College Park, Md. – November 6, 2013 – Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 Cupid’s Cup Business Competition, presented by Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank and the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. The annual competition offers the country’s top student entrepreneurs the chance to compete for $115,000 in total cash prizes. Student can apply until January 6, 2014.
The final competition will take place on Friday, April 4, 2014, at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. A panel of judges will narrow the applicant pool to five finalists in a semifinal competition round to be held at Under Armour’s Baltimore headquarters in February. Finalists will pitch their businesses to Plank and a panel of judges in front of more than 1,000 attendees at the final round competition. The day’s events will also include a business and innovation showcase highlighting campus and regional startups.
Applicants will compete for a transformative prize package including $115,000 in total cash prizes ($75,000 for the grand prize winner), coaching from a team of successful entrepreneurs, in-kind services from leading edge companies, and the prestigious Cupid’s Cup. Plank will also grant the 2014 grand prize winner exclusive access to a member of his professional network.
“The goal of Cupid’s Cup is to identify and reward students who have the entrepreneurial drive and conviction to take a risk and start a business while they are young,” said Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour and founder and chairman of Cupid’s Cup Business Competition. “Last year, we took the competition to the national stage, and I’m more passionate than ever about finding the best student entrepreneurs in the country. I want to help another young innovator reach the next level with crucial funding and my personal help making a business connection.”
The Dingman Center, part of the Robert H. Smith School of Business, provides students with opportunities to pitch their business ideas, receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs and access to funding. Cupid’s Cup was inspired by a rose delivery business Plank started as a student at the university. As a member of the football team he wasn’t permitted to have an outside job, so he turned to entrepreneurship as a way to pursue his business interests. Plank worked with the Dingman Center to create and lead a business competition to foster similar student entrepreneurship.
“The Dingman Center has been leading the way in finding creative entrepreneurs and impactful startups for more than 25 years, and thanks to our partnership with Kevin Plank we now have the resources to extend that mission to the national stage,” said Alex Triantis, dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. “We are committed to teaching innovation to the next generation of entrepreneurs here at the University of Maryland and beyond.”
The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at accredited U.S. colleges and universities or recent alumni of those institutions (received degree between May 2011 and December 2013). Applicants must be running a legal business entity that has generated at least $5,000 in revenue or demonstrated proof of traction.
Applications for the 2014 Cupid’s Cup competition will be accepted through January 6, 2014. There is no fee to apply. The Dingman Center will hold a webinar information session about the competition on November 6. More information is available at www.cupidscup.com.
About Kevin Plank
As a special teams captain for the UMD Terrapins football program in 1995, Plank was tired of having to change his sweat-soaked shirts over and over again throughout his two-a-day practices. His frustration led to an inspiration for a better kind of T-shirt—one that could wick sweat and keep athletes cool, dry, and light instead of overheated, drenched, and weighed down. Upon graduating from Maryland in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Plank started to turn his idea into a reality and, as a result, began redefining the way athletes dress. After 17 years of outfitting athletes with the world’s most innovative performance apparel, footwear, and accessories, Plank now oversees a company with over 6,000 employees worldwide and total revenues expected to cross $2 Billion by the end of 2013. True to his vision in 1995, Plank and Under Armour remain committed to empowering athletes everywhere.
About the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship
The Dingman Center has been at the forefront of entrepreneurship education and practice for more than 25 years. The Center’s primary activities include helping students build their ventures, creating experiential learning opportunities and providing regional entrepreneurs with access to capital. Within the region, the Center operates Dingman Center Angels, the area’s most active angel investor network with more than 40 members and 30 companies funded since 2005. More information is available at www.rhsmith.umd.edu/dingman.