Tag Archives: Jonathan Chen

Entrepreneurs Won Big at the Pitch Dingman Competition

Last night’s Pitch Dingman Competition brought together a wide range of entrepreneurs: students from the Fearless Founders program pitching ideas; a student entrepreneur who’s startup has already made it big; Smith Advisory Board members from both the entrepreneur and investor sides; and many students, faculty and staff interested in all things entrepreneurship.

Before the competition began, entrepreneurs gained valuable customer feedback at Terp Marketplace. They tested the market, sold their products and made impactful connections.

Terp Marketplace

Following Terp Marketplace, the competition began. Jonathan Chen shared his inspirational story of spending his last dollars to get to Slilicon Valley, staying in a Motel 6, never-ending networking, and eventually getting funded by Mark Cuban which began a $1.2 million seed round.

Jonathan Chen

Then, we heard from five very impressive finalists:

AnyWire, Ben Broch: AnyWire has produced an electrical outlet with an adhesive backing that can be stuck to any wall, allowing easy access for users.


Globoclub Fitness, Daniel Stern: Globoclub Fitness is developing a network of gyms across the country to provide affordable and convenient access to these gyms for travelers.

Locks of Curls, Fredrica Antwi: Locks of Curls is a monthly subscription box service of hair products for men and women with naturally curly hair.


MyDL, Maron Fasil: MyDL is a mobile app that will allow you to access your driver’s license anytime, anywhere, without having to ever bring your card.


Red Coverage Solutions, Rohit Reddy: Red Coverage Solutions provides students, staff and faculty error-free access to their mobile network.


The seven judges had a tough decision to make. While they deliberated, the audience was able to get in on the action and text-to-vote for their favorite finalist. Rohit Reddy, from Red Coverage Solutions was the crowd favorite and took home the $500 Audience Choice Award.

Audience Choice

Our partners at Capital One were also in attendance to announce the 10 Fearless Founders who would receive $500 grants to build their minimum viable products.

CapOne Grants

Congratulations to:

AnyWire, Ben Broch
Bethany’s Organics, Bethany Monaghan
Cribbit, Raja Ayyagari
EasyShare, Drew Weinberger
Globoclub Fitness, Dan Stern
Locks of Curls, Fredrica Antwi
MyDL, Maron Fasil
Saache, Wenjin and YiJie Tan
Stitch, LaShawn Gooden
Victory Cola, Alex Coffin

In the end, the judges chose Ben Broch from AnyWire as the competition winner, awarding him a $2,000 seed fund.


Feeling inspired by the entrepreneurs in the room, the Smith Advisory Board wanted to provide additional seed funds. The group awarded Red Coverage Solutions the Smith Advisory Board prize and an additional $800.


Thank you to the people from all ends of the Dingman Center community that contributed to the success of the Pitch Dingman Competition.

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Meet the Pitch Dingman Competition Finalists

This Thursday, May 1, five finalists will compete at the Pitch Dingman Competition for a chance at $2,500 in seed funding. Register today and join us on May 1 to text-to-vote for your favorite finalists, and hear from FiscalNote Co-Founder, Jonathan Chen.

May 1, 2014 Pitch Dingman Competition Finalists

AnyWire, Ben Broch
College students complain about electrical outlets being in such poor room placements. Having to crawl under desks, tediously tip-toe over dangling cords, and suffering from incredibly archaic looking extension cords led Ben to create AnyWire. The product allows a person to stick an electrical outlet to any wall of your choice and whenever and wherever you would like.

Globoclub Fitness, Daniel Stern
A lack of access to fully equipped fitness centers exists for the 2 billion domestic travelers each year. Customer feedback shows that travelers are not satisfied with inadequate hotel gyms. Globoclub Fitness is developing a network of gyms across the country to provide affordable and convenient access to these gyms for travelers. A Globoclub Fitness membership allows short-term access to any gym in our network of high-end fitness centers during a business trip or vacation. 

Locks of Curls, Fredrica Antwi
Locks of Curls is a monthly subscription box service of hair products for men and women with naturally curly hair. Because of the mass amount of products available in the market and lack of knowledge surrounding them, many people are confused on what products are meant for their hair and which ones to try. Locks of Curls aims to create a fun, easy way to experiment with these products. 

MyDL, Maron Fasil
Physical documents are becoming a thing of the past as digitization dominates innovation. The goal is to support this trend by creating a digitized driver’s license—a mobile app that will allow you to access your driver’s license anytime, anywhere, without having to ever bring your card.

Red Coverage Solutions, Rohit Reddy
There is bad mobile connectivity within most buildings on the University of Maryland campus. This makes it difficult to make calls, exchange text messages, and this even affects emergency calls. Red Coverage Solutions will provide the students, staff and faculty an error-free access to their mobile network, providing seamless mobile connectivity, both indoors and outdoors. 

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FiscalNote Co-Founder to Keynote Pitch Dingman Competition

For the last Pitch Dingman Competition of the 2013-2014 academic year, we’re bringing in a young and successful entrepreneur to inspire the audience. Jonathan Chen is a current Hinman CEO, UMD senior, and co-founder of a startup with 17 employees with over $1.2 million in funding. Join us in Van Munching Hall this Thursday, May 1 at 5:30 p.m. to hear from Jonathan and watch five finalists compete for $2,500 in funding. Register now.

Photoshop building out

Jonathan Chen grew up in North Potomac, Maryland where he attended Thomas S. Wootton High School in Montgomery County. His passion for technology began at a young age, so enrolled in four years of computer science classes at Wootton.

Going into the University of Maryland, Jonathan decided to major in computer science. He spent his free time building cool applications and websites that he tried to turn into companies. Unfortunately, none of his ideas panned out. Not knowing too much about entrepreneurship, Jonathan applied and was admitted into the Hinman CEOs entrepreneurship program hoping he could learn more about starting a business. During his first year in the program, Jonathan, along with two high school friends, came up with an idea to aggregate and analyze government legislation with the ability to predict the passage of a bill across all 50 states. They called it FiscalNote. Jonathan entered the idea into the Department of Computer Science’s F.I.S.H. Bowl entrepreneurship competition and placed 2nd. The competition helped validate their idea and push Jonathan and his co-founders to apply to the Plug and Play Startup Camp accelerator in Silicon Valley. They were accepted into the startup camp and spent the summer of 2013 building FiscalNote from the bottom up.

At the start of the summer 2013, Jonathan took advantage of his membership in the Hinman CEOs program and applied for the Citrin Impact Seed Fund from Mtech, receiving $5,000 in funding. Ten weeks later, the FiscalNote team’s hard work and dedication paid off because at the end of August, they were able to raise $1.2 million in seed funding from Mark Cuban, Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, and First Round Capital’s Dorm Room Fund. At the end of the accelerator program, Jonathan and his team moved their company to Washington D.C. because that is where all three co-founders are originally from and the majority of their clients reside in the nation’s capitol. Using the seed funds, Jonathan has grown FiscalNote to 17 full-time employees, with their office located in the heart of Washington D.C. and their product selling on the market.

Jonathan serves as the Chief Technology Officer at FiscalNote managing eight brilliant engineers. He is currently a senior, graduating in May. Along with Jonathan’s passion for technology, Jonathan has grown to enjoy sharing his entrepreneurial story in order to inspire those with their own ideas to fearlessly pursue them.

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