Startup Maryland Announces Winners for 2016 STRT1UP Roadshow and Pitch Across Maryland Competition

Startup Maryland Announces Winners for

2016 STRT1UP Roadshow and 

Pitch Across Maryland Competition

Quidient, GunBail, Chord and Real Flexi Recognized as 
Diversity of Maryland Innovation Shines at the 

Startup Maryland  

STRT1UP Showcase
 
December 16, 2016 – EVERYWHERE, MD – On Tuesday, December 13, Startup Maryland announced the Winners for the Great Eight and Rural Innovations Challenge from the 2016 STRT1UP Road Show and Pitch Across Maryland —  the annual statewide celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship
Nearly 150 video pitches from Maryland entrepreneurs were assembled during the 2016 STRT1UP Roadshow with each becoming candidates for various Pitch Across Marylandcompetitions.  This year the Pitch Across Maryland added a Rural Innovation Challenge, CyberSecurity Challenge and the Champions’ Choice categories to the existing Fan Favorites and Overall Great 8.  
 
Startup Maryland is proud to announce Quidient and Gunbail as winner / runner-up for the Great 8 competition with Chord and Real Flexi being honored as winner / runner-up for the Rural Innovation Challenge.  They join Efflux Systems and SecuLore as winner / runner-up of the Cyber Security Challenge; 5PopPicklehead-TipTough and ION Massage as Fan Favorites; as well as Dhremo TherapyAsli and Elderbird Restoration as Champions’ Choices — who were all announced previously.
Pitch Across Maryland candidates, finalists and winners were distilled by two separate review panels of serial entrepreneurs, investors and economic development officers over three months and two rounds of judging.  Finalists presented their ventures and opportunities during MDCyberDay on October 5, the TEDCO Entrepreneur Expo on November 14 and the STRT1UP Showcase on December 13th. 
 
Judges for the CyberSecurity Challenge were Ken Mcreedy, (MD Dept. of Commerce), Jack Biddle (Novak-Biddle Venture Partners), Ron Kaese (TEDCO), Ron Gula (Tenable), and Dr. Shue-Jane Thomas (IBM  Global Services).  Judges for the Rural Innovation Challenge were Charlotte Davis (Rural Maryland Council), Lee Kirwin (TECCO) and Ronnie Gist (Maryland MIPS – UMD).  Judges for the Great 8 were Gianna J. Arnold (Saul Ewing), MacKeever “Mac” Conwell (TEDCO) and Bruce McIndoe (iJET).
A special thank you to Andre Robinson and Richard May who graciously hosted the STRT1UP Showcase at the new Innovation Village headquarters @ Symphony Center in Baltimore’s Mt. Royal neighborhood.
 

“The first round judges voiced considerable angst trying to winnow the Pitch Across Marylandfield and the quality of the pitches at the STRT1UP Showcase revealed exactly why that task was so difficult.  The diversity of industries and innovations is quite a testament to why Maryland and the broader Mid-Atlantic region constitute an early-stage venture powerhouse,” stated Michael Binko, Founder of Startup Maryland.  “As we reflect back on five years of celebrating entrepreneurs and innovation, we are humbled by the fact that we have engaged with more than 1,500 high-growth tech ventures and proud that our startup density places Maryland #2 for U.S. regions launched as part of Startup America.”

Winners and runner-ups are now fast-tracked into various funding opportunities with TEDCO and other ecosystem partners given the fact that they have already been thoroughly vetted after the grueling three months of scrutiny during the STRT1UP Roadshow and Pitch Across Maryland competitions.  Winners also receive one-on-one venture Coaching with Jason Tagler, a Baltimore based Startup Maryland Champion, founder of CEO Pitch Coach and Partner at Camden Partners — a leading tech venture capital firm.  Saul Ewing has also offered Finalists a chance to meet with firm partners/staff, participation in CEO Roundtables and consideration for the firm’s RAMP program.
Active equity investors and members of the media are invited to view all Pitch Across Marylandvideos at the Startup Maryland YouTube Channel — click on Playlists — or to contact the Startup Maryland team directly to learn more about the innovations and entrepreneurs building great companies across the broader Mid-Atlantic region.
In the coming months, Startup Maryland will be kicking off its annual Raise Your GameBootcamp for Entrepreneurs — the primary program under the Startup Maryland Coaching initiative.  All Pitch Across Maryland finalists are awarded a free scholarship to participate in the full Bootcamp.  Under this program, early stage company founders learn directly from successful entrepreneur peers on six topics that every startup founder needs to understand in order to inflect their venture.  Watch for more details and timing for this year’s Bootcamp.
 
