Awards / Business / Digital access / Events / Startups

They charmed you right to the polls. Now, meet Baltimore’s 2022 Awards winners

You voted for 'em. Now, see who you (yes, you, Baltimore!) selected for Invention, Tech Company, CTO, Culture Builder and Tech Community Leader of the Year.

Downtown Baltimore and Inner Harbor from Federal Hill Park. (Photo by Flickr user Andrew Parlette, used via a Creative Commons license) Awards 2022 are underwritten by Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs. This article was independently reported and not reviewed by Comcast before publication. Comcast is a Ecosystem Builder client.

It’s December in Baltimore, which means we can count on a few things: the Miracle on 34th Street being adorable, Justin Tucker making increasingly absurd Royal Farms commercials, weather that’s always a little off from how warm you actually dressed, and revealing the local winners of the annual Awards.

And it’s the last of those things that you came here for. That’s why you answered our prior call for nomination and later, the opening of public voting with hundreds of votes and gusto I can only compare to the energy of a Baltimore club track blasted through a PA with broken treble. And your dedication to this ecosystem, in all its wins and frustrations, has helped me learn enough to be able to write this list in the first place.

Today, we got to crown the winning people, companies and products — all five of them, drawn from a pool of 25 nominees across five categories — during a live Slack event earlier this afternoon. So, before you head into your holidays (because come on, we know you’re already partly there mentally, even if you’re working through them), celebrate with us the Baltimore winners of this year’s Awards!

Invention of the Year —  Sonosa Medical’s wearable sleep apnea tech

12 people in black and white composite image

The Sonosa Medical team. (Courtesy image)

Spun out of the MDC Studio, a medical tech startup hub in the Inner Harbor area, Sonosa Medical is creating a wearable ultrasound system that aims to both diagnose sleep-time breathing obstruction and provide therapeutic treatment. Led by scientists with connections to the University of Maryland’s Baltimore-centric medical institutions, Sonosa Medical’s technology stands to change the game for those struggling with sleep apnea.

“Amazing!!!” Sonosa CEO Stephen Restaino wrote during the live Slack event. “We are honored to have been nominated and it will be inspiring for everyone here to know that their hard work is matters to the tech community here in Baltimore and beyond!”

Tech Community Leader of the Year — Cody Dorsey, Baltimore Digital Equity Coalition

Man in navy hoodie with white and red images and blue jeans smiles on red walkway

Cody Dorsey. (Courtesy photo)

Since entering the executive director post in late 2021, the former mayoral fellow and member of Mayor Brandon Scott’s transition team has led the coalition of digital equity-minded organizations and companies through over a year of evolving urgency around Baltimore’s endemic disconnectedness. This work included such victories as partnering with the Enoch Pratt Free Library to distribute Chromebooks to more youth and residents.

CTO of the Year — Adebisi Oladipupo, Morgan State University

Man smiles in charcoal suit with navy and orange tie and white shirt.

Adebisi Oladipupo. (Courtesy photo)

The CIO and VP for technology of Maryland’s largest historically Black university has managed its digital assets amid a tremendous push to make Morgan State the first public HBCU with an R1 research designation.

Oladipupo wrote that he was “honored and humbled by this award” during the Slack event.

Tech Company of the Year — Femly

Woman with black hair in blue striped dress speaks before blue and purple screen.

Arion Long, CEO of Femly. (Courtesy photo)

The startup’s dedication to menstrual care and education manifests in eco-friendly products dispensed in bathrooms at such locations as M&T Bank Stadium and Brown Advisory. Each Femly product provides users with a QR code linking to reproductive health ed resources — a reflection of its push to help its users make more informed health decisions. In 2022, a major year in the history of reproductive rights, Femly’s mission and unique product have brought the company and its leader to such heights as the Techstars Equitech Accelerator and the first Moonshot Innovators cohort.

Culture Builder of the Year — Ashley Williams

Woman with black dreadlocks smiles in black pullover and white shirt.

Ashley Williams. (Courtesy photo)

Through her company, Clymb, (previously known as Infinite Focus Schools, under which it was recognized as a 2021 RealLIST Startups honoree), Williams has made a market case for software that helps young people prioritize and manage their own emotional wellness. By doing this, among other smaller-scale advocacy to make children’s happiness a policy priority, she is helping future generations take their well-being into their own hands.


Thank you to everybody who joined us on Slack this afternoon, and congrats to all of the winners and nominees! We encourage all of you reading this to keep up with the winners and celebrate further by becoming part of our community Slack. Beyond seeing all of the felicitations and praise heaped on the winners, you’ll be able to check out new job postings, promote events you’re doing and discuss everything from new tech to pop culture with a worldwide community of fellow tech professionals.

Join the Slack
Companies: Infinite Focus Schools / Morgan State University
Series: Awards

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