(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
A web platform that gathers info about the resources available to entrepreneurs in Baltimore has a new feature to organize its data.
EcoMap Baltimore recently debuted a new tool, dubbed Resource Navigator, which is designed to further break down categories of programs that are available, and hones in one what size and company category they assist. For instance, an early-stage founder can get specific with a search, specifying seed stage and equity investment.
“One of the purposes of EcoMap is helping find entrepreneurs find resources that fit their venture, so adding dynamic filtering was really important so that they don’t have to scroll through a ton of non-applicable resources just to find the few that fit with what their venture needs and can access,” EcoMap Baltimore’s Pava LaPere said.
EcoMap, which launched earlier this year, uses artificial intelligence tools to automate the process of finding resources. LaPere said a 2.0 version of the site was recently launched. It functions as both a place to find resources and data provider on what’s available.
So the team has been analyzing data to help to help identify gaps in the community, as well, breaking down categories in features like a recent look at the “State of Acceleration.”
“We hope that ecosystem builders will use this data to be more intentional about the programs they design, and who those programs are built for. For example, the data shows is that despite Baltimore being 63% African American and at least 50% female, only about 10% of all resources in the city are explicitly targeted towards minority- or female-founded companies,” LaPere said.
In providing a place to find resources, there’s a mission to help those just starting businesses.
“While we do tech-company things like leverage AI to keep the database updated and find resources, EcoMap is really a social venture with a mission of helping more people— especially people from underestimated populations —become entrepreneurs,” LaPere said.
Educational content that can provide a guide to first-time founders is also in the works.
LaPere said EcoMap is also looking to add to the team, specifically folks with experience in marketing and assisting small businesses.-30-
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