News at Smith

Finalists Advance in University of Maryland National Cupid’s Cup Business Competition

Feb 25, 2013
Entrepreneurial Spirit


College Park, Md. – February 22, 2013 – Six startups advanced to compete in the April 5, 2013 final round of Cupid’s Cup, the national business competition held by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. The annual competition is sponsored by Kevin Plank, CEO and founder of Under Armour. Twelve entrepreneurs from eight universities nationwide competed in the semifinal round, held yesterday at Under Armour’s headquarters in Baltimore, Md.

Cupid Cup Finalists

These finalists will compete at the University of Maryland’s College Park campus for Cupid’s Cup, $70,000 and exclusive access to a member of Plank’s professional network:

  • CoverPlay LLC, University of Virginia -- maker of an ultra-thin Bluetooth speaker for mobile devices called the Mojo
  • Diagnostic anSERS, University of Maryland -- maker of ink-jet printed sensors for detecting trace amounts of chemicals, from explosives to narcotics
  • Earth Starter LLC, University of Maryland -- maker of products to accelerate and simplify growth and yield for gardens
  • Hole Patch LLC, Case Western Reserve University -- developer of a new method for patching potholes
  •, Florida State University -- a study tool for college students that rewards academic effort
  • Neural Analytics, University of California Los Angeles -- a developer of a portable non-invasive medical device to diagnose traumatic brain injuries on the football field or the battlefield

Entrepreneurs from 24 universities in 16 states entered the competition. Judges from Under Armour and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship heard pitches and interviewed semifinalists to narrow the field.

The finalists will pitch their businesses to Plank and a panel of judges in front of 1,000 attendees at the final event. The final competition day will also include a business and innovation showcase highlighting campus and regional startups.

Plank, a Smith School alumnus, partnered with the Dingman Center eight years ago to launch Cupid’s Cup. This is first year the competition has been open to entrepreneurs nationwide.

Cupid’s Cup is named for a Valentine’s Day rose delivery business Plank started as a student at the university. As an athlete, he wasn’t permitted to have an outside job, so he turned to entrepreneurship. Plank worked with the Dingman Center to start a business competition to foster similar student entrepreneurship.

The competition was open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at accredited U.S. colleges and universities as well as young alumni who are running companies that have generated at least $5,000 in revenue or have a version 1.0 product with proof of traction. The finalists will receive intensive coaching from successful entrepreneurs to prepare for the final competition. More information is available at

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 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty masters, 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 in North America and Asia.