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Terrapin Fund

The Terrapin Fund, supported by philanthropic donations from alumni and community stakeholders, provides capital to early stage (pre-and-early revenue) UMD-affiliated startups with high growth potential seeking investment in the funding.

The University of Maryland is a leading institution for entrepreneurship, which has developed a deep and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. UMD students, faculty and alumni regularly develop groundbreaking innovations that serve as the foundation for startups capable of transforming industries, improving lives and helping solve society’s most pressing problems. Notable companies founded by entrepreneurs with ties to UMD include: Under Armour, Google, Oculus, Epic Games, Squarespace, Axios, Beyond Meat, IonQ, and Cava.

Continuing in this tradition, the Terrapin Fund aims to provide early stage high growth potential UMD-affiliated startups with access to the resources required to accelerate business growth and scale impact. The Terrapin Fund has also partnered with existing organizations operating within the local entrepreneurial ecosystem to advance the Terrapin Fund’s mission and to increase the likelihood of successful outcomes.

The Terrapin Fund's mission is:

  1. To increase the number and likelihood of successful start-ups (e.g., growth, scale, exit) launched in the UMD ecosystem;
  2. To promote an entrepreneurial culture within the UMD ecosystem that benefits all key stakeholders (e.g., students, faculty and alumni);
  3. To contribute to the development of a robust greater Washington DC Metro area innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Additional goals of the Terrapin Fund's include:

  • Address the lack of experienced business and entrepreneurial talent available to UMD-affiliated entrepreneurs by leveraging UMD’s alumni.
  • Establish a formal talent network and database from which founders can tap into for mission critical hires.
  • Support existing and aspiring entrepreneurs by providing access to various experiential educational opportunities that will equip them with the requisite tools to succeed as founders or professionals in the modern workforce.
  • Increase the representation of students from underrepresented or unconnected communities in entrepreneurship and venture investing and better prepare individuals from these groups for careers in these two workforce segments and/or more traditional roles as professionals.
  • Benefit the greater Washington, DC Metro area entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Terrapin Fund Team

Terrapin Fund Operations Team

  • Dean Chang - Chief Innovation Officer, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Stan Smith, Managing Director, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Sammy Popat, Donor Relations, University of Maryland, College Park

Investment Executive Committee

  • Bill Bentley - Robert E. Fischell Distinguished Chair & Inaugural Director of the Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland
  • Dean Chang - Chief Innovation Officer, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Greg Oler - CFO, University of Maryland College Park
  • Stan Smith - Managing Director, Discovery Fund & Terrapin Fund, University of Maryland College Park
  • Nigel Long - Senior Managing Director, Trade Street Advisors (non-voting)
  • Ken Ulman - Chief Strategic Officer for Economic Development, University of Maryland College Park Foundation (non-voting)

University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) Venture Funds

  • Stan Smith, Managing Director (Office of Innovation)
  • Scott Christensen, Manager (Mtech)
  • Anntoinette Barbour, Business Operations (Office of Innovation )
  • Sammy Popat, Donor Relations (Office of Innovation)

Use Terrapin Fund to…

  • Find and invest in startups

    The Terrapin Fund is a philanthropic fund that invests in UMD-affiliated early stage startups. You can also invest in these startups by donating to the Terrapin Fund.

  • Identify/apply for funding & grants

    The Terrapin Fund is a philanthropic fund that invests in UMD-affiliated early stage startups. If your venture is an early stage startup and affiliated with UMD, your startup may be eligible to receive funding from the Terrapin Fund.