Building off of the overwhelming success of the past five years and the quality of the resulting “deal-flow,” one of the newer programs under Startup Maryland’s Capital initiative is Angel Academy.  Angel Academy is an in-depth training rubric for Sideline Angels to discover proven approaches to angel investing while introducing these angels to the Startup Maryland ecosystem and fund-able ventures. Qualified Pitch Across Maryland winners and finalists who are raising seed rounds of funding and being Curated by Startup Maryland are invited to participate in Angel Academy programs in order to continue to hone their pitches, network and engage with up-and-coming and active angel investors.

THANK YOU!!! 

Startup Maryland™ Announces 2016 STRT1UP® Road Show

Teams of Ecosystem Stakeholders to Co-Host Tour Stops from September 10 thru October 8 in Celebration of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

 

August 1, 2016: All Points, Maryland – Today Startup Maryland announced dates (September 10 – October 8) and the rough route for the STRT1UP Road Show, the fifth annual state-wide tour and celebration of entrepreneurship and high-growth innovation-centric startup companies.

The STRT1UP Road Show will again traverse the state all in the name of celebrating Maryland’s diverse ecosystem of venture building.  A sampling of details, key data and results from previous tours follow:

  • More than 1000 Startup Maryland companies; 800+ participated in tour events from 2012 to 2015; 168 startups “pitched” in 2012, 161 in 2013, 170 in 2014 and 165 in 2015
  • 42 tour stops in 2015; 35 in 2014; 32 in 2013; 25 in 2012
  • Startup Maryland hosted Steve Case / Rise of the Rest: bringing national lens to our ecosystem
  • More than 75 “Rock Star” tour sponsors/partners including (universities, economic development agencies, angel/VC investors, incubators/accelerators, affinity brand owners, sponsors)
  • Months of media coverage; more than 1 million press impressions; ad-rate value over $5 million
  • Video Pitch Competition winnowed field to Top 3 Fan Favorites and 8 Finalists as Best Candidates for Venture Investment
  • Startup Maryland and WithTheFilm created a documentary film about the STRT1UP Road Show
  • Startup Maryland was asked by other national startup ecosystem builders to discuss how the STRT1UP Road Show helps cultivate strong startup communities

“Maryland and the broader Mid-Atlantic is clearly winning with regards to workforce talent, entrepreneur hustle and the assembly of resources needed to support high-growth ventures – we call this ecosystem,” stated Michael Binko, Founder|CEO of Startup Maryland.  “The broad base of industry sectors owned credibly by Maryland is all but unmatched.  From rural innovations, health/wellness, edtech and life sciences/bio, to cloud computing, cyber-security, creative/arts, clean energy, manufacturing, sustainability, to autonomous systems and the Internet-of-Things (IoT), Maryland entrepreneurs are breeding ventures that disrupt a wide array of industries.  The STRT1UP Road Show proudly shines a spotlight on the diversity of our innovation categories and the ecosystem supporting them.”

2015 09 14 STRT1UP Poster (JPG draft 1) (1)At each STRT1UP Road Show tour stop, Tour Partners/Sponsors host rallies sharing information about their entrepreneurial ecosystems across the state.  Entrepreneurs are provided coaching, guidance and support from business mentors and other leaders from academia, incubators/accelerators, economic development agencies, service providers as well as active angel/VC investors.

 

As the tour unfolds, entrepreneurs climb onto the Startup Maryland bus and pitch their idea/business in the mobile UpStart Show™ video studio.  Videos are uploaded to the Startup Maryland YouTube® Channel and then open to public viewing/voting.  This aspect of the STRT1UP Road Show embodies the Pitch Across Maryland competition allowing the entrepreneurs, sponsors, investors and tour hosts to activate social networks for even broader awareness and celebration.

