Young Alumni Founders Council

Barathi Aravindan
UMD Fall ’21 Graduate

Barathi Aravindan is a University of Maryland Fall 2021 graduate, who served as a Dingman Center Venture Programs Intern for two and a half years while she was a Smith student. She also founded the company Azelle while at UMD, a company that manufactures charm bracelets to raise awareness of the precarious condition of the Chesapeake Bay.

David Engle
CEO & Co-founder, Upright Labs

David Engle graduated from the University of Maryland with undergrad and masters degrees in Supply Chain & Operations Management. Since then he has built numerous bootstrapped businesses; a food truck, Startup Village, a clothing business, and most recently Upright Labs. Upright is a software and service company focused on secondhand e-commerce with 7 figures in revenue, bootstrapped, fully profitable, and a team of 18+ team members. 

Sam Feldman
Founder at TechGuides

Sam Feldman graduated from the University of Maryland in 2016. He has founded several companies as both a student entrepreneur and alumni including Quickmailcheck, CardBuddy, and most recently TechGuides. Feldman currently resides in Austin, Texas.

Jordan Greenwald
Office of The President of North America, Mastercard

Jordan Greenwald graduated from The University of Maryland in 2016 with a degree in Economics, and started an e-commerce brand called Meta Cartel while finishing his undergraduate degree. Currently, Greenwald works for Mastercard's Office of The President of North America, where he supports Mastercard's senior leadership in managing a team of 1,100 employees across a variety of functions. 

Ray Joyce
Growth Equity Investor, Declaration Partners

Ray Joyce is a growth equity investor with Declaration Partners where he helps lead the evaluation of software and technology investments. Prior to this, Joyce was an investor with Lead Edge Capital where he was focused on software and internet investments at the Series B/Series C stage. During his time at UMD, Ray was heavily involved with the Dingman Center and was one of the Co-Founders of 301 Ventures - UMD's first student-run venture firm. 

Abb Kapoor
Co-Founder & COO, Curu

Abb Kapoor studied electrical engineering at the University of Maryland before starting Curu in 2016 to help eliminate rejection from credit-based decisions. 

Camilo Melnyk 
Co-Founder and CEO of Blimp Logistics Inc

Camilo Melnyk graduated from the University of Maryland in 2021, where he co-founded Blimp Logistics Inc., a drone delivery company for rural and suburban markets. Melnyk won the grand prize at Pitch Dingman Competition in 2021 and was also named by DC Inno as one of the 25 Under 25 Class of 2021.

Kirk Morris
Program and Strategy Lead, Global Partnerships at Google 

Kirk Morris is a Program and Strategy Lead at Google where he leads programs to drive product adoption and negotiates deals with media partners. Morris previously managed advertiser relationships at Facebook, studied at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and graduated from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelors of Science in Marketing. 

Sydney Parker
Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer, Aurora Tights
Account Manager, Facebook

Sydney Parker has been a performer and dancer since the age of five, which inspired her career and life purpose to empower every person to perform in color. Parker co-founded Aurora Tights, an inclusive athletic hosiery and apparel brand, while she was a student at the University of Maryland. She currently continues to serve as the company's co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer while also serving as an Account Manager for Facebook.

Amit Puri, MBA
General Partner, Pure Play Ventures

Amit Puri is the Founder and General Partner of Pure Play Ventures. Previously, he led the global deal pipeline for a $250 million venture capital fund focused on early-stage technology companies across education & workforce, health, sustainability, and digital/physical infrastructure. He has also co-led sourcing, screening, and preliminary diligence for the Dingman Center Angels. Amit received his MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, his M.S. from University of Maryland Global Campus, and his B.S. from the University of Maryland College Park. 

Brianna Queen
Entrepreneur, Content Creator, Project Management at Cosmetic Science Lab

Brianna Queen is a Terp alumni, Dingman Center peer mentor, and beauty industry professional. She has over five years of experience in cosmetic entrepreneurship with the company she founded, Beeqbox, LLC. Recently she has been exploring contract manufacturing, cosmetic chemistry, cosmetic regulations and OTC cosmetics in Dallas, TX. 

Daniel Rathiel 
Founder CEO, BraceLint

Daniel Rathiel is a data-driven entrepreneur with a strong leadership background who has gone through all of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship's Programs including: Spark, Dingman Jumpstart, New Venture Practicum, Dingman Fridays, Terp Startup Accelerator, Pitch Dingman Competition (Top 5 Finalist), and the exclusive Terp Startup Fellowship. He is determined to utilize his passion for business development and analytics to continue creating scalable business ventures.

Natalie Urban 
Designer

Natalie Urban graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019 with both a BS and MS in Finance. While she was a student, Natalie participated in many Dingman Center programs including Pitch Dingman Competition, where she was a finalist, and Ladies First Founders, where she was a part of the inaugural cohort. After working for TXN Advisors post graduation, Urban launched her own Brand Strategy and Design business where she builds unique, memorable, and impactful brand identities for her clients. In addition to running her business, she’s a Freelance Designer for StartEngine, a crowdfunding platform for startups, and other branding agencies on the East Coast.

James Weitzman
Co-Founder & CEO of 1sm

James Weitzman is the Co-Founder & CEO of 1sm, a Techstars company. Prior to 1sm, he was the Director of Business Development & Sales at Cockroach Labs, which has raised $350M in funding from top venture capital firms. He is also a Partner at Social Venture Partners, a charity organization focused on making positive changes in education, workforce development, economic security, and race equity. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 2015.

Ex-Officio Members


Alex Onufrak
CEO of Solr Tech
Venture Programs and Operations Coordinator, Dingman Center


Haley Mates
Events and Marketing Manager, Dingman Center

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