News at Smith

Disease Diagnostic Group Wins Cupid's Cup

Apr 07, 2014
Entrepreneurial Spirit



College Park, MD (April 7, 2014) — Disease Diagnostic Group, maker of an inexpensive handheld device that can diagnose malaria in one minute, was named the winner of the 2014 Cupid’s Cup Business Competition, chaired by Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank. The ninth annual event was April 4 at the University of Maryland’s College Park campus, hosted by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. In a last-minute twist to the competition, Disease Diagnostic Group's founder, an engineering student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, accepted Plank’s offer of an additional $25,000 in exchange for equity, bringing the company’s grand prize winnings to $100,000. 

The equity will be held by Plank’s Cupid Foundation, which funds the annual competition. Plank, a graduate of the University of Maryland, started the competition with the Dingman Center to foster interest in student entrepreneurship. The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate-level students at accredited U.S. colleges and universities, and recent graduates of these institutions. 

Joining Plank on the judge’s panel were Russell Simmons, Co-founder of Def Jam Recordings; Robin Thurston, Founder and CEO of MapMyFitness; and Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice, Co-founders of SoulCycle. Entrepreneur and former NFL player Dhani Jones also participated as emcee. The judges evaluated six finalists, narrowed down from a pool of 14 semifinalists who presented at Under Armour headquarters on February 20. 

The $20,000 second place prize was awarded to Compology (co-founded by a University of Maryland alumnus), a company that makes a sensor and software system that tracks dumpster volume and reroutes waste pickup to increase hauler’s margins by 50 percent. Another University of Maryland student-run company, Wheel Shields, placed third ($5,000 prize) with a longboard skateboard accessory that improves safety, blocks mud and enables skaters to perform more advanced tricks. 

Disease Diagnostic Group also took home the $5,000 audience choice award, decided by text voting from the more than 1,000 people in the audience. 

Rounding out the field of finalists were: 

  • Encore (Georgetown University) – a company that synthesizes social data in actionable, bite-sized alerts for marketers at leading brands.
  • Kohana (The Johns Hopkins University) – maker of the Gala pump, a quiet, compact and discreet breast pump that allows women to pump anytime, anywhere.
  • Million Dollar Scholar (Morehouse College) – an ed-tech social venture utilizing a web-based platform to educate high school/college students and ex-offenders on how to gain scholarships and avoid student debt.

For more information about the competition, please visit

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Watch video highlights from TerpVision.

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 17 years of outfitting athletes with the world’s most innovative performance apparel, footwear, and accessories, Plank now oversees a company with over 7,000 employees worldwide that reached $2.3 billion in revenues at the end of 2013. 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.


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.