Tag Archives: UMD

Terp Startup Javazen Is Putting a Healthy Twist On Your Morning Coffee

What comes to mind when you hear “the Arnold Palmer of coffee?” In the D.C. area, many people think Javazen.


According to the company website, Javazen is organic coffee combined with premium teas and nutritious “superfoods,” including cacao and goji berries. Aaron Wallach, Eric Golman and Ryan Scheuler started the company in their college apartment while attending the University of Maryland. After recently graduating from UMD and making their first sales, the team decided to run Javazen full-time. Continue reading

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Five Terp Startups Win $2,000 at the Cupid’s Cup Startup Showcase

The 10th Annual Cupid’s Cup Business Competition and Startup Showcase drew a sold-out crowd on April 22nd at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performance Arts Center.
Before the finalists took the stage, more than a dozen Terp startups exhibited their ventures in the Startup Showcase where Cupid’s Cup attendees had a chance to check out some UMD’s most innovative companies. The Showcase was filled with live demos, customer interviews and even taste tests. Attendees had the chance to text-to-vote for the five coolest startups, who each won $2,000 from BB&T.
Congratulations to the following winners:
  • Vincent Bellitti, CareerPeer – CareerPeer is a career path selection and management tool for undergraduate students interested in a career in business.
  • Sanil Shah, Tabster – Tabster is a mobile application that allows customers to arrive at high-volume restaurants, check-in and pre-order their food while waiting.
  • Omar Goheer, K. Sultana – K. Sultana produces breathable scarves and creates entrepreneurship and skills development opportunities for women.
  • Zachary Matz, 417 App Studios LLC – Their social-gaming mobile application, Puzzable, allows users to send their photos to friends and family in the form of a jigsaw puzzle.
  • Tommy Johnson, VentureStorm – VentureStorm is an online platform that connects student entrepreneurs to student developers.

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Top 10 Reasons to Attend the 10th Annual Cupid’s Cup

The wait is almost over… the 10th Annual Cupid’s Cup business competition and Startup Showcase will be held this Wednesday, April 22 at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. The Smith School of Business will host the competition in partnership with competition Chairman Kevin Plank ’96, founder & CEO of Under Armour.

There’s more than $115K in prizes on the line, and the finalists have been selected from some of the top student entrepreneurs in the world.

10001385_10152299454746897_640720858_nAs if you needed more incentive to be there, check out these 10 reasons to make sure you attend this signature #30DaysUMD event:
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Cupid’s Cup Startup Showcase to Feature Terp Founders

Cupid’s Cup is more than a competition — it’s a showcase of top entrepreneurial talent. Unique to this year’s showcase, participants are all University of Maryland student-run startups.

Who should attend? Entrepreneurs looking for advice. Investors looking for early-stage companies. And of course, students wondering what entrepreneurship is all about!

1403169_10152354076726692_2112121409411916732_oHere are the companies and founders that you’ll have a chance to meet at this year’s showcase:
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Get to Know the 2015 Cupid’s Cup Finalists

Last week, Kevin Plank and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship announced the finalists of the 10th Anniversary Cupid’s Cup business competition. The finalists come from top schools across the country including Cornell, Duke, Drexel, Stetson, Virginia Tech, and our own University of Maryland.

After successfully moving through several rounds, these entrepreneurs have proven they have what it takes to compete in the finals on April 22nd at the University of Maryland.

We wanted to learn a little more about the talented founders behind the startups in the final round so we asked them a few questions, like what are they up to when they’re not working on their startsups? And, what was their reaction to being named a Cupid’s Cup finalist by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank? They had some interesting responses!

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10th Annual Cupid’s Cup Business Competition Now Open


Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Cupid’s Cup Business Competition, presented by Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank ’96 and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. In the 10th annual competition, the top student entrepreneurs from across the country and around the world can compete for $115,000 in total cash prizes.

The application deadline is Jan. 5, 2015. The final competition is set for Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at UMD’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

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Worth Reading 9/20/13

This week we attended the First Look Fair, one of the longest running involvement traditions at UMD, to introduce new students to the Dingman Center. We were lucky to have a booth next to our friends at the Academy of Innovation & Entrepreneurship who joined is in celebrating the new campus-wide Innovation Fridays!


Now, check out what we think is worth reading this week.

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

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Fine Observations: The Entrepreneurship Dive

School is out; the pools are open, and July 4th is upon us so what better time to write a blog post equating entrepreneurship to diving? On a recent panel at InTheCapital’s DC UpFront event, I had the opportunity to comment on the debate about teaching entrepreneurship. I offered a metaphor that might seem simplistic, but effective and timely.

Teaching entrepreneurship is like teaching someone to dive off the high dive. Let me explain. Let’s first look at one approach to finding dive talent: you line up a bunch of kids who appear to have the right stamina and grace, march them up the ladder and have them attempt a 2 ½ somersault cold. If they don’t appear to be Greg Louganis or surprise you with a perfect Triple Lindy, you suggest they go back to the baby pool. Or, you do what I did this weekend with my 6-year-olds; baby steps. I took them to the side of the diving well and taught them some basic skills – hands out, heads down. They watched some older kids on the board – the approach, the takeoff, the execution, and the rare perfect entry.  They have models. When they showed some progress I cheered them on, celebrated their small successes. When they belly-flopped I laughed with them and encouraged them to try again.

