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REMARKS FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ELANA FINE teuqoC neirdA yb detaerC tcejorP nuoN eht morf

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ne of the many privileges of my role as Executive Director has been building a relationship with our Center’s benefactor and namesake, Michael Dingman, and his family. Sadly, Michael passed away on October 3, 2017, only a few months after his last visit to campus. While Michael’s gift which launched our Center impacted thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs at University of Maryland, his investment in the concept of entrepreneurship as an academic discipline catalyzed a movement throughout colleges and universities across the nation and now across the globe. Michael Dingman’s passing prompted my own evaluation of whether the Dingman Center lived up to the aspirations outlined years ago. Did all of its caretakers, myself included, deliver on the promises Rudy Lamone “pitched” years ago? Does the Dingman of today resemble the hub of entrepreneurship envisioned by our founders in the late 80s? Looking at the programs, ventures and community highlighted in this report, I can confidently declare that we have made Michael Dingman proud. In 2018, the Dingman Center brand stands for community, mentorship, thought leadership, inspiration, education and action. Our region admires our work and relies on us.

CONTENTS 2. Remarks from Executive Director 3. Michael Dingman Memoriam 4. Rudy Awards 6. Hisaoka Speaker Series 8. Spark 9. Dingman Fridays & Dingman Jumpstart 10. Fearless Founders 12. Pitch Dingman Competition 14. Ladies First 16. Student Ecosystem 17. Mentor Network 18. Bootstrapped & Alumni Relations 19. Dingman Center Angels 20. Board of Advisors 22. Honor Roll 23. Staff, Faculty & Community


The Dingman Center board, its existence a centerpiece of Rudy’s vision, engages a committed and growing group of regional and national leaders who passionately believe in the power of entrepreneurship. Alumni of all ages and industries regularly seek out the Dingman Center to reconnect with the university. By offering their time, treasure and talent they perpetuate the lifecycle of mentorship and ensure our financial sustainability. The Dingman Center perennially attracts high performing, energetic, mission-driven, spirited, strategic, efficient and creative team members. At this point in our history and with a great deal of consideration, I have decided to step down from a position I’ve been honored to hold for the past six years. Leading the Dingman Center teams, celebrating and teaching our entrepreneurs, and connecting our community has been a highlight of my career. Splashed on the pages of this report are some of my proudest accomplishments of our Center—gender diversity among the students we inspire and equip; rise in our national rankings; increased quality of our competition finalists; partnerships with our campus and faculty affiliates; evolution of our signature programs; growth of our board of advisors and success attracting high profile donors and speakers. Each day I’ve been touched by our community’s willingness to help develop our student entrepreneurs and their ventures. Thank you for your energy, generosity, dedication, and most of all, friendship. This place is truly remarkable. Be Fearless, Elana Fine ’97 | Executive Director, Dingman Center




ichael David Dingman, benefactor and namesake of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, died on Oct. 3, 2017, at his home in Lyford Cay, Bahamas. He was 86. “Michael Dingman inspired and empowered hundreds of entrepreneurs for decades,” Smith School dean Alexander Triantis said. “The entrepreneurship center that bears his name has served students for more than 30 years, and the impact will continue to grow throughout the world.” Dingman was born on Sept. 29, 1931, in New Haven, CT, and attended the University of Maryland before leaving to launch a Wall Street career. He became best-known in the investment community as what one major

magazine called a “dealmaker extraordinaire.” Over the decades he served as chief executive or president of several U.S.-based industrial corporations, including Wheelabrator-Frye, Signal Companies, AlliedSignal and its Henley Group spinoff, which he took through a $1.2 billion IPO. He later moved to the Bahamas, where he founded and served as president and CEO of diversified international holding company Shipston Group until his death. He also served as a director of Ford Motor Company, Time Inc. and Time Warner Inc., Mellon Bank, Temple Industries, Continental Telephone Company and Teekay Shipping Corporation, becoming a nonexecutive director of GeoPark Limited in 2017.

that supported people through tough economic times. “To see the average working man suffer is more than we care to witness without trying to do something about it,” he said in 1992. During the Dingman Center’s 25th anniversary celebration in 2010, Dingman challenged students to “get to work” to make the world a better place. “I grew up in a time when America built huge infrastructure projects, like the interstate highway system, shipyards, airports, massive dams—matched only by our even greater investment in public schools and universities,” he told the students. “These were monumental achievements. Americans could do that again, here and around the world.”

Dingman actively increased his role as a philanthropist, donating funds to support education, hospitals, the environment and social organizations

ingman made his final trip to the University of Maryland on May 4, D 2017, for the third annual Rudy Awards, named for former dean and Dingman Center founding director Rudolph (Rudy) Lamone.

“ Mike Dingman’s ability to overcome obstacles, to see what others could not see, to persist in the face of adversity and to defy conventional wisdom is at the heart of his success as an entrepreneur and his entrepreneurial ventures. His spirit of joy and his kindness will live with us forever.” —RUDY LAMONE

• Rudy Lamone with Michael Dingman at the Rudy Awards




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ntrepreneurs, investors, mentors, students and faculty joined the Dingman Center on May 3, 2018 to celebrate the fourth annual Rudy Awards. The ceremony honors the Center’s vibrant community of entrepreneurs. This year’s Rudy Awards celebrated the legacy of the late Michael Dingman. In his remarks, Rudy Awards namesake, former dean and Dingman Center founding director Rudy Lamone spoke of Dingman as his dear friend, who over 30 years ago gave him the first opportunity to “Pitch Dingman”; and, with his generous donation, provided the foundation for the Dingman Center as the impactful organization it is today. Michael Dingman’s son and special guest, Patrick Dingman, represented the family at the event.

“ We launched the Rudy Awards in 2014 with the aspiration that it would be the connective tissue among Dingman past, present and future. In 2018, the Dingman Center brand stands for community, mentorship, thought leadership, inspiration, education and action.” —ELANA FINE


HSIN ’98, Director, CNF Investments for Clark Enterprises – Winner

STEWART, Managing Director, Cranbrook Capital – Winner

Aside from being an excellent cohost on the Dingman Center’s Bootstrapped podcast, Joe is a shining example of teaching excellence in entrepreneurship. Whether he is teaching in the Executive MBA program or leading QUEST, Joe is an ardent supporter of our programs and resources.

