(Photo courtesy of Loyola University Maryland)
Loyola University Maryland gathered the local entrepreneurial community on Wednesday to connect startups in the current cohort of its Baltpreneurs Accelerator with city leaders in the space.
The virtual “Ecosystem Night” featured a talk from Andrew Suggs, CEO of local startup Live Chair Health, and set aside time for founders to chat with reps from local business-building resources.
To start, each entrepreneur from the accelerator’s 2020-21 cohort give a brief introduction. Then, Suggs delivered his keynote speech, detailing his journey and advice as an entrepreneur. Live Chair Health, which is a Technical.ly RealLIST Startups 2021 honoree, is growing a model designed to improve health outcomes among Black men through work in Baltimore barbershops.
“Startups are a journey of discovery,” said Suggs, quoting the philosophy of startup guru Steve Blank. “There are no initial right answers. You just need to validate these guesses.”
He often reiterated that being an entrepreneur is a risk of time, money and relationships, and reminded founders to stay on their path.
“Remember your why,” he said. “Why you started your venture and continue to get up every day to run through a brick wall, when reversing course seems like the best thing to do.”
When the speech was finished, there was a Q&A with Suggs where entrepreneurs from the cohort had the opportunity to ask direct questions and get further insight on some of the challenges he overcame as an entrepreneur.
In the second hour of the event, eight partners in Baltimore’s startup ecosystem led breakout sessions where cohort members could learn about their services. These included social entrepreneurship orgs such as Innovation Works and Impact Hub Baltimore, as well as financial experts at Fulton Bank. In the process of the breakouts, the partners ranked the ventures to establish which startup will receive an assistive grant from the Maryland Business Innovation Association and TEDCO.
The cohort is in the ninth week of the 10-week accelerator program, meaning the presentation of $10,000 in awards for the highest-performing startups during the accelerator is around the corner.
Check out the pitches from the cohort members in the video below, and find details on the companies here. The startups include Afterr Home, AlgenAir, ATP-MD, Bluebone Jewelry, Ekiben, Equalyze, Hiatus Cheesecake, Infinite Focus Schools, Mentoring Mentors, ProjectOwn, Silent Venus, Sporty Dog Creations, and Supir below.
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.-30-
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