Will they be Olympic divers? Probably not, but as the adage goes, they won’t know if they don’t try. If I never expose them, never show them how to start, never help assuage some of the fear, never give them a small taste of that plunge, they certainly never will. Failure and mistakes often intensify passion and drive. Look at the stories of legendary entrepreneurs like Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Richard Branson and Larry Ellison to understand how their setbacks fueled their successes. V 1.0 of a product is never right, neither is V 1.0 of an entrepreneur.

And so, this is how we are teaching entrepreneurship at University of Maryland’s Dingman Center. The same way we teach diving, or even medicine or math. We are exposing thousands of students through competitions like our Cupid’s Cup (named for Kevin Plank’s student business Cupid’s Valentine —a perfect illustration of starting small) and course offerings like our Real 660. We are equipping them with basic skills to identify opportunities, talk to customers, test assumptions on new business models, prove big concepts in small ways. We are connecting them with a community of seasoned entrepreneurs, sophisticated investors, local startups, subject matter experts, researchers and more importantly each other. Most importantly, we are celebrating them for their entrepreneurial spirit.

Do all entrepreneurs start this way? No, of course not. We know that Mark Zuckerburg and Steve Jobs didn’t enroll in entrepreneurship classes. We know all entrepreneurs have a unique path. We also know that our economy is desperate for more entrepreneurs than we have now and we can’t rely on luck that they stumble across the high dive. The more students we expose to the entrepreneurial mindset and process, the more we support to prove their initial concepts, big or small, the better our chances of seeding an innovation economy.

Be fearless.


ElanaFineElana Fine (@elanafine) was appointed Managing Director of the Dingman Center in July 2012, after joining the team in 2010 as Director of Venture Investments. As Managing Director, Elana’s primary focus is leading the Dingman Center in support of its mission and strategic plan. Key responsibilities include oversight of our student venture incubator, Dingman Center Angels investor network, business competitions, and technology commercialization efforts. Elana also develops and maintains relationships with donors, board members, EIRs, the Smith School community and other campus and regional partners. She is also serving as co-chair of the Dean’s Task Force on Entrepreneurship and Innovation and will be working with our Academic Director to expand the Dingman Center’s research activities and curriculum development.

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2012 UMD Entrepreneurship Invitational Recap

The 7th Annual UMD Entrepreneurship Invitational, Powered by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship was overwhelmingly successful with the launch of Startup MD, the BB&T Business Invitational, keynote speakers Governor O’Malley and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank at Cupid’s Cup, and over 600 attendees at the day’s events. Cupid’s Cup Grand Prize and People’s Choice winner was Reed Street Productions, taking home $17,500 in prizes.
BB&T Business Invitational winners were Veenome (regional company) and My Fridge Rental (UMD community company), each receiving $2,000. With praise from President Wallace Loh and Dean Anand on the quality of the companies and execution of the day, this has been the most successful UMD Entrepreneurship Invitational to date. Keep reading for highlights and photos of the day.

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Startup Maryland is a regional initiative launched out of the Startup America Partnership. Driven from within the community and led by entrepreneurs Startup Maryland is locally-operated and inclusive. Startup Maryland strives to connect innovation communities and recognize the importance of startups, ramp-ups and speedups to the state and regional economies. The official launch of Startup MD was the first event of the day at the UMD Entrepreneurship Invitational. The video below, features highlights from the event.

BB&T Business Invitational is a showcase of University of Maryland companies, regional startups, and campus and regional resources for entrepreneurs. Attendees had the opportunity to network with UMD students and alumni, local entrepreneurs and investors, and business leaders from the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. Sponsored by BB&T, prize money was awarded to top exhibitors as voted on by event attendees.

Dan Waetjen, BB&T group president for the Greater Washington region, presented prizes from BB&T for exhibitors at the BB&T Business Invitational:

  • $2,000 best UMD Community company – My Fridge Rental (winners of the 2011 Cupid’s Cup)
  • $2,000 best Regional company – Veenome

Cupid’s Cup, a business competition for student and alumni entrepreneurs, began in 2006, due to the vision and generous support of Kevin Plank ’96, founder and CEO of Under Armour. The competition is designed to identify and support students and young alumni who have already started their own businesses. Five finalists pitched their businesses to Kevin Plank and a panel of veteran entrepreneurs for $25,000 in prizes.

  • $15,000, 1st place – Reed Street Productions, operators of Run for Your Lives, a zombie themed adventure race attracting thousands of participants
  • $7,500, 2nd place – Food Safety Administration, provider of online courses for food service professionals required to earn food and alcohol safety certifications
  • $2,500, People’s Choice Award, decided by audience vote – Reed Street Productions (sponsored by Sam Medile ’80, a successful entrepreneur and former Terp student athlete)

Other finalists:

  • 10G Systems, supplier of web-based transportation software to small to mid-size shippers
  • Route One Apparel, an e-commerce platform for creative apparel designed by students
  • Visisonics, a UMD spinout that enables realistic 3D audio for music, movies and gaming in standard headphones

To see a full photo album from the day, go to  http:/ter.ps/mar30photos 

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