable with, which was to just approach someone and ask for ideas. I caught up with one of my mentors in the Smith School, Ms. Kristin LaRiviere, and spoke with her about my dilemma. She encouraged me to experiment with entrepreneurship, the next step of which was to visit Dingman Fridays at the Dingman Center. These walk-in office hours were created especially for innovative and entrepreneurial students like me, who were unsure of how to carry on with an idea once it’s been hatched. I met with Ms. Sara Herald, Associate Director of Social Entrepreneurship, who introduced me to the event, spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start, which took place from Friday, October 7th to Saturday, October 8th. spark was a way for me to expand upon my talents and see if I was really cut out to be an entrepreneur. All the participants seemed eager and willing to start their projects as quickly as possible, but first we had to learn the basics.

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spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start

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Last Friday was the start of something new and extraordinary at the University of Maryland: spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start, a two-day idea festival co-hosted by the Dingman Center and Startup Shell featuring design-thinking and brainstorming activities that encouraged students to find solutions to problems they want to solve. spark has filled an essential niche at UMD by providing students who are interested in entrepreneurship but haven’t yet founded a venture with a means to discover and explore how their passions can translate into business ideas.

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Entrepreneurship Meets Impact at UMD’s Social Enterprise Symposium: RSVP Today!

The Social Enterprise Symposium (SES) is one of the largest annual events on the University of Maryland’s campus that focuses on interactive learning and entrepreneurial thinking with a social impact mindset. Created and hosted by the Center for Social Value Creation (CSVC), the February 27 event will bring together students, faculty and business leaders from across the region to explore positive social, environmental and economic change through a variety of lenses.

“SES is important to the UMD community because it welcomes faculty and staff from all disciplines to explore how business (and business principles) can help advance economic, social, and environmental well being,” said Kim Glinka, Associate Director at the Center for Social Value Creation. “This year in particular we’ve partnered with academic allies to explore these topics through specific academic lenses. Partners in the School of Public Policy, Arts and Humanities, Behavioral and Social Sciences, and the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will each lead workshops and breakout sessions.”

This year, UMD and the CSVC are thrilled to welcome Shira Shafir, Director of Social Impact at TOMS Shoes as the keynote speaker. (BTW, word on the street is that discount coupons for TOMS products will be handed out before Shira Shafir’s morning presentation! You won’t want to miss it!)

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