Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who can participate?
Innovation Fridays informal sessions are open to all members of the University of Maryland community including faculty, staff, students and alumni. Monthly competitions are reserved for current students. You dont have to be a Smith School of Business student to participate, you can be enrolled in any program on any campus at the University of Maryland.
2. Do I need to come with a business plan?
NO! All you need is an idea. However, if your business is far beyond the idea stage and you need help growing/scaling it, we can help you as well.
3. I am not a business school student, can I still come?
YES! Innovation Fridays is open to ALL University of Maryland students, including part-time students and students on other UMD campuses.
4. Can I sit in on a Innovation Fridays Session?
The informal sessions are closed-door and students are not allowed to sit in other sessions so that every entrepreneur can feel secure and free to talk. All students are welcome to attend Innovation Fridays Competitions.
5. What can I expect from Innovation Fridays?
The Innovation Fridays program utilizes a give-and-take approach to building relationships with entrepreneurs. In other words, the more effort and progress we see the entrepreneur demonstrate, the more resources such as time, workspace, and capital we are willing to invest. The initial pitch and feedback session will be very concise, following the framework of a first contact venture capital pitch. As the entrepreneur demonstrates initiative in executing their business idea, they will have greater access to Dingman Management team and Entrepreneurs-In-Residence through one-on-one meetings and working sessions. This process ensures that Dingman resources are directed to the entrepreneurs who will achieve the greatest returns.
6. Do I have to wear a suit?
NO! We evaluate the quality of your idea and presentation, not your fashion sense. The informal sessions really are informal, you can wear your everyday clothes. For the competition you may want to dress up a bit to look more professional.