News at Smith

Innovation Fridays: Apply Now for 2014 Cupid’s Cup

Oct 04, 2013
Entrepreneurial Spirit


Kevin Plank '96, founder and CEO of Under Armour, is looking for the nation's most passionate student entrepreneurs. Do you have what it takes?

For the ninth year, Plank is partnering with the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business to host one of the nation's toughest business competitions. There's $115K on the line, and how does access to Kevin Plank's professional network sound?

The Smith School’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship is now accepting applications for the 2014 Cupid’s Cup Business Competition until January 6, 2014. Mark your calendar now for the final competition and showcase highlighting campus and regional startups, set for Friday, April 4, 2014, at UMD’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

For winners, the transformative prize package including $115,000 in total cash prizes ($75,000 for the grand prize winner), coaching from a team of successful entrepreneurs, in-kind services from leading edge companies, and the prestigious Cupid’s Cup. Plank will also grant the 2014 grand prize winner exclusive access to a member of his professional network.

A panel of judges will narrow the applicant pool to five finalists in a semifinal competition round to be held at Under Armour’s Baltimore headquarters in February. The finalists will receive intensive coaching from the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship’s network of successful alumni entrepreneurs to prepare for the final competition, where they’ll pitch to Plank and a panel of judges in front of more than 1,000 attendees.

The Dingman Center, part of the Robert H. Smith School of Business, provides students with opportunities to pitch their business ideas, receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs and access to funding. Cupid’s Cup is named for a rose delivery business Plank started as a student at the university. As an athlete, he wasn’t permitted to have an outside job, so he turned to entrepreneurship. Plank worked with the Dingman Center to start a business competition to foster similar student entrepreneurship.

The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at accredited U.S. colleges and universities or recent alumni of those institutions (received degree between May 2011 and December 2013). Applicants must be running a legal business entity that has generated at least $5,000 in revenue or demonstrated proof of traction. There is no fee to apply. The Dingman Center will hold a webinar information session about the competition on November 6. More information is available at

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 masters, 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.