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.
In 2011, Smith seniors Adam ‘11 and Eric ‘11 VanWagner won Cupid’s Cup and $15,000 for their startup, MyFridgeRental.com. The twin brothers started their dorm refrigerator rental and delivery company in 2010. By the time they participated in Cupid’s Cup, the company had generated over $160,000 in profit and was serving a handful of college campuses in the DC-metro area.
Cupid’s Cup wasn’t the co-founders’ first rodeo in the world of business competitions. In March 2009, Adam won first place in the Pitch Dingman Competition for his television rental company, Fairview Enterprises. That business didn’t take off, but Adam and his brother Eric were determined to start their own venture. Based on experience in their family business, and a clear need in the market, they launched MyFridgeRental.com. They pitched the early stage company at a 2010 PItch Dingman Competition but didn’t win.
Their advice to Cupid’s Cup hopefuls? Be persistent. And, practice. Practice. Practice.
Eric told us that they practiced their presentation until they knew it like the back of their hand. Plus, they now had real customers and were showing serious traction in the market. “We didn’t have the most complicated idea. It is actually very simple, but it was a proven, revenue generating business model and we relentlessly practiced our pitch,” said Eric.
They also leveraged the resources made available to them through the Dingman Center. The Entrepreneurs in Residence and faculty helped them perfect their pitch and think through opportunities to scale. Winning Cupid’s Cup was instrumental in pushing the company to the next level in growth.
Today, MyFridgeRental.com serves more than 15 schools in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and DC (they hope the University of Maryland will soon be on their client list). Both brothers are still actively involved, with Eric a full-time employee. The company’s growth allows Eric and Adam to give back to the UMD community by offering jobs to undergrads at the start of the semester when students are moving into dorms across the region.
They hope to continue to grow and add additional services year-round. Be sure to stay tuned for what’s next. And, if you are a UMD student and would like to see fridge rentals on campus, complete this petition and share it with your friends!
Cupid’s Cup has experienced tremendous growth over the last four years, going from a UMD-only competition to drawing top student entrepreneurs from across the country. Not to mention, some of the most influential people in business attend and judge the competition. If you think you have what it takes, apply by January 5, 2015.
About Cupid’s Cup
The 10th Annual Cupid’s Cup is powered by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business and Kevin Plank ’96, founder and CEO of Under Armour. The national business plan competition draws some of the most passionate student entrepreneurs from across the country to compete for more than $100K in prizes. Finalists will pitch their business to Plank and other top judges on April 22, 2015. The application phase runs from Nov. 1, 2014, to Jan. 5, 2015 (11:59 p.m. EST). There is no fee to apply. Visit http://cupidscup.umd.edu for the game plan and complete eligibility rules.