Tag Archives: wayne kimmel

Smith Centers of Excellence and SERC to Present JOBS Act Panel: “How To Protect The Crowd In Crowdfunding”

It has been three years since Obama’s historic signing of the JOBS Act, which was enacted as a way to help small businesses, the lifeblood of job growth in the U.S., more easily obtain funding by easing securities regulations. Since 2012, the entrepreneurial community has eagerly awaited the SEC’s final guidance on the rules regarding crowdfunding.

It appears that the SEC is close to issuing rules on how the Act will affect equity investments of non-accredited investors in small businesses and startups, particularly through crowdfunding vehicles.

jobs-act-senate-passesOn Friday, May 8, the Smith School’s Center for Financial Policy, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and the Smith Entrepreneurship Research Conference will host a panel discussion among experts from the academic, regulatory and entrepreneurial communities on how to regulate the industry in a way that protects investors from fraudulent activity while preserving the spirit of the JOBS Act.

The panel will be moderated by Brent Goldfarb, Academic Director at the Dingman Center and Associate Professor.

The panelists will include:

  • Wayne Kimmel, Founder and Managing Partner, Seventy-Six Capital
  • David Lynn, Partner, Morrison & Forester, and former Chief Counsel of the Division of Corporation Finance at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Ramana Nanda, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University
  • Brian Knight, Associate Director, Financial Policy, Center for Financial Markets, Milken Institute

The panel culminates the annual invitation-only Smith Entrepreneurship Research Conference hosted by the University of Maryland, which is attended by faculty from leading academic institutions (e.g., Wharton, Stanford and MIT). Leading researchers and rising stars in entrepreneurship research gather to discuss relevant social, economic and organizational issues around entrepreneurship.

The crowdfunding panel is the only session open to the public. Join us for the event, which will be held in Tyser Auditorium, Van Munching Hall at 3:30 on Friday, May 8. For more event details, please click here.

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Dingman Speaker Series: Wayne Kimmel


Last week, the Dingman Center hosted another edition of our speaker series featuring Wayne Kimmel ’92 (@waynekimmel). Wayne is the founder and Managing Partner of SeventySix Capital, a seed and early stage venture capital fund that invests in consumer product and service businesses. He is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, philanthropist and tireless networker and an avid sports fan. Some of SeventySix Capital’s most notable investments include Indiegogo, SeamlessWeb and Nutrisystem.

In an informal and intimate setting, Wayne offered advice on a range of topics, but focused primarily on the the importance of building a strong network and how to go about doing so. The room was filled with student entrepreneurs, both undergraduate and MBA, and even had guest appearances from Dingman Center Founder, Rudy Lamone and Smith School Dean, Alex Triantis. Here are some of the highlights from his talk:

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Entrepreneurial Do’s and Don’ts

Do you want to start the next Brazen Careerist or KBL Group? Explore these “Do’s and Don’ts” from a few entrepreneurial Pros:


“Keep it simple and tell a story during an investor pitch session.” – Ed Barrientos

“Fall in love with the idea that your product solves a business or consumer need and can do so at the appropriate price point.” – Michael Schwab

“Go out and make contacts, leverage your network of individuals that have a background or some knowledge base or expertise that they’re willing to share with you.”  -Michael Schwab

“Surround yourself with great people” – Steve Begleiter

“Listen to anybody and everybody, but don’t let them make your final decision.” – Steve Begleiter

“Do things that you love and are passionate about. Be authentic in everything you do.” – Wayne Kimmel


“Don’t bore me to death: Keep your pitch fresh and interesting.” – Ed Barrientos

“Don’t be a phony. Don’t get involved in things you don’t care about.” – Wayne Kimmel

“Don’t overplay the valuation card. In other words, be realistic about what your business is worth and come to terms with it emotionally.” – Ed Barrientos

“Don’t give up if the first opportunity doesn’t create a sale or a success story. ” – Michael Schwab

“Don’t let other people run your business. If you’re in charge, you have to understand what your business is about at all levels.” – Steve Begleiter

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Center Stage with Wayne Kimmel ’92, Founder of Artists & Instigators

You’ve started, and helped start, a number of businesses over the course of your career. What are you working on now?
I’m building a new company, “Artists & Instigators”, which will be a consumer brand. To accomplish this, I’ve partnered with Marc Ecko, who founded the billion-dollar brand “Ecko Unltd.”  He is an expert in selling and marketing products.  More to come next year…

Over the last decade, I’ve personally run a venture capital fund, which has invested in close to 30 companies. Most of those startups have been consumer product and technology companies. We have been fortunate to have had a number of great successes over the last decade with several of the investments we’ve made like with SeamlessWeb that was founded by a Terp alum and was acquired by ARAMARK, Take Care Health Systems that was acquired by Walgreens, and NutriSystem that was the top performing stock in the U.S. for 5 consecutive years.

As the manager of a venture capital fund, you’ve seen dozens of entrepreneur pitches. What advice do you have for someone preparing for a pitch?
Passion is the most important part of any pitch. Anyone doing a pitch must truly believe in what they’re selling and that company they work for. They have to be personally involved. It’s obvious when people are pitching a business and they don’t truly believe in what they’re saying. Whatever you do, you’ve got to believe in it. If you don’t love it, and you’re not excited about it, then you’re doing the wrong thing. That’s the kind of advice I give to people all the time. It’s very, very important for you to believe in what you’re doing. You have to love it.

Given the state of the economy, what would you say to someone considering the launch of a business?
Why not? What’s the alternative? These are the times when some of the best businesses are built. Follow your passions, follow your dreams. This is the time to go and make things happen. Yes, there are a lot of problems out there today. At the same time, it’s not like there’s a safety net in having a job. There is no loyalty from employers. It’s not personal; it’s just the way it is today. The pundits out there have dubbed this generation of kids, “The Lost Generation.” That’s just not true. Students today have skills that other generations are not capable of having because of the technologies they’ve grown up with. The employers that embrace this will be successful. Now is an opportunity for young people to go make their mark.

Why is the Dingman Center a special place?
[Managing Director] Asher Epstein and Dean Anand have really been the driving force behind entrepreneurial opportunities that you typically don’t get at other universities. The entrepreneurial spirit that Asher brings to the table is contagious. He has a real passion for helping students achieve their own goals; whether during the MBA summer trip to Israel, the various programs at Dingman, or as an advisor. Students look at him as a peer because he’s approachable. That kind of a relationship that he’s been able to have with students is a major feather in the cap of the Smith School and the University of Maryland in general. It’s a major selling point for the University.

Wayne Kimmel '92, Founder and Managing Partner, Artists & Instigators

Wayne D. Kimmel is a Founder and Managing Partner of Artists & Instigators with Marc Eckō and Tony Bifano. Wayne is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, philanthropist and tireless networker. In 1999, Wayne founded a venture capital firm that invests in startup and early-stage companies. Some of his successful investments included, SeamlessWeb (acquired by ARAMARK), Take Care Health Systems (acquired by Walgreens), and NutriSystem (NTRI), (top performing stock in the U.S. for 5 consecutive years). Currently, Wayne serves on the Board of Directors of Ecko |Code, OrganizedWisdom, Ryzing, meetMoi and KGRA Energy.

Follow Wayne on Twitter @waynekimmel

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