 

For more information see scheduled STRT1UP Road Show tour dates and tentative route locations below or visit http://www.startupmd.org for regular updates:

 

 

 WHEN/WHERE DOES THE ROAD SHOW TAKE PLACE? (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

 2016 08 31 Pitch across md 2016 schedule graphic 7 (upd 08 31)

 

About Startup Maryland:

Startup Maryland (www.startupmd.org) is an ecosystem and venture development initiative driven from within the community of innovation-centric entrepreneurs.  Forged with Maryland Pride By Entrepreneurs … For Entrepreneurs, Startup Maryland strives to remain nimble and inclusive.  Startup Maryland works to connect innovation communities and rallies entrepreneurs, supporters and other innovation stakeholders around four main initiatives: Celebration, Coaching, Curation and Capital while also bringing together entrepreneurs in a community of support to drive greater social as well as economic outcomes.

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Startup Maryland and Startup Angels Team to Host Angel Investing Workshop

Experienced and Aspiring Angels Invited to Learn Critical Skills and Proven Methodologies for Early Stage Startup Investing

2016 07 25 annapolis-maryland-usa_main 1

August 18/19, 2016:  ANNAPOLIS, MD — Startup Angels and Startup Maryland today announced plans to host an investor workshop designed for the Chesapeake Crescent community — the geographic corridor encompassing greater Annapolis/Baltimore, MD, Southeastern PA/DE, and Washington DC Metro.  A component of the Startup Maryland Curation and Capital initiatives, the workshop will provide aspiring angels investors best practices and methodologies to begin or refine their investing knowledge, skills, and resources.

“The Chesapeake Crescent region is teeming with a diversity of industry sectors and talent almost unmatched in the U.S. Combining a dynamic community of active and sideline angels together with a stable foundation of startup resources, we have the makings of a deal flow powerhouse,” says Michael Binko, angel investor and Founder/CEO of Startup Maryland.

Register for the workshop today.

Workshop sessions are designed to give attendees an insider look at the world of startup investing, as well as, activity in their own region. Sessions feature guest-speakers who share how to approach investing as part of a portfolio; navigating deals; managing involvement with the portfolio startups, a breakdown on various investing platforms and opportunities, perspectives from the legal side of investing and more.  Workshop attendees are also given the chance to meet other angel investors and curated startup ventures, expanding their network while introducing qualified deal flow.

“Through our work, we’ve learned there’s demand for information about startup investing across the globe,” says Leslie Jump, founder and CEO of Startup Angels. “In response, we created the Startup Angels Workshop to support the specific challenges and opportunities that different communities have when it comes to inspiring and educating local investors. We’re looking forward to being the catalyst for more startup investors in the Chesapeake Crescent region — a natural community for more angel investors due to its strong startup roots, and our hometown.”

Speakers and experts for the event include:

Michael Binko angel investor and Founder | CEO, Startup Maryland

Leslie Jump, CEO and Founder, Startup Angels

Bruce McIndoe, Founder | CEO, iJET International

Frank Bonsal III, Director of Entrepreneurship and TU Incubator, Towson University

Jason Tagler, Baltimore Angels and Partner, Camden Partners

Tami Howie, attorney and Executive Director, Chesapeake Regional Tech Council

 

“A driver of the broader Mid-Atlantic region, Maryland is poised to be the center of perhaps the most vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.  We accept the fact that key elements of our early-stage capital environment could improve and we have the will to be the change.  Via this Angel Academy initiative we are mobilizing efforts to build a community of well-educated and entrepreneur-aware angel investor peers who can turn the tide and fill funding gaps in an effort to ensure our startups have every opportunity to thrive here,” added Binko.

About Startup Angels

Startup Angels was founded with the mission of increasing the number of startup investors and the amount of capital available in markets across the US and around the globe.  We provide information for investors and wealth management professionals to help them navigate this asset class as part of a diversified portfolio.  The Startup Angels platform includes thought-leader AngelSummits, Angel 101 Workshops, and market profiles and best practices at startupangels.co. Startup Angels is headquartered in Washington DC.

 

About Startup Maryland

Startup Maryland is an ecosystem and venture development initiative driven from within the community of innovation-centric entrepreneurs.  Forged with Maryland Pride By Entrepreneurs … For Entrepreneurs, Startup Maryland strives to remain nimble and inclusive.  Startup Maryland works to connect innovation communities and rallies entrepreneurs, supporters and other innovation stakeholders around four main initiatives: Celebration, Coaching, Curation and Capital while also bringing together entrepreneurs in a community of support to drive greater social as well as economic outcomes.

