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Baltimore Innovation Week / Events / Startups

Baltimore Innovation Week 2021: Meet these 40 speakers building better businesses and communities May 18-20

Here's a look at a dozen sessions featuring speakers from all corners of the local innovation community. Plus, they're holding time for pets.

Inside BIW18's Business Day at ETC. (Courtesy photo)
A local innovation economy has many parts, from the founders and funders to the engineers and connectors. In the end, they must come together to move forward.

Baltimore Innovation Week is a prime place where they converge.

Held May 18 through 20 for three days of virtual learning and convening, BIW21 has a full agenda of panel discussions on the community, and deep dives on building technology and companies. Plus, there are a few moments to relax and have some fun.

Want the data? This year’s event has 40 sessions, 70+ speakers, 27 hours of content, 45 partners and seven sponsors. The speakers are evenly split between man and woman-identifying, and 47% are from minority groups.

BIW sponsors include the Maryland Department of Commerce, ETC (Emerging Technology Centers), Technical.ly, Enradius and Response Labs.

It’s not just about the totals. When planning for a multi-day event like BIW, you also want to know who you might meet. With that in mind, we teamed with ETC to pick out 10 events, and the speakers they’ll feature. While this is just a quarter of the sessions available, count it as an overview of the many corners of local tech and entrepreneurship that the sessions will explore.

Strengthening Baltimore as a Hub For Innovation

  • Tuesday, May 18, 9 a.m.

A group of leading local startup supporters and funders will all be on one panel to discuss where a startup community in growth mode is seeing strengths, and room for improvement.

Speakers include:

  • Claire Broido Johnson, managing director, Maryland Momentum Fund
  • Justin Label, managing director, Inner Loop Capital
  • McKeever “Mac” Conwell II, founder and managing partner, RareBreed Ventures
  • Jeff Cherry, managing partner, Conscious Venture Partners
  • Kyp Sirinakis, managing partner, Epidarex Capital

Gym Innovation in a Pandemic for the Future

  • Tuesday, May 18, 5:30 p.m.

The fitness industry is asking what it has learned during the last year that it can take going forward. Get a look at how it’s adapted, and some tips for integrating fitness with a lifestyle of building businesses and tech.

Speakers include:

  • Brian Brando, CEO, B-Fit Lifestyle

Zero-Party Data and Personalization in Digital Marketing

  • Wednesday, May 19, 9 a.m.

Dive deep into the ins and outs of data and digital marketing with this session from local agency Response Labs. Expect brand, data and academic leaders discussing topics like what zero-party data is, customer loyalty and its value to a business.

Speakers include:

  • Andy Locke, managing director, Response Labs
  • April Falcon Doss, executive director, Georgetown Institute for Technology Law and Policy at Georgetown University Law Center
  • Jatinder Singh, chief data officer, DDB
  • Kristin Regan, VP of customer experience, HMR Weight Management Services
  • Melanie Butler, manager of loyalty and CSM strategy, Giant Food

Start Here, Stay Here: Civic Finance Innovation

  • Wednesday, May 19, 10:30 a.m.

Modernizing government services can bring equity and transparency, and the work to bring innovation to the public sector is advancing quickly in Maryland. In a conversation hosted by Baltimore education finance company Allovue, city and state leaders will discuss ideas for procurement and finance that center support for local women-owned and minority-owned businesses.

Speakers include:

  • Jess Gartner, CEO, Allovue
  • Brooke Lierman, Maryland State Delegate
  • Bill Henry, comptroller, Baltimore City
  • Stephanie Smith, Maryland State Delegate

Ask an Investor Anything — While You Learn to Make Bread at Home

  • Wednesday, May 19, 4 p.m.

Squadra Ventures CEO Guy Filippelli is well-known as the founder of RedOwl Analytics (acquired by Forcepoint) and an investor in many startups. He’ll talk about entrepreneurship, while providing tips on Little Italy-quality bread. Come hungry.

Speakers include:

  • Guy Filippelli, CEO, Squadra Ventures

Yappy/Meow Hour Pet Meet + Greet

  • Wednesday, May 19, 5:30 p.m.

You know the leaders of the Baltimore innovation community, but have you ever wanted to meet their very good friends? Come meet the dogs and cats behind big thinking at this event hosted by ETC, Fearless incubator Hutch and coworking community Spark Baltimore. And brings yours for a turn on camera. It’s been a long year, we need the cuteness.

Speakers include:

  • Deb Tillett, president, ETC
  • Stephanie Chin, program manager, Hutch
  • Shervonne Cherry, director of community and partnerships, Spark
  • Their pets
  • Your pets

The Startup Studio Model

  • Thursday, May 20, 9 a.m.

Researchers and inventors from the region’s institutions are coming together with business leaders to build new health and medical technology businesses. This panel discussion explores the ins and outs of the approach at one the prime places where this startup formation is taking place: the Maryland Development Center in downtown Baltimore.

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Deborah Hemingway, CEO, MDC
  • Dr. Jonathan Pearl, cofounder, Surgical Vision Systems and associate professor of surgery at University of Maryland Medical Center
  • Dr. Nao J. Gamo, CEO, NeuroSonics Medical, Inc.

Finding the 95%: How ‘Going Global’ Can Accelerate Your Startup

  • Thursday, May 20, 12:15 p.m.

A local startup community is made up of businesses seeking to make a global impact. This session, organized by U.S. Commercial Service and the Global Innovation Forum, explores the work of entering those international markets through a fireside chat with entrepreneurs, an expert panel and resource sharing.

Speakers include:

  • Eno Umoh and Austin Brown, Global Air Media
  • Ellington West and Brandon Dottin-Haley, Sonavi Labs
  • Jamaica Gayle, deputy director, Global Innovation Forum
  • Raquel Cohen, senior IP and trade policy attorney, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Paul Disselkoen, senior associate of government relations, PayPal
  • Veronica San Luis, international growth project manager for the Americas, Google
  • Tricia Van Orden, deputy director of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Rebecca Bellinger, executive director, Center for Global Business, University of Maryland Smith School of Business
  • Andrew Glass, commercial officer, U.S. Commercial Service in Baltimore
  • Jessica Reynolds, senior director, Office of International Investment and Trade, Maryland Department of Commerce

Connecting with Baltimore’s Youth Leaders

  • Thursday, May 20, 10:30 a.m.

The next generation of innovators is already here, so an event featuring groundbreaking work in Baltimore has to include discussions on what youth are doing today, and opportunity they might have tomorrow. In this session, organizations working with youth showcase and discuss their work.

Speakers include:

  • Joni Holifield, founder, HeartSmiles, INC
  • Evelyn Hammid, director of client services, Enradius
  • Austin Wieder, career coach, Living Classrooms Foundation
  • Chas Ackley, chief program officer for the Target Investment Zone, Living Classrooms Foundation

Building Baltimore Better: Leading with Social Innovation

  • Thursday, May 20, 4:15 p.m.

The community of ventures growing new models to address systemic and environmental issues is growing in Baltimore. How can we support it. In this session, two working groups from the social innovation community discuss their takeaways.

Speakers include:

  • Jay Nwachu, CEO, Innovation Works, and president, Ignite Capital
  • Dr. Tammira Lucas, executive director, The Warnock Foundation and cofounder, Moms as Entrepreneurs and The Cube Cowork
  • Wendy Bolger, founding director, Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Loyola University
  • Colin Tarbert, president and CEO, Baltimore Development Corporation
  • Nneka Nnamdi, COO and founder, Fight Blight Bmore
Companies: Emerging Technology Centers (ETC Baltimore)

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