Baltimore daily roundup: An investment snapshot; assistive tech to level up; youth entrepreneurship EXCELs

Plus, Gov. Moore's meeting PMs and cutting budgets.

(L to R) Shelonda Stokes, Calvin Ball and Brandon Scott speak during the Baltimore Region Investment Summit at MICA in June 2024. (Patrick Rife/

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Investment summit theme: Equity and collaboration

Leaders in local government, economic development, higher ed and investment agencies spent much of the Baltimore Region Investment Summit praising collaboration and pushing for equitable growth.

Five days after the summit, we learned Baltimore did not receive Phase 2 EDA Tech Hubs funding — and the same theme was common in reactions to that news.

Still, the convening, hosted by the Tech Hubs consortium-leading Greater Baltimore Committee, left an impression on attendees like Pixilated cofounder Patrick Rife.

“One thing that’s for certain,” Rife writes, “is that we need stakeholders and leadership from every sector if we’re going to successfully shepherd Baltimore and the surrounding metropolitan area to its full potential.”

➡️ Find more on regional investment figures and philosophies in Rife’s dispatch.

AI, text-to-audio and more assistive tech

Few people have as much insight into tech and entrepreneurship for innovators with disabilities as Diego Mariscal. For over a decade, the head of 2Gether-International has been developing accelerators and related programming to help founders with disabilities reach their highest heights — and destroy any stigma that follows them.

Mariscal made a list of tech platforms that can help people with disabilities thrive in work and life, with entries from the biggest generative AI giants to software companies that completed 2GI’s accelerator.

“This horizon brims with possibilities,” Mariscal writes, “for not only increased inclusion but also leadership and advanced ingenuity.”

➡️ Check out 5 assistive tech tools in Mariscal’s guest post

News Incubator: What else to know today

• Coppin State University and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s EXCEL project led to a new report on the state of youth entrepreneurship in Baltimore. The project is extending into a series of events, and the first happened Wednesday at Baltimore Peninsula, with MAG Partners’ MaryAnne Gilmartin speaking to Pinky Cole of Slutty Vegan. [Coppin State]

• Maryland stretched its hand into the great north this week as Gov. Wes Moore met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss business collaborations between the state and the country. [Baltimore Sun]

• The governor, who’s currently at the Sun Valley Conference in Idaho, wrote about his planned budget reductions. The nearly $150 million in cuts would impact neighborhood revitalization programs, public health funding and many other state-funded projects. [Baltimore Sun/Baltimore Banner]

• After 15 years, the head of Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Lab will depart his post in July 2025. [Johns Hopkins]

• Highlandtown-HQ’d supply-chain data company Barcoding Inc., one of the city’s biggest tech firms, made an all-cash acquisition of Florida-based DecisionPoint Systems. [ / Biz Journal]

🗓️ On the Calendar

• 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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