Elana Fine, Managing Director
Elana Fine is Managing Director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. Elana's primary focus is leading the Dingman Center in support of its mission to build a community that discovers, equips, connects and celebrate entrepreneurs. Key responsibilities include oversight of our student venture incubator, Fearless Founders; Dingman Center Angels investor network, business competitions, and integration with Smith School entrepreneurship curriculum and research activities. Elana also develops and maintains relationships with donors, board members, EIRs, the Smith School community and other campus and regional partners. Elana is also an adjunct faculty member with the Smith School’s Management & Organization department and part of the national teaching team for NSF’s ICorps program.
Elana started in investment banking at Bear Stearns, but started working with technology startups when she joined Revolution Partners, a boutique investment bank specializing in M&A and private capital advisory for software companies. She joined the company in its infancy and helped the team grow to 40 bankers on both coasts, assisting and leading transactions from $10M-$200M in deal value. Elana left upon the firm’s sale to Morgan Keegan.
Elana earned an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 2002, and earned a BS in Finance, magna cum laude, from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1997. She started her career as a technology consultant with an Accenture.
Elana was recently named a Tech Titan by Washingtonian Magazine, “Power Women in Tech” by Tech Bisnow and “50 On Fire” by In The Capital.” She is also a contributor to the Washington Post Capital Business.
Elana resides in Potomac, Maryland, with her husband and two children.
Brent Goldfarb, Academic Director
Dr. Brent Goldfarb is Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship in the M&O Department at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. In 2014, Brent was appointed Academic Director to direct research and education programs for the center. In addition to teaching to popular #RealEntrepreneurship course, he is the faculty lead for the AdVenture Challenge: China and was responsible for designing the revamped curriculum for the course.
Goldfarb's research focuses on how the production and exchange of technology differs from more traditional economic goods, with a focus on the implications on the role of startups in the economy. He focuses on such questions as how do markets and employer policies affect incentives to discover new commercially valuable technologies and when is it best to commercialize them through new technology-based firms? Why do radical technologies appear to be the domain of startups? And how big was the dot.com boom? Copies of Goldfarb's publications and working papers have been downloaded mire than 1,200 times. His research has been cited in The Wall Street Journal, Inc.com, Businessweek.com and The New York Times. Brent received a B.A. in Economics and Computer Science from Tel-Aviv University and a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University.
Holly DeArmond, Associate Director
Holly DeArmond joined the Dingman Center in September 2012 as Assistant Director, Events and Marketing. In 2014, Holly was named Associate Director of the Center. She oversees the event strategy and planning for the Dingman Center’s annual events on campus, regionally and internationally. Holly is also responsible for developing and executing marketing and communications for all Dingman Center internal and external audiences. She also manages China Business Plan Competition and MBA global studies trip to Beijing.
Holly first joined the University of Maryland in 2007 as the Associate Director of University Marketing. Her primary responsibility was management of the University’s largest annual event, Maryland Day. The event is hosted by 8,000 University volunteers and is attended by more than 75,000 people. In this role, Holly helped coordinate the planning and implementation of more than 400 events and managed such items as the marketing materials, event budget and planning committees of more than 60 people.
In addition to Maryland Day, Holly assisted in a variety of strategically targeted marketing initiatives including the university’s branding campaign, “Fear the Turtle.” While she was involved in most aspects of the campaign from brainstorming to implementation, Holly’s main role was to manage and execute the campaign media buy.
Previously, Holly worked for Cohn & Wolfe, a New York City-based strategic marketing public relations firm with offices worldwide. She served on multiple pharmaceutical accounts including GlaxoSmithKline's Paxil CR, Avandia and the Vaccines Franchise. On these accounts, Holly assisted in the planning and implementation of a number of public relations and government affairs campaigns, including the PR campaigns for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approvals of two new pharmaceuticals.
Holly received a Bachelor of Science degree in communications from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. While her roots are deep in East Tennessee, she currently lives in Annapolis, MD with her husband, Davy and their Portuguese Water Dog, Crockett.