 

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“Raise Your Game” Entrepreneur Bootcamp Cohort for CxO/Founders Announced

Mentor-Coaching Sessions Led By Entrepreneurs … For Entrepreneurs Help Startups Grow and Inflect Quickly

Startup Maryland (www.startupmd.org), a venture development community forged with Maryland Pride, By Entrepreneurs … For Entrepreneurs, launches another cohort of the Raise Your Game entrepreneur bootcamp. Raise Your Game provides the Maryland entrepreneur community with a structured educational program designed to help startup CxOs and founders understand and employ the building blocks of strong startups and startup communities.

 

Beginning in July of 2015, Raise Your Game will consist of a 4 month educational “bootcamp” program emphasizing the critical components of building successful companies. These topics include:

 

  • CEO 101 – How to be a strong startup CxO leader and the best team-building strategies
  • Pitch Perfect – Best practices when pitching your company | avoiding pitfalls
  • Virtualizing Your Company – Lean Startup approach | outsourcing non-core functions
  • Raising Capital and Exit Roadmapping – Lifecycle stages, financing options, exits

 

NOTE: an introduction video is available below and on the Startup MD YouTube Channel @: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqiJG5hXI3g

 

 

The Raise Your Game initiative is an anchor component of Startup Maryland’s Coaching initiative. Coaching joins Connection, Celebration and Capital as four primary Areas of Concentration for Startup Maryland. These four guiding initiatives were officially announced at a White House reception during which Startup Maryland highlighted past successes and future plans for Presidential advisors and officials from several government agencies. (See Empowering Entrepreneur Champions below for more detail).

 

“Peer-to-peer mentorship and coaching is one of the cornerstones of Startup Maryland efforts and creates a unique bond that forges our Champion ranks into a strong supportive community,” stated Binko. “Open dialog between founders/entrepreneurs is proven to be one of the most beneficial learning methodologies for high-growth startup leaders. Startup Maryland has simply formalizes the approach with the Raise Your Game program.”

 

Whether entrepreneurs are just starting out with an idea or ready to inflect their startup into hyper-growth, Raise Your Game provides perspective and knowledge for CEO peers at all stages.

 

Taught by experienced serial entrepreneurs/CEOs with specific subject matter expertise, Raise Your Game participants will be empowered to network with entrepreneur peers while also gaining valuable perspectives from service providers (legal, finance/accounting, PR/marketing) professionals who will also be invited to provide specific guidance on selected topics.

 

Upon successful completion of the Raise Your Game program, graduate-CEOs will join an exclusive alumni network. To Register, see details below:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-startup-maryland-raise-your-game-entrepreneur-bootcamp-tickets-17226156899

 

For more information, join us on June 16 @ 1 pm ET for an informative Raise Your Game webinar, go to: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2884699964431181569

 

 

Empowering Entrepreneur Champions

Over recent months, Startup Maryland began a campaign to engage its participants as Entrepreneur Champion leaders for the Startup Maryland initiative. With the support of a core group of CEO Ambassadors, Startup Maryland held a series of Champion sessions during which Big Ideas, a Theme and Areas of Focus were identified and prioritized. The connective and coaching/mentorship aspects of building strong startup communities compliment the celebration and capital access goals forming the four pillars of the Startup Maryland mission.

With active universities, accelerators, economic development agencies and innovation partners like Maryland TEDCO and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), Startup Maryland is concentrating on the entrepreneur communities to strengthen Maryland’s economic fabric while fostering a climate where the most promising companies can help each other while leveraging the state’s Unfair Advantage in order to inflect and thrive.

 

Looking for other startup/entrepreneur guidance and resources?  Join the Startup Maryland entrepreneurial community below:

 

Vheda Health+BrinkBit Announced as Winner and Runner-up for 2014 Pitch Across Maryland

Vheda Health Claims Top Spot and BrinkBit Takes Second Place as Diversity of Maryland Innovation Shines Front-and-Center at TEDCO Entrepreneur Expo

 

NOVEMBER 17, 2014 – EVERYWHERE, MD – Startup Maryland (www.startupmd.org) today announced the Great two top Finalists from the 2014 Pitch Across Maryland celebration.

 

After qualifying and posting more than 150 video pitches from Maryland entrepreneurs that were captured during the three-week Pitch Across Maryland tour | celebration, Startup Maryland is proud to announce Vheda Health (Howard County/MCE) and BrinkBit (uBalt, ETC, EAGB, GBC) as Winner and Runner-up, respectively.

