Our Stories

UNDER ARMOUR® CEO Kevin Plank to Join Startup Maryland


6 Month Educational Program Led By Entrepreneurs … For Entrepreneurs

Helps Startup Founders and CEOs Grow and Inflect Quickly

Everywhere, Md. (2014) – Startup Maryland (startupmd.org), an initiative of the UpGlobal consortium (www.up.co), today announced that UNDER ARMOUR® Founder and CEO Kevin Plank will participate as the first instructor for Raise Your Game

Raise 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.


Kevin Plank joins Startup Maryland co-chairs Mike Binko/Julie Lenzer-Kirk and Startup America president / CEO Scott Case outside the Pitch Across Maryland tour bus at the UNDER ARMOUR® Hull Point HQ-Campus


“I firmly believe that entrepreneurs learn the most from other entrepreneurs,” stated Kevin Plank, Founder and CEO of Under Armour (NYSE: UA).  “I am honored to be part of the Startup Maryland bootcamp program, and I know I’ll be inspired by great thinkers who share their passions, while I offer my perspectives on what it takes to be a strong CEO and leader.”

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®).

“As perhaps the most relevant and recognizable business icon in Maryland, Kevin is the perfect entrepreneur-leader to launch Raise Your Game,” stated Michael Binko, founder and Co-Chair of Startup Maryland and CEO of kloudtrack®.  “While Kevin’s Maryland Pride is undeniable, his commitment to give back to and mentor entrepreneur peers is the trait that has endeared him to startup founders – not only in Maryland and the United States but around the world.”

Beginning with the first session, Raise Your Game will consist of monthly educational “bootcamp” programs emphasizing the critical components of building successful companies.  The 2015 bootcamp has been condensed into 4 monthly sessions (based on 2014 participant feedback) still covering the 6 main topics/themes outlined below.

The 6 primary topics of the 2014 Raise Your Game bootcamp included:

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

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.

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.

“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 provider (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, watch the video replay of an informative Raise Your Game webinar here http://youtu.be/8C4JVlH1fxs.

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 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.

About Under Armour:

Under Armour® (NYSE: UA) is a leading developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and worn by athletes at all levels, from youth to professional, on playing fields around the globe. The Under Armour global headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland. For further information, please visit the Company’s website at www.ua.com

Take the leap.  Become a part of our entrepreneur-led ecosystem.

Join Now