That’s a Wrap! Looking back at the Fall Semester

It’s hard to believe it’s already December. Final exams are coming to an end and soon students will be off for the winter break. Those who engage with the Dingman Center, know our mission is to build a community that discovers, equips, connects and celebrates entrepreneurship. This semester was no exception. We hit the ground running in August, bringing back our signature programs, such as Pitch Dingman Fridays, the Pitch Dingman Competition during Global Entrepreneurship Week, and Terp Marketplace.

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Fearless Founders Program Awards Grant Funding to Student Entrepreneurs

fearless founders stampLast night, the Dingman Center awarded a total of $8,500 in grant funding to student entrepreneurs in the Hatch stage of the Fearless Founders. Congratulations to all of the students who worked hard this semester going through the customer discovery process and iterating on their businesses. Keep reading for the full list of winners.

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Brent Goldfarb Appointed Academic Director of the Dingman Center

We are excited to announce that Brent Goldfarb, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship, has been appointed the Academic Director of the Dingman Center, where he will will direct research and education programs for the center.

“Brent is ideal for this role,” said Smith School Dean Alex Triantis. “He pushes his students out of their comfort zones. His #RealEntrepreneurship, for example, has challenged them to conceive, launch and operate actual companies.”

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Goldfarb’s entrepreneurship courses are some of Dingman’s most popular at the Smith School of Business. His capstone courses include #RealEntrepreneurship and AdVENTURE Challenge: China, which was recently featured in BizEd magazine.

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In his new role, Goldfarb will continue to develop courses similar to AdVENTURE Challenge: China, a program described as “Amazing Race meets venture creation.” Competing students spend a week in China learning critical thinking skills through the practice of customer discovery.

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In addition to developing cutting edge curriculum, Goldfarb focuses his research on technology applications and strategies for driving startups and the economy.

“Brent’s expertise has been invaluable to the Dingman Center and our students,” said Dingman Center Managing Director Elana Fine. “His increased role will strengthen our ties to faculty and further integrate Dingman Center programs into the Smith School curriculum.  Our combined vision is to create a broader portfolio of courses and experiences to attract and equip students interested in entrepreneurship.”

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What’s Up at the Dingman Center?

Every two weeks, the Dingman Center distributes The Pitch, which highlights important happenings in our community. In case you missed it, here’s a look at what’s up in entrepreneurship:

Dean Triantis Named One of InTheCapital’s “50 on Fire” for Education

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Congrats to Dean Alex Triantis, who has been named one of InTheCapital’s “50 on Fire“; a list of the year’s disruptive innovators covering nine industries. Since his appointment, the school has received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund the Center for International Business Education and Research. Dingman Center Angels portfolio company, Homesnap also made the list. Check out the full list here!

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Catching up with Cupid’s Cup Champ, MyFridgeRental.com

This year Cupid’s Cup is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Kevin Plank is looking for the next entrepreneur who has what it takes to win the cup and more than $100,000 in cash prizes.

As we gear up for this year’s competition, we caught up with founders Adam and Eric VanWagner to see how things are going with MyFridgeRental.com, the 2011 Cupid’s Cup champion.

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Adam VanWagner ’11

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Eric VanWagner ’11

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Terp Toolkit: Building the Right Entrepreneurial Board

Research by Christine Beckman, Originally published in Research@Smith, Volume 15, No 1

Entrepreneurial boards typically stay actively involved in the growth of a new venture and can be critical to the company’s success. So it is important for startups to know which types of people they should offer board seats to.

boardChristine Beckman, associate professor of management and organization at the Robert H. Smith School of Business and Academic Director at UMD’s Center for Social Value Creation, looked at the influence of entrepreneurial boards and the makeup that helps startups grow quickly in a paper she co-coauthored for Academy of Management Journal. The authors followed 105 semiconductor firms founded in the United States from 1977 through 1990 to see how well the companies did and how the inaugural board members impacted success.

Continue reading for key findings from Professor Beckman’s study and takeaways to build an effective board for your startup.

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What’s Happening at the Dingman Center?

Every two weeks, the Dingman Center distributes The Pitch, which highlights important happenings in our community. In case you missed it, here’s a look at what’s up in entrepreneurship:

 Big Idea CONNECTpreneur FORUM is Back!

