Student Launch Pad lead associate “starts up” student entrepreneurship conference
Watching “Shark Tank” over takeout eventually led Matthew Lowinger ‘20 to Towson University. He just didn’t know it at the time.
Attracted to TU because of the opportunities for students and the innovative vibe of the Baltimore area, Lowinger considered several majors before returning to his entrepreneurial roots.
“It’s a passion for me,” he said. “I really value the hands-on experiential learning opportunities afforded by my major and the Student Launch Pad (SLP). I have had fantastic opportunities to intern at companies in the area and learn a lot.”
As the SLP’s lead associate, he is responsible for putting on events, facilitating venture creation through connections as well as day-to-day activities.
Becoming the cofounder of Innov8MD was the natural consequence of the combination of his passion for student entrepreneurship and his leadership experience at the SLP.
Innov8MD is a unique, inter-institutional conference designed to spur entrepreneurship among Maryland's college students. Membership includes TU; Johns Hopkins University; University of Maryland, College Park; MICA; University of Maryland, Baltimore; University of Baltimore; Morgan State University and UMBC.
It was born out of a series of conversations between Lowinger and cofounder Pava LaPere, student director of JHU’s TCO Labs, about how college students are the next wave of entrepreneurs and a desire to celebrate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Maryland.
The idea was the easy part. Forming a steering committee composed of delegates from all eight universities, bootstrapping funding and figuring out how to do something that had never been done before was much harder.
But Lowinger has big plans for the conference. He foresees hackathons, pitch competitions and seed investments in the years ahead.
However, right now he is focused on launching the inaugural conference on Nov. 9 at Spark Baltimore from 5–8 p.m. It will feature a keynote from Straighterline founder/CEO Burck Smith, a fireside chat with local entrepreneurs, resource tables and exhibitions as well as presenters from each of the member institutions.
TU’s student and alumni speakers are Steven Stillwell demonstrating Loophole with partner Pat Crowe, Bobby Gattuso with Hop Theory, Leandra Ngameduru with Dare2Bee, Abby MacQueen with Guppi and Neal Miglani with Infiniti Digital Solutions.
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“Towson University is doing great things around innovation and entrepreneurship through the Center for Innovation + Entrepreneurship,” said Jan Baum, director of the center and the entrepreneurship minor at TU. “It was difficult to choose just five representatives.
“I am immensely proud to have the idea for this conference come from Towson University and be able to find such a great partnership with student leadership at JHU. It is wonderful to be able to work with, support, and showcase students with the skills to lead an inter-institutional event around such an important industry in our state.”
Tickets for students are $10 with a valid high school or university ID. Community ticket prices start at $25. Registration is required.
4:15–5 p.m.: Networking reception for ecosystem empowerers (Only open for the $75 ticket attendees)
5–6 p.m.: Student Entrepreneurship Expo (Event opens to all attendees)
6–6:25 p.m.: Program/keynote talks
6:30–6:55 p.m.: Mentoring and empowering lightning sessions
7–7:50 p.m.: Fireside chat with local entrepreneurs
This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson
University: TU Matters to Maryland.