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Resource Roundup: Minority Innovation Weekend’s pitch competition returns

Plus, new details about Founder City's pitch event and the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in media and film.

At a past Minority Innovation Weekend. (Courtesy photo)

Resource Roundup is a look at open applications for business and career-building programs around the region. Want to tell us about a program or new opportunity for entrepreneurs and technologists? Email us at

The Minority Innovation Weekend’s (MIW) pitch competition and innovation marketplace returns this Oct. 2. Presented by digital service firm Fearless, the all-virtual event will highlight tech-focused startups that have been launched by a founder or cofounder of color.

To compete for a grand prize of $10,000 and for the opportunity to showcase their company in a virtual booth at the innovation marketplace, founders can apply to participate. Registration for the free summit is also open now.

Now in its fifth year, MIW is part of the National Society of Black Engineers — Baltimore Metropolitan Area Chapter’s Minority Innovation Entrepreneurship Program.

Founder City Pitch Competition

Founder City offers Maryland startups the chance to win cash and services prizes worth over $25,000. This fall, the competition will take place on the virtual platform Thumbraise, and top applicants will have their pitches broadcasted live at a drive-ins in Baltimore and Fredrick. Entrepreneurs can apply until Sept. 17.

The event is part of an ongoing series launched by incubators Betamore and the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. this past spring after they each had 2020 fundraisers canceled due to the pandemic. 2021’s hybrid event series has an aim of making a bigger impact together, and has included programming such as a virtual panel on the state of raising capital in Baltimore.

Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund

The film and media-focused fund from Johns Hopkins University is looking for emerging creatives in Baltimore to connect to veteran artists, executives and entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry. The fund’s incubation story lab encourages risk-taking and boundary-pushing, helps creatives identify and solve production challenges, and fosters community and collaboration.

Completion of the story lab gives graduates the opportunity to apply for seed and funding grants. Applications close July 8.


Here are a few quick updates from past roundups:

  • The applications for the  Baltimore Nonprofit Relief Fund are open. Nonprofits can receive up to $50,000 for both past expenditures and future projected needs to address the effects of COVID-19, and mitigate its negative economic impacts.
  • Applications for this fall’s Baltimore-based Techstars Equitech accelerator are open until July 28. Also, job opportunities managing the accelerator locally as managing director and program manger are still available.
  • The F3 Tech Accelerator, an early-stage program that supports companies working in agtech, aquatech and cleantech, is looking for its next cohort with $450,000 in funding and professional services for participants in this year’s program. Applications close June 30.
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.

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