Washington Post, April 4, 2011
The Download: Business plans battle for funds at U-Md. competition
The Diamondback, April 4, 2011
Rental company wins student business cup
MyFridgeRental.com Wins Cupid’s
Cup Business Competition
Under Armour’s Kevin Plank and BB&T Sponsor
Sixth Annual Event at University
of Maryland’s Entrepreneurship Invitational
College Park, Md. – April 4, 2011 – Twin brothers and
university seniors Eric
and Adam VanWagner, founders of MyFridgeRental.com, took home $15,000 as the top
winners at the sixth annual Cupid’s Cup business
competition, April 1. The competition
was the highlight of the Entrepreneurship Invitational, a daylong showcase of
University of Maryland’s impact on entrepreneurship and economic development in
the region, hosted by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship
at the Robert H. Smith
School of Business. Cupid’s Cup is sponsored by alumnus Kevin Plank, founder and
CEO of Baltimore-based sports apparel maker Under Armour.
The event has become a yearly campus-wide celebration of entrepreneurship.
600 people attended this year, which kicked off with the BB&T Business
at the university’s Stamp Student Union. That portion of the day highlighted
and alumni companies, regional startups, and university and regional resources
entrepreneurs, including economic development organizations, technology
and incubators. Attendees networked with local entrepreneurs and investors,
and business leaders from the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area.
Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, investor, philanthropist, and chair of the
Administration’s entrepreneurship initiative, the Startup America Partnership,
the event’s opening keynote and stressed the importance of entrepreneurship in
jobs and keeping the U.S. competitive. ’s not just about starting a business –
it really is about ensuring that our
nation has a great future as the innovator,” Case said.
Plank, a 1996 Smith School graduate, donated the prize money that went to the
winning University of Maryland student and alumni startups.
“The ultimate goal of the University of Maryland is to make this the foremost
center for driving the No. 1 ingredient that has made our country what it is
– and most importantly the thing that will push us forward: Entrepreneurship,”
said in his keynote address.
The name for Cupid’s Cup comes from a Valentine’s Day rose sale business
Cupid’s Valentine, one of Plank’s early entrepreneurial ventures. This small
earned him more than $20,000 during his four years at the university and helped
provide the genesis for Under Armour.
In additional to hearing from Plank and Case, attendees also heard from Ed
’55, chair of Comcast-Spectacor and owner of the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey
team and 76ers NBA basketball team.
Plank presented the prizes to the winning companies:
Dan Waetjen, BB&T group president for the Greater Washington region, also
prizes from BB&T for participants of the BB&T Business Invitational:
Cupid’s Cup has grown every year and highlights the Dingman Center’s 25-year
history of providing University of Maryland students with practical experiences
and opportunities to pitch their business ideas, receive feedback from
entrepreneurs and access funding.
“We are focused on growing more entrepreneurship out of the university to
this region,” said Asher Epstein, managing director of the Dingman Center for
“We are committed to working with these companies from their very early stages
help them become the drivers for future U.S. economic growth.”
The Smith School is ranked among the best in the nation for its
offerings, according to rankings by U.S. News & World Report.
About the Dingman Center for
The Dingman Center has been a hub of campus and regional entrepreneurial
for 25 years. Among the Dingman Center’s resources are its Capital Access
Network (CAN), a pipeline that connects startups from regional tech councils,
incubators and state-funded institutions with a network of more than 40 active,
accredited angel investors and venture capitalists for early-stage capital. The
center also helps lead the University of Maryland’s Technology Transfer programs
and provides MBA and undergraduate students at the Smith School with practical
experiences and opportunities to pitch their business ideas, obtain feedback
from experienced entrepreneurs-in-residence and access funding.
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, 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 in North America and Asia.