Technical.ly Baltimore

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Jan. 21, 2014 11:15 am

Baltimore ‘deserves the title adtech epicenter’: Revolution Ventures Tige Savage

Savage also said, "You can't invent a specialty for a region." But if Baltimore were to seize on one sector of the tech industry, he added, advertising technology would be it, for two big reasons: Advertising.com and Millennial Media.

From left: Betamore cofounder MIke Brenner and Revolution cofounder Tige Savage. Photo via Twitter.

Full disclosure: Betamore cofounder Mike Brenner is a partner with Technical.ly Baltimore, which works on occasion from the Federal Hill incubator.

Different groups and people have made the case that Baltimore city should be the capital for edtech companies and startups. Others — most notably, Governor Martin O’Malley — have said Maryland (and, as part and parcel, Baltimore city) ought to be the cybersecurity “epicenter” of the U.S.

Now from Tige Savage: “Baltimore deserves the title adtech epicenter.”

Savage is perhaps best known for his work at the Washington, D.C.-based Revolution LLC, which he cofounded with AOL founder Steve Case in 2005, where he serves as managing director overseeing all Revolution’s venture capital investments, as well as managing partner of Revolution Ventures, the first early-stage investment fund from Revolution backed with $200 million.

Savage was at Betamore on Jan. 16 listening to pitches from local startups before giving an hour-long interview about his work at Revolution and where Baltimore city stands to gain in tech entrepreneurship.

Interestingly, Savage said Revolution doesn’t focus on specific industries so much as it does promising business opportunities. (Whatever that might mean for the fund. Historically, Revolution has invested in companies that are making a slight change to an already existing service. Such was the case with Revolution’s investing in Zipcar: renting vehicles by the hour instead of the by the day.)

Savage also said, “You can’t invent a specialty for a region.” But if Baltimore were to seize on one sector of the tech industry, he added, advertising technology would be it, for two big reasons: Advertising.com and Millennial Media.

Both are online advertising giants. Perhaps more important are the secondary effects of their being situated in Baltimore city.

Still, this is generally how a city or region grows as a hub for tech: a big company has a big exit, and the founders stick around to found spinoff companies, hire new people (ideally from that city or region), and then invest more money and time (again, ideally in that city or region).

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Andrew Zaleski

Andrew Zaleski is a freelance journalist in Philadelphia and the former lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. Before moving to Philadelphia in June 2014, he was a contributing writer to Baltimore City Paper and a Tech Check commentator for WYPR 88.1 FM, Baltimore city’s National Public Radio affiliate. He has written for The Atlantic, Outside, Richmond magazine, Washington City Paper, Baltimore magazine, Baltimore Style magazine, Next City, Grist.org, The Atlantic Cities, and elsewhere.

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  • http://simplyevolve.com DanielDubya

    Yep, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. There’s also a thriving, if insular, ad community here.