Pitch Dingman Competition is an annual business competition where University of Maryland students can compete for more than $30,000 in startup funding. The competition consists of a fall Semifinals and a winter Finals competition. Top student entrepreneurs deliver pitches to judges who are experts in entrepreneurship, angel investing and venture capital.
Grand Prize: $15,000
Second Place Prize: $7,500
Third Place Prize: $3,500
Audience Choice: $500 at Semifinal Competition and $1,000 at Final Competition
SECU Finalist Award: $500
Other sponsored Prizes: various amounts
AlgenAir LLC – Dan Fucich, PhD ’20, Kelsey Abernathy
Indoor carbon dioxide accumulation is detrimental to our health and productivity. The aerium is the world’s first natural air purifier that uses algae to reduce carbon dioxide and produce oxygen as effectively as 25 house plants.
BraceLint, LLC – Daniel Raithel ’20
BraceLint is a completely flat, single-use, and patent-pending version of the lint roller that allows anyone to freshen their clothing once they are out of the house.
Door Robotics – Joshua Ermias ’20
Door Robotics is at the intersection of drones, virtual reality, and photography. We are launching a drone with an integrated virtual reality camera system.
G Styles – Goodness Ihekweme ’21
Gstyles is a handmade custom service for people that are tired of trying to fit into the clothes instead of letting the clothes fit into them. Gstyles styles is affordable and catered to women in different shapes and sizes.
Hydraze – Charles Grody ’20, Jack Sturtevant ’20, Tuvia Rappaport ’20
Hydraze Inc. is a sustainability-oriented venture that develops disruptive automatic toilet flushing technology with the ability to reduce average toilet water consumption by 45% which would save UMD at least half a million dollars annually.
ModBars, LLC – Jeff Su ’21, Wyatt Talcott ’21
ModBars, LLC seeks to provide delicious, nutritious snack bars that tailor to every consumer’s dietary need or want.
Pendulum Analytics, Inc. – William Sherman, MBA ’19/MS ’20
Pendulum Analytics, has a financial analytics platform that helps firms, like banks, extract valuable insight from their data. The insights will help firms retain existing customers and acquire new customers, so to grow their profit.
Rendered Inc. – Saba Tshibaka ’20
Rendered Inc is a sustainable solution for the clothing marketplace that works to combat large “fast-fashion” companies by vending quality & rare used apparel – and also educating our following about different sustainable practices.
Savvy Tech – Thomas Savransky ’20, Jonathan Schneider ’20, Igor Savchenko ’20 (UMBC)
Savvy Tech is reinventing the world of designer ecommerce. Our Enly app allows shoppers to virtually try on designer clothing to see their style and fit before ordering. Enly. See it. Try it. Buy it.
SweetsbyCaroline – Caroline Ta ’21
SweetsbyCaroline is a catering business that specializes in custom french macarons, cakes and cupcakes for your parties and events. We value and aim to bring your ideas into unique and delicious products while using the best quality ingredients.
Jeff Grinspoon ’90, MBA ’95
Managing Director & Partner, VWG Wealth Management
Le Marie Thompson ’01
Dan Connors ’82
General Counsel, xG Health Solutions
Keith Sullivan ’82
Senior Advisor, InTandem Capital Partners
Founder, Cee Smith Media Group
Applications open: August 26, 2019 at 12 a.m.
Application deadline: October 13, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.
Pitch Dingman Competition Semifinals: November 22, 2019 in Tyser Auditorium, Van Munching Hall
Pitch Dingman Competition Finals: March 10, 2020, in Grand Ballroom, Stamp Student Union
All applicants must be a current student at the University of Maryland. Applicants will be evaluated on the uniqueness of their ideas, the current traction and scalability of their business, and the viability of their business as measured by the steps that they have taken to mitigate risks. For the Semifinal and Final rounds, judges will also take into consideration the contestants' progress toward their goals and steps taken to grow their business since time of application.
Completing Your Application
You must complete an application for your team to be considered for the Pitch Dingman Competition. The application consists of a series of questions about you and your business as well as a pitch deck. If selected for the Pitch Dingman Competition, your pitch should be a two-minute presentation providing a brief overview of your business idea. It is meant to help you—as an entrepreneur—to practice and hone your ability to verbalize and sell the idea to early stage investors such as friends and family, angel investors and venture capital firms. The key is to share your passion and enthusiasm for your idea. Your pitch deck should be short (no more than 5-7 slides) and to the point. Some topics to consider including in your pitch deck are:
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- How big is your problem? Talk about addressable market size.
- What is your solution to the problem? What is the value proposition for the customer?
- Who are your competitors and why is your solution better?
- How will you make money? What are your revenue stream(s)? Marketing and distribution strategy?
- Management team—who? What backgrounds and experiences do they bring?
- Current traction–do you have existing revenue? Plan moving forward—how will you use the prize money to grow your business and what are your targets for the next six months?
Keep in mind that every business is unique and so should be your presentation. Please practice your presentation several times.
Aurora Tights – Jasmine Snead ’19 - Grand Prize ($15,000)
Aurora Tights designs performance apparel for dancers and skaters in the full-color spectrum. By giving performers the option to get tights in their unique skin color, we’re sending the message “You DO belong in this sport.”
Solr Tech – Alexei Onufrak ’20 - Second Place ($7,500)
Solr Tech has created the first way to turn any patio umbrella into a solar charging station, meaning whether you’re at a hotel, by the pool, at a cafe, or at your favorite outdoor study spot, you’ll always have a convenient way to charge up.
Synapto – Dhruv Patel ’20, Chris Look ’20, Anoop Patel ’20, David Boegner ’20, Megha Guggari ’20 - Third Place ($3,500), Audience Choice ($1,000)
Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis always happens too late, leaving patients and families with less options for clinical treatment, financial & legal planning. Synapto uses novel AI models and portable EEG to make diagnosis more accessible & efficient.
crepkitchen – Mathew Steininger ’22 and Awsaf Sikdar ’22
Limited edition sneakers and clothing often sell out quickly when stores release them. In order for customers to purchase, they need to have prior knowledge of the store, time, URLs, etc. of the releases. We provide information for them to do so.
OpenPoll – Zachary Wynegar ’19
We connect end users to decision makers through web and mobile polling.
David Quattrone, MBA '05, Co-founder & CTO, Cvent
Bill Boyle '81, Chairman of the Dingman Center Board of Advisors
Cassie Costin, Community Market Leader, SECU
Gloria Jacobovitz, Technology Manager, Applied Physics Laboratory
Thank you to our generous donors David & Robyn Quattrone and SECU for providing seed funding for the competition.