Danielle Bennings, Marketing & Event Manager
Danielle joined the Dingman Center team in August 2011 as the Operations and Events Coordinator and has since been promoted to Marketing and Event Manager. She is responsible for coordinating all Center events including Dingman Center Angels’ investor meetings, Pitch Dingman Competitions, Entrepreneurship Research Series, Global Entrepreneurship Week, and her favorite, Cupid’s Cup. Danielle also supports the marketing and outreach efforts of the center by producing the Center’s bi-weekly digest, The Pitch, and the Dingman Center blog. Additionally, she manages the Center's online properties and social media strategy.
Danielle will earn a Master’s Degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University in May 2015 focusing on digital strategy with a strong interest in social media digital analytics. During her studies she has had the opportunity to work with clients such as Stand Up For Kids and Microsoft UK. Previously, Danielle attended the University of Pittsburgh where she received a B.A. in Political Science from the School of Arts and Sciences in 2011. During her undergraduate career she completed internships with Evergreen Information Technology, Inc. at the United States Department of Agriculture Network Operations Center and with Events Management, LLC. Danielle continues to strengthen her commitment to the field of public relations through organizations such as Washington Women in Public Relations and the Public Relations Society of America.
Adam VanWagner, Community & Student Programs Manager
Adam joined the Dingman Center in August 2013 as the Community and Venture Programs Coordinator and has since transitioned to the role of Community & Student Programs Manager. He manages two of the key undergraduate programs, Fearless Founders and Pitch Dingman advising sessions. In the Fearless Founders Program, Adam teaches Stage 1, Idea Shell, where students learn how to focus on the problem/customer/solution fit for their business idea through customer discovery and the lean startup methodology. Adam manages the Dingman Center's relationships and communication with the Board of Advisors, Entrepreneurs in Residence, Dingman Legal Advisors, and other key community members.
Prior to joining the Dingman Center, Adam was an Inbound Area Manager at Amazon.com. Adam’s work at Amazon consisted of running the day-to-day operations of an Inbound Shift in the one million square foot facility. Adam led a team of 7 associates for a Kaizen event in March of 2013 that resulted in significant process improvement and waste reduction in the Inbound Transshipment process, leading to increased throughput and $379,000 in validated yearly savings for the facility.
Adam VanWagner is currently in the Master of Technology Entrepreneurship program through the A. James Clark School of Engineering, '15 and he graduated from the Robert H. Smith School of Business '11 with a B.S. in Operations Management. Adam also founded MyFridgeRental.com, a dorm-sized refrigerator rental service, with his twin brother during his junior year, and went on to win the Grand Prize in the Dingman Center’s 2011 Cupid’s Cup business competition. MyFridgeRental.com continues to grow, expanding its products and services each year.
Julia Klein, Operations & Business Coordinator
Julia joined the Dingman Center in September 2014 as the Operations & Business Coordinator. She manages the operations, budget and financials of the center. Additionally she is responsible for assisting in the coordination and support of the center’s many projects and programs. Julia is excited to be a part of the Dingman team and assist the student entrepreneurs and investing communities at Smith.
As a management consultant at Deloitte Consulting, Julia focused on driving growth for Fortune 500 companies. Julia also has experience working on growth strategies for startups in the education technology space, through New Market Venture Partner’s Private Equity and Venture Capital Clinic. Julia’s passion for helping others achieve professional growth extends to her personal activities. In 2014, she co-founded a web-based career selection and management tool for undergraduate students and works in her free time to build her new venture, CareerPeer. Julia holds a B.S. in Finance from the Robert H. Smith School of Business and a B.A. in Economics.
Dr. Rudolph P. Lamone, Founder
Dr. Rudolph P. Lamone is the Founder and member of the Board of Advisors of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and a Professor Emeritus at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park.
From 1973 to 1992, Dr. Lamone served as Dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business and as the first chair of the Program in Entrepreneurship. He is co-founder of the National Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers and a founding member of the National Consortium for Life Science Entrepreneurship Programs.
In 1996, Dr. Lamone was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Ernst & Young for his work in support of entrepreneurship. In 1998, Dr. Lamone was selected to receive the President's Medal at the University of Maryland. In 1999, Dr. Lamone co-founded DirectGene, a biotechnology company that has developed gene therapies directed toward the treatment of metastatic prostate and breast cancer.
Dr. Lamone serves as Director on the board of several companies, public and private. He also serves as a venture partner with Gabriel Venture Partners, Annapolis, MD, and Redwood Shores, CA. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Dr. Lamone received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the business school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.