These 14 Baltimore entrepreneurs are turning side hustles into businesses - Baltimore


Dec. 5, 2017 12:55 pm

These 14 Baltimore entrepreneurs are turning side hustles into businesses

Over nine weeks, ETC's Pioneer Baltimore program looked to help entrepreneurs connect with customers, and each other.

AJ Golden pitches ChargeCycl to open the Pioneer Baltimore 2017 pitch night.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Ideas that turn into companies often start after work hours.

With Pioneer Baltimore, ETC looked to provide space for entrepreneurs to develop those ideas. The program ran on Monday nights for nine weeks this fall.

“This program really helps identify members of our community who are just looking for an opportunity to try something, and I think by giving them a program like this and the opportunity to put this into their schedule and into their lives,  it helps them make that decision whether this is just a cool idea or this could be a full-time job,” said ETC Assistant Director Jacqueline Albright.

Facilitated by recently-named University of Baltimore Director of Entrepreneurship Henry Mortimer, the program allowed the companies to create a “road map” for their businesses by introducing the COSTARTERS framework.

“The focus was on customer development. the underlying theme is really going back to identify who your customer is, talking with customer, and being able to really discern the experience to move in a direction that is feasible,” Albright said. “The COSTARTERS program really gives you the tools to being able to get up and do that.”

For those who start on their own, it also helps to meet others with similar dreams and challenges. The entrepreneurs also worked with mentors from the Baltimore startup community, and benefitted from interacting with each other. Albright said it provides “excitement and clarity around the businesses they’re trying to grow.” They also had a chance for some friendly competition, as a chart tracked how many customers they contacted throughout the program.

At Monday’s pitch night to close out the program, the ideas that came out of the program were on display. Here’s a look:

  • AJ Golden is looking to create a network of sites that house charging stations for electric vehicles. It’s called ChargCycl.

  • With Userhappy, Aline Lin is looking to provide usability testing for websites through multimedia.

  • Andrew Greene pitched CoInFidence, a social network to help young entrepreneurs get connected.

  • Scott Feldman created imAWARE to provide 24/7 offerings that complement pyschological treatment of depression.
  • With Lunar Pay, Stuart Tweedie wants to create a network that reduces remittance prices for immigrants sending money home to Africa.

  • Carlos Ramos created Greenbar to help pharmacies prescribe the right medicine.
  • With Fablancers, Bianca Thompson is creating an online community for freelancers who create fashion and beauty–related content.

  • Dean Burney and Jameel Moses created Tourlighter to help bands figure out where to tour, and music fans encourage acts to come to their town. The startup got some extra recognition on the night with a box of ETC swag for speaking to the most customers during the program.

  • With MythicFit, Zach Diehl is building an algorithm that provides crowdsourcing for decisions on who to promote to leadership roles.

  • Matthew Menter founded Glitter Pictures, a production house for films and episodic content focusing on the LGBT community.

  • Brittany Gerald is building MobiDox, a platform to help pharma companies process drug safety data.

  • With Dex, Alistair Penny is looking to provide a way to transfer business-related contact info without the card. The company is developing its business model around networking events and conferences.

  • Ope Thomas is making more strides with Roadi, a platform that helps locate parking.
  • LegUp Collaborative is looking to help millennials connect to new jobs in Baltimore with an online hub.




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