College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

2017 AgI2C Undergraduate Ideation Competition

Friday, Mar. 10, 2017 to Wednesday, Apr. 19, 2017
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Symons Hall
7998 Regents Drive
College Park, MD 20742
United States

The Agriculture Innovation to Commercialization (AgI2C) 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 College of Agriculture and Natural Resources has partnered with the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship(link is external) and the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship(link is external) to launch its inaugural Agriculture Innovation to Commercialization competition.  Ideation winners will be better prepared to participate in Idea Shell, the first stage of the Fearless Founders(link is external) accelerator program at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.  The Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is charged with engaging all 37,000 University of Maryland students in innovation and entrepreneurship to prepare them to tackle the world’s toughest problems.

You and your team are encouraged to reach out to members of the AgI2C Team.  There is an AgI2C representative in each Department in AGNR, the Institute of Applied Agriculture, and the offices for Academic Programs, Development, Communication, and the Dean.  There is a member from the Department of Entomology in CMNS. The full list of team members can be found here.

You and your team are also encouraged to attend Dingman Fridays walk-in 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. No appointment necessary. Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs), 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.

Business ideas should address problems or opportunities in areas such as:

● Sustainable Food Production ● Food Safety ● Bioenergy ● Water Resources ● Air Quality ● Green Infrastructure ● Wildlife ● Urban Agriculture ● Sustainability ● Nutrition ● Nonfood Products ● Environmental Protection ● Public Health ●Energy Conservation ●Agricultural Education


Undergraduate teams will compete for the following awards:

1st Place: $500

2nd Place: $350

3rd Place: $250

Best Visual Aid: $200

Best Oral Presentation: $200


The AgI2C 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 two or more members, with at least one of them—preferably the lead member—currently enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) or the Department of Entomology in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS).


Each team must register for the 2017 AgI2C Undergraduate Ideation Competition by close-of-business on March 10, 2017.  In an email, provide:

(a) team name

(b) 200 word business concept description

(c) each team member’s name, University ID number, College/School/Affiliation, phone number and email address.

Send to: sends e-mail). Teams will receive a reply confirmation of their registration.


March 10: Due date for Undergraduate Teams to register by sending an email to sends e-mail).

March 15:  Required Workshop #1 for Undergraduate Teams, 3121 Symons Hall 6-8 p.m.

  • Orientation to AgI2C – Dan Kugler (AGNR)

  • What Makes a Fearless Idea? - Time Williamson (AGNR)

  • How Businesses Think About Competition – Chris Rehkamp (Dingman)

  • Your Visual Presentation…10 Essential Slides – Larisa Cioaca (AGNR)

  • Mix and mingle with presenters and the AgI2C Team

March 18-26: Spring Break

March 31:  Semi-Final Round – Undergraduate Teams submit visual aids and revised business concept for review and acceptability on or before this date.  AgI2C Team reviews all submissions. AgI2C notifies teams to attend Workshop #2.

April 5:  Required Workshop #2 for Undergraduate Teams, 3121 Symons Hall 5-7 p.m. Maximizing Startup Success:

  • Business Model Canvas (or How to Organize a New Company on a Sheet of Paper) - Dave Tilley (AGNR)

  • Pitch Perfect: Do’s and Don’ts for Oral Communication of Your Idea - Jim Golden (AGNR)

  • Food Recovery Network: From Idea to Startup - Mia Zavalij (Food Recovery Network)

  • Coaching and mentoring from the AgI2C team

April 11:  The AgI2C Team meets to review submissions and attendance at both Workshops and to decide which teams go forward to the April 19 competition. The AgI2C Team may offer suggestions for improvements.

April 19: Final Round in 1140 Plant Sciences Building 6-8 p.m.

  • Team presentations:  Tentative format is a 3-4 minute presentation plus 2 minutes for Q&A with judges.  
  • Judging:

    • Elana Fine, Director, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

    • Chad Stahl, AGNR Chair, Department Animal and Avian Sciences

    • Dean Chang, Associate Vice President, Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    • Jay Smith, Director, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program and Mtech Lecturer

    • corporate founder

    • Food Recovery Network

  • Awards and Recognition:  Immediately following judging of the 2017 AgI2C Undergraduate Ideation Competition 
No cost
Graham Binder
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