On December 4th, the Big Idea CONNECTpreneur Forum is back and promises to be better than ever. The quarterly event, which will be held at the Tysons Corner Marriott from 7-11a.m., brings together over 300 of the top founders, angel investors, CXOs, VCs and business leaders from the mid-Atlantic region. This unique event features a morning of awesome networking, newsmaking speakers and a showcase of exciting companies, including Dingman portfolio company, Naaya.

Register by December 1st to receive a special Thanksgiving discount rate.

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Terp Entrepreneur Launches Locks of Curls

Fredrica Antwi, Founder, Locks of Curls

Fredrica Antwi, Founder, Locks of Curls

Fredrica Antwi, a senior studying Accounting and Finance at the University of Maryland, was tired of spending a ton of money purchasing hair products to tame her naturally curly hair. After countless trips to the beauty supply store left her broke and unhappy, she decided to do something about it.

“I would spend so much money purchasing products but at the end of the day, they would end up in a cabinet somewhere unfinished,” said Fredrica.

So, she came up with Locks of Curls, an exciting way for people with naturally curly hair to experiment with products without a huge commitment or breaking the bank.

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Event Recap: Pitch Dingman Competition

Last week, the Dingman Center celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week. The capstone of the week-long celebration was the Pitch Dingman Competition, where five student entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to a panel of judges for $3,500 in prizes. With upwards of 300 attendees, the competition was a huge success with participation from Fearless Founders, Dingman Center Board of Advisors, faculty, staff and students from across campus.

Before the competition started, student entrepreneurs displayed the products and services to test the market at Terp Marketplace. Nearly 20 vendors participated selling products ranging vegan nail polish to sugar cane juice.

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Event Recap: The Silk Road Rediscovered with Professor Anil Gupta

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Professor Anil Gupta, Dingman Chair in Strategy & Entrepreneurship

Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration of just that: innovators who give life to new ventures that drive economic and social value creation everyday around the world.  Who better to talk with Smith School students about the importance of international entrepreneurship than than global innovation expert, Professor Anil Gupta, the Michael Dingman Chair in Strategy and Globalization at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

On Wednesday, Nov.19, Prof. Gupta led a lunchtime discussion with Smith graduate students and faculty around his latest book, “The Silk Road Rediscovered,” which examines the business and cultural relationships between the emerging countries, India and China.

Though these countries have been around for thousands of years, India and China are more entrepreneurial than ever. As Prof. Gupta shared, these economic super-giants are growing faster than ever, and are poised to surpass the GDP of the developed countries such as the U.S., Japan and Germany in the next 10-20 years.

“Professor Gupta gave very interesting insights into India and China,” said Seth Faulb, a 2015 MBA candidate and president of Smith’s Entrepreneurship Club. “The most interesting thing from the discussion, I thought, was how in the last 2,000 years the global economy was dominated by these two countries and, given conservative estimates, it is very likely to return that way in only 10 years. It sounds to me like the more developed world needs another huge event like the industrial revolution to keep the competitive advantage they have held for the last 100 or so years.”

As future business leaders, a solid understanding of the economic growth and business opportunities in China and India is paramount. At Smith, we are privileged to have such worldly, expert professors, like Prof. Gupta, who can share not only the business implications but also the cultural nuances that will help us work more effectively with diverse teams.

“No matter what career path we are pursuing, at some point it will be very beneficial to have an understanding of the Chinese and Indian economies and the unique characteristics that define each,” said attendee and 2015 MBA candidate, Patrick Gillece. “There are few people who are as knowledgeable and as effective in communicating those issues as Dr. Gupta, so I really appreciated the opportunity to hear from such a renowned expert in the field.”

Anil K. Gupta is the Michael Dingman Chair in Global Strategy & Entrepreneurship at the Smith School of Business, at the University of Maryland at College Park. He is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on strategy, entrepreneurship and globalization. Thinkers50 has named him as one of the world’s 50 most influential management thinkers and has been named by The Economist as one of the world’s “superstars” in a cover story on “Innovation in Emerging Economies.” Click here for more information about Dr. Gupta and his latest book, “The Silk Road Rediscovered.”

IMG_5316The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and the Office of Global Initiatives lead a program that brings Smith MBA students to China each year. This year, students will travel from Shanghai to Beijing where they will participate in the 9th Annual China Business Model Competition. Click here to register or learn more about the program.

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