"Green" Internet Provider Wins
University of Maryland Business Competition
Under Armour's Kevin
Plank and BB&T Sponsor Third Annual Event
College Park, Md. - April 15, 2008 - Environmentally friendly Internet
provider Anaptyx won the top prize in this
years Cupids Cup business competition on April 11, hosted by the Dingman Center
for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of
Business. School alumnus Kevin Plank, chief executive and founder of sports
apparel maker Under Armour, donated the $22,500 in prize money to the winning
student- and alumni-run startup companies.
This year, the contest was preceded by the BB&T Business Invitational, a
showcase of Dingman-affiliated companies, which attracted local entrepreneurs,
investors, students and university community members.
Its important to recognize the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of the
young men and women who will become the future business leaders of tomorrow,
said Plank, CEO and founder of Under Armour. All of this years participants
showed the intuition and perseverance to be great leaders and I look forward to
watching them on their road to success.
a 1996 graduate, presented the $15,000 first prize and trophy cup to Anaptyx
founder Jonathan Rust, a part-time Smith MBA student, and a $7,500 check to
runner-up Web site company Maverick Development Inc. For the final round of the
competition, five teams each had eight minutes to present their business plans
before judges and a sizable crowd at the Smith School. Other finalists were A
Slice of Paradise, a handbag and accessories retailer; BlueTree Marketing Corp.,
a Web auctioneer for nonprofit fundraisers; and College Magazine, publisher of a
magazine and Web products aimed at undergraduate students. A Slice of Paradise
won the $5,000 peoples choice prize after an audience text-message vote.
Congratulations to this years winners and participants, said Asher Epstein,
managing director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. This competition
highlights the enormous growth potential of these companies and is another
example of the centers efforts to provide hands on entrepreneurial experience to
The competition, now in its third year, got its name from one of Planks early
entrepreneurial ventures, a Valentines Day rose sale business called Cupids
Valentine the started while and undergraduate at the University of Maryland.
This small business earned him more than $20,000 during his four years at the
university and helped fund his ultimate entrepreneurial venture, Baltimore-based
has been a longtime supporter of the Smith School and the Dingman Center,
donating $75,000 last fall, which helped create an endowment fund that the
center uses to invest in viable startup businesses.
In addition to funding, the Smith Schools Dingman Center provides both MBA
and undergraduate students with access to mentoring and weekly opportunities to
pitch their business ideas for feedback from experienced
entrepreneurs-in-residence. The schools programs are rated among the top in the
nation for entrepreneurship, according to rankings by U.S. News & World Report,
Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review, and Fortune Small Business.
About the University of Maryland's
Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized
leader in management education and research. One of 14 colleges and schools at
the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate,
full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, executive MS, PhD and executive
education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The
school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning
locations on three continents - North America, Europe and Asia.