Elana Fine

Fantasy Merger League: 2018 Edition

SMITH BRAIN TRUST — When influential analyst and Loup Venture co-founder Gene Munster made predictions for 2018, there was one that really had people chatting. It was a prediction that online retail juggernaut Amazon.com might cut a deal to buy the struggling Target. It was a mergers-and-acquisition idea that seemed to align with some of the things that Amazon.com has been doing – establishing a brick-and-mortar presence and competing head-to-head with Walmart.

Nine Cool Unicorns You Might Not Know Yet

Everybody knows Uber and Airbnb. The two startups are so big that their names have become not just noun, but verb. The riding-hailing service and the house-sharing service are two of today's best-known unicorn companies, privately held tech startups valued at more than $1 billion. There was a time when the notion of a $1 billion tech startup seemed like a far-fetched, mythical creation. Today, though, there are loads of these companies out there. We asked experts around the Smith School to tell us about some of the ones they like best. Read more...

Parking Innovations and the Next Big Idea

The Fontainebleau in Miami Beach provided a suitable venue for the National Parking Association’s most recent convention for at least two reasons. Besides the luxury accommodations, the buzzing nightlife at the hotel creates one of the hardest valet parking jobs in the country. “You need 45 runners on a midnight shift,” says former University of Maryland football player Sam Medile, an angel investor and serial entrepreneur who made his mark in the parking industry. Medile draws upon ideas from the convention and his own observations in episode two of Bootstrapped, a Dingman Center podcast. Read more...

Venture Capital: It's Not for Every Startup

Venture capitalists are stars in Silicon Valley, picking and choosing among potential tech giants and riding startups to riches (if they're lucky). But venture capital isn't for every startup, and the pursuit of VC can be a trap, points out Elana Fine, executive director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. Read more...

Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship Launches Startup Podcast

The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business has launched a startup podcast called Bootstrapped. The podcast features founders, investors and serial entrepreneurs from the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia startup scene. While the podcast covers many aspects of startup life, the heart of the show focuses on funding from both the founder and investor perspectives, thus the name, Bootstrapped.

Javazen’s Hustle, Savvy Stand Out in Cupid’s Cup Victory

Javazen, which blends coffee with teas and superfoods for “a healthier caffeine boost,” topped five other entries in the 11th annual competition, established by Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank -- in collaboration with his alma mater and founding "university partner" the University of Maryland. The finals took place Thursday, April 7, 2016, at UMD’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Javazen founders and UMD graduates Eric Golman ’15 (economics and environmental science), Ryan Schueler ’14 (marketing), Aaron Wallach ’14 (kinesiology and exercise science) took home the grand prize, which includes $75,000, in-kind services and guidance from top business leaders, and the prestigious Cupid’s Cup title.

Social Entrepreneurship Joins the Dingman Center

The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business is kicking off 2016 with a new strategic initiative. Historically, the center has focused primarily on traditional entrepreneurship but recently has recognized the desire among its student populations to pursue social ventures. To execute social entrepreneurship programming, the center has welcomed Sara Herald as associate director for social entrepreneurship.

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