CommonKey password manager joins NYC-based accelerator - Baltimore


Jan. 7, 2014 11:45 am

CommonKey password manager joins NYC-based accelerator

As of Jan. 6, the startup began its four-month tenure at the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA) in New York City, complete with office space and $40,000 in funding.

From left: Andrew Stroup and Michael Cohen at their new workspace inside the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator. Photo courtesy of Andrew Stroup.

Password management startup CommonKey is no longer a Baltimore-based company.

As of Jan. 6, the startup began its four-month tenure at the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA) in New York City.

Cofounded by Andrew Stroup and Michael Cohen, both 28, CommonKey allows users to create long, complex passwords to their different online accounts and store them safely. As part of the deal with ERA, CommonKey also receives $40,000 in funding as well as office space inside the accelerator’s Midtown Manhattan office.

“We receive access to mentors, investors and sweet deals to help CommonKey take it to the next level,” said Stroup by e-mail.

Interestingly enough, the ERA is the same accelerator that accepted Parking Panda, the winner of Baltimore’s first Startup Weekend competition, during the summer of 2011. Stroup, in fact, was a member of the team that won Baltimore’s second Startup Weekend in September 2012, a similar password management startup called TeamPassword, but left that startup shortly after.

For Stroup, moving to New York City meant leaving behind some of his subsidiary efforts in Baltimore city. He left his job as a civilian working for the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as his role as an active instructor and manager at the Baltimore Foundery, a makerspace on South Central Avenue he helped found in spring 2013 with Corey Fleischer and executive director Jason Hardebeck.

“As of now, I’ve stepped down from my position at the Foundery while the next four months play out,” he said. “Corey and Jason will be taking over my Foundery responsibilities.”


And it’s uncertain, in Stroup’s mind, whether he and Cohen will return to Baltimore once their time at the ERA expires.

“It’s hard to say whether the CommonKey team will come back to Baltimore or stay in New York City — or head to San Francisco,” said Stroup. “It’ll really be dependent upon how things progress over the next four months.”

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