Loyola University Maryland’s Baltipreneurs accelerator wrapped up its latest cohort with a Wednesday night pitch competition, in which all 13 ventures in the program presented their business pitch to potential investors. It also included the award of cash prizes, and the best pitch earned $6,000.
The accelerator is open to ventures from the Baltimore community, as well as the university community. Loyola’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offered ten virtual sessions for the ventures from November through February. The demo day pitch competition was a showcase of the work the entrepreneurs did during the 10 weeks. The event featured prizes for first to fourth place in the competition, with votes coming from their cohort peers and the virtual audience. Here’s a look at the winners:
The first place winner of $6000 was Blue Bone Jewelry, a handmade jewelry business founded by Loyola University student Maria Jaeckel.
The second place winner of $4500 was Silent Venus, a Baltimore company founded by Emmaus Ferdinand that installs restrooms at any location without major construction.
The third place winner of $3000 was Mentoring Mentors Inc., a Baltimore-based nonprofit led by Alphonso Mayo that promotes community interdependency and long-term relationships for African American youth in the city.
The fourth place winner of $1500 was Infinite Focus Schools, a mindfulness and socio-emotional learning software for children founded by Ashley Williams. The edtech startup was previously a member of Johns Hopkins Social Innovation Lab, and we’ve heard Williams speak at events like Baltimore Innovation Week’s 2019 access day.
Tech startups in the program, like AI-powered remote home inspection booking platform Afterrhome and natural air purification company Algen Air, won grants from the Maryland Business Innovation Association and TEDCO before the event. There was also $2000 in stipends for the participants, $1000 for hitting certain milestones and every venture received $500 for presenting at demo day — not to mention the priceless knowledge gained through the mentoring and education from the program. No entrepreneur went home empty-handed.
For anyone looking for an idea of what the pitches were like at demo day you can check out the cohort’s practice pitiches from a month ago on the Baltipreneurs Accelerator YouTube page. Check it out 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.