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How to start a startup at Maryland

Student Organizations

Startup Shell

A tight-knit, student-run community of student entrepreneurs with over $20M in total portfolio value across 60+ ventures and 200+ founders, including the likes of Redspread, Javazen, and Imaginext. Applications for membership open at the beginning of each semester.

Hinman CEOs

A unique two-year living-and-learning community of entrepreneurs involving various courses, speaker series, and mentorship where approximately 25% of students develop and launch companies as undergraduates.


A student-run makerspace with a community of artists, designers, and hackers working on various projects. A handful of students serve as mentors for any Terps looking for advice on projects.


A team of business-minded students that provide remote pro-bono consulting services for startups in Israel, paired with an 8-week interactive curriculum that prepares students for consulting or investing.

Terrapin Hackers

A community of makers and hackers working on various projects and attending hackathons together. They also host regular hacktorials on machine learning, web development, and a variety of other topics.

Accelerators and Incubators

Fearless Founders Accelerator

A two-step accelerator program consisting of the semester-long Hatch class (BMGT468R/ENES498R), followed by Dingman's summer incubator program, Terp Startup.

Mixed/Augmented/Virtual Reality Innovation Center (MAVRIC)

A brand-new center that focuses on accelerating the commercialization of immersive technology.

Mtech Ventures

An accelerator program that helps inventors commercialize their research, from business planning to market validation and funding, with guidance from experienced entrepreneurs and investors.

Diamondback Garage

A soon-to-be-completed coworking space on the bottom-floor of the back of The Hotel that brings together various entrepreneurship programs from across campus, including UM Ventures, the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Do Good Accelerator.

Bioprocessing Scale-Up Facility

Modern bioprocessing lab dedicated to the development and scale-up of biotechnology products and processes, offering fermentation, cell culture, stem cell growth, and various other services.

Social Innovation Fellows

A one-year experiential program for Smith School of Business students to build consulting or venture experience and a deep understanding of how to affect issues of social and environmental importance.

Terrapin Works

The hub for rapid prototyping at UMD, providing a collection of manufacturing resources, including 3D printers, electronics prototyping equipment, high-end production systems, and production and design services.

Hackathons and Competitions


World's largest all-women and non-binary hackathon, hosted annually at UMD in the fall.


Annual hackathon hosted by Maryland.


One of the largest hackathon in the east coast with over 1200 attendees.

EqualsEquals Hackathon

A 12-hour hackathon meant to introduce and expose underrepresented minorities to careers in technology and tech entrepreneurship.

Agriculture Innovation to Commercialization (AgI2C)

Undergraduate Ideation Competition: Promotes entrepreneurship in agriculture, natural resources, and environmental sustainability by offering awards to undergraduate student teams for the best new business ideas.


A two-day ideation event featuring brainstorming activities that provides students with a means to discover and explore how their passions can translate into business ideas. Held every fall.

Do Good Challenge

Year-long annual competition for both student-run projects and ventures that create social impact for today's most pressing problems with over 95+ participating teams, 6 of which pitch during the finals in May 2018 for more than $20,000 in funding.

FishBowl Competition

Tech entrepreneurship showcase hosted every spring by the Department of Computer Science with prizes awarded by industry and academic experts.

Pitch Dingman

Dingman's annual business competition with more than $30,000 in funding. Top student entrepreneurs deliver pitches to judges who are experts in entrepreneurship, angel investing and venture capital. Semi-finals registration opens in the fall.

Do Good Challenge Semi-Finalist Showcase

Semi-finalists in the Do Good challenge all receive tables during finals to showcase their work, with the potential to win the $750 Showcase Choice Award.

Pitch Dingman Finals Showcase

1-hour showcase prior to the Pitch Dingman finals of 10 top startups selected from the Fearless Founders Accelerator program.

Startup Shell Expo

Semesterly exhibition for Startup Shell companies where you can meet founders and learn about what they are building. It attracts investors, faculty, and students from around the area.

Notable Courses

AIE Fearless Ideas Courses

140+ innovation and entrepreneurship courses across all 12 schools.

Center for Social Value Creation Courses

Undergraduate and graduate courses on social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Dingman Jumpstart

A 3.5-hour crash-course in business models, financials, understanding your competition and much more. Hosted on various Fridays throughout the semester.

Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps

Earn nine credits and spend a summer in Latin America working in the field to empower, train, and support local social entrepreneurs in starting new businesses that create first-time access to affordable life-changing technologies, products, and services for isolated rural villagers. No Spanish required.

Mtech Courses

A variety of undergraduate and graduate classes that cover a variety of entrepreneurship topics, from funding and legal to international and corporate entrepreneurship.

Ladies First Founders

A one-credit course for female founders to learn about entrepreneurship, grow their own business ideas, and support each other's entrepreneurial journeys. Topics include networking, mentorship, startup pitching, and fundraising.

Hatch Class

10 of the students that complete the Hatch class (BMGT468R/ENES498R) will be eligible for up to $2,500 in grant funding.

Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams Honor Program (QUEST)

A multi-disciplinary, team-based academic program at the intersection of the business and technology industries that focuses on quality management, process improvement, and system design.

Grant and University Funding

Dingman Center E-Fund

Undergraduate and graduate students can apply for up to $1,000 in grant funding to be used towards materials, supplies, or services.