The winners were distilled by two separate review panels of serial entrepreneurs, investors and economic development officers over two months and two rounds of judging. Eight finalists presented their ventures and opportunities during the final afternoon session at the 2014 TEDCO Entrepreneur Expo – held November 12 in Elkridge, MD.

 

“The first round judges voiced considerable angst trying to winnow the Pitch Across Maryland field to 8 Finalists and the quality of the pitches at the Expo reveled exactly why that task was so difficult. The diversity of industries and innovations is quite a testament to why Maryland is an early-stage venture powerhouse,” stated Michael Binko, Founder | president of Startup Maryland. “We are now seriously thinking about expanding the finalist field to 16 or 32 companies next year.”

 

As Winner and Runner-up, Vheda Health and BrinkBit are now catapulted into the second round of Maryland DBED’s InvesMaryland Challenge – a startup pitch competition with more than $1million in early stage investment and prizes awarded to high growth potential ventures. Their entry fees are waived and both companies bi-pass the hotly-contested first round of reviewing given the fact that they have already been thoroughly vetted after the grueling two months of scrutiny during the Pitch Across Maryland. They also receive $2000 worth of monthly cloud hosting from Rackspace – a corporate sponsor of the Pitch Across Maryland.

 

Active equity investors and members of the media are invited to view all Pitch Across Maryland videos here and contact the Startup Maryland team to learn more about the innovations and entrepreneurs building great companies in Maryland and across the broader Mid-Atlantic region.

 

In the coming months, Startup Maryland will be kicking off its annual Raise Your Game bootcamp for Entrepreneurs. Under this program, early stage company founders learn directly from successful entrepreneur peers on 6 topics that every startup founder needs to understand in order to inflect their venture. Watch for more details and timing for this year’s bootcamp.

 

About Startup Maryland:

Startup Maryland (www.startupmd.org) is a regions initiative launched out of the Startup America Partnership (now UPGlobal, www.up.co). Driven from within the community and led by entrepreneurs Startup Maryland strives to remain nimble and inclusive. Startup Maryland works to connect innovation communities and rallies entrepreneurs, supporters and other innovation stakeholders around four main initiatives: Connection, Celebration, Coaching, and Capital while also bringing together entrepreneurs in a community of support to drive greater economic outcomes.

 

G. Scott Shaw Joins Startup Maryland as Guest-Mentor for “Raise Your Game” Bootcamp Session

Fifth Session Focuses on “Everclear Marketing and Breakthrough Branding Strategies” for Entrepreneurs to Connect with Customers and Investors


Everywhere, Md. (November 19, 2013) – Startup Maryland (startupmd.org) today announced that G. Scott Shaw, President and Founder of Everclear Marketing (www.everclearmarketing.com), the B2B marketing agency for venture-backed tech companies, will participate as the fifth guest-mentor instructor for Raise Your Game

 

2013 11 19 gscottshaw-Twitter-Profile-Picture-500x500-HeadshotRaise Your Game is Startup Maryland’s bootcamp initiative developed to provide the entrepreneurial community with a structured educational program and to help startup CEOs and founders understand and employ the building blocks of strong startups and startup communities.  The new twist for this bootcamp is that the sessions will be proctored/taught by experienced (often serial) entrepreneurs who are very well-recognized and respected.

 

Mr. Shaw is a results-driven technology marketing executive with 15 years of experience re-positioning venture-backed technology companies, developing breakthrough brand strategies and executing high-growth sales and marketing programs for enterprise software companies in the cybersecurity, aerospace, aviation, geospatial and healthcare IT industries.

 

As President and Founder of Everclear Marketing, Scott works with entrepreneurs, investors and executives of venture-backed tech companies, serving as a strategic, long-term business advisor that helps management teams develop and execute high-growth marketing programs to accelerate sales and drive revenue. Everclear Marketing translates complex technology into enterprise value so venture-backed companies grow faster and its clients include TerraGo, RedCloud, Metron Aviation, Era Corporation, SecureInfo, e-Security and TruSecure.

 

For nearly five years, Shaw has also served as a FastTrack advisor and coach to early- and growth-stage technology companies selected to present at the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association’s (MAVA) annual Capital Connection and Mid-Atlantic Bio events to help entrepreneur’s refine their message, simplify complex value propositions and get their story straight when they are actively raising capital and seeking funding within the investor community.

