Following 11 years at the University of Maryland, the Cupid’s Cup entrepreneurship competition will expand its reach to other U.S. campuses starting in March 2017. The first host outside Maryland will be Northwestern University in Chicago, starting a rotation that will give aspiring entrepreneurs around the country greater opportunities to compete for more than $100,000 in cash prizes each year.
“From a small event in a single classroom to a national competition with hundreds of applicants and thousands of attendees, the University of Maryland built the foundation for what Cupid’s Cup is today,” says Tom Geddes, CEO of Plank Industries. “We are confident that the university will continue to play a role in the evolution of Cupid’s Cup through the new entrepreneurship center at Cole Field House and its leadership within the collegiate entrepreneurship community.”
The competition, presented by Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank, started in 2006 at UMD’s Robert H. Smith School of Business through a partnership with the university and its Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. Since then the competition has emerged as the signature program of the Plank Foundation for Entrepreneurship.
“The competition played a significant role in raising the visibility of entrepreneurship on campus and inspiring more Terps to start businesses,” Dingman Center director Elana Fine says. “We are excited to have partnered with Under Armour to create a platform to inspire more students from more campuses to grow their businesses, and we are excited to see our UMD entrepreneurs travel across the country to compete in Cupid’s Cup.”
Applications are being accepted now through Jan. 1 for the 2017 competition. The semifinals will be Feb. 8 at Under Armour headquarters in Baltimore, and the finals will be March 30 at Northwestern.
Cupid’s Cup is named for the Valentine’s rose business that Plank ran as a UMD student that earned him his initial seed money for Under Armour. The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at accredited colleges and universities, or recent alumni of those institutions who are 30 years old or younger.
For more information about Cupid’s Cup, visit www.cupidscup.com.
The Smith School's Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship continues to inspire and empower young entrepreneurs through its Pitch Dingman Competition, the University of Maryland's only business competition strictly for Terps. Held annually, students can compete to win more than $30,000 in start-up funding to launch their fearless ideas.