Baltimore daily roundup: 2 regional startup cohorts; state-funded innovation center plans; a year of recreational cannabis

Plus, the Red Line renewal.


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‘Stakeholder capitalism’ lives

Bestselling author, entrepreneur and investor Joe Mechlinski drove home one of the Conscious Venture Lab’s (CVL) driving principles by paraphrasing the writer Richard Bach.

“We teach what we need to learn and create what we need to heal,” he said during his keynote at last Tuesday’s demo day for the CVL accelerator’s 11th cohort.

The startups came from as close as Baltimore and as far as Mexico City, with social-minded innovations ranging from non-insertive menstrual products to a buy-now-pay-later platform for Latin American corner stores. They captured CVL’s focus, as described by leader Jeff Cherry of CVL’s organizing Novella Center, on “stakeholder capitalism” which he believes creates a more humane innovation culture without sacrificing economic value.

➡️ Learn more about the latest CVL cohort in my new article here.

Meet DC’s new incubator and angel investor

DC Tech Studio’s program director doesn’t just want his recently launched program to help its founders get the money or staff they need. To best leverage their location in the heart of national policymaking and government contracting, Brandon Whitaker also wants them to become thought leaders as they navigate these often-heavily regulated waters.

He offered this up ahead of last week’s demo day for the incubator’s pilot cohort in Adams Morgan. The 11-startup group includes companies making everything from a platform for freelance journalists to an app to streamline purchase returns to a simplified podcast editing platform. (Notably, it also includes 2024 RealLIST Startups Standd and Outerly).

➡️ Find out more about these projects and companies in Kaela Roeder’s latest.

News Incubator: What else to know today

• Learn what dynamics make satellite cities like Arlington, Virginia such vibrant innovation hubs in their own right. []

• Pigtown-based Early Charm Ventures teamed up with Harford County’s economic development wing to repurpose a former community college facility as the CONVERGE Innovation Center. The biomanufacturing materials and learning hub, partly subsidized by a $500,000 state grant, will build on work done at the US Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground. [Biz Journal/]

• Johns Hopkins University’s Ralph S. O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute is using its own $1.25 million state grant to launch the R.Labs New Energy/Tech Infrastructure Hub above R. House in Remington. [ Hopkins]

• TEDCO (a client) named nearly 20 nonprofits, higher learning institutions and facilities across the state awardees of the 2024 Makerspace Program. [TEDCO]

• Here’s how cannabis industry boosters, citizens and other stakeholders feel exactly one year to the date after Maryland legalized recreational sales. [Baltimore Sun]

• Gov. Wes Moore’s administration has committed to building an east-west Red Line that relies on light rail. [Baltimore Magazine]

• See where Baltimore’s own resident Pope of Trash recommends you hang out locally. [New York Times]

🗓️ On the Calendar

• July 3: CharmCityJS holds its latest meetup virtually. [Details here]

• July 12: Startup Grind Maryland’s latest virtual Founders Forum focuses on AI’s role in fundraising. [Details here]

• July 16: UpSurge Baltimore and the #BaltimoreTech meetup partner for a special joint networking event. [Details here]

• July 17: Baltimore Climate Tech Meetup celebrates its first anniversary. [Details here]

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