Terp Startup

Ayana Cotton, Starchild Studios
Ayana Cotton, Starchild Studios

Terp Startup is the "just do it" phase of Fearless Founders. This summer incubator helps student entrepreneurs make the pivotal decision to continue working on their venture or decide to use their entrepreneurial skillset working at another company. At the end of the summer program, students should have:  made substantial progress on their product of service; secured or increased initial customers and partners; have the ability to make the "go/no-go" decision based on metrics and market indicators. Those selected for Terp Startup will receive a cash stipend, advising and other useful resources.

  • Student entrepreneurs who have completed milestones from both the Idea Shell and Hatch stages by developing an MVP and acquiring initial customers.
  • Students who want to spend a summer executing on customer acquisition.
  • Students who have not completed Idea Shell or Hatch may apply. These students must have conducted customer discovery on their own and be on track to have an initial customer by May 2015
  • All participants must commit to work at the Dingman Center office space June 8 through July 31. 
  • 8 Weeks (June 8 to July 31)
  • Students will spend three days per week in the Dingman Center: 
    • Tuesday: entrepreneur updates and review of the week's goals and metrics
    • Wednesday: workshop followed by 1:1 advising with an Entrepreneurs in Residence and advisors
    • Thursday: off-site visits when appropriate and office hours
  • Each student will receive a $3,000 stipend and $2,000 for living expenses. 
  • Make data driven decisions about the next stage of their business. 
  • Determine the metrics that matter, test assumptions, build market awareness and acquire/retain initial customers. 
  • Leverage Dingman Center network and resources for accounting, tax, funding, IP and legal advice. 
  • Create and execute on customized work plans based on individual goals/stage. 

Summer 2015 Cohort

Bethany’s Organics
Founder: Bethany Monaghan `16
Bethany's Organics is on a mission to make healthy food more convenient, honest, delicious & environmentally friendly. The company uses only the highest quality ingredients, never sacrificing taste. All of our products are non-GMO, organic and vegan friendly! It’s first product, Crustless Creations, is a healthy spin on your childhood favorite. Crustless Creations are crustless sandwiches filled with the perfect ratio of nut/seed butters & delicious fruit spread served on whole wheat bread. 

Co-Founders: David Engle `15; Tony Liang `17; and Sean Kim `17
Demere is focused on consumer image recognition to help reduce the uncertainty in a consumers everyday life. The founders look forward to on-boarding beta users to test out the prototype of the consumer application in the upcoming weeks. 

Co-Founders: Eric Golman `15, Ryan Schueler `14, Aaron Wallach `14
Javazen promotes health in the coffee industry through the creation and distribution of functional beverages. The startup aims to lead new trends in the beverage industry which can make the world a better place. Javazen products are always organic, always nutritious, and always delicious. 

K. Sultana
Founder: Omar Goheer '16
K. Sultana was founded to relieve the discomfort from hot temperatures experienced by Muslim women who wear the head scarf, called the hijab. K. Sultana’s sales team involves a collaboration with women in Muslimat Al-Nisaa, a homeless shelter based in the Baltimore area focused on serving homeless Muslim women. These women form their initial person-to-person sales force and receive a $7.50 sales commission for each scarf sold.

Meta Cartel
Founder: Jordan Greenwald `15
Meta Cartel is a progressive streetwear brand that makes limited edition hats. Founded after an inspirational trip to Spain, the brand began designing hats as a medium of expression, and with a purpose of creating a parallel to themes found in street culture. Since then, Meta Cartel has also expanded into custom hip-hop inspired art, and has maintained a strong presence in the emerging arts scene. 

Starchild Studios
Founder: Ayana Zaire Cotton `15
Starchild Studios is a co-working concept for DC creatives. The startup’s ultimate goal is to showcase, connect, and empower DC's creative community. Starchild Studios is currently showcasing local artists through their media outlet, Distrikt Magazine. It will connect creatives through a collaborative studio space opening in 2016. Ayana hopes to empower the creative community through workshops on entrepreneurial insight for artists.

Co-Founders: Tyler Denk ’16; Taylor Johnson ’16; and Tommy Johnson ‘16

VentureStorm is an online platform that connects aspiring student entrepreneurs with talented student developers locally on their campus to advance their business from idea to launch. The VentureStorm team is currently building a unique collaborative workspace on their platform to enhance the communication and development process. The team aims to expand their services to more universities by Fall ’15.

Open Sessions

As part of the program, the Dingman Center will offer a series of workshops and speakers for the student entrepreneurs in the Summer 2015 cohort. Over half of these sessions will be open to the public. All UMD students, staff and alumni are welcome to attend any of the sessions listed below. Join us to learn key insights from successful entrepreneurs and business professionals. No RSVP is required. 


(1:30 to 2:30 unless noted)



Thursday, June 11

Small Business Banking

1518 VMH

Adam Kulikowski, Capital One Bank

Tuesday, June 16

Networking and Working the Room

1415 VMH

Lisa Throckmorton, Speaker Box PR

Wednesday, June 17

The Importance of Partners / Co-Founders

1518 VMH

Shahab Kaviani, Co-Founders Lab

Thursday, June 18

Identifying your Team: Your Next Hire

1518 VMH

Harry Geller, Entrepreneur in Residence

Tuesday, June 23

Marketing & Branding

1518 VMH

Bob London, London Ink

Wednesday, June 24

Product Strategy

1518 VMH

Larry Roshfeld, Trigon Health

Thursday, June 25

Building an Audience (Engagement = Buying)

1511 VMH

Pierre Walter, Blue-Artists

Tuesday, June 30

Growing beyond product #1: New Customers

1518 VMH

Ali von Paris, Route One Apparel

Wednesday, July 1

In-Depth Customer Funnel Analysis

1518 VMH

Ram Parimi, Social Tables

Tuesday, July 7

Metrics that Matter

1518 VMH

Elana Fine, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

Wednesday, July 8

Metrics in Action (2:45 to 3:45)

1518 VMH

Paul Capriolo, Social Growth Technologies

Thursday, July 9

Customer Experience Mapping

1518 VMH

Anna Tulchinskaya, 2LCH

Tuesday, July 14

Accounting Needs Scoping

1518 VMH

David Jones, Ribis Jones and Maresca PA

Wednesday, July 22

Crowd/Loans/Angel/VC? What's best for me?

1518 VMH

Ed Barrientos & Jason Shrensky, Entrepreneurs in Residence

Thursday, July 23

Plan B to Plan A

1518 VMH

Polly Vail, Genius Rocket

Thursday, July 23

Colby Tests (2:30 to 3:30)

1518 VMH

Jon Forster, Greenberg Taurig LLP

Thursday, July 30

Terp Startup Demo Day

2333 VMH