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Accelerators / Entrepreneurs / Pitches / Resources / Startups

Resource Roundup: Shaping the future of your startup? Apply to these programs and pitch competitions

Check out details on upcoming accelerators focused on social innovators and digital services, along with pitch competitions spotlighting HBCUs and Southern Maryland.

The Social Innovation Lab held its second annual pitch day for startups in 2013. (Photo via Instagram)

The fall is almost upon us and new opportunities for entrepreneurs to level up abound. We’ve got applications for accelerators from John Hopkins and a pitch competition in Southern Maryland offering a total of $11,000 in prize money for its contestants. For entrepreneurs trying to make that last push before the end of the year, here are some opportunities that could catapult your business. Plus, a couple options for the years to come. Check out the details:

Johns Hopkins Social Innovation Lab

The Social Innovation Lab at Johns Hopkins is seeking cohort applications for 2021-22. Open to startups from the university community and the city as a whole, it’s a program that accelerates emerging ventures and leaders that seek to change Baltimore and the world. Some of the startups that have came out of the accelerator are Parity, B360 Baltimore, and Mindstand Technologies. The deadline to apply is October 1.

The I-Corps Program

Applications are open for the fall session of this immersive learning experience that accelerates the economic and societal benefits of research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization. It’s a free program operated out of Johns Hopkins that upon completion makes participants eligible for a $2,880 grant. Act now: The application due date for the next cohort is September 1. Another program will begin October 28. It’s open to researchers, faculty, students and others looking to explore the potential market for their discovery or invention.

Crab Pot Pitch Competition

A Southern Maryland pitch competition for entrepreneurs returns. Hosted by Southern Maryland Innovates at the University of System of Maryland at Southern Maryland, the Crab Pot offers a chance for startups to pitch investors. The deadline to apply is September 13. The event itself is October 28.

There are two tracks for competition: The tech venture track is for cutting edge, disruptive and innovative technology with a focus on high potential for scalability. It has a grand prize of $5,000. The Main Street track is for small businesses and ventures that are focused on remaining local. It has a grand prize of $3,000.

The Comcast HBCU Tech Weekend 2022 Pitch Competition & Innovation Marketplace

Here’s a new opportunity from Minority Innovation Weekend organizers for current students and alumni from HBCUs. Coming on February 26, 2022 in Baltimore, the Comcast HBCU Tech Weekend features a pitch competition for entrepreneurs to present their startups to judges, with a grand prize of $20K up for grabs. Plus, all participants get a booth at an innovation marketplace to demo their work to attendees. Apply here. For further background, check out a recap of recent MIW’s summer pitch competition here.

Hutch information sessions

Hutch, the digital services incubator launched by downtown tech agency Fearless, is set to start seeking out its 2023 cohort. There’s plenty of lead time, but it’s worth weighing the two-year commitment. The hourlong sessions are required for an application, and cover the ins and outs of the tools, mentorship, and peer support offered by the program. Upcoming sessions are on September 1, 9 and 21. Register here.

Nominate a great technologist

Know an influential technologist who is making big contributions to the codebase and the community? Nominations are open for’s RealLIST Engineers. The third-annual list curates community members who show problem-solving, collaboration and leadership to guide the next generation. We’ll aim to include both those who are established and below the radar. Send in your picks by September 15. Nominate a technologist here.

P.S. To stay better connected to your local tech community, join us on the Slack. We’re also looking for feedback via our community survey: How can we do a better job informing you about what’s happening in the tech economies of Baltimore, Philly, DC, Delaware and Pittsburgh?

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.
Companies: Johns Hopkins University

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