Pitch Dingman Competition

Pitch Dingman Competition

The Pitch Dingman Competition is the University of Maryland’s only business competition exclusively for Terps. Held annually, students can compete for more than $30,000 in start-up funding. The competition consists of a fall Semifinals and a winter Finals competition. Top student entrepreneurs deliver pitches to judges who are experts in entrepreneurship, angel investing and venture capital.

Interested in applying? Check out the application deadlines and eligibility requirements below. Also plan to come in to a Dingman Fridays session to discuss your business idea! 

Apply Here

Timeline

Application Deadline Monday, October 17
Open Evaluation Period Tuesday, October 18 - Thursday, October 27
Semifinalists Notified By Friday, October 28
Semifinals Competition Thursday, November 17 in Frank Auditorium, Van Munching Hall
Finals Competition Tuesday, March 7, 2017 in Colony Ballroom, Stamp Student Union

 

Eligibility

All applicants must be a current student at the University of Maryland. Applicants will be evaluated on the uniqueness of their ideas, the current traction and scalability of their business, and the viability of their business as measured by the steps that they have taken to mitigate risks. For the Semifinal and Final rounds, judges will also take into consideration the contestants' progress toward their goals and steps taken to grow their business since time of application. Click here to start your application to the Pitch Dingman Competition. 

Completing Your Application 

You must complete an application for your team to be considered for the Pitch Dingman Competition. The application consists of a series of questions about you and your business as well as a pitch deck. If selected for the Pitch Dingman Competition, your pitch should be a two-minute presentation providing a brief overview of your business idea. It is meant to help you—as an entrepreneur—to practice and hone your ability to verbalize and sell the idea to early stage investors such as friends and family, angel investors and venture capital firms. The key is to share your passion and enthusiasm for your idea. Your pitch deck should be short (no more than 5-7 slides) and to the point. Some topics to consider including in your pitch deck are:

    1. What problem are you trying to solve?
    2. How big is your problem? Talk about addressable market size.
    3. What is your solution to the problem? What is the value proposition for the customer?
    4. Who are your competitors and why is your solution better?
    5. How will you make money? What are your revenue stream(s)? Marketing and distribution strategy?
    6. Management team—who? What backgrounds and experiences do they bring?
    7. Current traction–do you have existing revenue? Plan moving forward—how will you use the prize money to grow your business and what are your targets for the next six months?

Keep in mind that every business is unique and so should be your presentation. Please practice your presentation several times.

Start your application.

Prize Breakdown

Grand Prize: $15,000

Second Place Prize: $5,000

Judges Choice Prizes: up to $5,000

Audience Choice: $500 at Semifinal Competition and $500 at Final Competition 

Other sponsored Prizes: various amounts

**All teams selected as Semifinalists are guaranteed $250 and all teams selected Finalists are guaranteed $500

The 2016 Winners

Grand Prize
WeCook, Ryan Pillai

Second Place Prize
ICOW, Jonathan Kau

Judges Choice Prizes
EmbittermentuBoardVentureStorm

Audience Choice
uBoard, Natalie Urban

Kimberly Marie Scholastic Achievement Award
WeCook, Ryan Pillai

The 2016 Finalists

Embitterment
Founder: Russell Garing
Embitterment is a DC-based cocktail bitters company that produces high-quality, handcrafted aromatic products designed for both serious mixologists and casual, at-home bartenders.

ICOW
Founder: Jonathan Kau
ICOW is democratizing higher education applications for international students. Our first product is a TurboTax-like web application that guides Chinese students through the process of writing resumes, researching universities, and writing essays.

Uboard
Founder: Natalie Urban
You’re a college student doing big things on little sleep. At uBoard, we are working to make your night more comfortable so that your day is more productive.

VentureStorm
Co-Founders: Tyler Denk ’16; Taylor Johnson ’16; and Tommy Johnson ‘16
Have you ever had a great idea for a website or mobile application, but lacked the technical skills to bring it to life? VentureStorm connects aspiring student entrepreneurs to talented student developers locally on their campus.

WeCook
Founder: Ryan Pillai
WeCook enables anyone to have a personal chef to do their everyday cooking and grocery shopping anytime, cost effectively.