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Baltimore Innovation Week 2015: 55+ events, 120+ partners, 10K attendees

It was our biggest yet. Here's what happened during the fourth-annual open calendar of events around tech, entrepreneurship and innovation — and why it matters.

Playing video games as part of the #BIW15 Kickoff Festival with the Gathering at Power Plant Live! (Photo by Olivia Obineme)
The future success of Baltimore is in no small part tied to whether it can cluster together a network of thriving innovative companies and knowledge workers.

The technologists and entrepreneurs of Baltimore — like those in other fast-awakening urban cores across the country — are making choices on where to live, work and build businesses largely based on a sense of momentum.
Is Baltimore a place of purpose? Can great work be done here?
Many factors go into answering these questions but one of the surest needs is a place of entry. Our Baltimore Innovation Week is an an annual open house of sorts, during which new and curious Baltimoreans can join, explore and connect with the already surging Baltimore tech community.
In its fourth year, Baltimore Innovation Week 2015 executed on that goal like never before: Nearly 10,000 people attended 55 events during this annual series of events uniting communities of technologists, entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, students and the organizations who serve them.
The outcomes were wide-ranging and a wider swath of local media started paying attention. It marked real growth from last year, which saw 6,000 attendees.
A chart of BIW attendance growth. 2015 saw more than 10,000 people come out.Our Kickoff Festival with The Gathering at Power Plant Live! brought out more than 1,500 people to discover locally made robots, apps, video games and other hardware and technology.
Beta City, led by Betamore in partnership with Sagamore Ventures, Baltimore and Startup Maryland, was a daylong event culminating in a cocktail reception and tech exhibit hall that attracted more than 1,000 people, from all corners of Baltimore’s business, civic and innovation communities.
Companies were demoed and our Innovation Award winners were announced. Legendary AOL cofounder and investor Steve Case toured the city.
New spaces and efforts threw open their doors — from the forthcoming OpenWorks makerspace and Impact Hub to the new chapter of the Lesbians Who Tech Meetup group. Anchor events in the community saw new faces join their ranks — from another sold-out Ignite Baltimore to a regular installment of TechBreakfast. In between it all, deeper dives around specific subjects allowed existing community members to sharpen their skills alongside new members of the community, including coding classes and entrepreneurship bootcamps.
We also brought together top-tier practitioners to share and challenge their expertise, like our Switch Baltimore health and sciences roundtable and startup demo event and our popular Future of Digital Marketing conference. There was also a gaming legends panel and another Women in Tech Summit.
In all, Baltimore will continue to develop broad jumpstarts to economic development with events and conferences that drive the most people to specific points of interest. Baltimore Innovation Week continues to be something different — an open door into how work will get done in Baltimore in the future.
Baltimore Innovation Week is the showcase for Baltimore’s technologists, entrepreneurs and future making. We hope you’ll join us next year for Baltimore Innovation Week 2016, which will place Sept. 23-Oct. 1, 2016.
Have a glimpse into the BIW15 kickoff celebration below.


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