College Park, Md. – September 24, 2012 – The University of Maryland is one of the best in the nation for entrepreneurship education, according to a ranking published today by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. The university’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business is recognized for its leading entrepreneurship programs for undergraduate and graduate students, ranking No. 14 and No. 24 respectively. The Dingman Center is a major driver of entrepreneurship education on campus and in the region, championing programs for students, faculty and area entrepreneurs. It was the only program in the Washington-Baltimore region recognized on either list.
The Dingman Center, located at the Smith School, helps lead the university’s entrepreneurship efforts and is recognized nationally for its innovative teaching methods that combine classroom activities, practical experience and cultural immersion programs. The center’s programs include:
- Pitch Dingman: Weekly sessions that invite students campus-wide to pitch business ideas for immediate feedback from seasoned entrepreneurs-in-residence. The program hosts competitions twice per semester where students pitch to a panel of entrepreneurs for $2,750 seed funding.
- Cupid's Cup Business Competition: A national business competition sponsored by Under Armour founder and Smith School alumnus Kevin Plank ’96, to identify and reward passionate student entrepreneurs with impactful businesses.
- China Business Plan Competition: An annual MBA global studies trip and business plan competition in partnership with Peking University. Teams from the Smith School, the Technion in Israel and top Chinese universities present business ideas that incorporate the Chinese market for cash awards.
- Dingman Center Angels: The region's most active angel investor network connecting entrepreneurs seeking seed- and early-stage funding with angel investors.
- Technology Transfer: In conjunction with the Clark School of Engineering's Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute and the university's Office of Technology Commercialization, this program has MBA students helping to create businesses out of university research and technologies.
- Dingman Jumpstart: An intensive five-day bootcamp to experience the venture creation process including lectures, workshops and advising sessions.
In addition to Dingman Center programs and entrepreneurship coursework, Smith students are active in several student entrepreneurship clubs. Undergrads can participate in Smith’s Entrepreneurship Fellows Program, which offers courses and co-curricular activities that explore venture creation and innovation.
MBA students participate in experiential learning programs through the six-credit, required, Smith Experience program, which includes entrepreneurship consulting experiences through the Dingman Center and the Center for Social Value Creation, opportunity to work with a venture capital fund through the New Markets Growth Fund, and global study trips that focus on entrepreneurship abroad.
The Princeton Review rankings come on the heels of a student ranking on the college guide site Unigo.com that named the university No. 4 in the country for entrepreneurship. Students lauded the Smith School’s curriculum, the management major with an entrepreneurship track, and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship to land the University of Maryland in the top 10.
The Princeton Review rankings appear in the October issue of Entrepreneur magazine. The annual list is based on surveys of business school administrators at nearly 2,000 schools about their institution's entrepreneurship offerings. The Princeton Review evaluated programs on a wide range of information submitted by the schools, including commitment to entrepreneurship inside and outside the classroom; the percentage of faculty, students, and alumni actively and successfully involved in entrepreneurial endeavors; the number of entrepreneur mentorship programs; and funding for scholarships and grants for entrepreneurial studies and projects.
The University of Maryland’s rankings can be seen at www.entrepreneur.com/topcolleges and www.princetonreview.com/entrepreneur. Additional information about the Smith School’s entrepreneurship programs and initiatives through the Dingman Center is available at www.rhsmith.umd.edu/dingman.