Jennifer started as a regular advisor at Dingman Fridays but quickly moved on to coaching teams for Pitch Dingman Competition and Terp Startup. Her expertise in tech and raising capital has helped many of our students take their startups to the next level. Jennifer has truly gone above and beyond to support student entrepreneurs.

Kathryn’s relationships and strong reputation in our regional startup community have allowed her to refer many interesting investment opportunities to the Dingman Center Angels. She is a valued member of our Board of Advisors and the Smith Advisory Board, and has generously provided an annual Fellowship for undergraduate students to engage in summer internships at startups.

Smith School Associate Research Professor and QUEST Executive Director – Winner

Nominees Drew Bewick ’88, Adjunct Professor and Social Entrepreneurship Laboratory faculty member Larisa Cioaca, MBA ’07, Lecturer and Advisor, Agricultural Business Management, Leadership and Communication Oliver Schlake, Smith School Clinical Full Professor Jay Smith, Director, Honors Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program 4



Nominees: Paul Capriolo ’06, Director of Growth, Zentail Philip Eliot, Managing Director, Reflection Ventures Phil Masiello, MBA ’92, Founder, Hound Dog Digital Marketing and Serial Entrepreneur Polly Vail, Independent Consultant for Startups and Social Impact Clients


Nominees: Chris College, Managing Partner, TCP Venture Capital Deborah Hemingway, Ph.D. ’18, CEO, Leon Scientific Amit Mehra, Partner, NOVI LLC


Co-Founder, Podcast Village – Winner Oscar began his journey with the Dingman Center as a student in the Executive MBA program, where he convinced Elana and Joe to launch Bootstrapped, a podcast to tell the stories of founders and funders in our network. As an alumnus, he serves as Bootstrapped’s executive producer, and has also founded his own startup, Podcast Village—the WeWork for podcasters. Nominees: Hillary Berman, MBA ’03, Founder & Chief Strategist, Popcorn & Ice Cream Jason Gates ’11, Co-Founder & CEO, Compology Evan Lutz ’14, CEO & Co-Founder, Hungry Harvest Jignesh Shah, MBA ’05, CEO, Rybbon



CHEN ’19, KYLE LIU ’20, Co-Founders of Symbiont Health - Winners

Sonar – Winner

The Symbiont Health founding team’s passion for solving the problem of elderly falls has been undaunted in the face of setbacks. Their persistence in finding a solution that best meets the needs of their customers has been awarded the grand prize in our Pitch Dingman Competition and first place venture at the Do Good Challenge Finals. Nominees: Audrey Awasom ’18, Founder of Noble Uprising Matthew Hollister ’18, Founder of The James Hollister Wellness Foundation Michael Sheehan ’18, Founder of Citizens of Earth

George has displayed his sincere passion for entrepreneurship for many years at the Dingman Center. After attending Dingman Fridays and enrolling in the Hatch course, George’s commitment to growing his cybersecurity startup earned him a spot in last summer's Terp Startup program. This year, he won the 3rd place prize at Pitch Dingman Competition. Nominees: Didac Hormiga ’19, Founder of Flee Sydney Parker ’18, Founder of Emprology Brianna Queen ’19, Founder of BEEQBOX Galen Stetsyuk ’19, Stephen Walsh ’18, Mikhail Sorokin ’18, Co-Founders of MPLEX VR

• B rianna Queen and Elana Fine

During the ceremony, the 2018 Jason ’96 & Jamie Cohen Entrepreneurship Fund Award was given to Brianna Queen ’19, Founder of BEEQBOX, a cosmetics startup featuring illuminating products with a feminist twist. In the short time Brianna has been running BEEQBOX, she has generated more than $125,000 in revenue and came in 2nd place at this year’s Pitch Dingman Competition. The $1,000 will help Brianna continue to grow her startup.





hanks to a generous commitment from Robert G. Hisaoka, a 1979 business graduate, the Dingman Center had the resources to provide new ways for students to connect classroom learning with the real world of business and venture creation. Hisaoka’s gift includes his active support as host of the new speaker series and the chairmanship of the Pitch Dingman Competition. As chair, Hisaoka sought UMD students with hard-to-duplicate business solutions that fill a specific need in a viable market with potential for growth and scale. With the speaker series, Hisaoka tapped into his vast personal and professional network to invite exciting speakers to campus, creating additional opportunities to nurture Terp talent.

Early in his career, Hisaoka quickly transitioned from public accounting to coowning and running some of the largest car dealerships in the country. Currently, he is the President of Luxury Imports of Bowling Green and BMW of Bowling Green and a partner in various other import dealerships. After selling some top-ranked dealerships in 2006, Hisaoka focused on investing in private companies with innovative disruptive technology and giving back through philanthropy. He is an active angel and venture investor sitting on the boards of a multitude of companies. In 2008, Hisaoka founded (and chairs) the Joan Hisaoka Gala to honor his

late sister, Joan, and to fulfill her desire to help others living with cancer. The Gala supports organizations that bring hope and healing to those faced with serious illness. The Gala raised approximately $2 million this year and $14 million since inception. In 2013, Hisaoka received the Smith School of Business Alumnus of the Year Award, and also was honored by Inova Health System with the Building Our Legacy in Cancer Award. He serves as the chairman of the Advisory Board of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute, and formerly served on the Advisory Board of the Smith School of Business as well as many other non-profit boards.

SEPTEMBER 2017 The inaugural event of the Hisaoka Speaker Series featured Ted Leonsis, the Founder, Chairman, Majority Owner and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns and operates the Washington Capitals (NHL), Washington Wizards (NBA), Washington Mystics (WNBA), Washington Valor (AFL), Baltimore Brigade (AFL), a 20,000-seat arena and an over-the-top network. Leonsis is also a co-owner of a global eSports franchise.

