About Us

Educate, Empower and Equip Student Entrepreneurs

At the Dingman Center, we create an inclusive environment where we educate, empower and equip students with the business skills needed to be an entrepreneur and the resources necessary to make their business ideas a reality. These fearless ideas don’t happen in a vacuum, they take inspiration, perspiration and a little help from our network. When students find a problem to solve, the Dingman Center has the resources and know-how to help them take their idea and launch it into a business. Our portfolio of experiential learning programs and events as well as our courses are designed to make entrepreneurs of all kinds more successful.

In 2023, The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine named the University of Maryland, College Park the No. 7 best college for undergraduate entrepreneurship studies nationally and No. 1 in the Mid-Atlantic region. This ranking marks eight straight years in the Top 10 and 11 straight years in the Top 25.

Over 30 Years of Entrepreneurial Excellence

In 1986, late businessman and philanthropist Michael Dingman invited acting dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business Rudolph "Rudy" Lamone to his office in New York to hear his proposal for what would then become one of the first entrepreneurship centers in the country. Though the meeting was only scheduled for 30 minutes, Dingman gave Lamone two hours to deliver his full, impassioned vision for the center. In the end, Lamone’s inaugural “Pitch Dingman” moment culminated with Dingman promising him one million dollars on the spot, and another million if he could accomplish the center’s first-year plans. They both made good on their word. Now over 30 years later, Dingman’s generous gift has impacted the lives of thousands of entrepreneurs who have passed through the center.

  • Through Dingman Center Angels (DCA), the center was the first of its kind to bring regional startup companies seeking early-stage funding to the angel investing community. DCA is the largest university-run angel investor network.
  • The Dingman Center was the first to organize a national meeting of leading entrepreneurship centers in the U.S., thus creating the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC), a 200+ member organization.
  • The Dingman Center was the first of five centers chosen to receive the Nasdaq Award for a center of excellence in entrepreneurship from the GCEC.

Annual Reports


Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship
2518 Van Munching Hall
College Park, MD 20742

Phone: 301-405-9545
Email: rhsmith-dingman@umd.edu

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