Kevin Plank '96, founder and CEO of Under Armour, is looking for the world's most passionate student entrepreneurs. Do you have what it takes?
For the tenth year he'll partner with the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business to host one of the world's toughest business competitions. There's more than $100K on the line, and how does access to Kevin Plank's professional network sound? Here, you'll learn more about Plank's story and commitment to entrepreneurship as well as competition eligibility, this year's game plan and past winners. Don't miss the chance to pitch your business to Plank and other top judges. Apply by January 5, 2015.
Showcase & Final Competition
Wednesday, April 22
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland
$100K+ in cash prizes
Access to Kevin Plank's professional network
Semi-final Competition at Under Armour Headquarters
Startup Showcase and Competition at the University of Maryland
All applications must be completed by the Jan. 5, 2015, deadline. However, you may continue editing your application until that date.
Cupid’s Cup takes place in front of an audience of 1,000 people. The video allows us to gauge how confident you are in pitching your business idea and gives you an opportunity to show your personality. Kevin Plank is looking for finalists with passion, hustle and drive. The video will help you sell that.
Our quarterfinal judges carefully review every application to make sure all companies are evaluated fairly. The judges then meet to go over each application as a group and select the semifinalists. This process may take a few weeks.
The semifinals are held at the Under Armour headquarters in Baltimore, Md. Semifinalists will stay in a nearby hotel in downtown Baltimore.
The University of Maryland will cover the travel and lodging costs for one applicant from each semifinalist company. This must be the same person who completes the application, appears in the application video and, if chosen, will compete in the final competition.
Unfortunately, no. The University of Maryland will only cover the travel costs for the person that is pitching, and we ask that no guests accompany the semifinalists.
Finalists will be selected and announced the day of the semifinal competition. From there, finalists will be provided with coaching sessions leading up to the final competition to ensure they are prepared. More information will be distributed to the finalists once they are selected.
The judges for the final competition will be announced closer to the event date. Kevin Plank, who will also serve as a judge, is committed to bringing another group of industry-leading entrepreneurs to serve as judges. To give you an idea, here is the Cupid’s Cup 2014 judging panel:
Co-founder, Def Jam Recording
Founder and CEO, MapMyFitness
Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Kevin Plank is founder and CEO of Under Armour and a 1996 graduate of the University of Maryland. As a Maryland football player he was not permitted to hold a job but no one said he couldn't start a company. His first idea was a rose delivery business called Cupid's Valentine targeted to his classmates. In the first four years the business generated $17,000 and became seed money for his BIG idea: a T-shirt that wicked sweat and kept athletes cool, dry and light. Click here for more about Kevin.
As special teams captain for the University of Maryland football team in the summer of 1995, Kevin Plank had the idea for a T-shirt that wicked sweat and kept athletes cool, dry, and light. He had become frustrated by having to change out his sweat-soaked cotton T-shirt over and over again during two-a-days, and the idea hit him: "There has to be something better."
Upon graduating from Maryland in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in business administration, Plank began the business making that idea a reality and changing the way athletes dress. He went on a mission to find the perfect fabric–performance synthetics–and the perfect fit–compression–and ultimately launched Under Armour (NYSE: UA) in 1996 as the performance alternative to old athletic apparel.
It all started in the basement of his grandmother's townhouse in Georgetown. Plank's new business headquarters was literally underground, forcing him to hit the road to spread the Under Armour gospel. With his new shirts in the back of his beat-up Ford Explorer, Plank proceeded to phone every equipment manager in the Atlantic Coast Conference and reached out to his former football teammates, giving them samples and asking them to spread the word about his innovative product. After 15 years of imploring athletes to "Protect this House," Plank oversees a company with nearly 5,000 employees. Under Armour athletic performance apparel, footwear, and accessories are sold worldwide and worn by athletes at all levels & from youth to professional — on playing fields around the globe.
Plank has received a wide variety of professional accolades that demonstrate his growing influence within the industry. Now 39, he was most recently ranked #3 on Forbes' "Most Powerful CEOs 40 And Under" and #12 on Fortune Magazine's prestigious "40 Under 40" list, which accounts for influence, power and future potential.
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Earth Starter was formed to solve what the founders believe will be the world's most pressing issue in upcoming years: sustainable healthy food supplies. Our goal is to help people reduce their dependency on global food markets while focusing on creating a more nourishing Earth. The first product, the Nourishmat, is changing the way people think about food. Earth Starter products will allow people everywhere to adapt to environmental and economic constraints as we collectively strive towards a more sustainable world.
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