Entrepreneurship Center Expands To StartupUMD Space
The University of Maryland has a new hub for entrepreneurs in the region, and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship has moved in. The center of excellence, one of 12 at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, will share the space with other campus partners focused on innovation.
The space, dubbed StartupUMD, is part of the “Discovery District” that the university has spearheaded as part of a $2 billion push to revitalize Greater College Park.
Along with the Dingman Center, the StartupUMD space is shared by campus partners UM Ventures, Maryland’s technology commercialization arm; the Terrapin Development Company; and the School of Public Policy’s Do Good Accelerator.
Housed in the Diamondback Garage under The Hotel, a year-old development on Baltimore Avenue near the main entrance to Maryland’s campus, the outpost is sandwiched between Maryland’s Capital One Tech Incubator and Immuta, an artificial intelligence data management startup launched by university researchers.
“The Diamondback Garage gives us the opportunity to extend our presence across campus,” says Holly DeArmond, MBA ’17, managing director of the Dingman Center. “The space is becoming the new hub for the university's regional startup activity, and we are excited to partner with our fellow tenants to expand our entrepreneurship ecosystem.”
The shared space includes bright conference rooms with garage-style glass doors that can be lifted up to expand the space, work stations, and a modern kitchen space. The Dingman Center also maintains its own office and small conference room.
DeArmond says the space will be used to draw in more students from the STEM side of campus, so they can more easily take advantage of the Dingman Center's venture programs and mentor network.
The space also will serve as a home base for the Dingman Center Angels investor network, which connects Mid-Atlantic startups seeking seed stage funding with accredited angel investors. Stan Smith, venture investment manager, has an office in the space where he runs the recruitment of founders and investors for Dingman Center Angels and UM Venture’s Maryland Momentum Fund.
The Dingman Center will host workshops for students in the space, hold its “office hours” there once a month for would-be entrepreneurs to receive informal feedback, and run summer programming in the space for student business incubated in Dingman’s Terp Startup Accelerator program.
The businesses will set up shop for the summer at the newly opened WeWork space, adjacent to the Diamondback Garage.