• Ted Leonsis with Robert Hisaoka



“ Universities are the single most important engine that defines a community. Sports play an important role in unifying a community, but universities do more to drive upward mobility and create economic opportunity.” —TED LEONSIS

FEBRUARY 2018 The second installment featured a panel of young founders with one thing in common: they all launched their startups as students. Founders included: Ali von Paris ’12, Founder & CEO, Route One Apparel; Evan Lutz ’14, Founder & CEO, Hungry Harvest; Brandon Deyo, Founder & CEO, Mars Reel and Bradley Deyo, Founder & COO, Mars Reel.

“ It’s important to stay humble. Give credit to your team, and always take responsibility.” • Left to right: Bradley Deyo, Brandon Deyo, Evan Lutz, Ali von Paris


APRIL 2018 The final Hisaoka presentation featured alumnus Raul Fernandez ’90, the current Vice Chairman and Owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and former founder of Proxicom, a leading e-commerce solutions company that Fernandez sold in 2007 for $450 million.

“ What’s been great for me is to be able to see athletes in all the sports that we participate in really apply their energy, their skill, their knowledge to be the best and to win as a team. It’s very similar to building a company.”

• Raul Fernandez ’90






or students interested in entrepreneurship but lacking an idea, we kick off our fall semester each year with spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start. In partnership with the student-run incubator, Startup Shell, spark is a hackathon-style ideation event loaded with fun activities designed to brainstorm problems—be they day-to-day annoyances or global issues. Students passionate about similar problems then form teams to design a business idea around a solution.


DAY 1: Problemstorming with Oliver Schlake Smith School Clinical Full Professor Oliver Schlake kicked off the first night with a series of exercises designed to help students identify problems to solve, as well as competitive team-building activities.

DAY 2: Problem Definition and Solution Brainstorming with Maurice Boissiere Smith School Adjunct Professor and Dingman Center Board of Advisors member Maurice Boissiere ’89 opened the second day’s activities with a workshop to help students better understand the problem they seek to solve, and pathways to discovering viable business solutions.



Students who studied abroad for eight-weeks in Latin America through Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps participated in spark as a capstone to their international experiences. Together they brainstormed ideas to benefit the communities and people they lived with over the summer.



ften, the first time we meet aspiring student entrepreneurs is at Dingman Fridays, our weekly advising sessions where Venture Mentors, Subject Matter Experts, guest advisors and Dingman staff are available to listen to ideas, offer feedback and provide actionable next steps to students. Each one-on-one appointment ends with the student receiving a startup pocket guide containing nine questions. For those who are willing to dive into the pocket guide and work seriously on their ideas, their next step is attending a three-hour startup workshop called Dingman Jumpstart. Led by Dingman staff, this crash course takes students through a startup manual which delves more deeply into the problem(s) they aim to solve. Those who are committed to moving forward may then enroll in the Fearless Founders accelerator program, where they begin their journey of customer discovery and finding product market fit.

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One of the bright ideas that emerged from spark 2018 was Trashionate, a technology-based waste bin that automatically sorts items into recycling, compost and landfill. Members of the founding team comprised of Stephanie Brocato ’21, Aditi Balachandran ’21 and Dilene Upendra ’21 decided to take their idea forward by attending Dingman Jumpstart and meeting with advisors on Dingman Fridays.

Stephanie’s passion for the concept became evident when she enrolled in Hatch, a three-credit course within the Fearless Founders accelerator in which students build and test their business ideas using lean startup methodology. At the end of spring semester 2018, Stephanie delivered a full venture pitch on Trashionate to a panel of Dingman staff.


• The Trashionate team at spark 2018





atch is a three-credit course within the Fearless Founders accelerator where students build and test their business ideas using lean startup methodology. Each business is also assigned a Venture Mentor from the Dingman Center Mentor Network. Upon completion of the course, students are eligible for up to $2,500 in seed funding. While 18 teams completed the course in spring 2018, we have highlighted two startups who distinguished themselves. CITIZENS OF EARTH | MICHAEL

SHEEHAN ’18 Citizens of Earth is an eco-social organization that creates products and services to foster sustainable living through edible landscapes. Most recently, Citizens of Earth has developed a food product that uses lion’s mane mushrooms as a sustainable, ethically sourced and vegan alternative to crabmeat. Michael initially became involved with the Dingman Center by attending Dingman Fridays advising sessions, then joining our Hatch 2018 cohort and earning his way into Terp Startup.

THE JAMES HOLLISTER WELLNESS FOUNDATION | MATTHEW HOLLISTER ’18 The James Hollister Wellness Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded for the purpose of reducing medicinal waste and helping to relieve the world’s drug shortage crisis. UMD biology major Matthew and Loyola University finance student Stefano Brugnerotto were collaborating on a community service assignment when they came up with the idea for the foundation, named in honor of Matthew's late father. The Dingman Center first worked with this team a few years ago, helping them refine their business model and improve their pitch on their journey to winning the Do Good Challenge top venture prize in 2017. Since then, they have been diligently growing their social venture through advising and taking Hatch.

Terp Marketplace Students were offered two chances to sell their products and services and test the market among the UMD community at Terp Marketplace this year. In fall 2017, we helped the Smith School celebrate Homecoming by hosting a Terp Marketplace which alumni, students, faculty and staff were encouraged to attend. Then in spring 2018 the event was integrated into our Entrepreneurship Day in April. More than 30 startups participated this year. Tommy WARES founder Tommy Piantone sold his eco-friendly t-shirts at both events. Students in Professor David Kressler’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship course also participated by competing to see who could make the most revenue—the students raised over $1,200.

“ Fearless Founders has provided the tools and resources for us to innovate and collaborate, fostering creativity and critical feedback.” —MICHAEL SHEEHAN ’18 • T ommy WARES




en extremely impressive teams were selected for the 2018 Terp Startup summer accelerator. To be considered for this prestigious and competitive program, students undergo a rigorous application process in which they must demonstrate their startup's traction as well as their own entrepreneurial drive. Once accepted, startup teams receive a stipend of up to $5,000 and a dedicated board of mentors to help them grow their businesses over an eight-week period in the summer. This year's cohort of startups and their founders includes an eclectic and exciting mix:

AURORA TIGHTS | Jasmine Snead ’18, Sydney Parker ’18

looking for sustainable energy solutions.

