Awards / Communities / Events

Baltimore: Here are the nominees for the 2019 Awards

Voting is open for the awards in categories spanning startups, impact and inventions. Join us for happy hour on Oct. 9 at 1100 Wicomico to see who wins.

The scene at Mt. Vernon Marketplace for the #BIW17 Innovation Celebration. (Photo by Zephan Moses Blaxberg)
Updated to reflect corrected info for University of Maryland School of Medicine and Facet Wealth. 11:48 a.m., 9/25/19.

Every day, we at talk to technologists, entrepreneurs and leaders building in Baltimore. They span different categories of company and job title, and have different paths and plans for getting to the ultimate destination.

Through them all, a couple of threads become clear: A resounding commitment to making an impact in Baltimore, and the fact that bringing change is hard.

So, let’s take a night to get together and recognize the people, companies and partnerships powering the local community. They deserve it.

On October 9, the 2019 Awards are coming to Baltimore, highlighting the people and teams making big contributions inside new ventures, and on the local economy as a whole. (These honors are the natural successor to our Innovation Awards, which we hosted for five years, last in 2017.)

Join us from 5-7 p.m. at 1100 Wicomico Street, where we’ll close out Baltimore Innovation Week’s Dev Day with a happy hour and celebration. Sponsored by Nemphos Braue, we’ll have a ceremony complete with a list of nominees and awards to take home. (And our first-ever realLIST Engineers will be honored that night too).

But first, we have to pick the winners. And we need your help. Follow the link below to vote in six categories. Voting is open through September 28. For some added background, check out more about each nominee below.

Vote by Sept. 28

A little bit about the process: The Baltimore awards are an online vote highlighting the best in new thinking. The Baltimore team curates a list of nominees to be voted on by the local tech community — one vote per person. Though candidates can be nominated in multiple years and for different categories, no one can win the same category more than once. The spirit is to welcome in new leaders.

And the nominees are…

Invention of the Year

  • University of Maryland School of Medicine delivers kidney by drone, the April 19 flight of a human kidney over Baltimore via unmanned aerial vehicle to University of Maryland Medical Center, where it was successfully transplanted into a patient. The partnership behind the flight included a collaboration between Dr. Joseph Scalea of University of Maryland School of Medicine and UMD’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, surgeons and researchers at UMMC, the Living Legacy Foundation and AiRXOS.
  • ClearMask, the full-face, transparent surgical mask to improve communication with patients, including those who are deaf and hard of hearing. The cofounders of the Baltimore-based startup developing the invention met at Johns Hopkins University, and connected with the city’s tech community.
  • AppAR8, by Balti Virtual, a mobile platform that turns two-dimensional images on a smartphone into 3-D animations, using augmented reality. The app has been used as part of multiple Balti Virtual collaborations.
  • Wash and Learn Initiative, the recently-launched seeks to expand tech access by making devices and resources available in local laundromats. It’s a collaboration between Enoch Pratt Free Library, Libraries Without Borders, Robert W. Deutsch Foundation and the Media Democracy Fund. The Neighborhood Design Center, Open Works and the Coin Laundry Association were also involved in the effort.
  • BaltIX, the Internet Exchange Point spearheaded by Devin Weaver. Located in AiNET‘s downtown data center, it provides infrastructure for peering. This extends technology that allows internet networks to connect and exchange traffic between themselves to Baltimore.

Impact Leader of the Year

  • Aaron Brooks, the founder of online tech bootcamp MASTERMND Academy and co-organizer of the Baltimore Black Techies meetup group. Brooks is a DevOps engineer at downtown digital services firm Fearless.
  • Jay Nwachu, Chief Innovation Officer of Innovation Works, the social entrepreneurship initiative aiming to expand access to business-building resources for Baltimore entrepreneurs working at the neighborhood level. The organization is partnering with Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship.
  • Dr. Jenny Owens, assistant dean at the University of Maryland, Baltimore graduate school and the GRID, UM BioPark’s innovation hub. Owens was a leader in the launch of a new Master of Science in Health and Social Innovation at the university.  She is also the founder of Hosts for Humanity, which connects families of patients who travel to receive medical car with housing provided by volunteers.
  • Jamye Wooten, founder of CLLCTIVLY, which is providing digital tools for connections and funding to Black-led organizations working for social change.
  • Brittany Young, founder of B-360, the organization that harnesses dirt bike culture to provide STEM education, and build the city’s tech talent pipeline.

