Image Credit: Carly Morales
By Carly Morales
May 6, 2014
Image Credit: All Terp Everything, 2014
Hafie Yillah-Creator of All Terp Everything/Image Credit: Carly Morales
The Spotlight by Logic
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - For undergraduate student Hafie Yillah, entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland has provided him with more than just a successful company.
“That's actually what changed the way I look at business. It opens your mind for how things should be done,” he said.
Yillah and a fellow University of Maryland alumnus founded Sneaker Cartel in 2010, the parent company of All Terp Everything, a UMD-only apparel line with what he calls a “fresh feel.”
The goal behind All Terp Everything was to create a clothing line with Maryland gear made by Terps. Yillah said that most college-wear designs are the same templates for every institution, only replicated with individual college names and logos.
Image Credit: All Terp Everything, 2014
All Terp Everything breaks away from this market by creating apparel that not only has original designs, but one that is also kept “in-house.” All Terp Everything manages every step in the process, from the product design, to printing with its own printers, to the actual sale on its website, and to operations that take place after the sale with accounting.
To make things more integrative and be able to fully touch home, the company also only works with fellow Terp students and alumni throughout every step--Something Yillah likes to call “Terp gear made by Terps.” He is looking to create a new market where every university uses the same integrative process with its own college spirit.
Yillah said that he thinks the company has done well so far in getting the products out there among students. Currently, All Terp Everything does not do any marketing or advertisement. Yillah said it just works with word-of-mouth.
Mac Miller wore the first All Terp Everything shirt when he came to perform on campus in 2011, which is how Yillah said word initially got out about the company. Yillah accidently bumped into Miller before the performance, and asked him if he would wear one of the company's shirts. He said that after that, students were wondering “where Mac Miller got that shirt from,” thus sparking the buzz of the company on campus
All Terp Everything was also was featured in local rapper, Logic's, music video, The Spotlight, shot on campus. Yillah said they were fortunate enough to have a connection with Logic's crew, which allowed them to get various products in the video, including in the Terpnation beanie, which was as worn by Logic himself for a little, along with others. Promotion wise, it was able to get a lot of exposure through its involvement with this video.
As a communication student at UMD, he said that the university strongly helped him foster his entrepreneurial side, as well as use his communication skills in bringing forth the products. Although he did not know of the entrepreneurial programs the university offers, he said he felt as though he was indirectly mentored by the Robert H. Smith School of Business on campus.
Yillah took a social enterprise class at the Smith school and joined the undergraduate society for entrepreneurship, which he feels helped him reach essential stepping-stones in the development of his business plan for All Terp Everything.
“I used all the resources and read all the books that were suggested when creating my business,” he said. Yillah said he was happy that everyone was on-board with his idea and wanted to help him push it forth.
Innovation Fridays at the Robert H. Smith School of Business/ Image Credit: Carly Morales
According to Entrepreneur Magazine, the University of Maryland ranks third in most programs offered, within the top 25 undergraduate schools with entrepreneurship, as seen below.
Such programs include both curricular and non-curricular choices, where students have the option of registering for entrepreneurship classes, as well as attending programs outside of the classroom that are aimed at fostering student's entrepreneurial ideas.
Such offering include Fearless Founders, Cupid's Cup, Pitch Dingman Competition, Dingman Jumpstart, Terp Market Place, Hinman CEO's and many more.
“As an institution, we are committed to giving students an entrepreneurial experience. We want our Terps to solve problems and make an impact,” said Holly DeArmond, assistant director of events and marketing at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.
DeArmond said that the diversity of entrepreneurial offerings throughout campus is what allows students like Yillah to accomplish their ideas regardless of their major.
“We provide [students] with the critical skills needed to solve some of the world's biggest problems. We want our students to come up with the next big idea that will impact global markets. … We discover, equip, connect and celebrate student entrepreneurs,” she said.
A program that has taken initiative in offering students, faculty and alumni the opportunity to interact with each other and receive feedback on business ideas is Innovation Fridays.
Attendees are given the opportunity to meet with experienced innovators who volunteer their time every Friday to come listen in on pitches.
The sessions are held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at three different locations: McKeldin Library, Room 2113; Van Munching Hall, Dingman Center Suite, Room 2518; and the Engineering Library Conference Room A, room 1403.
The perks include free and unbiased feedback regarding any ideas-as obscure as it may be- advice on potential directions to take regarding an idea, and information on available resources and funding.
“The goal is to inspire students on campus to think about entrepreneurial ideas,” Program Director at the Dingman Center, Alla Corey said.
Created last year as a partnership between Maryland Technology Institute (MTECH) and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, the program aims to create successful entrepreneurs by encouraging students to take action on their ideas.
Through its split collaborations-now including the Center for Philanthropy and Non Profit Leadership (CPNPL), and Center for Social Value Creation (CSVC)-volunteering entrepreneurs are able to advise students effectively based on their pitches.
The process teaches participants entrepreneurial skills essential to the job market by strengthening their presentation skills and using an “out-of-the-box” mentality. Corey explained that recruiters seek such abilities in today's industries.
“We want [students] to take risks, go beyond what [they] are doing in classrooms, and do something different,” Corey said.