News at Smith

Inaugural Hisaoka Entrepreneurs to be Announced at Pitch Dingman Semifinals

Nov 09, 2017
Entrepreneurial Spirit


Each year, the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business hosts Pitch Dingman Competition, University of Maryland’s business competition exclusively for Terps, consisting of a fall Semifinals and a winter Finals competition. Top student entrepreneurs deliver pitches to judges who are experts in entrepreneurship, angel investing and venture capital to compete for $30,000 in startup funding.

This year’s Pitch Dingman Competition is chaired by esteemed University of Maryland alumnus Robert G. Hisaoka. Through his generous donation, the founders of the startups who advanced to the Semifinal round will make up the inaugural cohort of Hisaoka Entrepreneurs. As part of this program, the founders of the startups who advance to the Semifinal round will participate in coaching and workshops to further accelerate their ventures.

This year saw an unprecedented number of applications to Pitch Dingman Competition. These applications are whittled down to just 10 semifinalist teams in a quarterfinal round where UMD alumni judges from across the nation rate submissions.

Pitch Dingman Competition Semifinals will take place on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, at 6 p.m. in the Frank Auditorium of Van Munching Hall. The 10 semifinalist teams and Hisaoka Entrepreneurs will pitch are:

Basereach - Dan Bogachek ’18
Basereach sends personalized handwritten cards in your own handwriting to better connect with and thank your customers.

BEEQBOX -Brianna Queen ’18
BEEQBOX provides vegan and cruelty-free illuminating cosmetic products with a branded feminist twist.

Dark Sonar Technologies, LLC - George Lee ’18, Simon Schlegel ’18
A cybersecurity company that prevents synthetic identity fraud on websites and mobile apps for small and medium-sized businesses.

Emprology - Sydney Parker ’18
Emprology, LLC is a digital brand consultancy and content creation shop that works to build influential personal brands for black women.

Flee - Didac Hormiga ’19
Flee is a location-based social media app that helps people find local events and entertainment.

Manta Technologies - Daniel Diazdelcastillo MS ’19
The Manta Technologies MANTA vessel efficiently eliminates water debris to save millions of sea life from water pollution.

MPLEX VR - Galen Stetsyuk ’18, Stephen Walsh ’18
A virtual reality (VR) video game company creating a competitive, multiplayer game that fills a void in the market for VR game experiences.

Ötzi - Shyon Parsadoust ’19
A Tinder-like platform for tattoo artists and their customers to better connect with one another before the inking process begins.

Senvision - Chris Look ’20, Sanna Madan ’20
Senvision’s algorithm performs global sentiment analysis on social media to predict stock market movement.

Symbiont Health - Erich Meissner ’18, Maria Chen ’19, Kyle Liu ’20
Symbiont Health has developed wearable, automated fall detection devices for seniors.

The semifinalists will have four minutes to pitch their businesses followed by two minutes of questioning from an esteemed panel of judges with diverse backgrounds. The six judges for this year’s Pitch Dingman Competition Semifinals are:

Hilton Augustine
Chief Angel, Englare
Hilton Augustine is an angel investor and serial entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience creating value in science and technology companies. He founded his most recent company, Englare, to provide seed funding to startup companies with disruptive technologies. A few of his notable seed/early-stage investments include Hinge, Dryft, Terbium, Zoobean, OmniSpeech, MyQVO, Ossia, and SnobSwap. He is also a member of the Dingman Center Angels.

Christine Beckman
Professor, Academic Director, Center for Social Value Creation
Professor Beckman currently serves as Director of the Center for Social Value Creation (CSVC) and as the Smith Diversity Officer. She currently teaches doctoral courses in organization and behavioral theory, implementing strategy for MBA students, and social entrepreneurship for undergraduates.

Matt Fishlinger ’07
Founder & Executive VP, Gramercy Risk Holdings, LLC
Matt Fishlinger is the founder of Gramercy Risk Holdings, LLC, a sophisticated, blue-chip management company that provides a complete suite of operational services to insurance enterprises. Fishlinger is currently serving on the Dingman Center Board of Advisors and is a sponsor for spark: Where Fearless Ideas Start.

Gloria Jacobovitz
Technology Manager, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Gloria Jacobovitz, PhD, is a serial entrepreneur with over 25 years of successful leadership experience in startup, corporation, academic, and nonprofit environments. She currently manages, funds, mentors and advises technology-based startups in telecommunications, biotechnology, cybersecurity, medical devices, and more. Jacobovitz is currently serving on the Dingman Center Board of Advisors.

Ray Joyce ’17
Venture Analyst, Greenspring Associates
A recent graduate of the Smith School, Ray Joyce distinguished himself during his undergraduate career as a founding general partner of 301 Ventures, University of Maryland’s student-run venture fund. After University of Maryland, Joyce accepted a full-time venture analyst position at Greenspring Associates, a leading global venture investment firm based in Baltimore, Md.

Jay Smith
Director, Honors Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program (EIP)
Jay Smith is the inaugural director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program. He manages the program’s operational aspects as well as teaching and mentoring the living-learning student community members. As a lecturer with Mtech, Smith designs and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in entrepreneurship and innovation, with a special focus on creativity and international business.

If you are interested in attending Pitch Dingman Competition Semifinals, please register here.


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.