College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

2018 AgI2C Undergraduate Ideation Competition

The Agriculture Innovation to Commercialization (AgI2C) Undergraduate Ideation Competition promotes innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture, natural resources, and environmental sustainability by offering awards to undergraduate student teams for the best new business ideas.

The 2018 AgI2C Undergraduate Ideation Competition

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources has partnered with the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship and the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to hold its second annual AgI2C Undergraduate Ideation Competition. The competition consists of two rounds. Student teams who are successful in the Semifinal Round will deliver business idea pitches to a panel of distinguished judges in the Final Round. Finalists will compete for $5,500 in awards. In addition, finalists will be better prepared to participate in Idea Shell, the first stage of the Fearless Founders accelerator program at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.


Congratulations to the 10 undergraduate teams who were selected for the Final Round of the AgI2C Undergraduate Ideation Competition!

  • Artful Rainwater Cisterns (ARC)
  • Clever Cucurbits
  • Feia Sustainable Smoothies
  • Fergie: Algae Fertilizer
  • Flora-Filter
  • Healing Walls
  • Local Landscapes
  • New Eden b.LLC
  • Urban Herbs
  • Wasted Spices


The AgI2C Undergraduate Ideation Competition is open to teams of students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree or lower-division certificate program at the University of Maryland, College Park. Each team must have 2-5 members, with at least one of them currently enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) or conducting research in the Department of Entomology in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS).

Business ideas can address problems or opportunities in any area of agriculture, natural resources, and environmental sustainability, such as:

  • Agricultural Education 
  • Air Quality
  • Bioenergy
  • Energy Conservation
  • Green Infrastructure and Technologies
  • Healthy Food Systems
  • Improving Human Health and Wellbeing
  • Nonfood Products
  • Nutrition
  • Profitable and Sustainable Agricultural Production
  • Protecting and Restoring Environmental Health
  • Protecting the Chesapeake Bay
  • Public Health
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Water Resources
  • Wildlife, etc.


Each team must register for the 2018 AgI2C Undergraduate Ideation Competition by filling out the online Registration Form no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on November 1, 2017. Each team will receive an email confirming their registration.


Each team is encouraged to reach out to members of the AgI2C Leadership Committee. There is an AgI2C representative in each department in AGNR, the Institute of Applied Agriculture, the offices for Academic Programs, Development, Communication, and the Dean in AGNR, as well as the Department of Entomology in CMNS. The full list of committee members can be found here.
Team members are also encouraged to attend Dingman Fridays advising sessions that are held every Friday of the semester from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Dingman Center (2518 Van Munching Hall) and open to all UMD students, staff, and alumni. Appointments are required to meet with an advisor. Venture Mentors, Subject Matter Experts, guest advisors, and Dingman staff are available to listen to your idea, offer feedback, and provide actionable next steps. No need to bring a presentation or business plan; just be prepared to share your idea and receive some great advice from Dingman advisors.


Undergraduate teams will compete for the following awards:

  • 1st Place: $2,500
  • 2nd Place: $1,500
  • 3rd Place: $750
  • Audience Choice Award $750


November 1, 2017: Deadline to register by filling out the online Registration Form.

November 15, 2017: Required Workshop #1 (1140 Plant Sciences Building, 6-8 p.m.)

  • Orientation to AgI2C – Dan Kugler (AGNR)
  • What Makes a Fearless Idea? - David Tilley (AGNR)
  • How to Present Your Idea – Chris Rehkamp (Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship)
  • Your Visual Presentation… 10 Essential Slides – Larisa Cioaca (AGNR)
  • Coaching and mentoring from the AgI2C Leadership Committee

December 1, 2017: Semifinal Round – Deadline to email business pitch presentations (with speaker notes) and revised 200-word descriptions to

December 15, 2017: Finalist teams are announced via email and the AgI2C website.

February 1, 2018: Required Workshop #2 (2204 Edward St. John Building, 6-8 p.m.)

  • Business Model Canvas (or How to Organize a New Company on a Sheet of Paper) - Dave Tilley (AGNR)
  • Your Oral Presentation… Do’s and Don’ts for a Perfect Pitch – Ed Priola (AGNR)
  • Coaching and mentoring from the AgI2C Leadership Committee

February 19, 2018: Deadline to email final business pitch presentations and 200-word descriptions to

February 27, 2018: Final Round (2204 Edward St. John Building, 6-8 p.m.)

  • Team presentations: Each finalist team delivers a 4-minute presentation, followed by 2 minutes of Q&A with the judges. 
  • Judging criteria:
    • The business idea clearly promotes agriculture, natural resources, and/or environmental sustainability.
    • The business idea uniquely addresses a sizable problem and/or opportunity in the market.
    • Presenter clearly identifies the target customer and potential for entering the market.
    • Presenter clearly articulates a business model that is financially attractive.
    • The visual aids (e.g., PowerPoint slides) are well designed.
    • The oral presentation is logical and persuasive.
  • Awards and recognition: Immediately following the judging of the 2018 AgI2C Undergraduate Ideation Competition 


If you have any questions, please send an email to 


Founding Corporate Sponsor: Mars, Incorporated



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