News at Smith

Dingman Partners with National Assoc. of Broadcasters on Startup Competition

Mar 15, 2018
Entrepreneurial Spirit


COLLEGE PARK, MD--The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business has partnered with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) on their PILOT Innovation initiative, a competition for startup companies with their eyes set on the broadcast market. The competition is seeking technology companies that are solving problems for broadcasters in several categories including operational efficiency, audience engagement, measurement, content distribution or enhanced user experience. The winners will receive $50,000 in seed money and support from NAB member companies.

The Dingman Center will engage its Dingman Center Angel Investor Network to screen PILOT Pitch Prize applications and identify the applicants with the strongest business models and investment theses. After the screening round, Smith School MBA students will perform due diligence on the top five companies who will then receive mentorship and coaching from the Dingman Center Angels. Three winners will be chosen at the live pitch event, Oct. 17-18, 2018, during the NAB Show New York, at Javits Center in New York City. Winners will receive a Simple Agreement for Future Equity contract, including $50,000 brand recognition and the opportunity to participate at the 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas.

“The PILOT Pitch Prize is an important partnership for the Dingman Center given the scope and scale of NAB Show New York,” said Elana Fine, executive director of the Dingman Center. “We are excited about this opportunity to apply our experience evaluating seed stage investment opportunities and running competitions to the broadcasting space. By partnering with the NAB we will be exposing our investors and MBA students to a broader range of startups and investment opportunities.”

In support of its mission to make entrepreneurs of all kinds more successful, the Dingman Center has managed campus-wide, national and international business competitions. The center runs the Dingman Center Angels, a Maryland-based angel investment group that provides funding to early-stage companies located within the Mid-Atlantic region. Investors come from a wide array of industry expertise and are looking for innovative, technology-driven startup companies addressing a significant market opportunity. The NAB is a member of the Dingman Center Angels.

Entries in the PILOT Pitch Prize will be judged on an entrant’s ability to solve “a well-defined problem for a significant market in a differentiate way,” according to a PILOT announcement. To be considered, companies must show initial progress with their product, a potential revenue model or customer base, a realistic plan for growth, credible financials and the right team to scale.

The deadline for application submission is April 30, 2018. The first 100 applicants completing a qualified application will receive a complimentary pass to NAB Show New York. Contest rules are available online, and additional information is available by sending an email to

About the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

The Dingman Center is one of the nation’s preeminent institutions where the research, education and practice of entrepreneurship are pursued vigorously. The center, located at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, develops and executes curricular and co-curricular programs to support the startup community.

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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