Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship Firms Dominate 2008 National University Startups Competition

December 9, 2008

Center Activities Fueling State of Maryland Leadership Position in Innovation

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business is helping to fuel State of Maryland leadership in technology innovation and development. As case in point, two portfolio companies from the Dingman Center were announced among the five winners at the final round of the National University Startups Competition on December 2. The competition was held by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2), a leading non-profit organization that aims to create and fund globally competitive university startups. The final round was held in Washington, D.C., at the annual University Startups Conference on October 2-3, 2008.

Exponential Storage was honored in second place, and Goozex was awarded fifth place from more than 400 university startups and after several months of online presentations before 300 venture capital, angel investor and university judges. Exponential Storage provides network storage products that significantly reduce the cost for storing massive quantities of digital content. Goozex, Inc. is a peer-to-multi-peer video game trading company that was launched in 2006 by a Smith School alumni.

“I’m honored that not one, but two Dingman Center portfolio firms were selected as top prize winners. It really says a lot about the impact that the Dingman Center is having on the region as a network of support and connection to capital for early-stage companies,” said Asher Epstein, managing director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. “It also says a lot about the quality of student- and alumni-based firms that we serve.”

Among the Dingman Center’s resources are its Capital Access Network (CAN), a pipeline that connects startups from regional tech councils, incubators and state-funded institutions with a network of more than 32 active, accredited angel investors and venture capitalists for early-stage capital. The Dingman 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 mentoring. The center has been a hub of entrepreneurial activity for alumni and regional startups for more than 20 years, specializing in growing companies from the first idea to the first million dollars in profits.

The Smith School is ranked among the best in the nation for its entrepreneurship offerings, according to rankings by U.S. News & World Report, Entrepreneur magazine, The Princeton Review, and Fortune Small Business.

“We are very pleased to have done so well against so many strong competitors,” said Wick Keating, chief executive officer of Exponential Storage. “The support we have received from the Dingman Center has been extremely valuable in commercializing our initial concept. As we’ve successfully navigated our first round financing and product development, and rollout to customers, the center has been instrumental in our success.”

Maryland was recently ranked No. 3 in the nation in The 2008 State New Economy Index, an index measuring gains in innovation and productivity sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. More information about the report can be found online: http://www.itif.org/index.php?id=200

About the University of Maryland’sRobert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 13 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, MS in business, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations on three continents — North America, Europe and Asia.

CONTACT: Carrie Handwerker of Robert H. Smith School of Business, +1-301-405-5833

SOURCE Robert H. Smith School of Business

Source: newswire

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