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Startup Shell Innovation Fund

Raised toward our $10,000 Goal
47 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 13, at 11:59 PM EST
Project Owners

Startup Shell Innovation Fund

Stretch Goals

Hey Shell family. We've been overwhelmed by the positive response to the Shell's Launch UMD campaign. That's why we've decided to announce two stretch goals: $20,000 and $35,000. Please see our Updates page for more details!

Startup Shell: Student-Driven Entrepreneurship on Campus

Startup Shell is a student-run startup incubator and coworking space at the University of Maryland. Founded in 2012 by students, for students, Startup Shell provides a space and community on campus for students to build their startups and collaborate with other driven entrepreneurs. The Shell has grown from a few friends working out of a converted office space to an interdisciplinary and multi-generational community of students on campus all working on new ventures.

As the University of Maryland continues to become a major player in innovation and entrepreneurship, Startup Shell is emerging as the top student-driven entrepreneurship initiative on campus. In just two years, the Shell has graduated more than 41 alumni and currently is home to 83 students. In true startup style, we've bootstrapped for as long as we could; however, as students ourselves, we can no longer afford self-finance Shell expenses. The tremendous student demand for Startup Shell’s resources has encouraged us to seek funding to sustain the Shell’s current capacity and future growth.

Resources to Respond to Student Needs

Our goal as an incubator has always been to lower the financial and spatial barriers for students starting companies while still in school. However, because the Shell is completely run by students, we can no longer afford to pay out-of-pocket for the expenses of our increasing number of members. We don't take any equity from our startups and the Shell is completely run by students. We’re growing at an incredible pace, but we won’t be able to sustain this momentum without funding.

Breakdown of Innovation Fund

  • Business Development: Subsidizing incorporation fees, lab fees, accounting software, legal services, and other administrative costs associated with starting and running a company.
  • Supplies & Furniture: Purchasing office supplies and furnishing that didn’t come from someone’s dorm room (or the dumpster).
  • Community Events: Funding for events focused on entrepreneurship and student engagement and reimbursements for things bought in anticipation for our Shell Hack Days that don’t come from out-of-pocket student expenses.
  • Prototyping Hardware: Tricking out our hardware station with the latest prototyping tools and toys.

Gifts in support of the University of Maryland are accepted and managed by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc., an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization authorized by the Board of Regents.  Contributions to the University of Maryland are tax deductible as allowed by law.  Please see your tax advisor for details.

Choose a giving level



Thank you for your support, and have one Shell of a good day!



This level will help pay for supplies like whiteboard markers, computer cords, printing materials, as well as and other furniture for our coworking space.



This level will help pay for startup administrative fees like incorporation costs, printing, lab fees for biotech startups, and business development software.



This level will help pay for some of our prototyping costs included in material purchases, hardware, and equipment. Donors at this level will also receive Shell stickers and a handwritten thank you card!



This level will fund 1 venture in the Shell for a semester. Donors will also receive a 3D printed mini Testudo statue custom with their names, built by Shell students. Yes.



We hope someone has noticed the Pokemon theme. This level will help fund 1 venture for a semester as well as help with larger budget items. Donors at this level will receive a private tour of Startup Shell and a custom 3D-printed Testudo.



This level will fund 5 ventures for a semester. Donors at this level will receive a private tour of Startup Shell, a custom 3D-printed Testudo, and an exclusive invite to the Shell's Demo Day and reception in December.

Our Crowdfunding Groups