University of Maryland Dingman Angels and Their Investment Impact on DC

January 18, 2012

1:00 pm

The University of Maryland is home to one of DC’s most active angel investor groups.  In 2011, members of the Dingman Angels wrote checks for 9 companies, making 2011 the network’s most active year since its founding in 2004.  Investments included Brazen Careerist, Cirrusworks, HugeFan, Nexercise, SevaCall, Spinnakr, Spotflux, Veenome, and YouEye.

“Dingman Center Angels’ investment activity pipeline of high quality companies and growth in membership illustrates the renaissance of entrepreneurial activity and investment in this region,” said Elana Fine,  Associate Director, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. “This past year, our angels invested in innovative companies that understand their target customer and have developed clear and thoughtful go-to-market strategies.”

Veenome, a video indexing and discovery platform, closed a $500,000 deal with substantial funding from the network’s members. Dingman Center angel-in-residence Jason Shrensky is among the group making an investment in the company:

“Veenome came to Dingman claiming to have an object-recognition algorithm to make video searchable. I used a prototype of the Veenome service and I loved it. Now I am an investor in a company that could unlock a whole new way to monetize free video on the web. If you are an angel investor, companies like Veenome are what you want to see in your deal flow.”

The Dingman Angels are a group of more than 40 angel investors who, as a group, review pitches from 4 DC-area startups every 2nd Wednesday of the month.  Angels work together, pool due diligence and invest separately as individuals. The network is organized by the RH Smith School of Business’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland in College Park.  The Dingman Center is a hub of campus and regional entrepreneurial activity.

Startups ready to pitch to a serious angel group should contact Elana Fine at the Dingman Center.

(Note: The author is a member of the Dingman Angels and has invested in HugeFan, SevaCall, Spinnakr, Spotflue and YouEye.)

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Glen Hellman (@glehel), is an angel investor, serial entrepreneur, and works for venture capitalists as a turn-around specialist. He is the Chief Entrepreneureator at Driven Forward LLC, frequently muses on his blog, Forward Thinking, and works with entrepreneurs to help them figure out what to do and get them to do it.

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