Receive up to $30,000 in funding and support for your ideas
The AgEnterprise Challenge is an initiative of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture, natural resources, and environmental sustainability.
The program taps into the already existing entrepreneurial ecosystem on the UMD campus, including the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, Do Good Institute, Mtech, and UM Ventures. Through a partnership with F³Tech and AGNR’s commitment to developing the next generation of sustainable agricultural innovators, both graduate and undergraduate students will have the opportunity to receive up to $30,000 to support any viable innovative venture.
AgEnterprise Challenge Information
Each team interested in participating in the 2020 AgEnterprise Challenge must fill out this Registration Form.
Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship workshop:
Date: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019: Required Workshop #1 (ESJ 2110, 6-9 p.m.) This workshop will focus on team building, design thinking, lean startup methodology, and prototyping. Students will develop prototypes during this workshop to start gathering customer feedback.
Dingman Center Jumpstart Program:
Date: Friday, February 7th, 2020 Required Workshop #2 (ESJ 2110, 4-6 p.m.) Students identify, understand, and assess the foundational aspects of transforming an idea into a business.
Do Good Accelerator:
Date: Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 Required Workshop #3 (Do Good Accelerator: 7878 Diamondback Drive, Suite B, College Park, MD 20740, 6-9 p.m) Fellows will work on preparing a strategic marketing plan and explore funding sources including investment, grants, gifts, and other sources.
As part of the program, students will also receive a comprehensive suite of resources, including:
- Mini-Grant: Up to $500 for customer discovery
- Online Training Program: Fundamentals of entrepreneurship
- Targeted Mentorship: One on one mentorship with startup/industry expertise
- Personalized Workshops: Dingman Center, Mtech, Do Good Institute, and The Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Funding to Scale: Win up to $30,000 in the final Expo
- F3Tech: Viable ventures will gain acceptance into F³Tech accelerator program
- Fellowship Program: Surround yourself with like-minded entrepreneurs, every day
- Networking: Connection to DC/MD/VA regional agricultural innovation ecosystem
During the spring semester, fellows are required to attend two mandatory meetings: one with an AgEnterprise committee member and the other with their personal mentor. All fellows are encouraged to meet with their mentors as often as possible to prepare for the AGNR Innovation showcase event. With a recommendation from their mentor, students teams can submit an application to the Ag enterprise committee to request more funds that will be granted depending on need.
This will be a college-wide event that gives fellows the opportunity to present their projects and win cash prizes. Students will have the chance to win cash prizes for the following criteria:
- Ability to Scale Venture
- Clearly Demonstrate a Need
- Growth and Engagement in the Fellowship Program
- Innovation and Novelty of Idea
- Significant Industry Impact