Do Good Mini-Grants

Provides up to $500 in funding, along with coaching, for the development and implementation of student-led, student-run proposals which aim to create a positive social impact for a social issue or cause.

Impact Seed Fund

Offers $500 to $5,000 in grants to students in Hinman CEOs, Hillman Entrepreneurs, or EIP who present business plans for companies that generate a positive impact for society, with preference given to environment, education, healthcare, and other underserved markets and communities.

Ladies First Founders Funding

All accepted participants in the Ladies First Founders cohort receive $500 in funding.

Sustainability Fund Grants

Grants ranging in size from $2,000 to $120,000+ awarded to projects promoting environmental sustainability that positively impact and enhance the student experience at UMD. Applications are due in fall 2018.

Sustainability Fund Mini-Grants

Up to $2,000 in grant funding is available for students/faculty/staff to encourage the development of projects or programs that improve the sustainability of the UMD campus or provide sustainability education for students. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through April 30, 2018.

Terp Startup

Grants of up to $5,000 are offered to each team accepted into the Dingman Center's summer accelerator program, Terp Startup.

Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF)

Grant funding of $110,000 to $750,000 for Investigators affiliated with a Maryland-based research organization who are conducting basic, trailational, and/or clinical research involving human stem cells. Annual applications are due in the fall.

Minority Business Pre-Seed Fund (MBPF)

Convertible note investment of up to $40,000 for Maryland-based African-American founders at the concept or prototype stage with a viable business plan.

University Resources


General recruitment platform for hiring UMD students. Targeted recruitment platforms exist for the Business, Engineering, and Public Policy schools.

Terp Entrepreneurship Network

Platform for entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals to network, share expertise and enjoy exclusive experiences.

Fosterly InternMatch

A program that matches local DMV startups and entrepreneurial organizations with talented undergraduate and graduate students for summer internships. They helped match over 500 students to 100+ startups last year. Organization and intern sign-up occurs in January each year.

Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program (MIPS)

Forms academic-industrial partnership by funding university-based research projects that help companies develop new products.

Maryland International Incubator (MI2)

Connects UMD with international companies for successful joint ventures by providing on-campus office space and partnerships with faculty and research facilities.

Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC)

Provides aid with licensing and commercializing university IP. Disclose research here.

Maryland Intellectual Property Legal Resource Center (MIPLRC)

Free legal services for entrepreneurs and emerging technology companies, including patent applications, prior art searches, license agreements, non-disclosure agreements, company formation, and more.

Virtual Business Information Center (VBIC)

An extensive set of online information sources covering a variety of business topics from advertising and stock reports to economic data and industry trends.

Dingman Center Mentor Network and Mentor Platform

The Dingman Center's initiative to connect their network of successful entrepreneurs and professionals to UMD's top student entrepreneurs. Mentors are paired with student ventures through the Fearless Founders Accelerator.

Dingman Fridays

Meet with experienced entrepreneurs to get feedback on your idea or business. Held by appointment every Friday, 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. in the Dingman Center.

Legal Office Hours

Sit down with a Dingman legal advisor to discuss any legal questions you may have. Held by appointment every Friday, 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. in the Dingman Center.

Mtech Office Hours

: Free, open entrepreneur office hours for UMD students, faculty and staff, and regional entrepreneurs with bio or tech-based startups or ideas.

Terp Marketplace

Sell your product or service to UMD students, faculty and staff to test the market and measure how much folks are willing to pay for your product or service. All current UMD students are eligible.

Bootstrapped Podcast

A monthly podcast hosted by Elana Fine and Joe Bailey, that interviews a variety of experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, covering many aspects of startup life.

Robert Hisaoka Speaker Series

A semesterly speaker event moderated by Robert G. Hisaoka with invited speakers, such as Ted Leonsis and the Deyo brothers, on a variety of topics.

Social Enterprise Symposium (SES)

The signature event of the Center for Social Value Creation, bringing together 400+ attendees to hear from experts in social innovation and sustainability from the likes of Tata, Fidelity, Kate Spade, and many more. Upcoming on March 9th, 2018.



Investing up to $2M in the top dozen companies started by students and recent grads across the country.

Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Fund

Fund investing $75k to 150k in Maryland-area startups to accelerate sustainable solutions for restoring the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. Investments are for direct commercialization purposes, not research.

Dingman Center Angels

Angel investment group investing $100k to $1M in early-stage technology-driven companies with a fully-developed product and demonstrated revenue stream. Monthly investor meetings are held from September to June. Past investments include Pendo and SocialTables.

Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII)

A partnership between the leading research universities in Maryland that provides funding of up to $265,000 for Maryland-based university startups with licensed technology from one of the participating universities. DC I-Corps hosts occasional workshops at UMD that can prepare you for this application.

Maryland Momentum Fund

Invests $150k to $250k into USM-associated companies that plan to raise a Series A within 12 to 24 months.

Maryland Venture Fund

Industry-agnostic late-seed-stage fund investing $500k to $1.5M in Maryland-based startups.

TEDCO Seed Investment Fund

Investing in seed-stage, for-profit, Maryland-based companies working on innovative technology-based products with the potential to grow and have an economic impact on Maryland.

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