Hinman CEOs Company Wins University of Maryland Cupid's Cup Business Competition

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Eric Schurr
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COLLEGE PARK, Md.—, a company started by Adam VanWagner, a student in the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) Hinman CEOs program and his brother Eric, took the top two prizes and $18,500 in the University of Maryland Cupid's Cup Business Competition. The awards were given at a ceremony held on April 1 at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Selected from 22 initial applicants and five finalists, won both the $15,000 grand prize and the $3,500 people's choice award. The grand prize winner was chosen by a panel of expert judges that included Kevin Plank, CEO and founder of Under Armour. Attendees selected the people's choice winner. rents, delivers and services dorm-size refrigerators to college students in the mid-Atlantic region. The company rented 2,100 units during the 2010-2011 school year to students at 10 different campuses, including the University of Maryland, College Park, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Johns Hopkins University, American University, Salisbury University, Bowie State University, Fairmont State University, Goucher College, Loyola University and Wilson College.

"Our motto is we deliver, you relax," says VanWagner. "If you are moving into a dorm room at the beginning of the school year, you are already moving a whole bunch of stuff. We deliver energy-efficient units before you arrive, making it hassle-free for both students and parents. It's a big one-less-thing you have to worry about."

The company's most popular product, comprising 95 percent of all rentals, is the MicroFridge®, a product of Intirion Corporation that combines a refrigerator, freezer and microwave into a single unit. rents the MicroFridge® for $199. Roommates often split the cost.

Both business majors, the VanWagner brothers grew up in Rockville, Md. They launched in 2010 after working for a similar company and seeing that the service was not offered in the mid-Atlantic region.

VanWagner credits the Hinman CEOs Program, along with the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and family and friends for the company's success.

"The Hinman CEOs program has been extremely helpful, especially the living aspect of it," says VanWagner. "The constant dialogue we have with other entrepreneurs, the way we all come together to discuss any given process in the company, has made it much better. The mentorship aspect, the invaluable consulting and advice from [Hinman CEOs program director] James Green, has been crucial."

About the Hinman CEOs Program (
As the nation’s first living-learning entrepreneurship program, Hinman CEOs is a groundbreaking initiative placing entrepreneurial-minded students from all technical and non-technical academic disciplines in a unique community. Students live together, learn about entrepreneurship, and can launch new ventures. Two companies started by Hinman CEOs alumni while they were in the program, Squarespaceand Lurn, were named to the Inc. 500 list in 2009 and 2010. The mission of Hinman CEOs, a program of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech), is to foster an entrepreneurial spirit, create a sense of community and cooperation, and develop ethical leaders. All undergraduates from the University of Maryland, College Park are invited to apply for this competitive program. Brian Hinman, University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering alumnus and successful entrepreneur, provided funding to initiate and support the Program.

About the A. James Clark School of Engineering

The University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering is a premier program, ranked among the top 20 in the world. Located just a few miles from Washington, D.C., the Clark School is at the center of a constellation of high-tech companies and federal laboratories, offering students and faculty access to unique professional opportunities.

Our broad spectrum of academic programs, including the world’s only accredited undergraduate fire protection engineering program, is complemented by a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, early hands-on educational experiences, and participation in national and international competitions.

The Clark School is leading research advancements in aerospace, bioengineering, robotics, nanotechnology, disaster resilience, energy and sustainability, and cybersecurity. From the universal product code to satellite radio, SMS text messaging to the implantable insulin pump, our students, faculty, and alumni are engineering life-changing innovations for millions. Learn more at



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