 

“Entrepreneurs and technical founders face a host of marketing challenges when they are building their companies, from targeting the right customers to sending the right message to the market, as well as overcoming other barriers to adoption. The best technology doesn’t always win and well-orchestrated marketing can make the difference for a company working to build momentum and traction within their industries,” stated Michael Binko, president | CEO of kloudtrack and Co-Chair of Startup Maryland.  “Scott’s experience helping entrepreneurs simplify how they communicate about their company or technology will help startups build a strong foundation for growth and leave them with valuable insights they can put to use immediately.”

 

A Roadmap to Raising Your Game as an Entrepreneur

Beginning with the first session on July 25, 2013 which featured Under Armour founder/CEO, Kevin Plank, Raise Your Game consists of 6 monthly educational “bootcamp” programs emphasizing the critical components of building successful companies.

 

The 6 primary topics of the Raise Your Game bootcamp include:

  • CEO 101 (7/25) – How to be a strong startup CEO and team leader (Kevin Plank)
  • Starting Up (8/15) – Best practices forming startups | avoiding pitfalls (Lily Bengfort)
  • Planning for Financial Success (9/19) – Financial Models, Cap. Tables (Scott Case)
  • Virtualizing Your Company (10/17) – Lean Startup approach | outsourcing (Sean Sabre)
  • Go-to-Market Strategies (11/21) – Sales, marketing, PR, channel | distribution (Scott Shaw)
  • Raising Capital and Exit Roadmapping (12/19) – Lifecycle stages, financing options, exits (Mark Anstey and Jerry Hartung)

 

Registration can be found at: https://startupmdraiseyourgame.eventbrite.com

 

Raise Your Game is the first component of Startup Maryland’s Coaching initiative.  Coaching joins Connection, Celebration and Capital as four primary Areas of Concentration for Startup Maryland throughout 2013 and beyond.  These four guiding initiatives were officially announced at a White House reception, during which Startup Maryland highlighted past successes and future plans for Presidential advisors and officials from several government agencies.

 

“No matter whether entrepreneurs are just starting out with an idea or ready to inflect their startup into hyper-growth, Raise Your Game provides perspective and knowledge for leader-peers at all stages,” stated Michael Binko, founder and co-chair, Startup Maryland.

 

Upon successful completion of the full Raise Your Game program, graduate-CEOs will join an exclusive alumni network.  To learn more, watch the video replay of an informative Raise Your Game video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqiJG5hXI3g&feature=c4-overview&list=UUJ1CerRXLIC4zfEF5hZ97cA

 

Empowering Entrepreneur Champions

Over the past year, Startup Maryland cultivated a campaign to engage its participants as Entrepreneur Champion leaders for the Startup Maryland initiative.  Startup Maryland held a series of Champion sessions during which a Theme and Areas of Focus were identified and prioritized.  The Connection and Coaching/Mentorship aspects of building strong startup communities compliment the Celebration and Capital Access goals forming the four pillars of the Startup Maryland mission – Connection | Coaching | Celebration | Capital.

 

Looking for other startup/entrepreneur guidance and resources?  Join the Startup Maryland entrepreneurial community.  Learn more at http://startupmd.org

 

About Startup Maryland:

Startup Maryland (startupmd.org) is a regions initiative launched out of UpGlobal – an entity fostered jointly by the Case Foundation and The Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship.  Startup Maryland is an initiative FOR entrepreneurs BY entrepreneurs to bring entrepreneurial resources together, improve awareness/celebration and increase access to capital / deal flow and mentorship, while also bringing together entrepreneurs in a community of support to drive greater economic outcomes.

 

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Startup Maryland Team Briefs White House Officials

Maryland’s “Unfair Advantage” Unveiled as Theme for Initiatives to

Celebrate Entrepreneurs and Help Inflect their Businesses —

 
 

Startup Maryland (startupmd.org), a state-wide initiative FOR Entrepreneurs … BY Entrepreneurs, was recognized during a White House briefing that corresponds with the two-year anniversary of the Startup America Partnership, a national entrepreneurship initiative in which Startup Maryland is a leading region.

Startup Maryland co-chairs Julie Lenzer Kirk and Michael Binko joined officials from Startup America, entrepreneurs from other high-performing regions, as well as Maryland Entrepreneur Champions from three startups that represent the rich diversity of Maryland’s innovation economy:

  • Brian Murphy, founder/CEO of Smith Island Baking Co. (http://smithislandcake.com)
  • David Troy, CEO of 410Labs Inc. (http://www.410labs.com/#products)
  • Johnny Shockley, Co-founder, Hooper’s Island Oyster Aquaculture Co., (www.cgoysters.com)

The Startup Maryland team was invited to share how their efforts have developed over the past year, as well as to highlight the group’s themes and areas of concentration for the future – looking decades ahead.

“Startup Maryland has done an amazing job engaging young companies throughout their state, attracting more than 500 startups participants in the eight months since they launched,” stated Scott Case, CEO of Startup America Partnership. “They have set a great example for other startup communities across the country as they’ve identified the state’s biggest issues facing entrepreneurs and come up with innovative strategies to address them.”

Near the end of 2012, Startup Maryland began a campaign to engage its entrepreneur participants as Champion leaders for the Startup Maryland initiative.  With the support of the national Startup America team, Startup Maryland held a series of Champion Sessions during which Big Ideas and Areas of Focus were identified and prioritized.

“From infusing innovation into heritage industries like the Chesapeake Bay oyster fishery; to feel-good historically-rich brands like Smith Island; to the front-lines of cyber-security, cloud computing, big data and social networking, Maryland entrepreneurs are leaders, drivers and winners,” stated Binko, who also serves as president|CEO of kloudtrack®.  “Cultivating a close relationship with these entrepreneur champions and fostering mentorship, cooperation and support across this community is where Startup Maryland strives to serve and has proven its meddle to-date,” added Binko.

One of the widely recognized Startup Maryland successes in its first year was the Pitch Across Maryland a state-wide startup celebration tour and business pitch competition.

“The Pitch Across Maryland connected startups with resources including accelerators, incubators, economic dev. agencies, angel/VC investors and universities,” stated Kirk, who also serves as Executive Director of the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship.

Tour stops and rallies were held across Maryland celebrating our varied startup communities and, with a mobile video studio on the bus, the tour gave startups entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their own business in their own words.

“Startup Maryland is making a strong impact across the state.  Whether it is the Pitch Across Maryland or the cultivation of our Champion leaders, being recognized by Startup America and thought leaders from the White House and U.S. government gives us validation and lets us know we are on the right track,” added Kirk.

During the year-end sessions, Champions were asked to step-up and take ownership of the Startup Maryland initiatives in order to make them work for their own companies and to ensure Startup Maryland actually stays attentive to what they need.  Four Areas of Concentration and one Main Theme emerged after sessions with more than 40 Champions.

The four Areas of Concentration centered on what Champions felt Startup Maryland should be doing with and for entrepreneurs.  These focal areas included: Connection, Celebration, Coaching and Capital.  Broad details related to future plans for each of these four areas will be announced today at the White House and in more depth together with partners, the Startup Maryland Champions and broader stakeholder communities over the coming weeks.

The Main Theme has to do with an Unfair Advantage Maryland affords to entrepreneurs looking to birth and grow high-potential startups.  While the Unfair Advantage is essentially a conceptual perspective it is grounded in the fact that Maryland boasts a cadre of almost unmatched resources that have fueled rich startups and innovations for decades.

With active counties, universities, accelerators and innovation partners like Maryland TEDCO and the state’s Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), Startup Maryland is  working together with entrepreneurs to strengthen Maryland’s economic fabric while fostering an economic climate where the most promising companies can leverage the state’s Unfair Advantage in order to inflect and thrive.

“These connective efforts are core traits that we strongly encourage and nurture among all of the Startup America regions,” concluded Case.

About Startup Maryland:

Startup Maryland (startupmd.org) is a regions initiative launched out of the Startup America Partnership (www.S.co).  It is a state-wide initiative FOR entrepreneurs BY entrepreneurs to bring entrepreneurial resources together, increase access to resources / capital / deal flow and boost awareness, while also bringing together entrepreneurs in a community of support to drive greater economic outcomes.

About the Startup America Partnership:

The Startup America Partnership (www.s.co) is a growing national movement of thousands of founders, experts and resources providing startups access to the corporations, investors, and services they need to grow. Launched in early 2011, the Partnership brings together startups and local champions from around the country focused on creating successful networks for young, high-growth companies to thrive. AOL co-founder Steve Case chairs the Partnership and the Kauffman and Case Foundations are its founding partners.

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CoFoundersLab Wins 2012 Startup Maryland "Pitch Across Maryland" Competition

Eight Finalists Vied for Top Spot at Maryland Entrepreneur Expo

Everywhere, Md. (November 14, 2012) – Startup Maryland is proud to announce that CoFoundersLab (Rockville, Md.) has claimed the top spot in its inaugural 2012 Pitch Across Maryland competition. The company was named the winner in the video pitch competition at the Maryland Entrepreneur Expo on November 13, by a panel of distinguished judges.  The judges also named Woofound (Baltimore, Md.) as the runner-up.

CoFoundersLab’s winning video can be viewed here.

Woofound’s video can be viewed here.

As the winner and runner-up, CoFoundersLab and Woofound will receive free entry and bypass the first round of judging in the InvestMaryland Challenge, a national seed and early-stage business competition hosted by the State of Maryland. All Pitch Across Maryland participants are encouraged to apply.

The Challenge will award a $100,000 top prize in three categories: life sciences; IT (hardware and software); and general business. In addition, all InvestMaryland applicants will have the opportunity to pitch their business to top venture capital firms and angel investors, and will be given access to resources like incubator space and legal and other services. Applications are being accepted now through December 13.  For more information or to apply, visit www.investmarylandchallenge.org

The Pitch Across Maryland competition captured 168 video pitches from entrepreneurs across the state during Startup Maryland’s Pitch Across Maryland bus tour, which ran from September 11 – 28, 2012.  Eight finalists were selected by a panel of entrepreneur and investor experts.

The six other finalists companies were (in alphabetical order):

Separately, Startup Maryland also announced the winners of the Fan Favorite competition:

Startup Maryland added the Fan Favorite award to the pitch competition to keep the awareness and celebration aspects of the tour at a high level. Videos for all 168 entrants can be viewed here.

“These videos are a testament to the strength, dedication and diversity of Maryland’s entrepreneurial community,” says Startup Maryland Co-Chair Mike Binko. “When we launched the Pitch Across Maryland tour we thought we might have 40-50 entrepreneurs join us on the Tour Bus and pitch, so 168 is phenomenal. Including all the rallies and events we held more than 200 startups actually participated in the tour.”

“The Pitch Across Maryland tour, which ran from September 11 – 28, 2012, held celebration and promotional rallies at 25 stops throughout the state of Maryland,” added Julie Lenzer Kirk, Startup Maryland Co-Chair. “Culminating in the Last Stop, First Step party and celebration event at Merriweather Post Pavilion on September 28th this Tour has rightly placed the spotlight on the vitality in Maryland’s innovation economy.”

 

WUSA TV-9 (Washington DC) Covers 2012 Pitch Across Maryland Bus and Tour

WUSA TV-9 ran a nice news segment on the 2012 Startup Maryland — Pitch Across Maryland bus tour.

The segment highlighted the Tour Stops in Montgomery County (morning in Shady Grove and afternoon at the Bethesda Green incubator).

 

Gov. O'Malley Joins Startup MD Tour …

Gov. Martin J. O’Malley joins Startup Maryland Board Co-Chairs Michael Binko and Julie Lenzer Kirk for a personal conversation aboard the Pitch Across Maryland Tour bus.


 

In fact, to show his support and solidarity for the entrepreneurs who are “pitching” their businesses during the state-wide tour, Gov. O’Malley graciously agreed to jump on “the host seat” to deliver his own pitch on the topic of InvestMaryland.

 

Gov. O’Malley then joined the Startup Maryland team and representatives from TEDCO, Baltimore County, Howard County and DBED for the ride to UMBC’s BWTech Research Center and Incubator campus.

 

Another summary video from The Daily Record (the leading daily business news outlet in MD) highlighted the diversity of innovation and highlights from the first half of the Pitch Across Maryland Tour.

There UMBC’s Ellen Hemmerly was joined by RMI’s Mike Galiazzo, and Miles and Stockbridge’s Bob Brennan as co-hosts for the 12th Tour Stop. Eight entrepreneurs then joined the team on the bus to record video “pitches” of their businesses and innovations.

These pitches will be added to the others collected during the Pitch Across Maryland tour and entered into the online Competition which continues into October and November.