The final competition will take place on Friday, April 4, 2014, at the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. A panel of judges will narrow the applicant pool to five finalists in a semifinal competition round to be held at Under Armour's Baltimore headquarters in February.
Finalists will pitch their businesses to Plank and a panel of judges in front of more than 1,000 attendees at the final round competition. The day's events will also include a business and innovation showcase highlighting campus and regional startups.
Applicants will compete for a transformative prize package including $115,000 in total cash prizes ($75,000 for the grand prize winner), coaching from a team of successful entrepreneurs, in-kind services from leading edge companies, and the prestigious Cupid's Cup. Plank will also grant the 2014 grand prize winner exclusive access to a member of his professional network.
"The goal of Cupid's Cup is to identify and reward students who have the entrepreneurial drive and conviction to take a risk and start a business while they are young," said Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour and founder and chairman of Cupid's Cup Business Competition.
"Last year, we took the competition to the national stage, and I'm more passionate than ever about finding the best student entrepreneurs in the country. I want to help another young innovator reach the next level with crucial funding and my personal help making a business connection."
The Dingman Center, part of the Robert H. Smith School of Business, provides students with opportunities to pitch their business ideas, receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs and access to funding.
Cupid's Cup was inspired by a rose delivery business Plank started as a student at the university. As a member of the football team he wasn't permitted to have an outside job, so he turned to entrepreneurship as a way to pursue his business interests. Plank worked with the Dingman Center to create and lead a business competition to foster similar student entrepreneurship.
"The Dingman Center has been leading the way in finding creative entrepreneurs and impactful startups for more than 25 years, and thanks to our partnership with Kevin Plank we now have the resources to extend that mission to the national stage," said Alex Triantis, dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business.
"We are committed to teaching innovation to the next generation of entrepreneurs here at the University of Maryland and beyond."
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