Baltimore daily roundup: How to build a tech hub; Pava Center demo day winners; Dali is (finally) cleared

Plus, why software isn't the future of tech.


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How to build inclusive ecosystems

UpSurge Baltimore’s work revolves around the concept of equitech: the idea that tech and innovation sectors cannot thrive nor exist without a true commitment to equity. CEO Kory Bailey brought that message to his keynote address and an associated panel he moderated in Philadelphia at’s Builders Conference earlier this month.

Bailey and his peers doing similar ecosystem-building work in Philly, Pittsburgh and Birmingham (Alabama, not England — a necessary distinction) discussed the importance of data, quality-of-life factors and other components they feel make for strong innovation sectors. Their insights, including a recommendation to embrace what Bailey calls “relentless incrementalism,” speak to the challenges any American city faces while trying to build an economy without historic inequity.

➡️ Learn more in our recap here.

Software isn’t tech’s future

That proclamation might sound dramatic, but don’t stop making software — we definitely need all that! Our CEO Chris Wink’s new column bridges the recent history of federal funding with the current AI landscape to argue that tech’s next horizons revolve around things like semiconductors and robots — in other words, physical things.

“That’s not to say software won’t be involved; of course it will be,” Wink wrote.
It’s just that software is just kind of baked in now — a bit like washing machines and the telephone.”

➡️ Learn more about the economc implications in the new column.

News Incubator: What else to know today

• ICYMI: Read Alanah Nichole Davis’ reflections on her time with our newsroom, why she loves Baltimore innovators and what she’s up to next. []

• The latest cohort of Johns Hopkins’ Social Innovation Lab wrapped on Thursday with a special demo day at the Pava Marie LaPere Center for Entrepreneurship. Pava Center leader and 2024 RealLIST Connector Josh Ambrose confirmed that each team got $5,000. Audience Prize winners Metallic Luxury (focused on sustainable community development) and NGLA (training multilingual youth as interpreters to help communities navigate health and legal ecosystems) each took home an additional $2,000. Cohort members also chose Salama Wellness, which aims to provide ongoing postpartum care and maternal wellness resources, to win the $15,000 Grand Prize. [The Pava Center]

 Nearly two months after it hit and destroyed the Key Bridge, the container ship Dali was cleared out of the middle of the Patapsco River. Check out a cool timelapse showing its move back to port. [Baltimore Sun]

 Seize the Day won the 149th Preakness Stakes last weekend. By the way, I definitely saw a bunch of you on Instagram flaunting your best pastels and hats. [ESPN]

• What the latest post-bridge collapse developments mean for the largely Indian crew of the Dali. [Baltimore Banner]

🗓️ On the Calendar

• May 21: UpSurge Baltimore celebrates its 150th Equitech Tuesday with a special version of the weekly meetup at Waverly Brewing Company. [Details here]

• May 23: The Greater Baltimore Committee hosts its latest annual meeting and releases its 10-year plan in Sparrows Point. [Details here]

• June 2: I AM MENtality’s 8th Anniversary Gala hosted by Alanah Nichole Davis. [Details here]

• June 5-8: Project for Public Spaces’ 4th International Placemaking Week conference. Alanah Nichole Davis hosts the opening plenary. [Details here]

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