Sometimes, more is just better.
This year, the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship is doubling down on its popular Pitch Dingman Competition, increasing both the prize money available and the ways in which to win it.
With an increased donation from David and Robyn Quattrone, the Dingman Center is offering $65,000 in total seed funding in this year’s contest, more than twice as much as in past years. The grand prize winner will walk away with $30,000 in non-dilutive seed funding for the top venture, and the opportunity to propel that startup business toward success.
“Hearing how students can get those lessons and experiences to use on their own adventures or create change within their spaces is rewarding and makes me excited for the future,” says David Quattrone, MBA ’05, co-founder and CTO of Cvent and Dingman Center board of advisors member.
This year’s finals competition will remain in a virtual format with finalists providing a live pitch streamed through a virtual platform in front of an expert panel of judges and a live, online audience, says Holly DeArmond, Dingman Center managing director.
Dingman also expanded the competition to include three competitive tracks. The David and Robyn Quattrone Venture Track will feature scalable ventures, and the new Main Street Track will highlight student-owned small businesses.
The third Fearless Ideas Track will encourage students to create idea-stage ventures around a particular theme. The inaugural theme for this track will empower students to develop a venture idea that tackles systemic racism in the fields of business, technology and mental health. The winning team for this year’s challenge gets $5,000 and admission to the Dingman Center’s summer accelerator program, Terp Startup, which offers an additional $5,000 in venture funding.
“Expanding the Pitch Dingman Competition to three tracks enables us to support more student entrepreneurs here at the University of Maryland,” said Sara Herald, director of venture development. “We hope this will encourage more students to take the entrepreneurship plunge.”
The Pitch Dingman finals virtual event is on May 4. For more, visit go.umd.edu/pitchdingman. /HM/