Professional Development
Data / Events / Media / Pitches / Venture capital

Events Roundup: Explore ‘the role of data during apocalyptic times’

Plus, venture capital 101 from Founder City and a digital summit from coworking community Spark.

The Johns Hopkins COVID-19 dashboard on July 16, 2020. (Screenshot via

Events Roundup is a column where we highlight events happening in the Baltimore area each month. Have a submission for the next edition? Email us the details at

The last year hasn’t been a time with a lot to hold onto. We’ve had a lot of “uncertainty,” as we lived through “unprecedented” events over and over again.

But through it all, data has always been there. In a lot of ways, data can track the months of the pandemic as they passed. We watched COVID curves and PPE availability. Then we analyzed economic recovery shapes and tracked new business openings. Then, when it was time to reopen, we once again watched cases carefully and tracked cases in schools. And as the vaccines arrived, dashboards got a new feature to track inoculation rates.

When the data is mentioned, the name Johns Hopkins University usually isn’t far behind, right back to the original global COVID dashboard. So one event coming up this weekend from the well-attended Data Works MD meetup is particularly interesting. For one, there’s the title: “The Role of Data During Apocalyptic Times.”

The speaker seems set to deliver: Dr. John Piorkowski is the chief AI architect at the Laurel-based Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), and chairs data science and AI programs at the JHU’s Whiting School of Engineering in Baltimore.

The talk will focus on the following:

  • The role of data in national security and medicine
  • A precision medicine analytic platform developed by APL and Johns Hopkins Medicine that includes COVID-19
  • The “data wizardry” at the heart of JHU’s COVID Resource Center

The virtual talk is set for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 17. Register here.

Here’s a look at the rest of this week’s events:

All Levels: Website accessibility for everyone

At the next virtual meeting of the Baltimore WordPress Group, designer Colleen Gratzer will cover topics including how websites affect people with specific disabilities, and why automated automated checkers and plugins aren’t enough.

  • Tuesday, April 13
  • 7 to 8 p.m.
  • Register

Spark Digital Summit

The coworking community that started in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has expanded to Kansas City and St. Louis, so it’s bringing together entrepreneurs, industry experts and community leaders. Join for a day of talks, breakouts and collaboration, with 20-minute Zoom sessions during the day. Speakers include Ortus Academy CEO Aaron Velky talking financial readiness, ThinkResults’ Jenn LeBlanc on launching a business, and a fireside chat on press and business with Assistant Editor Stephen Babcock and Tommy Felts, news director of Kansas City’s Startland News.

  • Wednesday, April 14
  • 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • RSVP

Venture Capital 101

As part of the spring’s startup-centered Founder City event series from Betamore and Frederick’s FITCI, Rarebreed Ventures Managing Partner McKeever Conwell and Betamore cofounder Greg Cangialosi discuss VC and RareBreed’s focus on pre-seed funding.

  • Wednesday, April 14
  • Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Register ($50 for two-month series)

Investment Crowdfunding: Transform Community Support into Business Success

Baltimore Corps and Community Wealth Builders host a virtual lunch and learn featuring a look at crowdfunding tools including Kiva Baltimore and the MD Neighborhood Exchange. Plus, hear from entrepreneurs about their experiences.

  • Tuesday, April 13
  • Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Register

CyberAg Symposium

Easton-based F3 Tech is bringing together the agriculture and cybersecurity sectors to explore the new technology being used in growing food and fish, and how to keep that tech and data secure. Speakers include Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, a presentation on precision ag by Chris Haak of Columbia-based Skyward App Company, and a panel from the FBI discussing cyber threats in food and agriculture.

  • Wednesday, April 14
  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Register

Baltipreneurs Accelerator Demo Day

Check out pitches from 13 founders in the Loyola University Maryland accelerator, which features startups from Loyola and the wider university community. The virtual event has live feedback, and music from John Tyler and Friends.

  • Wednesday, April 14
  • 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • RSVP

MICA Up/START Venture Competition

Always a highlight of the annual calendar bringing together art, tech and entrepreneurship, it’s a chance to hear from eight founders who spent two months refining their biz models, and their pitches.

  • Wednesday, April 14
  • 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • RSVP

Economic Inclusion Conference @ Coppin 2021

Coppin State University’s Center for Strategic Entrepreneurship will host a two-day, virtual conference. It explores the theme “The New Academic Innovation Hub: Entrepreneurial Practices for Post-Pandemic Prosperity.” This will include a look at trends in entrepreneurial ecosystems, and the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the economy. The event features keynote addresses from Charles Ross, interim president and CEO of the International Business Innovation Association, and Lee Wellington, founding executive director of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance.

  • Thursday, April 15 and Friday, April 16
  • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Register

Potential of Edtech: AR/VR Technology Innovations Impact on the Future of Education

The local meetup bringing together education and technology pros puts a focus on augmented and virtual reality. It offers a look at what this technology will mean for students. Panelists include:

  • Denise Mendez, principal software engineer in Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Group
  • Will Gee, CEO at Balti Virtual
  • Rob Petrosino, head of innovation at PeakActivity
  • Michael Wheeler, founder and CEO of Reality Lab, LLC

Logistics are below:

  • Tuesday, April 20
  • 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Register

UB Rise to the Challenge Business Competition

The ninth edition of the event from University of Baltimore’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will be held virtually, offers over $20,000 in cash and services as prizes.

  • Thursday, April 22
  • 5:30 to 8 p.m.
  • RSVP
Companies: Spark Baltimore / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Before you go...

Please consider supporting to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!


Major state funding boost means more Maryland college students can get tech internships

Cal Ripken Jr. essay: The MLB legend explains his drive to build STEM centers in schools across the nation

The end of software as technology

From quantum to biotech, meet this year’s Maryland Tech Council ICON nominees

Technically Media