Resource Roundup: Here's why Techstars is coming to Baltimore, and plans for a local team - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Resource Roundup: Here’s why Techstars is coming to Baltimore, and plans for a local team

Techstars Equitech accelerator will open applications in May. Plus, Minority Innovation Weekend put out a call for speakers, and the SBA's Restaurant Revitalization Fund has opened.

A Baltimore view.

(Photo by Flickr user Tony Brooks, used under a Creative Commons license)

It’s Monday, a time to dig out your inbox and seek out fresh opportunities in a new week, so Technical.ly is bringing a few new chances to plug into the tech and entrepreneurship community with Resource Roundup. It’s a look at open applications for business and career-building programs around the region. Want to tell us about a program or new opportunity for entrepreneurs and technologists? Email us at baltimore@technical.ly.


The recent news that Techstars is expanding to Baltimore this fall means a global accelerator is establishing a local chapter. For Techstars, it’s not just about the city and a willing community looking to support it. There was alignment around the mission and intention behind the expansion, as well.

Techstars is partnering with UpSurge Baltimore, a recently launched public benefit corporation that is setting out to propel Baltimore to top-tier innovation city status, and do so by making it known for “equitech.” That’s a framework coined by the org that prioritizes diversity among teams, leadership and products that contribute to social good. So instead of Techstars Baltimore, it’s Techstars Equitech.

For Techstars General Manager Nancy Wolff, it’s a lens through which to look at startups as it backs underrepresented founders and products built for inclusion. It also underscores that diversity drives innovation.

“We think that this equitech theme is the way to invest in companies smartly. This is not about charity whatsover,” she told Technical.ly. “This is about making smart investments, and we have the largest global network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, so we want to help UpSurge lead the way in showing why this is smart money. Baltimore is a great place to do that because that is their number one focus. … We believe it so passionately we want to help UpSurge show it to the world.”

Baltimore has a growing base of startups in this area, and Techstars can help attract others for its program, and potentially to stay in the city.

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“There are a lot of people in Baltimore that have proven that hard work and a diversity mindset is a proven recipe for success and enhanced performance, and I think those people attract other people,” Wolff said.

Techstars will operate a 10-month program, in which startups receive funding, and get access to mentorship, workshops, resources and the global Techstars network “for life.” The inaugural class kicks off in November. Applications are set to open on May 10, with seed-stage startups within Baltimore and beyond invited to apply.

Along with seeking startups, they’re also hiring folks to run the program. Techstars currently has an opening for a managing director of the Baltimore accelerator. They’ll lead a full-time team that will operate locally, and also includes a program manager. There are plans to have a space in the future, as well.

Minority Innovation Weekend call for speakers

Baltimore’s Minority Innovation Weekend is gearing up for its fifth year, and organizers are looking for speakers. They’re seeking speakers with backgrounds in startups, healthcare technology, environmental technology innovation and cybersecurity.

This year’s fall summit is scheduled for Oct. 2, and registration is already open. Entrepreneurs: Learn more here about how to apply for the pitch competition and innovation marketplace.

Now in its fifth year, MIW is part of the National Society of Black Engineers — Baltimore Metropolitan Area Chapter’s Minority Innovation Entrepreneurship Program.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund opens

The latest on COVID-19 relief funding from the federal government: As of April 30, the U.S. Small Business Administration has applications open for its latest round of COVID relief funding for restaurants. For the first 21 days, the SBA is prioritizing businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. It also has $9.5 billion set aside for the smallest businesses. In all, the program has $28.6 billion available, via an appropriation from Congress’ latest COVID relief bill. More program info here.

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