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Startup Maryland Unveils “Raise Your Game” Program for Startup CEO/Founders

Educational Sessions Led By Entrepreneurs … For Entrepreneurs

Helps Startups Grow and Inflect Quickly


Everywhere, Md. (March 19, 2013) – Startup Maryland (startupmd.org), a regions initiative of the national Startup America Partnership (www.s.co), today announced the Raise Your Game initiative to provide the Maryland entrepreneur community with a structured educational program designed to help startup CEOs and founders understand and employ the building blocks of strong startups and startup communities.

Development of the Raise Your Game program and curriculum was led by Startup Maryland Entrepreneur Champions Sam Polakoff, (president of TBB Global Logistics), Gregg Smith (CEO of Koolspan) and Startup Maryland co-chair Michael Binko (CEO of kloudtrack®).  Beginning in July of 2013, Raise Your Game will consist of a 6 month educational “bootcamp” program emphasizing the critical components of building successful companies.  These topics include:

  • CEO 101 – How to be a strong startup CEO and team leader
  • Starting Up – Best practices when forming your company / avoiding pitfalls
  • Planning for Financial Success – Financial Models, capitalization tables, accounting
  • Virtualizing Your Company – Lean Startup approach / outsourcing non-core functions
  • Go-to-Market Strategies – Sales, marketing, PR, channel / distribution development
  • Raising Capital and Exit Roadmapping – Lifecycle stages, financing options, exits


NOTE:  a video is available on the Startup MD YouTube site @: http://youtu.be/8C4JVlH1fxs and below


The Raise Your Game initiative 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. (See Empowering Entrepreneur Champions below for more detail).

“Peer-to-peer mentorship and coaching is one of the cornerstones of Startup Maryland efforts over the next year and beyond,” 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 is moving to formalize an 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, accounting, PR/marketing) professionals who will also be invited to provide specific guidance on selected topics,” added Julie Lenzer Kirk, Startup Maryland co-chair.

Upon successful completion of the Raise Your Game program, graduate-CEOs will join an exclusive alumni network.  To learn more, join us for an upcoming (April 3 @ 11 am ET) informative Raise Your Game webinar, go to: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/972651137

Empowering Entrepreneur Champions

Near the end of 2012, Startup Maryland began a campaign to engage its participants as Entrepreneur 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, 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 at /become-a-member/

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.

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