Category Archives: Cupid’s Cup

A Look Back at the 2016 Cupid’s Cup

By: Justin Taubman ’16 MBA Candidate

On Thursday, April 7th, Kevin Plank ’96, Founder and CEO of Under Armour, returned to the University of Maryland to host the 11th annual Cupid’s Cup Entrepreneurship Competition. This was my second time attending the event and Mr. Plank continues to outdo himself by bringing in celebrity judges like Dan Gilbert, Wes Moore, and Arianna Huffington to evaluate the exceptional pitches of six finalists. The finalists emerged from a pool of over 500 applicants representing over 100 schools and made it through several rounds of screening to the main event where they competed for $100,000 in cash prizes.

The event started at 2:00 p.m. in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center with a Startup Showcase of UMD’s top student entrepreneurs and their businesses. Among the startups in the showcase were many of the finalists from the Pitch Dingman Competition such as uBoard and WeCook as well as many other friends of the Dingman Center like Spot This and Meta Cartel

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After touring all the booths, I ended up throwing on a Spot This t-shirt and joining my classmates to help collect email addresses to invite users to join their beta. The crowd was very curious about their product and happy to get involved in the testing. The energy and excitement in the atmosphere was palpable, but this was just an appetizer leading up to the main event that would start at 4:00 p.m.

The show kicked off with the professional MC Christian Crosby, Live Events Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers who introduced Plank to the crowd of over a thousand. Mr. Plank recounted his days at the University of Maryland as a student athlete and his rose delivery business that helped him raise the seed money to start Under Armour after graduating. After introducing the judges, the competition began.

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Kevin Plank ’96 introducing judges

The competition was comprised of six finalists, all with incredibly unique businesses that were all generating substantial revenue. Headbands of Hope kicked things off by pitching their stylish headband company with a social angle to help children with cancer. Then the University of Maryland’s own Javazen got the hometown crowd fired up in their presentation. The unique box membership company MyBestBox did an impressive job explaining how their customized boxes can help customers live more healthy lives. The youngest entrepreneur in the finals was the founder of Plova Chewing Gum, who introduced us to the world’s first beneficial oral care product in the form of gum. The founder of Six Foods had an infectious energy that got Kevin Plank to eat her Chirp Chips, tortilla chips made with crickets. The last pitch was by Wolf & Shepherd the sleek dress shoe company with the technology of running shoes.

The judges certainly had their work cut out for them. Ultimately there could only be one winner of the Cup. After much deliberation the judges emerged from backstage and handed out some impressive $5,000 consolation prizes to Plova and MyBestBox. SixFoods was awarded $25,000 for second-place. The first-place prize of $75,000, their name on the Cup, and access to Kevin Plank’s network was awarded to our very own Javazen! We are all very proud of Ryan, Eric, and Aaron at the Dingman Center and hope that their success continues and also that it inspires other student entrepreneurs at University of Maryland.

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A Preview of the Cupid’s Cup Startup Showcase

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Cupid’s Cup is tomorrow, and we’re all excited to watch UMD and Terp Startup alum Javazen compete for the prize of $100,000. But before the main event starts at 4 p.m., there is a wonderful opportunity to see some rising stars of the UMD startup community at the Cupid’s Cup Showcase at 2 p.m. Who knows, one day they may be competing in Cupid’s Cup themselves. Here’s a sneak peek of the impressive startups and their founders you can expect to see there:

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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.
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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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Thinking about applying to a business competition? Five tips from Elana Fine

For b-schools, incubators and other organizations that support startups, business competitions are very hot right now. For entrepreneurs, they can be great opportunities to flex your entrepreneurial muscles and gain traction for your startup or business idea.

CC-04Apr14-635_hr However, with a seemingly endless list of competitions to choose from and limited time, how do you decide which competitions to enter?

Here are five things to consider from Dingman Center Managing Director, Elana Fine:

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Welcome back, Terps!

We hope everyone had a happy holiday season and is refreshed for a productive spring semester at Van Munching Hall.

The Dingman Center is hosting many exciting entrepreneurship events and programs this spring. Here are a few you don’t want to miss!

The 10th Annual Cupid’s Cup

cupidscupAn impressive 197 applications were submitted from 93 universities around the globe for the 10th Annual Cupid’s Cup competition, chaired by Under Armour CEO and Terp alumnus, Kevin Plank.

The applications — which hailed from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Thailand, Greece, Nigeria, and beyond — are now undergoing the initial review process. Judges will select 12 applicants to advance to the semifinals on March 12. Watch out for that announcement in mid-February. And, be sure to save the date for the showcase and final competition on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland.

For more information please visit the Cupid’s Cup website.

The Pitch Dingman Competition

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For all those student entrepreneurs out there, are you ready to take your startup to the next level? Consider applying for the spring Pitch Dingman Competition to be held March 4, 2015, from 6-7:30pm at in Tyser Auditorium in Van Munching Hall. Five finalists will pitch to a panel of all-star judges including regional entrepreneurs and members of the Smith School community, as they compete for $3,500 in start-up funding.

The application deadline is Monday, February 16 at 10 a.m. Click here for more information and eligibility requirements.

Pitch Dingman Sessions are Back!

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Beginning Friday, Jan. 30, Pitch Dingman sessions will continue every Friday for the remainder of the semester. Students, faculty, staff and alumni are encouraged to attend a walk-in sessions from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to get feedback on their business ideas. In addition to insights from experienced entrepreneurs, participants will leave Pitch Dingman with actionable next steps. Students interested in competing in the March 4 Pitch Dingman Competition must attend at least one walk-in session.

Questions? Email pitchdingman@rhsmith.umd.edu or visit the website.

 

To hear about additional events, programs and news, visit our website, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, connect with us on LinkedIn and continue reading this blog.

 

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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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Do you have what it takes? Top 10 Reasons to Apply to Cupid’s Cup 

Kevin Plank’96, founder and CEO of Under Armour, is looking for the world’s most passionate student entrepreneurs for the 10th Annual Cupid’s Cup. If you are a student entrepreneur with a game-changing business idea, here are 10 reasons you should apply today.

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