SYNAPTO | Anoop Patel ’20, David Boegner ’20

Aurora Tights designs performance sports apparel for diverse skin tones and sizes.

CITIZENS OF EARTH | Michael Sheehan ’18

OLYMPUS PROJECTS | Zubin Gadhoke ’19, Peter Robinson ’19, and Mike Duquette ’18

Citizens of Earth offers services to install and maintain home vegetable gardens to encourage sustainable living.

Olympus Projects is an influencer marketing agency that connects emerging musicians and up-andcoming brands for monetization opportunities.

LZYFARMER | Robert Ginsberg, MBA ’18

SLAY Naturals is an all-natural beauty and skincare brand that offers an affordable and accessible line of products.

LzyFarmer is a mobile app designed for millennials looking to grow successful home gardens.

NOBLE UPRISING | L. Audrey Awasom ’18 Noble Uprising is a non-profit organization that offers career readiness and job training programs for homeless women.

SLAY NATURALS | Breonna Massey ’18

SOLR TECH, LLC | Alexei Onufrak ’20 Solr Tech sells a solar-powered patio umbrella that doubles as a charger to businesses

Synapto is a biotech venture developing a device that uses AI and portable EEG to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

TOMMY WARES | Tommy Piantone ’18 Tommy WARES is an ethical t-shirt company working with independent artists to fund social impact investment projects.

VERDANT INNOVATIVES, LLC | Anjik Ghosh ’18 Verdant Innovatives is developing a small-scale vertical wind axis turbine to provide an affordable renewable energy solution.




• The inaugural cohort of Hisaoka Entrepreneurs at the Pitch Dingman Competition Semifinals


ach year, Pitch Dingman Competition provides an opportunity for the Dingman Center to engage with the top student entrepreneurs at the University of Maryland. The allure of $30,000 in startup funding attracts many contenders from across campus. Whether or not these applicants have what it takes to advance in the competition, we encourage them to apply for our Fearless Founders Accelerator to help grow their businesses. Fearless Founders alumni gain business skills and training to rise ahead of the pack, but Pitch Dingman Competition is a learning experience all of its own—students must possess endurance, passion and drive to win. This year’s Pitch Dingman Competition was chaired by Robert G. Hisaoka ’79, who provided the funding for each Pitch Dingman semifinalist to form the inaugural cohort of “Hisaoka Entrepreneurs.” Each of the Hisaoka Entrepreneurs received additional funding for their team, along with the opportunity to benefit from Robert Hisaoka’s network. Additionally, semifinalists benefitted from the Hisaoka Entrepreneurs Bootcamp, a full day of workshops and mentor feedback to help hone their pitches for the Finals.




Basereach | Dan Bogachek ’18 BEEQBOX | Brianna Queen ’19 Dark Sonar Technologies, LLC | George Lee ’18 Emprology | Sydney Parker ’18 Flee | Didac Hormiga ’19 Manta Technologies | Daniel Diazdelcastillo, MS ’19 MPLEX VR | Galen Stetsyuk ’19, Stephen Walsh ’18, Mikhail Sorokin ’18 Ötzi | Shyon Parsadoust ’19, Nick Sarfaraz ’19 Senvision | Chris Look ’20, Sanna Madan ’20 Symbiont Health | Erich Meissner ’18, Maria Chen ’19, Kyle Liu ’20 Thank you to leading donors Robert G. Hisaoka and David and Robyn Quattrone, as well as corporate partners SECU and Venable LLP for providing funding for the competition prizes.


SYMBIONT HEALTH | Erich Meissner, Maria Chen, Kyle Liu The David & Robyn Quattrone Pitch Dingman Grand Prize ($15,000) A startup that produces automated fall-detection devices for seniors

BEEQBOX | Brianna Queen 2nd Place ($7,500) An ethical cosmetics company featuring provocative, feminist branding

DARK SONAR TECHNOLOGIES, LLC | George Lee 3rd Place ($3,500) A cybersecurity company with services aligned to the needs of small businesses

FLEE | Didac Hormiga Audience Choice ($1,000) A location-based social media app to help students discover local events

EMPROLOGY | Sydney Parker Runner Up

• L eft to right: Dingman Center executive director Elana Fine, grand prize winners and

Symbiont Health co-founders Erich Meissner, Maria Chen, Kyle Liu; and David Quattrone, sponsor of the Pitch Dingman Grand Prize.

Pitch Dingman Judges SEMIFINALS Hilton Augustine Chief Angel, Englare Christine Beckman Professor, Academic Director, Center for Social Value Creation Matt Fishlinger ’07 Founder & Executive VP, Gramercy Risk Holdings, LLC Gloria Jacobovitz Technology Manager, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Ray Joyce ’17 Venture Analyst, Greenspring Associates Jay Smith Director, Honors Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program (EIP)

FINALS Robert Hisaoka ’79 Investor and Philanthropist David Quattrone, MBA ’05 Co-Founder & CTO, Cvent Rob McGovern ’83 Founder & CEO, PreciseTarget Michele Moore Vice President of Retail Banking, SECU Dick Patterson President & CEO, RR Automotive Bobby Turnage Partner, Venable LLP Connie Weaver ’75 Co-Founder & CEO, Tracker Group

An influencermarketing consultancy targeted to minority female bloggers DINGMAN CENTER ANNUAL REPORT 2017-2018




ow in its second year, our Ladies First initiative to involve more women in entrepreneurship at UMD is gaining momentum. In addition to two wellattended events, we launched our landmark Ladies First Founders class led by Dingman Center Associate Director for Social Entrepreneurship and Ladies First champion Sara Herald, MBA ’11. The inaugural Ladies First Founders cohort is comprised of 10 remarkable female entrepreneurs from across campus. While learning skills to overcome gender biases in entrepreneurship, these diverse young women also found a unique platform to connect with and celebrate one another.

