COLLEGE PARK, Md. - April 16, 2015 - Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business announced today the corporate sponsors of the final round of the 2015 Cupid's Cup Business Competition. The event is from 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at UMD’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.
BB&T Corporation returns as the Showcase Sponsor of Cupid’s Cup, chaired by Plank, a graduate of the University of Maryland. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the competition, designed to foster interest in student entrepreneurship.
NewDay USA is funding the Maryland prize, which recognizes the top business from UMD students and alumni. Salesforce is funding a new Innovation Prize to recognize the most game-changing business idea. McGladrey LLP, Orbital ATK and Sprint Corporation are also sponsoring the event.
“BB&T is once again a proud sponsor of the Cupid’s Cup in cooperation with Kevin Plank and Under Armour,” said BB&T’s Dan Waetjen, regional president. “We are especially excited about the quality of the competing schools and the outstanding achievements of the entrepreneurs who are participating this year.”
The Cupid’s Cup finalists, from entrants representing undergraduate and graduate-level students at accredited colleges and universities internationally, are:
- Gym Supreme (University of Maryland) – a fitness startup that designs patented fitness products, including the Mega Bar, to help individuals stay consistent with their health goals
- GudNeSs Bar (Duke University) – a startup combatting iron deficiency in India through increasing awareness and distribution of the GudNeSs bar, which provides the World Health Organization's recommended daily iron dosage
- Scholly (Drexel University) – a mobile and web application that allows students to easily research and find scholarships for college
- SnappyScreen, Inc. (Cornell University) – makers of the world's first touch-less sunscreen application system
- VirtualU INC (Virginia Tech) – a company integrating 3D human modeling technology into the fitness and healthcare space so people can accurately track how their bodies change as they lose weight
- ZOOS Greek Iced Teas (Stetson University) – developers of an all-natural, real-brewed, caffeine-free, ready-to-drink Greek iced tea
Winners will receive $115,000 in total cash prizes, coaching from a team of successful entrepreneurs, and in-kind services from top companies.
“NewDay USA was built on the principles of entrepreneurship in our mission to build the No. 1 mortgage company in America for veterans, servicemen and their families,” said CEO Robert Posner. “It is our belief that in our commitment to promote and create the continued growth of new businesses, real value and opportunities will come to our communities.”
Sprint Chief Experience Officer Bob Johnson said his company “provides the communications infrastructure that enables innovative companies to implement groundbreaking ideas, and it is a natural fit for Sprint to support one of the world's toughest business competitions and startup showcase at the Robert H. Smith School of Business.”
The Startup Showcase, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the performing arts center's main lobby, features the newest products and services from UMD students and university-affiliated startups. Attendees vote for the “Five Coolest Booths.” The top five are awarded $2,000 each.
“This showcase event recognizes outstanding students for their new ideas and business acumen,” said Mike Kahn, president of Orbital ATK’s Defense Systems Group in Baltimore. “As a member of the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business’ board, I am excited to see the growing interest in the Cupid’s Cup business competition, and the far-reaching innovations coming from the bright minds of these future business leaders.”
Additionally, Dara Castle, Washington Metro managing partner with McGladrey, said, “McGladrey has a long history of giving back to the communities where our employees live and work. We support Cupid’s Cup because we believe in the power of innovation. This event provides a great platform for students to celebrate their ideas, and we are so happy to be a part of this impressive program.”
Pessin Katz Law, P.A., will also feature as an event sponsor.
After the Startup Showcase, former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones will emcee the main event. In addition to Plank, the judges of the Cupid’s Cup final presentations are Daymond John, founder and CEO of FUBU and Shark Branding; Karen Katz, CEO of Neiman Marcus Group; Mike Lee, co-founder and CEO of MyFitnessPal; and Ted Leonsis, CEO of Monumental Sports and Entertainment.
For more information about the competition, please visit cupidscup.umd.edu.
About Kevin Plank
As a special teams captain for the UMD Terrapins football program in 1995, Plank was tired of having to change his sweat-soaked shirts over and over again throughout his two-a-day practices. His frustration led to an inspiration for a better kind of T-shirt—one that could wick sweat and keep athletes cool, dry, and light instead of overheated, drenched, and weighed down. Upon graduating from Maryland in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in business administration, Plank started to turn his idea into a reality and, as a result, began redefining the way athletes dress. After 19 years of outfitting athletes with the world's most innovative performance apparel, footwear, and accessories, Plank now oversees a company with over 9,000 employees worldwide with total revenues over $3 billion. True to his vision in 1995, Plank and Under Armour remain committed to empowering athletes everywhere.
About the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship
The Dingman Center has been at the forefront of entrepreneurship education and practice for more than 25 years. The Center's primary activities include helping students build their ventures, creating experiential learning opportunities and providing regional entrepreneurs with access to capital. Within the region, the Center operates Dingman Center Angels, the area's most active angel investor network with more than 40 members and 30 companies funded since 2005.