Get Involved

Our Community Engagement Philosophy 

At the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, we discover, equip, connect and celebrate entrepreneurs. A key part of this mission is keeping our vast community of alumni and regional entrepreneurs engaged in our programs and initiatives. This involvement by our larger community is key to the success of the Dingman Center, and we truly appreciate the willingness of our community who offer their time to participate in these various programs, helping to fulfill the mission of the Dingman Center. As an alumnus, regional entrepreneur, or business professional, here are some of the ways you can participate in our programs. 

Please read these roles carefully to explore the engagement opportunities, and then complete the Volunteer Intake Form to provide some background information, as well as select opportunities where you would potentially like to participate and become involved (time commitment hours are approximate).

Note: All volunteer opportunities are filled based on availability, fit and program needs.

Dingman Center Community Engagement Roles

Dingman Fridays Guest Advisor:

Time Commitment: 4 Hours (one time)

Your role: As a Dingman Fridays Guest Advisor, you will be able to partner with a Dingman Center Entrepreneur-in-Residence and participate in a Pitch Dingman walk-in advising sessions. Student entrepreneurs will pitch you their startup idea then you can provide your insights and past experience to coach the students and provide next steps.

Fearless Founders Mentor:

Time Commitment:  1 hour monthly (for duration of semester)

Your role: In both the Idea Shell and Hatch stages of the Fearless Founders program, we assign each student entrepreneur with a mentor. We will provide you the necessary training with our Mentor Guide and provide several resources to understand the lean Launchpad methodologies we teach in Fearless Founders. We also recommend the Udacity course on the Lean Startup. Following training, mentors will be ready to provide insight to students based on past experience in order to help them stay on track through the Fearless Founders program.

Presenter/Speaker:

Time Commitment: 3 hours (one time)

Your role: Whether it is during the Fearless Founders course, Entrepreneurship Connector Club, Speaker Series, or Keynote at the Pitch Dingman Competition, we are seeking out entrepreneurs and business professionals to provide speeches, presentations, and lectures on a wide variety of topics. You will highlight your area of expertise on the Volunteer Intake Form so that we can reach out to you for the right speaking engagement.

Panelist:

Time Commitment: 3 hours (one time)

Your Role: On several occasions, we hold panels on various topics surrounding entrepreneurship, including but not limited to pivoting, building a great team, lean startup and several other topics. We are seeking business professionals and experts to join these panel discussions and provide insight to undergraduate and graduate students based on your experience.

Competition Judge:

Time Commitment: 3 hours (one time)

Your Role: We have the Pitch Dingman Competition, Fearless Founders Grant Presentations, and several other events within our undergraduate and graduate programs compete for funding. We request the assistance of entrepreneurs and business professionals in our community to help make a non-biased decision and bring a fresh perspective when evaluating student entrepreneurs pitching their ideas for seed funding.

Dingman Center Angel Member:

Time Commitment: 3 hours monthly (for duration of academic year; membership fee applies)

Your role: In addition to supporting student and alumni entrepreneurs, the Dingman Center also screens regional startups who are seeking angel investment funds.  The Dingman Center Angels group is our channel for the startups to pitch their ideas for funding. As a Dingman Center Angel, you will be able to actively screen investment deals, network with 40+ DCA members, and collaborate on deals to fund and support regional startups.

Your  next step? Complete the Volunteer Intake Form.

Levels of Involvement

Within our community of entrepreneurs and business professionals, we understand that different volunteers desire varying levels of participation at the Dingman Center. Below we have defined those levels of involvement within our engaged community:

Dingman Advisor:

If you participate in one or two events per semester, you are a Dingman Advisor. In this capacity, you have shown interest in getting involved, and are starting to get a feel for the programs and initiatives we offer to students and regional startups.

Dingman Visiting Entrepreneur:

If you participate in three or more of our programs per semester, you are becoming a Dingman Visiting Entrepreneur. In this capacity, you are getting involved with more programs on a continuous basis, and are working with student entrepreneurs not only at the center, but you are also making time available to guide students outside of the defined Dingman Center programs and initiatives in on site or remote conversations with students. This is the next step in the pipeline to becoming an Entrepreneur in Residence.

Dingman Entrepreneur in Residence (Invite Only):

When you become an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), you are interacting with the Dingman Center on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Our Dingman EIRs provide time and treasure to support the center and lead the effort in expanding the reach of our mission to discover, equip, connect and celebrate entrepreneurs. You will be involved in an EIR call at the beginning and end of the semester to discuss ideas and thoughts on the current state of the Dingman Center programs, and discuss opportunities for enhancing the programs for the semesters ahead.