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Baltimore tech’s five biggest stories of 2013

What was happening in Baltimore's tech community over the last year? Baltimore looks back on five big stories from 2013.

Baltimore at dusk. (Photo by Flickr user Kathleen Tyler Conklin, used under a Creative Commons license)

One year is about to end as we welcome another. What was happening in Baltimore’s tech community over the last year? Baltimore looks back on five of the best trafficked stories from 2013.

  1. Baltimore Food Hub is unveiled: [February] The Food Hub, an ambitious, $16 million project that involves a host of Baltimore-based stakeholders, will be a food entrepreneurship campus located just north of the Johns Hopkins University Medical Campus in East Baltimore. Baltimore broke the news and included some early plans for what the finished Food Hub will look like.
  2. Baltimore Foundery makerspace opens: [May] This year has been the year of the makerspace, as the Baltimore Node moved into a new building, the Baltimore Hackerspace received the long treatment in Baltimore City Paper, and Fab Lab Baltimore was formally unveiled. Additionally, a collaboration project between’s Jason Hardebeck and two Discovery Channel show contestants yielded the Baltimore Foundery, a dual makerspace and coworking spot near downtown Baltimore — and a place the three hope will become this city’s “campus” for makers.
  3. Adtech startup Staq will pay you $20 an hour to learn Ruby in Baltimore: [September] How to train a new computer-savvy workforce? In a year that saw the kickoff of web programming courses offered at the Federal Hill incubator Betamore, startup Staq took an entirely different approach, promising relatively inexperienced programmers a chance to get paid to learn (provided they work three to six months for Staq).
  4. 10 beautiful Baltimore photos from this drone-flying married couple: [October] Terry and Belinda Kirby maintain that what they do — pilot homemade drones some 300 feet in the air to snap aerial shots of the cityscape below — isn’t illegal under Federal Aviation Administration rules. That’s a debatable matter, but the results are breathtaking.
  5. Cease and desist? The fate of ridesharing in Baltimore city: [November] Ridesharing startups Uber and Lyft both operate in Baltimore, but taxi companies have cried foul, calling each competitor nothing more than an unregulated (and unsafe) cab service. The Maryland Public Service Commission has been involved since late summer, raising its own questions about the legality of both startups.

Finally, take a look back at the second Baltimore Innovation Week, held in late September, as well as the winners of the inaugural Baltimore Innovation Week Awards. Dates for next year’s BIW are already set, and you can find more information on the event website.

Companies: Elevated Element / Lyft / Staq / Baltimore Foundery / Baltimore Food Hub / / Maryland Public Service Commission / City of Baltimore / Bio-Rad Laboratories / Betamore / U.S. Government / State of Maryland / Uber

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