Why Baltimore is becoming a better investment target - Technical.ly Baltimore

Business

Sep. 16, 2014 2:38 pm

Why Baltimore is becoming a better investment target

The Regional Investor Roundtable was held Tuesday as part of Baltimore Innovation Week.

Kelly Keenan Trumpbour and Jason Hardebeck speak at Tuesday's panel.

(Photo by Tyler Waldman)

Disclosure: Technical.ly is the title sponsor and organizer of Baltimore Innovation Week. Editorial director Christopher Wink moderated the panel.

Founders don’t need to leave Baltimore anymore just to get their startups going, and Charm City is getting better at charming outside firms to invest in or move to the city.

That was one of the takeaways from the Regional Investor Roundtable, held Tuesday as part of Baltimore Innovation Week.

The panel included TEDCO Capital Partners managing partner Chris CollegeDreamIt Baltimore managing director Jason HardebeckNEA venture advisor Paul PalmieriSee Jane Invest founder Kelly Keenan Trumpbour and Onevest cofounder and CMO Shahab Kaviani. The panel, held at the Emerging Technology Centers’ Haven Street incubator, was moderated by Technical.ly editorial director Christopher Wink.

“I would argue there’s some parts of building technology products today where you need more designers and less developers,” said Palmieri, who is based in NEA’s Washington office. “Things are happening more in D.C. today because there’s more designers there.”

Ultimately, the investors said, their goal isn't specifically to help the city reach full employment or diversify the workforce, but rather to have those things happen as a byproduct.

“On that score, Baltimore is in a very, very good place,” he added.

Trumpbour, whose firm is an angel investor focused on women-owned startups, said Baltimore’s bread and butter is “eds-meds-feds” and that the city’s business scene is more diverse when it comes to the kinds of businesses women are running.

“In Silicon Valley or New York, you get a lot of women entering the startup scene with a lot of women-centric businesses,” such as fashion and food, she said. “I’ve noticed in Baltimore, the women I’ve seen are not doing the girly things. I like that, I think that’s kind of cool.”

The panel members spoke about the importance of breaking down barriers among the tech professionals in the Baltimore area.

Advertisement

“The problem is, I think, a large number of them are still within the walls of nondescript buildings with no windows,” Hardebeck said.

One area where there was some disagreement on was whether Baltimore’s insular “Smalltimore” nature was indeed a positive thing.

Hardebeck, who moved to Baltimore first as a college student, recounted a recent conversation where somebody asserted they were from Columbia, not from Baltimore.

“I think every community is guilty of silos and isolation,” he said. “The challenge for us is to find ways to suck that talent in while they’re young and impressionable and don’t have many obligations other than student loans.”

To that point, he said, many DreamIt companies that come from outside Baltimore or outside the U.S. often stay.

“If you start recruiting talent from a city, you tend to stay there,” Hardebeck said. “We don’t want to just graduate companies and send them back where they came from. We want them to build relationships right here.”

Ultimately, the investors said, their goal isn’t specifically to help the city reach full employment or diversify the workforce, but rather to have those things happen as a byproduct.

“I think those will be outcomes, but I think this entrepreneurial technology community in Baltimore is about … innovating through products that are built, and showing workers a place that’s fun to be in and where you can excel,” Palmieri said.

-30-
JOIN THE COMMUNITY, BECOME A MEMBER
Already a member? Sign in here

Advertisement

MICA’s UP/Start Venture Competition meant progress and funding for these 8 startups

Here’s a look at 11 Johns Hopkins student startups working in health, VR and beverages

Here are the winners of the 2019 Maryland Cybersecurity Awards

SPONSORED

Baltimore

How SmartLogic accelerated these startups’ product growth trajectories

Baltimore, MD 21201

14 West

Junior Database Administrator

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Orthly

Full-Stack Javascript Engineer

Apply Now
Baltimore, MD 21201

14 West

Chief of Staff

Apply Now

Baltimore’s ABS Capital Partners leads $23M Series A for Florida cybersecurity company

eBay founder’s Omidyar Network invests in Baltimore-based Terbium Labs

3 perspectives on AI’s global impact

SPONSORED

Baltimore

This fast-growing SaaS company aims to be a force for change in the energy industry

Baltimore, MD

SmartLogic

Product Designer

Apply Now
Baltimore

Technically Media

Technical.ly Baltimore Contributing Reporter (Contract or Freelance)

Apply Now
Baltimore, MD

SmartLogic

Developer

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Baltimore

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!