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 Seean Kim `17
Demer 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. 

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 our 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.