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Smith school celebrates 25th anniversary of Dingman Center

By Margaret Zheng
On October 4, 2010

Students and faculty packed Frank Auditorium and an adjacent overflow room on the night of Sept. 21, to commemorate an important milestone in Smith School history: the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship's 25th anniversary.

The Center's benefactor, Michael Dingman, was accompanied by his family and distinguished colleagues at this celebration, which opened with a speech by Dingman himself—his first at the university in 15 years. Dingman expressed his great enthusiasm for the university's Education Abroad programs in China and Israel, placing particular emphasis on China's success and quick economic growth in recent years and the necessity of America to play "catch-up" in the entrepreneurial world. With a marked sense of urgency, Dingman encouraged his audience to be unafraid to "make tough decisions." He also stressed the importance of a good business team and said: "Assets are only as good as the people running the show – people make all the difference."

Following Dingman's inspiring speech, four student teams were given the opportunity to literally "pitch Dingman," each team getting five minutes to present a business plan and three minutes of Q-and-A with the panel of judges. The competitors were composed of Roboseed, Leading Start Kids, Advanced Pulsejet Engines and Blind Pig Cocktails.

The audience voted Blind Pig Cocktails, which makes all-natural, ready-to-drink mixed drinks, as their favorite, while Leading Start Kids, a preschool with entrepreneurial skill-based curricula, came in at a close second. The winner of the competition and a $2,500 prize awarded by Dingman, however, was Roboseed, boasting the world's smallest single-wing camera-equipped motor craft.


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