Student entrepreneurs show off at Terp Startup Accelerator

This summer everyone tried to beat the heat. But at UMD, student entrepreneurs have worked hard to show how their businesses are just starting to heat up.

On Thursday, the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship in Maryland Smith hosted its 7th annual Terp Startup Accelerator event, where 16 student teams showcased their business plans to an audience of students, faculty, staff and esteemed guests.

“To our cohort, we are so proud of the progress you have all made this summer with your projects and we look forward to your making your case,” said Sara Herald, director of project development at the Dingman Center, at the event. . “We also thank the other members of the Dingman Center team who support this program with their time and expertise, as well as the members of our community who give to this program with their time and treasure.”

During the event, the teams were divided by business line into three breakout rooms: FinTech, Consumer Goods and Tech or Tech-friendly. Participants selected their favorite rooms, listened to 8-minute presentations and participated in question-and-answer sessions.

There were sessions and workshops, facilitated by 55 people who served as office hours counselors and team coaches. The program was also supported by Matt and Meaghan Fishlinger, David and Robyn Quattrone, Bill Boyle, Kathryn Stewart and Keith and Allison Sullivan.

Each summer, the Terp Startup Accelerator program helps student entrepreneurs lay the foundations and grow their businesses, at an event that serves as a sort of internship for entrepreneurs. The eight-week program connects teams of qualified students with faculty and industry mentors, offers access to exclusive workshops and offers a cash stipend of up to $ 5,000.

Upon completion of the program, startups can apply as Terp Startup Fellows for the upcoming semester and continue to leverage valuable resources and non-dilutive funding.

Xiohui “Sophie” Li, MBA ’21, is a co-founder of MARS Technology, which seeks to reduce global warming through the commercialization of methane conversion technology. She says the program had a big influence on her startup and helped her navigate the early stages of entrepreneurship.

“The Dingman Center introduced me to many region experts and successful entrepreneurs,” Li said in a statement. blog post. “The journey through different programs allows me to understand the entrepreneurial journey, to structure my startup in a concrete way – it has even improved my project management skills and my self-awareness.

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