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BIW is going virtual in 2020. The Innovation Celebration is Oct. 9

The daylong event has panels, networking, awards and trivia — all focused on how the community responded to a challenging year.

Networking at Baltimore Innovation Week 2019's Business Day. (Courtesy photo)

Communities get stronger when they have a central place to share what members are doing and elevate the stories worth telling.

That’s why, even when things are chaotic, it’s worth keeping those connecting points. In times of uncertainty, it’s especially important to check in and shine a light.

With that in mind, organizers at ETC (Emerging Technology Centers) said Baltimore Innovation Week will continue its place as a nexus for the city’s tech and entrepreneurship community in 2020. Like so many things this year, plans are a bit different. This year’s programming takes place on one day: Friday, Oct. 9, is the BIW Innovation Celebration. The daylong, virtual event aims to offer insights and lessons from local technologists and organizational leaders. Admissions is free.

Register for the BIW Innovation Celebration

It’s centered on showcasing the new partnerships, pivots and products that arose during a year remade by the pandemic and movement for racial equity. In such trying times, “innovation doesn’t go away,” said Deb Tillett, president of ETC, the city-supported tech hub that is returning as lead organizer of BIW.

“With the pivots and the way things have changed, that in and of itself is innovation in a nutshell,” she said. “It’s really important to highlight innovation in Baltimore and that Baltimore is a place for it.”

In all, more than 10 organizations collaborated to put together the programming, including sponsors at the Maryland Department of Commerce, Technical.ly, Response Labs and Enradius. The daytime sessions will include panel discussions and fireside chats exploring responses from the frontlines of the pandemic to startups. The sessions will have insights from AccelerateBaltimore graduates, edtech companies, investors and grassroots organizations that banded together to address gaps.

Like a live event, the day will also include a chance to network one on one. It’ll close out with the announcement of Baltimore’s winners of the 2020 Technical.ly Awards — voting is open through Oct. 5 — followed up by tech trivia and happy hour.

It’s designed as a real-time look at new solutions being spun up in a crisis. And it can serve as a “good news story” about a sector of the city’s economy that continues to spur new ventures and attract newcomers: “It’s our job to change the narrative,” Tillett said.

Companies: Emerging Technology Centers (ETC Baltimore)
Projects: Baltimore Innovation Week

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