February 22, 2023

Maryland Smith Blockchain Accelerator Returns for its Second Year

Following the success of its inaugural spring 2022 cohort, the Maryland Smith Blockchain Accelerator is once again ready to help early-stage companies that are developing apps find ways to leverage blockchain technology.

Launched last year by the Supply Chain Management Center and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, the accelerator assisted eight ventures from across the country by systematically advancing their business through content offerings and mentorship from distinguished faculty and industry experts.

The initiative – a no-cost 45-day virtual program kicking off on March 15 – sits at the intersection of venture capital and blockchain. Participants gain access to the FounderTrac virtual accelerator – an online collaborative company-building platform featuring the Founder Focus Map with startup risk readout, as well as the ‘Sherpa’ mentoring and advisory network. Ventures will also take part in group coaching and “Ask Me Anything” sessions, which include professors from both Maryland Smith and UMD’s Department of Computer Science.

“It is great to see UMD emerging as a leader in the blockchain space, and we are excited to support this initiative with the FounderTrac platform,” FounderTrac co-founder Ryan Sears said.

A showcase on April 29 marks the end of the program and sees the participating ventures presenting their progress and pitching their business models to the Dingman Center Angels – one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s most active angel investor networks investing in early-stage technology companies – along with other attending venture capitalists.

 “Partnering with the Maryland Smith Blockchain Accelerator will allow us to continue to build a strong pipeline of promising technology companies for our investors to evaluate while also providing accelerator participants access to active angel investors for feedback, mentorship and possible funding,” says Stan Smith, Director of Venture Investments and Manager of the Dingman Center Angels.

The accelerator represents Maryland Smith’s continued efforts toward creating interdisciplinary experiential learning opportunities and preparing leaders to engage with new business practices and cutting-edge technologies successfully.

It complements the Blockchain Business Imperative – a six-week synchronous online certificate program, which began in January that explores blockchain technology and its potential economic impact across industries by putting classroom concepts and materials into action.

“The application of blockchain technology to business and society can have an international and generational impact,” says Juan Acosta, a 2023 MBA candidate.

Dean Prabhudev Konana, speaking last year at Smith Day, expressed his enthusiasm for the full suite of offerings from Maryland Smith's Office of Executive Education, including the Blockchain Business Imperative.

"Smith faculty are eager to engage with alumni and professionals across industries with these new open enrollment programs," he said.

Applications to participate in the accelerator are now open until Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Learn more about the Maryland Smith Blockchain Accelerator and how to apply.

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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 flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business 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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