Civic News

Baltimore needs to ‘create, find or hire more entrepreneurs’: Newt Fowler

At a Greater Baltimore Committee conference, Fowler outlined what Baltimore gets wrong when it comes to supporting innovation.

Newt Fowler. Photo courtesy of rosenbergmartin.com.

Notably absent from the Greater Baltimore Committee‘s Economic Outlook Conference: young money, nouveau riche, the 20-somethings running startups with piles of risky venture money.
It was something Newt Fowler, lawyer and TEDCO board member, spotted immediately Thursday while sitting on a panel focused on “fostering innovation” in Baltimore, reports the Baltimore Business Journal.
As Technical.ly Baltimore wrote this week, it’s not uncommon for members of Baltimore’s traditional, buttoned-up business community and Baltimore’s sometimes unconventional, flip-flop-embracing startup scene to talk past one another — or to not talk to one another at all.
On one hand, the diversity in business goals allows for different hubs of innovation around town. But a lack of awareness when it comes to shared outcomes — growing an innovation community in Baltimore — means businesses and city government have a tendency to misunderstand what more early-stage startups and smaller technology companies need to continue building a successful business in this city.
The five things Baltimore needs when it comes to innovation, from Newt Fowler as reported by the Baltimore Business Journal:

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  1. “We need more entrepreneurs. We need to create, find or hire more entrepreneurs.”
  2. “We’ve got to stop exporting talent. We have to simply figure out how to keep them here.”
  3. “We need to rethink how we market Baltimore. The face for headquarters relocations — it’s over. Knowledge-driven businesses simply grow where the talent is.”
  4. “We’ve got to solve the capital problem.” He said very little of the capital in Baltimore is active.
  5. The problem of capital is especially tough when it comes to early-stage funding. [As Technical.ly Baltimore reported, there is some early-stage capital in play in this city, although hardly enough to foster a large number of startups.]
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