At b2Bmore, startups networked with corporations, and each other - Technical.ly Baltimore

Dev

Sep. 18, 2015 12:59 pm

At b2Bmore, startups networked with corporations, and each other

Exelon and Stanley Black & Decker met with 17 startups at the event.
3-D Print Factory’s Jim Buchanan.

3-D Print Factory's Jim Buchanan.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Startups got some face time with a pair of Baltimore’s big companies this week.

The first edition of b2Bmore, held at the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, put 17 startups in a room with representatives from energy giant Exelon and tools titan Stanley Black & Decker. Software development firm SmartLogic and the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore partnered to organize the event. They are hoping to hold more editions of the event in the future.

The startups at the event ranged from software development outfit Mindgrub (which brought the Oculus) to IT firm Federal Hill Solutions to recently founded big data analytics company FourV and efficiency-minded Roadmap and Epilogue Systems.

Each startup got a chance to meet for 20 minutes individually with the large outfits. In a sign that they were serious about identifying leads, Exelon sent about a dozen people, some of whom flew in from Chicago.

As technology transforms, staid processes within bigger companies often don’t allow them to adapt to new technology as quickly as smaller outfits. For instance, 3D-imaging company Direct Dimensions specializes in 3D-scanning technology that is frequently in-demand by corporations, said Michael Raphael.

“They may know about it. There may be one person that’s aware of these technologies … but they don’t necessarily see the use case and the business case within a larger company to buy the equipment and make an investment,” Raphael said of the corporations. “To make people aware that we’re right here in Baltimore, and that we’ve been doing it for over 20 years, can be comforting to a larger company.”

But even when startups realize they have technology that could be useful to bigger outfits, it can be tough to get in the door.

That made the trip from Western Maryland worth it for Jim Buchanan, who is vice president of Hancock-based 3-D Print Factory. Standing behind a table full of 3D-printed goods, Buchanan said the dedicated meeting time that the event provided ensured that he could explain rapid prototyping and other work the company does.

“Behind the scenes it would be 20 cold calls to get to the right person, and even then it would be only five minutes of time,” Buchanan said of trying to get in the door with the corporations.

And then there’s the value derived from the simple act of putting a small group of companies together in a room.

At a Technical.ly Baltimore stakeholders meeting last year, SmartLogic President Yair Flicker happened to strike up a conversation with Stanley Black & Decker Director of Breakthrough Innovation Frank DeSantis. As it turned out, Stanley Black & Decker had app development needs, and SmartLogic became a client within a month.

With those kinds of relationships established, it’s important for startups to be networked in case a bigger company has a need that the more tightly-focused startup can’t fulfill. Even though it’s a bunch of tech companies, business at SmartLogic still comes through word of mouth.

“Our No. 1 referral source is always from people we know,” Flicker said.

Advertisement

You must appreciate accurate, relevant and productive community journalism.  Support this sort of work from professional reporters with seasoned editors.  Become a Technical.ly member for $12 per month -30-
CONTRIBUTE TO THE
JOURNALISM FUND

Already a contributor? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

Autonomous drone racing puts AI behind the controllers

6 student-led startups we met at Innov8MD’s Baltimore and Beyond Conference

6 networking tips from the pros

SPONSORED

Baltimore

How this lawyer is helping entrepreneurs bark up the right tree

Hunt Valley, MD

LawIQ

SOFTWARE ENGINEER – FULL TIME OPPORTUNITY

Apply Now

Philadelphia, PA - Center City

Odessa

Sr. Project Manager – ERP Implementations

Apply Now

Annapolis Junction, MD

Asymmetrik

FULL-STACK DEVELOPER

Apply Now

10 biz-building quotes that stood out from TEDCO’s 2019 Entrepreneur Expo

Baltimore Innovation Week 2019 showed a tech community’s blueprints coming to life

These 4 companies won biz funding at Salisbury U’s latest Shore Hatchery competition

SPONSORED

Baltimore

Get to know SmartLogic’s culture of plants, podcasts and productive client relationships

Annapolis Junction, MD

Asymmetrik

SOFTWARE ENGINEER

Apply Now

Annapolis Junction, MD

Asymmetrik

FRONT-END DEVELOPER

Apply Now

Philadelphia, PA

Vistar Media

QA Engineer

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!