The mission of the entrepreneurship faculty is to research entrepreneurial activity in all of its many forms, and to use the knowledge gained from that research to teach people to become better entrepreneurs. We focus our research and teaching on understanding the identification, evaluation, and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities by both new and established companies. To achieve our goals, we employ research faculty drawn from a variety of different academic disciplines that have chosen to focus their research attention on entrepreneurship, and former and current entrepreneurs and investors who use their personal experience to provide detailed knowledge of the phenomenon.
Competitions always provide a stimulating way to learn about the business world. The University of Maryland sponsors two student-based business plan competitions. One of these, the University of Maryland Business Plan Competition, is the largest in the Greater Washington area, and is open to all University of Maryland students and recent alumni, and may include faculty and outside advisers. The Undergraduate Business Plan Competition is limited to Maryland undergraduates only. No faculty or outside advisers are permitted.
There are several campus programs to help and encourage budding entrepreneurs. The Mentoring Program is open to all students. The program utilizes a mentoring program database that contains contact and expertise data for volunteer mentors. In the Hinman CEO's Program, participants live with like-minded students from a variety of academic disciplines and learn the skills to help them start a company once they graduate. (Students use state-of-the-art technology and work with experts while they build their idea.)
Organizations and Centers round out the education of those beginning a career in entrepreneurship. There are two student clubs that offer stimulating programs, career-related speakers, and tours and outreach events. The Collegiate Entrepreneurship Network is the undergraduate club and eClub: Maryland Entrepreneurs Club is the graduate club. The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship is dedicated to facilitating, supporting, and encouraging new enterprise growth. It is one of the oldest original entrepreneur centers in the country and has established itself as a national catalyst for entrepreneurship in the twenty-first century.