College Park - February 14, 2005 The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland announced today that it has invested $10,000 in start-up funding to Hook & Ladder Brewery, a student-run business founded by second-year Smith MBA student Matthew Fleischer. The investment is part of the seed stage funding the center makes available to student-run, start-up companies.
The Dingman Center, a nationally-recognized, leading entrepreneurial center, assists students and regional entrepreneurs with expertise, resources and funding. As part of the centers mission in nurturing regional entrepreneurship, students are eligible to compete for $50,000 of seed stage funding per year. Investment is determined on a case-by-case basis with a maximum investment of $10,000.
This seed funding provides a great opportunity for students to take the required steps towards becoming successful entrepreneurs, said Asher Epstein, managing director of the Dingman Center. Too often people associate entrepreneurs with the Bill Gates of the world and that can be intimidating. The Dingman Center is singular in its commitment to providing entrepreneurs with the tools they need and in recognizing entrepreneurship as a key driver of the global economy.
Fleischer founded the brewery with his brother in 1999 after a year of successful experimentation. Hook & Ladder won a Gold Medal at the 2001 Great American Beer Festival, the beer industrys equivalent to an Academy Award. As a result the beer has successfully been distributed in select parts of California, Florida, and the Washington, D.C., area. The funding from the Dingman Center will enable Fleischer to focus greater expansion in the D.C.-metro area.
Growth is good and so is success, but each brings its own set of challenges to a small business, said Fleischer. Access to the Dingman Centers mentors, funding and resources has put me in a stronger position to navigate building on a winning formula.
The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, is one of the first and leading entrepreneurial centers in the nation. The Dingman Center has facilitated, supported and guided entrepreneurs in the Mid-Atlantic region since 1986. More information about the Dingman Center can be found at www.rhsmith.umd.edu/dingman.
About the Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research for the digital economy. The school offers cross-functional study options in its six academic departments, which include accounting and information assurance; decision and information technologies; finance; logistics, business, and public policy; management and organization; and marketing. More information about the Robert H. Smith School of Business can be found at http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu.