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 Unveils STRT1UP Roadshow Videos for Pitch Across Maryland 2016

100+ Ventures Now Compete in Several Pitch Across Maryland Categories; Finalists to be Announced at the TEDCO Entrepreneur Expo November 14

EVERYWHERE, MARYLAND; October 25, 2016 — 
Startup Maryland today unveils video pitches from the participants in the 2016 STRT1UP Roadshow. Entrants are now in the running for the Pitch Across Maryland competition. Categories this year for the Pitch Across Maryland include:
  • Fan Favorite
  • Overall Winner
  • Champions’ Choice
  • Industry Innovators (CyberSecurity and Rural Innovations)

The STRT1UP Roadshow, which is the month-long tour around the state of Maryland, celebrates the vibrant ecosystem around innovation and entrepreneurship. During the roadshow, entrepreneurs climb on the Startup Maryland video bus to deliver a 2-4 minute video pitch summarizing their venture and opportunity.

c 2016: William Petruzzo, Petruzzo Photography LLC 
“Lights, Camera … STRT1UP!!”

Each presenter receives a link to a professionally-edited version of their video for free and then all the videos are posted on the Startup Maryland YouTube channel as part of the Pitch Across Maryland competition. The following link takes you to where participant videos can be found in Playlists based on the location/tour stop at which 2016 companies pitched:

“As Startup Maryland celebrates five years of nurturing an inclusive ecosystem, this year’s STRT1UP Roadshow gave us a chance to reflect on where we have been while still shining the beacon to attract Maryland’s best undiscovered ventures,” stated Michael Binko, founder | CEO of Startup Maryland. “While we are amazed that we have now engaged with more than 1,000+ innovative ventures since Startup Maryland began, what is not surprising is the will and determination personified in our entrepreneur-founders and the ambitions they embody.”

 

STRT1UP Roadshow entrepreneurs meet with ecosystem partner/sponsors, investors and Startup MD Champions as they await their opportunity to GET ON THE BUS!!

 

In 2015, Startup Maryland expanded on the STRT1UP Roadshow tour by hosting Steve Case and the Rise of the Rest in Baltimore and also produced a documentary film about the tour STRT1UP: Venturing through the Land of Pleasant Living. This year, the tour took time to revisit with past-participants asking, “Where Are They Now?!” and paused to host 80+ U.S. ecosystem-builder peers from the Startup Champions Network in Baltimore for a 3 day national summit on Inclusive Entrepreneurship. Startup Maryland also extended its “creative-in-residence” initiative with Laura Willoughby joining as STRT1UP Roadshow Poet-Laureate.

“We look forward to sharing our perspectives as well as a few discoveries from this year’s tour during two upcoming events: TEDCO Entrepreneur Expo(Baltimore Hilton, Nov. 14) and the STRT1UP Showcase (venue and date in December to be announced). In the meantime, we now begin the competitions that transform the STRT1UP Road Show into the Pitch Across Maryland,” state Michael Venezia, Startup Maryland Ecosystem Manager. “The first two categories of the competition are something fun we refer to as the Fan Favorite and Champions’ Choice. Additionally, we reveal our Great 8 Finalists and Winners in two new categories that identify Industry Innovators in sectors critical to Maryland – Cyber and Rural,” added Venezia.
To be crowned Fan Favorites, participant companies (and their supporters) need to get the word out about their video and let family, friends and fans know that their video is now available for viewing. The viewing/voting will continue until 12:00pm (noon) ET on Friday, November 11, 2016. At that time, the Pitch Across Maryland companies with the most tallied views will be declared the Fan Favorites for 2016 while a cadre of Startup Maryland Champions choose the Champions’ Choice.

 

EYECon: @ Morgan State Engaging Youth Entrepreneurs

 

During the same period (today until November 11) a panel of investors (angel/VC) and entrepreneurs will select eight (8) companies as the Great 8 Finalists for 2016. At the TEDCO Entrepreneur Expo, Winners and Finalists of all Pitch Across Maryland categories will be announced, celebrated and given an opportunity for continued promotion. Building on the 2-4 minute STRT1UP Roadshowvideos, Expo and Showcase activities including a mini Angel Academy will afford the Pitch Across Maryland companies a chance to share more detail about their venture/opportunity with ecosystem supporters including investors, incubators/accelerators and economic development officers.

Additionally, members of the media are being directed to all Video Playlists to learn more about the innovations and entrepreneurs building great companies in Maryland and across the broader Mid-Atlantic region.

Laura Jane Willoughby Joins as Poet Laureate and Creative in Residence

Startup Maryland™ Announces First Creative in Residence & Poet Laureate for the 2016 STRT1UP Road Show

Combining prose, creativity and entrepreneurism, Poet Laureate Laura Jane Willoughby will provide the voice of the tour September 10 thru October 8

September 16, 2016: All Points, Maryland – Today Startup Maryland announced the addition of an official Poet Laureate for the STRT1UP Road Show, the fifth annual state-wide tour and celebration of entrepreneurship and high-growth innovation-centric startup companies.  Providing real-time updates, tweets, and snippets in prose and images from tour moments as they happen, the role will provide a creative take on the state-wide bus tour unfolding September 10 through October 8.  

This year, STRT1UP Road Show is pleased to welcome Laura Jane Willoughby aboard the bus as it travels to more than 30 stops across the state, where entrepreneurs pitch their start-up business ideas for a chance to receive coaching, guidance, support and even funding from leaders across academia, incubators/accelerators, economic development agencies, service providers as well as active angel/VC investors.  

Willoughby is a Maryland-based creative writer, and previously spent more than 10 years involved in Maryland’s technology ecosystem in roles with several organizations. During the tour’s stops, Willoughby will share images, prose and insights via StartUp Maryland’s social media platforms on Twitter (@StartUpMd), Instagram (@startupMaryland), LinkedIn and Facebook as well as on her own platforms.

“Entrepreneurism is, by definition, creative, so it made sense to bring in a Poet Laureate as our first Creative in Residence who can capture the pulse of the tour as it happens, while also providing insights start-ups can use,” said Michael Binko, Founder|CEO of Startup Maryland. “Maryland is rich in workforce talent, entrepreneur hustle and the assembly of resources needed to support high-growth ventures – we call this ecosystem. We feel bridging relationships between artists and entrepreneurs is a dynamic way to increase growth within the ecosystem because it is essential to approach challenges as an entrepreneur with a creative mindset.”

At each STRT1UP Road Show tour stop, Tour Partners/Sponsors host rallies sharing information about their entrepreneurial ecosystems across the state.  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.

“Prose can capture the beauty and the heartache of what it means to be invested in an idea so completely that it often seems like the most important thing in the world,” Willoughby said.  “By highlighting the hopes and dreams of pitch contestants, the success stories and the ebb and flow of life aboard the bus tour, we hope to provide a unique take on how creativity is the integral element to a successful business climate. My experience in Maryland’s technology market, as well as time I spent as an entrepreneur myself, means I feel intricately connected to the story of start-ups and business in this state.”

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

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.

About Laura Jane Willoughby

Laura Jane Willoughby is a creative writer with a portfolio that spans a 20-year-career as a journalist, non-profit executive and writer. Her writing has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, The Post & Courier (Charleston), The (Annapolis) Capital, Houseboating Magazine and several other regional and trade industry publications. She has won awards from the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association for Newspaper Series (2nd place) and Special Sections (1st place for Anne Arundel Business Insert). Before re-launching her writing career, Willoughby was most recently Executive Director of the Chesapeake Innovation Center. She also served as Washington DC Regional Director for Business Executives for National Security, was Executive Director of the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council and worked for Annapolis-based iJET (before it was acquired). In her 20s, she ran a boutique public relations firm.

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CONTACT: For more information check out www.startupmd.org or contact Mike Venezia at  mvenezia@startupmd.org or contact Startup Maryland via phone @ 240-499-3830.

Shahab Kaviani Joins Startup Maryland as Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Expertise in Entrepreneurial Community Engagement, Branding, Operations and Venture Development Add Considerable Depth to Startup Maryland

 

JANUARY 20, 2015 – EVERYWHERE, MD – Startup Maryland (www.startupmd.org) today announced appointment of serial entrepreneur Shahab Kaviani as Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EiR).

A recognized leader of startup communities globally, Kaviani brings over a decade of first-hand entrepreneurial expertise and leadership experience most-recently as co-founder and CEO of Rockville, MD based CoFoundersLab (now Onevest). Previously, Kaviani served on the executive management team growing another Maryland company, HyperOffice, into a cloud-collaboration software leader.

2015 01 20 The Dude (Kaviani photo 1)In creating CoFoundersLab, Kaviani established the largest online community of entrepreneurs in the world and has become an internationally-recognized expert in startup team formation and the crowdfunding movement – particularly equity crowdfunding as defined under the U.S. JOBS Act legislation of 2012.

“Shahab is one of those rare individuals who have actually built multiple successful high-growth startups while also giving back to the community of entrepreneur peers,” stated Michael Binko, Founder and President of Startup Maryland. “An early supporter and Startup Maryland Champion, Shahab not only helped shape the direction of the movement but also took aggressive advantage of some of the initiatives we developed to benefit his own startup.”

 

In fact, CoFoundersLab was the winner of the inaugural Pitch Across Maryland  competition beating out more than 160 other stellar companies for the top spot as Maryland’s startup with the “most potential for strong growth.”

“Having been in their shoes, Shahab is the ideal candidate to serve as Startup Maryland’s first Entrepreneur-in-Residence and help shape future efforts related to the mission, goals, initiatives, community outreach, stakeholder engagement and brand awareness for Startup Maryland,” added Binko.

Entering its fourth year Startup Maryland is an organization forged out of the realization that entrepreneurs thrive best when motivated and supported by their peers.

“Startup Maryland has made a very meaningful impact on the startup ecosystem over the last few years encouraging and celebrating the entrepreneurial community while creating programs that highlight the startup deal-flow that will ensure a bright future ahead for our innovation economy,” stated Kaviani. “We have a tremendous cadre of resources within the state that have Maryland poised to reach new milestones as a global hub of innovation and entrepreneurship,” added Kaviani.

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 several 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. Sponsors and service provider supporters are currently being engaged for Startup Maryland’s 2015 programs.

About Startup Maryland

Startup Maryland (www.startupmd.org) is a venture and community development initiative launched out of the Startup America Partnership. Driven from within the community and 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: Connection, Celebration, Coaching, and Capital while also bringing together entrepreneurs in a community of support to drive greater economic outcomes.

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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.

 

Get on the Bus … Pitch Across Maryland

 

We know you’re looking for great startup opportunities?

You really should Get on The Bus …!

Together with our Tour Partners and Tour Stop Co-Hosts/Sponsors, Startup Maryland presents Pitch Across Maryland.

The Tour is coming  … are you ready?!