College Park, Md. – February 14, 2013 –The University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship today narrowed the field of competitors to 12 of the country’s top student entrepreneurs in its annual Cupid’s Cup Business Competition, sponsored by Kevin Plank, CEO and founder of Under Armour. They will travel to Under Armour’s headquarters in Baltimore, Md. on Feb. 21 to pitch their business in the semifinal round of the competition.
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 to compete for a transformative prize package including $70,000 in cash prizes, coaching from a team of successful entrepreneurs, in kind services from leading edge companies and the prestigious Cupid’s Cup. This year, Plank has also pledged to grant the grand prize winner exclusive access to a member of his professional network.
Entrepreneurs from 24 universities in 16 states entered the competition. Judges from the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship screened the applications to determine the 12 semifinalists. Judges included Managing Director Elana Fine, entrepreneurs-in-residence Jason Shrensky, Liz Sara, Ed Barrientos, Harry Geller and John LaPides, and board member Sam Medile.
The 12 semifinalists who will spend the day at Under Armour, pitching their companies and interviewing with judges from Under Armour and the Dingman Center, are:
- 512 Technology, University of Maryland -- a real-time arrival prediction technology for public transit systems
- Camras Vision, Duke University -- a personalized care solution for glaucoma patients
- CoverPlay LLC, University of Virginia -- maker of an ultra-thin Bluetooth speaker for mobile devices called the Mojo
- Destinalo.com, University of Maryland -- a website that connects local and family-owned tourism businesses with independent travelers
- 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
- GrooveTech, University of Maryland -- a music-based team building program
- Hole Patch LLC, Case Western Reserve University -- developer of a new method for patching potholes
- Moolaguides.com, Florida State University -- a study tool for college students that rewards academic effort
- MyPsych, CatchOneLLC, George Washington University -- a solution to streamline patient-therapist communication and improve treatment
- 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
- TOHL, Georgia Institute of Technology -- a service company that installs pipelines for humanitarian and industrial applications
Five finalists will be selected at the end of the semifinal round day. Cupid’s Cup will culminate with the final round competition at the University of Maryland’s College Park campus on April 5, 2013, where the finalists will pitch their businesses to Plank and a panel of judges in front of 1,000 attendees. The day’s events will also include a business and innovation showcase highlighting campus and regional startups.
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 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 www.cupidscup.com.