For Immediate Release
March 28, 2012
Contacts: Neil Tickner, 301 405 4622 or email@example.com
UMD Launches Entrepreneurship-Innovation Festival
30 Days of EnTERPreneurship Marks Expanding Competition Lineup
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - On March 30, the University of Maryland launches its expanding lineup of competitions and activities devoted to innovation, ingenuity and ideas: 30 Days of EnTERPreneurship. Nearly a quarter-million dollars in prizes will be awarded at six events involving UMD faculty, students and alums.
The events honor the best in entrepreneurship at all stages of innovation - from invention to business plans to start-ups. Celebrants will include Gov. Martin O'Malley and one of Maryland's most successful entrepreneurs, Kevin Plank '96, founder and CEO of Under Armour.
The competitions reach across campus and align with UMD's growing commitment to a university-wide culture of entrepreneurship and its strategic priority of creating 100 new companies over the next decade.
"Our innovation has contributed more than $2.5 billion to Maryland's economy in the past few decades, and we are committed to taking our entrepreneurship to unprecedented levels," says University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. "We have established ourselves as a top public research university; we also must become a premier innovation and entrepreneurship university."
MARCH 30: UMD ENTREPRENEURSHIP INVITATIONAL - Daylong annual marquee event of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business with three activities:
The 2012 Cupid finalists who will pitch to the judges: 10G Systems, supplies web-based transport software for small to mid-size shippers; Food Safety Administration, provides online courses for food service professionals to earn food and alcohol safety certifications; Reed Street Productions, operates Run for Your Lives, a zombie themed adventure race attracting thousands of participants; Route One Apparel, an e-commerce platform for creative apparel designed by students; Visisonics, UMD spinout that enables realistic 3D audio for music, movies and gaming in standard headphones.
APRIL 17: INVENTION OF THE YEAR AWARD - Each year, a judging panel of University of Maryland personnel and industry experts selects a winner from the finalists in each of three categories: information science, life science and physical science. Last year's winning inventions included digital fingerprinting, an energy-efficient smart metal, and two novel methods for administering medications. The competition is run by UMD's Office of Technology Commercialization.
APRIL 18: DO GOOD CHALLENGE - Because innovation at Maryland also encompasses the non-profit world and the creation of social capital, film star Kevin Bacon is challenging UMD students to "Do Good." As a carrot, he's dangling some very "cool prizes for you and your favorite cause." Bacon and an American Idol-style celebrity panel will pick the winners in his Do Good Challenge. "This challenge is part of creating a new culture of philanthropy on campus," says University of Maryland Professor Robert Grimm who is directing the project and the School of Public Policy's philanthropy program. "Our entire program is about harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of young people and developing innovative and effective citizens and future leaders committed to improving our world."
APRIL 20: UMD $75,000 BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION - A record 91 UMD students, faculty members and researchers entered this year's Business Plan Competition. Over its 12-year history, the competition process, its network of expert mentors and partners and the cash prizes awarded have helped many UMD entrepreneurs act on their dreams and build their own companies.
This year's 28 semi-finalists include graduate students developing a promising new cancer therapy, a cashless money transfer system and a flexible, lithium-based energy source; plus undergraduates developing advanced surgical sutures, a Web site connecting Maryland residents with elected officials in "democracy's first ongoing open forum," and a "tutor-to-go" business; as well as recent alums developing a system freeing women "from the current confines of breast pumping," and another team launching a patented, highly reflective visibility vest.
APRIL 20: INNOVATE 4 HEALTH CARE CHALLENGE - Teams from 25 U.S. and foreign universities entered this new competition launched by the Robert H. Smith School's Center for Health Information and Decision Systems. Final round presentations will take place at the Smith School's campus in Washington, D.C. Teams have designed plans to strengthen patient engagement with healthcare providers using information technology.
The eight finalists will present their solutions in person to leaders in the healthcare industry. Teams are from the University of Maryland (2), Carnegie-Mellon, George Washington, Georgia, Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Stanford. The competition offers $30,000 in prizes.
APRIL 25: $100,000 ACC CLEAN ENERGY CHALLENGE - A new competition encouraging students from all universities in the southeastern United States to develop business plans with high commercial potential for new clean energy companies, including projects related to renewable energy, energy efficiency improvements and advanced fuels/vehicles. UMD's Mtech is managing the regional competition this year, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The competition winner will receive a $100,000 prize and compete in the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition finals in Washington, D.C. this summer.
OTHER ACTIVITIES: Ongoing spring entrepreneurship activities during the 30 Days include the Pitch Dingman informal session on April 6, designed to prepare young entrepreneurs to make their case to investors, Mtech's Entrepreneur Office Hours on April 10, and the Dingman Center Angels Investor Breakfast on April 11. The breakfast pairs regional entrepreneurs with the Center's Angel Investor Network.
On April 13, Carly Fiorina will headline a Smith School forum on women entrepreneurs in emerging markets.
On April 18, the National Academy of Engineering will hold a major regional forum, Government-University-Industry Partnerships in Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Chaired by NAE treasurer and UMD Regents Professor Dan Mote, the free event will bring together top national innovation and entrepreneurship figures such as UMD alums Kevin Plank and Robert Fischell, U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, National Collegiate Inventers and Innovators Alliance executive director, and the Chancellor of UNC. (1:00 p.m., Stamp Student Union)
ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION AT UMD
The University of Maryland, ranked as one the nation's top schools for entrepreneurship and innovation education, has had a $25.7 billion impact on the Maryland economy and helped create or retain more than 5,300 jobs. Through programs across campus, UMD educates the next generation of entrepreneurs, creates successful ventures and connects Maryland companies with university resources to help them succeed.
Highlights include: three experiential entrepreneurship learning programs and 30 entrepreneurship and innovation courses at the pre-college, undergraduate, graduate and executive education levels; a series of mentoring programs; a global entrepreneurship program with a partnership in China; a technology incubator/accelerator startup program with more than 100 graduates including billion dollar companies such as Martek Biosciences and Digene; and an on-campus network of more than 40 active, accredited angel investors and venture capitalists.
Information provided by the Office of University Communications
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