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Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program Students Compete in First Ever Do Good Showdown

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Student groups from the Honors College Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (EIP), a joint program with the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), went head to head in the first ever Do Good Showdown on April 5. The Do Good Showdown is an intra-class competition among the 3 sections of HEIP 144: Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship & Innovation. During the Showdown students presented their ideas and impact to a panel of judges for prize money to support the advancement of their projects.  

Throughout the semester, 69 students advanced their team projects via lectures,  interactive workshops, design thinking exercises, and case studies across a variety of contemporary issues such as sustainability, energy, healthcare, and education. Sixteen student teams were formed and received snap coaching with members of the Do Good Institute on multiple occasions and they progressed in their projects.

“It’s always a great experience for students to apply what they are learning to real-world problems in a real-world context.   This year, in our seventh year of collaboration with the Do Good Institute, we were able to take it up another level with multiple days of coaching and the first ever Do Good Showdown.”        

The Do Good Showdown took place in La Plata Hall, where the program is located, and featured the top four teams from across the course sections, including:

  • pairUp aims to solve academic isolation freshmen face to achieve mental and physical success in their college journey. pairUp works to connect fellow freshman in large, impersonal, first-year lectures through a mobile, matching application somewhat similar conceptually to very popular dating applications used by college students. In this case, however, students will be pairing with those who share similar study patterns, complementary study strengths, and overlapping class schedules. In a sea of new students, pairUp will make the process of finding a study partner much more efficient, effective, and convenient for all incoming students.
  • Plug Pals aims to reduce vampire electricity and energy waste on campus by providing cord-attachable endangered animal models that encourage unplugging devices. Vampire electricity can be responsible for up to 25 percent of electricity usage, and reducing this energy waste will save money and energy for the University of Maryland. By collaborating with UMD Resident Life department, the team hopes to sell its products to them, so they can be distributed to students at orientation and other events.
  • SafeT aims to improve upon campus security and create another line of defense against unwanted visitors. SafeT has created a device that sounds an alarm if unwanted visitors try to enter a student’s dorm room within on-campus resident halls. The group hopes to create a safer environment for residents and increase security in the resident halls. Our target population is current and incoming UMD students and parents who are concerned about safety in resident halls.
  • Tiny Theater provides the building blocks of theatre education for elementary-aged students to increase awareness for theatre opportunities and improve confidence and communication skills. In many disadvantaged areas, elementary school kids do not have the opportunity to experience theatre. Tiny Theater implemented a workshop for 20 children in partnership with the program, My Child Can Read. The group has three main goals: 1.) Spark interest in theatre (or grow students’ existing interest) through a drama workshop; 2.) Provide opportunities for growth in theatre; and 3.) Allow students to learn valuable skills. Students will be able to improve their social and communication skills when performing skits as well as strengthen their confidence in themselves.

Each group had 5 minutes to present and then took several minutes of questions from a panel of judges. This year’s judges were Katlin Gray, coordinator, Do Good Institute; Victoria Zhao ’17: EIP, Finance Major, Mtech, Venture for America; Charles Grody ’20: EIP, Mechanical Engineering; founder, Hydraze (venture track winner of the 2019 Do Good Challenge Finals) ; and Amanda Wilmot ’20: EIP, Aerospace Engineering, Bees’ Needs.

After hearing from all four groups and deliberating, the judges announced that SafeT won first place and $300; Plug Pals placed second and winning $200; and pairUp and Tiny Theater were selected as the runners-up, winning $100 each.

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, works closely with the Do Good Institute and the Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and is in its 7th year of working with DGI. For more information about EIP click here.

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