AUDREY AWASOM ’18: Noble Uprising

SYDNEY PARKER ’18: Emprology

Noble Uprising is a non-profit organization with career readiness programs for homeless women.

Emprology is an influencer marketing consultancy targeted to minority female bloggers.

MARIA CHEN ’19: Symbiont Health Symbiont Health provides nursing homes with automated fall detection devices for seniors.

MEGHA GUGGARI ’20: Synapto Synapto is a biotech venture developing a device to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

BREONNA MASSEY ’18: SLAY Naturals SLAY Naturals is a lifestyle beauty and skincare brand using all-natural ingredients. 14

JESSICA ROSENTHAL ’20: Good Stuff Good Works Good Stuff Good Works facilitates the sales of artisanal goods from Ecuador to UMD and beyond.

JASMINE SNEAD ’18: Aurora Tights Aurora Tights sells performance sports apparel for diverse skin tones and sizes.

NATALIE URBAN ’18 AND YINYIN LIAO ’18: PRJ GRL PRJ GRL sells ethically-sourced coffee from Latin America and donates profits to education programs for impoverished girls in Cambodia.

FIONA WHITEFIELD ’20: Continuum Continuum empowers the growing elderly population to stay independent by providing home maintenance services.

“ Ladies First Founders creates a space where it’s accepted or even encouraged to lower your barriers, show vulnerabilities, applaud each other’s strengths and grow with like-minded women.”



“ We started Ladies First Founders because we kept hearing that female entrepreneurs wanted a peer community. These women are focused on growing their own ventures but equally committed to supporting their fellow founders.” —SARA HERALD, MBA ’11, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Events NOVEMBER 9: LADIES FIRST FALL DINNER 75 Female students gathered together for a sit-down dinner to learn about changing the world through social entrepreneurship. Special guest Ann Yang, co-founder of Misfit Juicery, charmed attendees with a candid talk on her experiences as a young female founder looking to fight food waste.

• MBA student volunteers and undergraduates connecting at the Ladies First Fall Dinner

APRIL 3: LADIES FIRST: DOLPHIN TANK WITH SPRINGBOARD ENTERPRISES The women-only pitch event gave regional female founders an opportunity to ask for friendly feedback and connections from an expert panel, including Amy Millman, President of Springboard Enterprises; Ting Shih, CEO and Co-Founder of ClickMedix; Pam Rothenberg, Partner at Womble Bond Dickinson and a Dingman Center board member; and Marla Bilonick, Executive Director of the Latino Economic Development Center.

• L eft to right: Nicole Geller, moderator; Ashley Ademiluyi, co-founder of Real

Tours; Jessica Dew, founder of MyStyle Authority; and Jodi Lasky, founder of The Pride





or UMD students interested in entrepreneurship but not quite ready to pursue a venture, the Dingman Center offers an array of experiences to expose students to the startup ecosystem on campus and beyond.



ENTERPRENEUR CLUB is the undergraduate student-run entrepreneurship club that provides opportunities for Terps of all majors to learn about entrepreneurship through events, speakers, workshops, site visits and more. ​ MBA E-CLUB is the go-to resource for MBA students who want to get more acquainted with the entrepreneurial ecosystem and offerings at the Smith School and in the DC-area at large.

For students seeking to gain work experience at a startup, the Center offers the following Fellowships which connect students with a summer startup internship while providing matching funds from donors.

SUSA NYC: Each year, the Dingman Center participates in the Smith Undergraduate Student Association’s (SUSA) career trek to New York. This year, ~18 students visited 2U’s NYC technology hub, Anthemis Fintech VC, and UrbanX—Mini/BMW’s venture accelerator focused on solutions for urban dwellers.

2018 KATHRYN STEWART FELLOWS: Through a generous donation by Kathryn Stewart, the following undergraduate students worked at startup internships this summer:

JACOB ORBACH ’19 | City Hive, NYC YINYIN LIAO ’19 | Hungry Harvest, Baltimore, Md. 2018 DUGAL IMPACT FELLOWS: Through a generous gift from Ish ’05 and Priya Dugal ’05, the following students worked at social ventures:

CANDICE DAYTNER ’19 | Misfit Juicery, NYC ADAM SARSONY ’20 | SEED SPOT, Washington, D.C.

• Dingman Center Student Venture Program Manager Chris Rehkamp (far right) with students on the SUSA NYC trek outside UrbanX.



2018 HISAOKA FELLOWS: Through a generous gift from Robert G. Hisaoka ’79, the following 1st year MBA students worked at startups this summer:

​ ANDAR KASHIKAR, MBA ’19 | MPower, M Washington D.C. VARUN SAXENA, MBA ’19 | Magnident

UMD Ranked in the Top 10 for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Education for Third Straight Year In The Princeton Review’s annual survey of the Top Schools for Entrepreneurship, the University of Maryland (UMD) ranked No. 8 for undergraduate entrepreneurship education overall, up from No. 7, and No. 4 among all public universities. This marks the seventh consecutive year in which UMD has been named a top 25 program for entrepreneurship studies. These stellar rankings are largely due to strong collaborations among innovation and entrepreneurship units on campus including the Dingman Center, the Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, the Office of Technology Commercialization, MTech, the Do Good Institute, the Career Center, and many others.



he Dingman Center Mentor Network is a prime initiative to connect our network of successful entrepreneurs and subject matter experts to our student entrepreneurs. Through our Fearless Founders Accelerator, Pitch Dingman Competition coaching and our online Mentor Network Platform, we provide numerous avenues for our students and alumni to seek the support they need. Mentors engage with us through a variety of endeavors:

• D INGMAN FRIDAYS ADVISORS and LEGAL ADVISORS are available at the Center every Friday of the semester to provide actionable feedback to students during one-on-one sessions. • S UBJECT MATTER EXPERTS (SME) provide expertise in startup fields such as Finance, Marketing, Legal, etc. SMEs meet one-on-one with aspiring entrepreneurs or provide workshops and class presentations. • V ENTURE MENTORS are serial entrepreneurs, seasoned executives or venture coaches interested in offering dedicated venture development and education. • E NTREPRENEURSHIP CATALYSTS are experienced student entrepreneurs giving back to their fellow student entrepreneurs through peer-to-peer advising and mentorship. • F ACULTY AFFILIATES work with the Center to link activities and programs to their curriculum and syllabi, mentor undergraduate research activity and serve as mentors to student entrepreneurs in the Center’s programs.


