University of Maryland’s Smith
School of Business and
Partner Guanghua School of Management
Award Prizes in 2012 Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship China Business Plan
Beijing, China - January 5, 2012 — The University of
Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the
Robert H. Smith School of Business awarded $10,000 to winners of the 2012 China
Business Plan Competition, in partnership with the Guanghua School of Management
at Peking University in Beijing. The January 5 contest to present the best
business plan pitch also included Chinese teams from Tianjin and Zhejiang
Universities and Smith’s Israel partner school, the Technion—Israeli Institute
eWalking, a team from Zhejiang University with a plan for an electronic cane
designed for the visually impaired which detects and alarms obstacles in 3
dimensions, won the top prize of $3,000 as well as the People’s Choice Award of
$1,000. The competition, now in its seventh year, was the culmination a business
plan course and trip to China for Smith MBA students, led by the Dingman Center.
“In order to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in education, research,
practice, and international cooperation, the Center for Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (CIE) was founded in April 2011. We are honored to host the 7th
Annual China Business Plan Competition in collaboration with the University of
Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business,” said Hongbin Cai, dean of Peking
University’s Guanghua School of Management. “This competition is a key component
in fostering awareness of innovation and entrepreneurship and we hope that all
participating student teams benefit immensely from this opportunity.”
“This competition trains teams of managers and entrepreneurs to look for and
capitalize on global opportunities in a setting where economic growth and
competitiveness is strong,” said G. “Anand” Anandalingam, dean of the Robert H.
Smith School of Business. “We are grateful to the Guanghua School of Management
(Peking University) for partnering with us on the competition and sending
students to our programs in the US and Israel, which are the cornerstone to a
top-tier international business education.
Each year the Smith School brings students to Israel and China and brings
students from both those locations to the U.S. Smith also brings Israelis to
China and Chinese students to Israel.
“Our unique global triangle promotes economic growth by linking three
institutions in separate nations defined by their economic strengths: top tier
U.S. management, which is our MBA students, partnering with high-level global
innovation, which is what we’ve found in Israel, and focused on the best markets
in the world, which are in China,” said Asher Epstein, managing director of the
Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.
The Smith School is partnering with UIBE to launch an Executive MBA degree
program in China this spring. Six Smith EMBA students were among the school’s 25
participants in the competition, which was part of a weeklong trip to China’s
capital. The students also met with successful, local entrepreneurs including
CreditEase and Tencent and executives from global companies including Pepsi,
Boeing and Danfoss, to better understand the Chinese market.
The competition culminated a three-credit course on global learning
experiences co-developed by the Smith School and led by Epstein and Dr. J.
Robert Baum, associate professor of entrepreneurship. Some sessions were taught
by Dingman Center experts, as the course fulfills a portion of the new Smith
Experience requirement, aimed at providing MBA students hands-on entrepreneurial
Each finalist team was tasked with pitching a business plan for a venture
that would do business in China or leverage Chinese resources in some way.
Judges included Smith School and Dingman Center leaders, and entrepreneurial
experts from China. A field of 21 teams was narrowed to six for the final
competition. In addition to the top prize, the Live-a-betes team from University
of Maryland took second place with a plan for a comprehensive, educational
learning platform for diabetics, pre-diabetics, and caretakers.
Entrepreneurship is a key area of focus for the Smith School, which is
internationally known for its entrepreneurship research and programs. The Smith
School is ranked among the best in the nation for its entrepreneurship
offerings, according to rankings by U.S.News & World Report and
About the Dingman Center for
The Dingman Center has been a hub of campus and regional entrepreneurial
activity for 25 years. Among the Dingman Center’s resources are its Dingman
Center Angels, 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, manages global entrepreneurship programs in China and Israel, and
provides MBA and undergraduate students at the university with practical
experiences and opportunities to pitch their business ideas, obtain feedback
from experienced entrepreneurs-in-residence and access funding.
About the 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, MS in business, 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.