CTO of the Year

  • Jason Becker, who leads product development at Remington-based edfintech company Allovue.
  • Josh Budman, cofounder and chief technology officer at Inner Harbor-based wound tracking tech company Tissue Analytics.
  • Ramon Castro, chief technology officer of emocha mobile health, who joined the Mt. Vernon medication adherence tech company after serving as VP of technology at Columbia-based a2z Inc.
  • Amit Singh, chief technology officer of Asymmetrik, the growing software application and data analytics firm based in Annapolis Junction.
  • Xena Ugrinsky, chief technology officer of Harbor East-based B2B software company RocketDocs, and a frequent speaker who is the author of “Enterprise AI – Your Field Guide to the New Business Normal.”

Startup of the Year

  • b.well Connected Health, the company that makes a platform to provide a single place to connect disparate sources of personal health data and manage health, and is frequently appearing on a national stage.
  •, the Federal Hill-based company that’s growing technology to stop malvertising, under the leadership of a team of Millennial Media alums led by CEO Matt Gillis.
  • Facet Wealth, the Harbor East-based company that was founded in Baltimore in 2016, and has since grown a team providing personal financial planning services and advice.
  • Pinkaloo, the Remington-based company that’s spreading a platform to personalize charitable giving, and has gotten support through multiple business-building programs on a national stage.
  • VitusVet, the Canton-based startup making a pet health platform that moved to Baltimore from Columbia this year, and is growing a team following investment from Nationwide.

Growth Company of the Year

  • Catalyte, the Otterbein-based company that created a predictive analytics platform to grow teams of software developers that’s expanded to multiple cities around the country.
  • eThink Education, the Betamore-based edtech company that’s grown through key learning management system partnerships with Moodle and Totara.
  • Protenus, the Fells Point-based healthcare analytics company that recently raised $17 million in Series C funding.
  • Personal Genome Diagnostics, the Canton-based company that brought together a team of technologists and life sciences specialists to bring advances to genomic testing for cancer.
  • Whitebox, the ecommerce technology company that created a platform providing startup and established brands with tools for process automation, order fulfillment, marketing and more. The company is growing with key hires, a new office in Baltimore and expansion to Las Vegas.

Corporate Innovation of the Year

  • LifeBridge Health and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield’s partnership on an innovation challenge bringing startups closer to the payers and providers, and planned launch of a new innovation space and fund.
  • The Makerspace by Stanley Black & Decker, the Towson-based makerspace that provides tools and expertise on early development of new products and brings together multiple teams within the hardware company.
  • McCormick and IBM partnership that brings artificial intelligence tools to the creation of new flavors for the Hunt Valley-based company, showing a role for technology in seasonings.
  • Royal Farms’ mobile app, created with Locust Point-based Mindgrub Technologies, which brings new features for rewards, location and personalization to the Mid-Atlantic chain where you love to grab fried chicken.
  • T. Rowe Price Innovation Center, the Linthicum Heights lab that’s an early local landmark in the Baltimore-based financial services firm’s investment in technology initiatives, and provides a meeting point with the wider community.
Companies: b.well / VitusVet / Whitebox / Mindgrub / Catalyte / Stanley Black & Decker – Infrastructure Innovation Center / Pinkaloo / Stanley Black & Decker / Tissue Analytics / Protenus / University of Maryland, Baltimore / T. Rowe Price
Series: Awards

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