JENNIFER HSIN ’98 Jennifer Hsin is a Director and CFO at CNF Investments LLC, where she is responsible for sourcing and managing portfolio companies with a focus on SaaS and tech-enabled businesses. She also oversees the finance, operations and administration of the funds. Jennifer has been mentoring at Dingman for more than two years. She is a frequent Dingman Fridays advisor, has served as a Pitch Dingman Competition coach, taught in the Hisaoka Entrepreneurs Bootcamp and provided guidance to Terp Startup teams.

PAUL CAPRIOLO ’06 Paul Capriolo is the founder and CEO of Social Growth Technologies, which delivers high performance online advertising and virtual currency monetization in the social gaming and e-commerce environments. As a student, Paul pitched Social Growth Technologies at the Dingman Center's business competition, Cupid's Cup, and took home the grand prize. After selling SGT, Paul became Director of Growth at Zentail, an e-commerce technology company based in Columbia, MD. Paul has been advising at the Center for nearly five years. He is a regular Dingman Fridays advisor, has served as a Venture Mentor for Pitch Dingman Competition and Hatch, and taught in the Hisaoka Entrepreneurs Bootcamp.

“ I was able to get sound feedback on any concerns I had with my a reliable sanity check in times of doubt.” —GEORGE LEE ON MENTOR, PAUL CAPRIOLO





wo years ago when we launched Bootstrapped, the Dingman Center’s startup podcast, we never dreamed how much the production would impact our ability to tell our stories. The Bootstrapped podcast embodies the spirit of innovation thriving within the Dingman Center network, and helped to exponentially grow the reputation and awareness of the Center. This year, we took Bootstrapped inside the classroom by developing a Startup Fundamentals Index, allowing faculty to integrate specific episodes that matched their course content into their syllabi. Purposing this storytelling platform as educational content helped our faculty bring entrepreneurship curriculum to life.

Startup Fundamentals Index Subjects


Customer Acquisition

ntrepreneurial E Journeys


How to Pitch

Legal Created by joni from the Noun Project


Seed Funding

EPISODE 29: A Personalized Approach to Investing

EPISODE 40: Applying a Business First Approach to Social Venture

Special Guest: Kathryn Stewart, Managing Director, Cranbrook Capital

Special Guest: Melissa Bradley, Managing Director, Project 500

EPISODE 35: Waste Not Want Not: The Importance of Adaptability

EPISODE 41: From Bootstrapped to Series D in Seven Years with EverFi

Special Guest: Jason Gates ’11, Founder & CEO, Compology

Special Guest: Jon Chapman, MBA ‘07, Co-Founder & President, EverFi

Subscribe to Bootstrapped on iTunes or download the episodes at



ALUMNI RELATIONS @ DINGMAN Engaging more deeply with alumni was central to our goals for this academic year; thus during spring semester 2018, we partnered with the Smith School Alumni Association on a variety of events and online content.

EVENTS: MARCH 20, in Santa Monica, Cali.: Smith on the Road Featuring Dingman Bootstrapped MARCH 21, in San Francisco, Cali.: Smith on the Road Featuring Dingman Bootstrapped MARCH 22, in San Jose, Cali.: UMD Alumni Networking Reception APRIL 10, in Washington, D.C.: Innovation Center Tour & Networking Reception at Booz Allen Hamilton APRIL 13-14, in College Park, Md.: Smith MBA Reunion Weekend

ONLINE: Four Online Speed Advising sessions for Alumni Entrepreneurs via the Brazen Chats platform. Webinar hosted by Dingman Center Executive Director Elana Fine ’97: "Becoming a Savvy Startup Investor" Webinar hosted by Dingman Center Board Chair Liz Sara ’80: "Branding: Why People Fall in Love with Things."



id-Atlantic startups seeking seed and early-stage funding with accredited investors interface with the Dingman Center Angels (DCA) investor network. Since inception, the DCA have invested more than $15.8M in regional companies. To join DCA and view our full portfolio, visit

DINGMAN CENTER ANGELS ASSOCIATES The Dingman Center Angels Associates (DCAA) is an experiential learning course on venture capital comprised of Smith MBA students. In its second year, the course helps students understand the mindset of an Angel Investor vs. Venture Capital and teaches graduate students how to evaluate seed stage deals. The DCAA recruits, screens, and diligences companies and fosters networking in the regional startup community.


• K aran Deshmukh, MBA ’18 • Ming Zeng, MBA ’18

• Mike Dausen, MBA ’18

• Kelsey Jackson, MBA/ MPP ’19

• J ason Wang, MBA ’18

• Staci Bank, MBA ’18

• Viplove Prakash, MBA ’18 • Tanay Natarajan, MBA ’18 • Porter Brockway, MBA ’18

• Sreejith Manghat, MBA ’18

• S andeep Iyer, MBA ’18

• Shea Holmes, MBA ’18

• Brittani Hradsky, MBA ’18 DINGMAN CENTER ANNUAL REPORT 2017-2018




uring the past two years, we have been on a journey to expand the Dingman Center Board of Advisors to include more diverse perspectives and experiences in entrepreneurship. While the journey continues, we have solidified a group of leaders who can guide us as we improve and grow our programs.

Liz Sara ’80, Board Chair | BEST MARKETING, LLC Liz has more than 25 years of experience in the local high tech community as an entrepreneur, business leader and angel investor. In 2001, she founded Best Marketing, LLC to provide early-stage tech companies with strategic marketing services and expertise.

G. Anand Anandalingam | UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND Professor Anand is the Ralph J. Tyser Professor of Management Science at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He served as dean of the business school at Imperial College London from 2013 to 2016, and Dean of the Smith School from 2007 to 2013.

