More than 6,000 people attended more than 50 events that took place as part of the third annual Baltimore Innovation Week, Sept. 12-20. It was another major step forward for the event, which we fashion as the yearly convening of the Baltimore tech scene.
While we have BIW on your mind, pop #BIW15 on your calendar: it goes down Friday, Sept. 25 to Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015.
There’s lots more planning to come, so join our newsletter for updates.
Now, some of what took place during #BIW14:
- More than 2,500 people voted in the second-annual Baltimore Innovation Awards.
- Nearly 1,000 came out to McHenry Row for our kickoff event. It was led by The Gathering food truck coalition and featured a drone flyover by Elevated Element and a light show by Wham City Lights.
- Ignite Baltimore 15 was as big and socially-minded as ever.
- Our closing Innovation Celebration more than doubled in size, bringing out over 400 people to the Under Armour promenade, where dozens of locally-built technologies were on display.
- Councilman Nick Mosby hosted a roundtable at City Hall of tech community leaders, at which there was a call to revive a “roadmap” for the sector.
- Mosby also joined State Senator Bill Ferguson, BDC head Bill Cole and Seawell Developer Thibault Manekin in a discussion of the economic impact of technology.
- Entrepreneurs asked questions of a panel of investors and also shared examples of failure.
- The first ever Bootstrappers Breakfast was held to talk about building businesses on revenue, not investment.
- Our Future of Digital Marketing conference at the Baltimore Museum of Art sold out the 100-seat English Sporting Room, and our Super Meetup happy hour packed Betamore with more than 200 technologists.
- Our second Women In/Tech summit brought more than 80 women — many of whom were attending one of their first local tech events — to Advertising.com to get a welcome to entrepreneurship, business and IT.
- Tech Cocktail held a startup demo reception at which HDScores won a trip to Las Vegas.
- NewsUp featured a quiz testing your local tech scene IQ.
- Retired Maryland State Archivist Edward Papenfuse keynoted an edtech lunch.
- Greater Baltimore Committee hosted a thought-provoking discussion on cybersecurity.
From the first 100 people who took the BIW survey, including attendees from events of all the week’s tracks (Access, Business, Civic, Creative, Dev), here is some of what we learned:
Seventy-six percent had never been to a Baltimore Innovation Week event before this year. (74 of 97 responses)
- One in four attendees was interested in meeting a potential future employer. More than half were there to find like-minded creative and technology professionals whom they didn’t already know.
- More than half left the week having met someone new whom they expect to collaborate with on future projects.
- Forty percent found out about Baltimore Innovation Week from Technical.ly Baltimore (website or email). Another 12 percent came across BaltimoreInnovationWeek.com, and a collection of sources including social media, partner organizations and word-of-mouth made up the rest.
- There were lots of requests for more structured networking opportunities and praise for the tracks that widened those involved. We also heard requests for both more events and for fewer events!
Baltimore Innovation Week was sponsored by AOL/Advertising.com, the Abell Foundation, Tenable Network Security, OrderUp, PayPal, Message Systems, Agora Publishing, the University of Maryland BioPark, TEDCO, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, BackForty, Saul Ewing LLP, the Loyola University Emerging Media program and R2integrated, with additional support from the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, Event Rebels, Baltimore Angels, the Emerging Technology Center, Betamore, UMBC, the Greater Baltimore Committee, Mindgrub Technologies, Diversified Insurance Industries, Wasabi Ventures, Naden/Lean, Simplified Innovations, Evolve Communications, MyCity4Her, EventRebels and the Baltimore Museum of Art.-30-