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UMD Ranks 4th For Aspiring Entrepreneurs

September 7, 2012
Contacts: 

David Ottalini, 301 405 4076 or dottalin@umd.edu

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland ranks fourth in the nation for aspiring entrepreneurs. The new student-based ranking for 2013 comes from Unigo.com - an online college guide that lets college students continuously update information about their schools. The rankings were featured in the Tuesday, September 4 edition of the Huffington Post. The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazinehave also recognized the University of Maryland as a leading school for entrepreneurially-minded students.

The Unigo ranking report focuses on programs offered by the Robert H. Smith School of Business - mentioning the Dingman Center and it's "Pitch Dingman" program that lets anyone pitch business ideas every Friday to their "Entrepreneurs in Residence." Twice yearly, students have the opportunity to compete for upwards of three thousand dollars in seed money.

Dingman and other programs at the Smith School are just part of a growing focus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship on the College Park campus - programs that are firmly incorporated in the strategic goals of University President Wallace Loh.

  • Already, the University of Maryland's leadership has proven crucial as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce named the state#1 in the nation for entrepreneurship and innovation this past June while also ranking the state #1 in academic research and development and #3 in STEM jobs in the concentration of high-tech business locations;

UMD continues to expand its entrepreneurial competitions allowing students to test their mettle:

  • Starting March 30, 2012 and running throughout the entire month of April, 2012, the university celebrated 30 Days of EnTERPpreneurship devoted to a number of events focused on innovation, ingenuity and ideas. A highlight was the Cupid's Cup Competition where students and alumni who owned their own businesses competed for a $2500 prize as well as the Do Good Challenge with actor Kevin Bacon as host.

In addition to its growing entrepreneurship education efforts, the University is launching additional programs to cultivate more tech commercialization. Some examples include: 

  • Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (MTech) offers hundreds of hours of entrepreneur education - see the entire list online including the Hinman CEO program and Hillman Entrepreneur's Program. 
  • The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship (as mentioned above in relation to the Unigo rankings) connects startups from regional tech councils, incubators and state-funded institutions with a network of more than 40 active, accredited angel investors and venture capitalists for early-stage capital. The Center also provides MBA and undergraduate students at the Smith School with practical experiences and opportunities to pitch their business ideas, obtain feedback from experienced entrepreneurs-in-residence and access funding.
  • The Maryland Small Business Development Center - a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration and UMD.
  • Faculty researchers at the University of Maryland and other state universities also have new incentives to engage in innovation and entrepreneurship activities. The University System of Maryland Board of Regents recently approved a new policy to formally give credit in tenure and promotion decisions for faculty efforts and activities that result in the generation and application of intellectual property through technology transfer.