PV Boccasam | WEALTHENGINE PV is a General Partner at Novak Biddle Venture Partners and has over 20 years of operational and executive management experience. Currently, PV has stepped into the role of CEO of Orchestro, for which he sets the vision, strategy and governance for the evolving company.


Maurice Boissiere ’89 | ADJUNCT PROFESSOR AND STARTUP COACH Maurice is a startup coach and consultant committed to helping people turn their concepts into reality. He has more than 20 years of product leadership experience at early-stage ventures and is an Adjunct Professor at UMD.

Bill Boyle '81 | FIBERGATE, INC. Bill founded and FiberGate, Inc., a Washington D.C. metro area provider of Dark Fiber services. He ran the company for 17 years and successfully exited in the fall of 2012. Currently, Bill invests and works with startup companies through the Dingman Center Angels.

Paul Capriolo '06 | ZENTAIL Paul founded Social Growth Technologies, a social gaming advertising startup he grew for seven years before securing its acquisition by Kiswe Mobile in 2016. Currently, Paul is the Director of Growth at Zentail, an e-commerce technology company based in Columbia, MD.


Charles G. Carr '85 | RSM Chuck is a Partner at RSM, the leading U.S. provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market. He primarily serves technology and life science clients, as well as numerous restaurant/ hospitality clients. Chuck has helped many companies with their IPO process.

Jason Cohen '96 | HALEN BRANDS Jason is the Founder and Co-CEO of Halen Brands, Inc. which he created in 2015. The company quickly funded Chef’s Cut Real Jerky in March 2015, then purchased Rex’s Outrageous Road Crew Crunch in September 2015; and, recently, Core Hydration in June 2016.

Stephen B. Ferber '90 | GOLDEN GATE BPO SOLUTIONS, LLC Stephen is CEO & Managing Partner of Golden Gate BPO Solutions, LLC, which he founded in 2006 in conjunction with Paxys, Inc. and Advanced Contact Solutions, one of the largest outsourced providers of contact center and BPO solutions in Southeast Asia.

Matthew Fishlinger '07 | GRAMERCY RISK HOLDINGS, LLC In 2014, Matthew formed Gramercy Risk Holdings, LLC with his father, William Fishlinger, former CEO and Chairman of The Wright Insurance Group. Gramercy provides financial, operational and legal resources for both domestic and foreign property and casualty insurance entities.

Harry Geller '81 | SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR Harry is an entrepreneur whose career has spanned a broad range of successful startup companies. Geller has launched, owned and managed fourteen multi-million dollar businesses, primarily focused on the fields of logistics, food services and real estate.

Jeff Grinspoon '90, MBA '95 | VWG WEALTH MANAGEMENT Jeff is Managing Director, Partner at VWG where he works with business owners and executives formulating business succession plans, managing liquidity events and executing wealth transfer strategies.

Gloria Jacobovitz, Ph.D. | JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY APPLIED PHYSICS LABORATORY Gloria is an entrepreneur, angel investor and technology manager. She has over 20 years of experience in research, technology based startups and entrepreneurship, as well as Fortune 500 companies worldwide.

Mark Levine | CORE CAPITAL PARTNERS Mark is a Managing Director of Core Capital Partners, a venture capital investment fund with $400 million under management. Core Capital’s portfolio companies concentrate on enterprise software,

specifically cloud computing, cybersecurity, data analytics and mobile markets.

area. Over the years, he has overseen D&H's staff of product managers, growing the department from two to more than 50 representatives. Michael became co-president in 2008.

David Quattrone, MBA '05 | CVENT


David is Co-founder and CTO at Cvent, for which he designed and supervised the development of Cvent's original beta product as well as all of Cvent's subsequent product releases, upgrades and redesigns.

Kathryn is Founder and Managing Director of Cranbrook Capital, which provides seed and early stage capital to emerging tech focused Companies. The firm has invested in Apio Systems, CircleUp, Canvas, Homesnap, GoTenna, Passive Capital Management and SalesWarp.

Ted Rose '89, MBA '93 | ROSE FINANCIAL SERVICES In 1994 Ted founded Rose Financial Services (RFS), a premiere U.S. based finance and accounting outsourcing firm. As president and CEO of RFS, he provides executives with financial clarity. Previously, Ted has acted as the CFO for a number of growth companies.


Brian S. Taff '89 | STREETSENSE Brian is well-versed in entrepreneurship and corporate strategy. As CEO at Streetsense, a strategy and design collective that creates, transforms, and activates brands and places, he both establishes and executes strategic initiatives and manages day-to-day operations.

At Womble Bond Dickinson, Pam founded and leads the firm’s Impact Economy team. Providing both cutting edge strategic consulting and a fullbreadth of legal services, Pam’s team helps companies and entrepreneurs “grow their competitive advantage, with Impact.”

Michael Schwab | D&H DISTRIBUTING COMPANY Michael Schwab began his D&H career in 1989 as an outside sales rep. in the Philadelphia DINGMAN CENTER ANNUAL REPORT 2017-2018




GOLD | $10,000–$24,999


hether it’s time, talent or treasure, the Dingman Center community gives back in immeasurable ways. Thank you to our donors and corporate sponsors for your generous support. SMITH ALUMNI SUPPORT IMPACT FELLOWS When Ishdeep ’05 and Priya Dugal ’05 decided to give back to their alma mater, they wanted to make an impact. Through their generous gift, the Dingman Center created the Dugal Impact Fellows, a program that awards a monetary scholarship to undergraduate students who secure summer internships at social ventures. Gifts such as these help us fulfill our mission to equip the next generation to launch and support ventures that advance industry and society.

