University of Maryland students gathered in Annapolis to showcase their achievements for state legislators Monday night.
Among the students were representatives from the Student Government Association, the music school, ICOW, CardBuddy, Javazen and several Startup Shell companies.
The SGA coordinated the showcase as a revival of Terrapin Pride Day, and the event “offered a good opportunity to bring the event back as part of a more comprehensive lobbying plan,” said Jacob Kotler, SGA governmental affairs director.
Delegates filtered in and out of the showcase, speaking with students about their business ventures and the entrepreneurial advantages of this university.
“I know the University of Maryland is a very innovative school,” Del. Mark Chang (D-Anne Arundel) said. “It’s one of the best schools in the nation in my opinion, and I think that [the showcase] just solidified all the great work that they’re doing there.”
Freshman Harrison Linowes, for example, presented his application of virtual reality technology to the delegates. Linowes, a computer science major, said his involvement with the virtual reality club, coupled with the school’s commitment to expanding on former student and Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe’s advances in virtual reality simulation, has provided him with opportunities to gain clients for his company, Glenhills Virtual Reality Studios.
This university was named a 2016 Top School for Entrepreneurship Programs in November 2015 by Princeton Review and Entrepreneurship Magazine, but relies on the state budget to sustain its programs and provide students with state-of-the-art resources.
As legislators determine how much the state can afford to continue supporting the advancement of the university and its students, they said they appreciated seeing firsthand how their money is being used.
“For me, it’s very confidence-building knowing that we have such strong young minds that are coming into the workforce and they’re going to do some good things,” Del. Andrew Cassilly (R-Cecil, Harford) said.
The showcase also provided opportunities for students to receive feedback on their ventures from the legislators.
Nathanael Carriere, a 2015 graduate and designer and CEO of Custom Brackets & Designs, presented his headlight technology at the showcase and said, “It’s all well and good when you’re in your niche market, but sometimes you can learn a lot when you talk to people outside your target market.”
For junior music education major Ryan Kieft, the showcase was an opportunity to demonstrate the importance of the music programs at this university.
“I’m here to rep the Mighty Sound of Maryland and the School of Music just to remind our delegates and our senators that music education is important for all students, no matter if they’re in grade school or college,” Kieft said.