Fellow Spotlight: Tim Dingman, Brown University

We already know that our inaugural VFA class is full off passionate, bright and motivated individuals. And starting this week, we’re going to post a weekly “Fellow Spotlight” to give everyone the chance to get to know our 2012 fellows even better.


Name: Tim Dingman

Hometown: Sudbury, MA

University: Brown ’11 Grad ‘12

Major: Electrical Engineering



What led you to apply for Venture for America?

I remember hearing about VFA some time around the June 2011 launch date, and I knew right away I needed to apply. I believe that innovation is the prime mover of the US economy, and that innovation comes from two sources: basic science, like the work done in universities and government labs; and technology, the application of new techniques to the world around us, which is largely the role of new private ventures. Having experienced both aspects of the innovation paradigm, I felt that my skills and passions would be more at home with the entrepreneurs.

What were you doing when you found out you were accepted?

Watching the Patriots beat the Ravens for the AFC Championship with my friends. Andrew called me in the 2nd quarter to let me know, and I accepted the offer on the spot.

Now that you’re a fellow, what are you most excited about with regard to VFA? What do you hope to accomplish?

I’m most excited about building relationships with the other fellows. Having spoken with most of them during the interview process, I can tell that we have a lot in common and will be able to accomplish a great deal together.

If you had to live one place for the rest of your life, where would you choose?

As much as I love my home state of Massachusetts, I have little patience for the drawn-out winters. It would have to be a place with a similar culture but warmer weather… maybe somewhere in California? I just don’t know enough to say.

Best thing about Brown: The expansive freedom the administration grants its students. They trust us to do what we feel is best, and that tends to work out well given the kind of student they accept.

Favorite Book: Fiction: World War Z. Non-fiction: The New Way Things Work.

Favorite childhood TV show: The Simpsons

Favorite meal: Buffalo wings, but none of that boneless nonsense.

Role model: David Hume – Scottish philosopher from the schools of empiricism, skepticism, and utilitarianism.

Favorite holiday: Christmas

Best class you’ve ever taken: My high school philosophy class

Favorite movie quote: “I am serious – and don’t call me Shirley.” – Airplane

Favorite thing to do on Sunday: Relax

Favorite entrepreneur: Vinod Khosla- co-founder of Sun Microsystems, currently one of the top VCs in clean tech.

Favorite cereal: Frosted Mini-Wheats

Most worn article of clothing: I no longer own it, but probably my Stewart/Colbert ’08 t-shirt.

Favorite sports team: New England Patriots

Best trip you’ve ever been on: Bonnaroo 2007

Favorite historical figure: Thomas Paine – Founding Father, author of Common Sense, and noted freethinker.

Accomplishment you’re most proud of: Organizing A Better World by Design, a student-run and student-led sustainable design conference held annually at Brown and RISD  (abetterworldbydesign.com).

For more: timdingman.com.

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