SILVER | $5,000–$9,999

HONOR ROLL OF DONORS Dr. Anand Anandalingam Dr. Deepa M. Ollapally Mr. Maurice Boissiere, Jr. Mr. Bill Boyle ’81 Mr. Paul A. Capriolo, II ’06 Ms. Betty L. Cinquegrana Mr. Ying Chen , MBA ’16 Mr. Jason I. Cohen ’96 Mr. Daniel J. Connors, Jr. ’82 Chesapeake Apothecary, LLC Mr. John T. Czupak, MBA ’89 Mr. Christopher E. Dax Mr. Ishdeep S. Dugal ’05 Mrs. Priya A. Dugal ’05 Melissa Ferber, R.D.H. Stephen B. Ferber ’90, Esq. Fishlinger Family Foundation Mr. Matthew J. Fishlinger ’07 Jonathan M. Forster ’86, Esq.

Mr. Harry L. Geller ’81 Mr. Jeffrey S. Grinspoon ’90, MBA ’95 Mr. Robert G. Hisaoka ’79 Dr. Rudolph P. Lamone Mrs. Linda H. Lamone Wesley G. McCain, Noreene Storrie & Malcolm W.S. McCain Mr. Amit Puri, MBA ’19 Mr. Ted Rose ’89, MBA ’93 Mr. Michael J. Schwab Mrs. Kathryn K. Stewart Mr. Keith B. Sullivan Ms. Allison Fette Sullivan Mr. Charles J. Thomas Ms. Diane Leslie Ty Mr. Gregory J. Walling, MBA ’77 Mr. Micha Lev Weinblatt ’05 Mr. Peter Dennis Weisberg, MBA ’97

BRONZE | UP TO $4,999




Elana Fine ’97, Executive Director, Academy of Innovation & Entrepreneurship Distinguished Fellow Brent Goldfarb, Academic Director Holly DeArmond, MBA ’17, Associate Director Sara Herald, MBA ’11, Associate Director for Social Entrepreneurship Megan McPherson, Events & Marketing Coordinator Chris Rehkamp, Student & Venture Programs Manager Rudolph P. Lamone, Founding Director Publishing Team Elana Fine ’97, Executive Director Holly DeArmond Megan McPherson



MANAGEMENT & ORGANIZATION Jonathan Aberman, Adjunct Faculty Bob Baum, Professor Emeritus Christine Beckman, Associate Professor, Academic Director of the Center for Social Value Creation Protiti Dastidar, Associate Department Chair and Clinical Professor Waverly Ding, Associate Professor Anil Gupta, Michael D. Dingman Chair in Strategy and Entrepreneurship David Kirsch, Associate Professor Oliver Schlake, Distinguished Tyser Teaching Fellow Andrew Sherman, Adjunct Professor Evan Starr, Assistant Professor Mark Wellman, Clinical Professor

Harry Alford ’07 Chanda Arya ’10, Ph.D. ’14 Hilton Augustine Drew Bewick Maurice Boissiere ’89 Bill Boyle ’81 Paul Capriolo Larisa Cioaca, MBA ’07 Dan Connors Nick Dilks, MBA ’05 Philip Eliot Harry Geller Cullen Gilchrist Jason Goger, MBA ’00 Eric Golman ’15 LaKisha Greenwade, MBA ’11 Jennifer Hsin ’98 Guy Kilpatrick Bob London Phil Masiello, MBA ’92 Zeki Mokhtarzada ’00 Teresa O’Keefe Michael Robbins, MBA/MPM ’02 Pam Rothenberg Jonas Singer Polly Vail Adam VanWagner ’11, MPS ’15 Sean Virgil, MS ’17 Micha Weinblatt ’05 Valerio Zanini, MBA ’06

Editor Marilyn W. Smith ’69, Ph.D. ’93


Graphic Designer Jennifer Paul ’93

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE Francesco D’Acunto, Assistant Professor

Icons courtesy of the Noun Project: Cover: Speech Bubble by Alex Podolsky, Bubble Quote by Thomas Helbig, Group by ProSymbols, Bar Chart by Barracuda, Lightning Bolt by il Capitano, (square) Speech Bubble by Baboon designs, Thought Bubble by Adrien Coquet, Speech Bubbles by, Money Grow by Royyan Wijaya Pages 3: Candle by Sankhalina Nath Page 4: Award by Yo! Baba Page 6-7: Microphone by Maxim Kulikov Page 9: Funnel by Ale Estrada Page 16: Circulation by Timofey Rostilov Page 18: Branding by S Madsen, Client by Gilbert Bages, Customer Journey by Rafael Garcia Motta, Money search by Vectors Market, Presentation by bmijnlieff, Checklist by joni, marketing by Dinosoft Labs, Monetizing by Chanut is Industries, development by Gregor Cresnar, Venture Capital by Michael Thompson Page 20: people by Anastasia Latysheva Page 22: Group by ProSymbols


Background images: Page 3: MKucova/iStock Pages 4–5: chuckchee/iStock Page 9: ExpressIPhoto/iStock

Hilton Augustine, Serial Entrepreneur Ed Barrientos, CEO & Chairman of the Board, Brazen Drew Bewick ’88, Managing Director, Tree House Ventures, LLC Paul Capriolo ’06, Founder & CEO, Social Growth Technologies Harry Geller ’81, Serial Entrepreneur Bob London ’83, Founder & CEO, Chief Listening Officers Liz Sara ’80, Founder, Best Marketing, LLC Polly Vail, Independent Consultant LEGAL ADVISORS

Dan Connors ’82 Jon Forster ’86 Jay Levine ’87 Juliana Neelbauer, JD ’12 Minh-Quan K. Pham, Ph.D. ’99 Corinne M. Pouliquen ’89 David Taylor '90 Chris Yook


MBA Graduate Assistants: John DeVita, MBA ’18 Mandar Kashikar, MBA ’19 Karolyn Maynard, MBA ’18 UNDERGRADUATE INTERNS: Nursena Acar ’18 Eliu Barahona ’18 Eric Elliot ’18 Dhivyan Karunakaran ’19



DINGMAN CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP Robert H. Smith School of Business Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship 2518 Van Munching Hall College Park, MD 20742 301.405.9545

FACEBOOK: /dingmancenter TWITTER: @UMD_Dingman LINKEDIN: Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship WORDPRESS: INSTAGRAM: @dingmancenter