The Dingman Center Angels (DCA) is making a push to bring in more investors and hear more pitches from the University of Maryland alumni community.
Run out of the Smith School’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, this group of investors — made up of top entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business leaders — has invested more than $12 million in early stage companies since 2005. With more than 55 portfolio companies, DCA has been a great funding resource for early stage Mid-Atlantic region entrepreneurs.
“We want to expand to where alumni investors are providing advice, access to their networks, and more business opportunities,” says Elana Fine ’97, managing director of the Dingman Center. “My goal is to make this a strong network of Terps doing business together.”
The group meets monthly to hear funding pitches from three to five companies. Members collaborate to vet companies, but make individual investments, usually ranging from $100,000 to $1 million.
“You get to a certain age and you are looking for something new and exciting — startups can do that: High risk, high reward,” says DCA investor Bill Boyle ’81, an entrepreneur who sold his successful fiber optics company three years ago and started looking for ways to invest in early stage companies.
To date, Boyle has invested in six companies, and he’s actively looking to invest in more. He stays involved with the companies he invests in, often acting as a mentor to help them grow.
Interested in joining or pitching Dingman Center Angels? Find out more at www.rhsmith.umd.edu/dingman.