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Student winner of the 2019 Innovation Challenge.

Becoming an Entrepreneur

Through dynamic classes, unique opportunities, and powerful mentorship, we invite you to join the next generation of entrepreneurs. You'll combine the power of the liberal arts with your own drive for innovation. (And of course, there's always a chance you'll win $10,000 along the way.)

The Encompass Distinction Program

Combine the power of the liberal arts with your own drive for innovation! Students earning the Encompass Distinction build on a liberal arts tradition to develop the core qualities of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking. They pursue the education, opportunities and support they need to become the new generation of innovators.

The Encompass Distinction includes:

  • Minors: the Entrepreneurship minor and the Marketing minor

  • Special Opportunities: the Innovation Challenge, mini-grants, computer hackathon partnerships, and more

  • Mentorship: guidance from our entrepreneur-in-residence, connections with successful alumni, and more!

Through dynamic classes, unique opportunities, and powerful mentorship, Encompass will prepare you for 21st century careers that require innovation, perseverance, and self-starting.

Academic Programs That Innovate Big Ideas in the Classroom Explore Your Interests

Sculpture outside of Hoover Library with students in background.

Entrepreneurship Minor

Students in the Entrepreneurship Minor develop their passion into purposeful next steps by understanding and practicing the skills of entrepreneurs and appreciating the types of innovation that foster successful enterprises. Students take core courses that build their appreciation of risk and managing failure, while fully utilizing their liberal arts foundation. 

Memorial Bell in Spring.

Marketing Minor

Today’s marketers shape the products and perceptions of the 21st century economy. McDaniel’s marketing minor is a professional, interdisciplinary program using both traditional classroom and immersive, experiential learning.  Develop skills in areas such as market research, strategy, consumer behavior, social media, and digital marketing. 

Jennifer Yang headshot

Mentorship at Work Meet Jennifer Yang: Our Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Jennifer Yang brings 23 years of consulting experience at Fortune 500 companies, start-up ventures, and federal agencies to the entrepreneurship community on the Hill. Her passion for innovation has led to her mentoring and supporting students as they develop their own business plans.

Yang has supported and served as a founding member of multiple entrepreneurial ventures: Battle Resource Management, Inc., Inflexion, LLC., Teardrops to Rainbows, TasteBuds Events, LLC., and, most recently, Covalent Spirits, LLC., a craft distillery located on Main Street in Westminster, MD.

Put Your Ideas to the Test The Innovation Challenge

The Innovation Challenge is an integral part of The Encompass Distinction program. Working in teams over the course of a semester, the Innovation Challenge invites students from any major to develop business plans and a pitch for an innovative solution to a a real world problem. With support from our Entrepreneur-in-Residence, pitches are judged by a panel of real-life entrepreneurs, and give teams the chance to win start-up cash with their pitches ($10,000 grand prize, $3,000 second-place prize, $2,000 audience-choice prize). 

McDaniel College alumna Danielle Rowlett Tate '03

Danielle Rowlett Tate ’03

The last thing newly married Danielle Rowlett Tate ’03 expected to become at the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles was an entrepreneur, but that’s where her booming online business, MissNowMrs, was conceived.

Swimmer diving in to the pool for laps.

Sertified: An Innovation Challenge Success

In 2018, Owen Long, a Psychology major from Hanover, Pa., and sophomore Justin Arter of Waldorf, Md., competed in The Innovation Challenge with their business idea, Sertified.

Sertified tackles the lack of American Red Cross certified lifeguard instructors in northern Maryland and south-central Pennsylvania. Instructors “pop-up” at local pools to provide courses to those in the area.

Although Owen and Justin didn't win first-place, they took their $3,000 second-prize start-up funding and developed the business. Today? Sertified is thriving. 

Hacking Your Way to the Top

Interested in building your own app? 

Participate in the annual Carroll County Hackathon, hosted by MAGIC. Over the course of a weekend, you'll receive lessons on cthat will allow you to build an app in one weekend. Tech experts and entrepreneurs provide mentorship and assistance to help you bring your ideas to life. And at the end of the weekend, teams showcase the applications they build to a team of judges. It's just another way we prepare you for professional success.

Ready to Innovate?

Dean Josh Ambrose

Director of the Encompass Distinction

Phone: (410) 871-3305

Office: Lower Level Rouzer