Startups

Baltiprenuers Accelerator awards top prizes to apparel company and learn-to-swim brand

Loyola University Maryland's third annual accelerator wrapped its 2021- 2022 cohort with a demo day in which several cohort participants won awards worth a combined $24,500.

Fourth from left: Wendy Bolger, director of Loyola University Maryland's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, stands with members of the 2022 Baltipreneurs Accelerator cohort.

(Courtesy photo by Larry Canner)

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that each Baltipreneurs Accelerator company was granted $2,500, as well as that Keppel and Kisment's bronze award was worth $1,500. Each company was granted $2,000, while Keppel and Kismet's award was worth $3,500. (5/4/2022, 2:15 p.m.)
Loyola University Maryland’s Baltipreneurs Accelerator last week wrapped its latest cohort with a pitch competition in which all eight participant ventures presented their business pitches to potential investors.

Loyola’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offered the ventures 10 hybrid in-person and virtual sessions from January through April. The demo day event showcased how the entrepreneurs have grown and refined their business models throughout the accelerator. The event featured prizes for first to fourth place, with votes coming from their cohort peers and the virtual audience.

Here’s a look at the winners:

  • The first-place or “platinum” winner of $8,000 was Chesapeake Collection, an apparel company that donates a portion of annual revenue to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Each item sold by the company, which was started by Matthew Wilmer, funds 100 oysters in a Chesapeake Bay reef.
  • The second-place or “gold” winner of $6,500 was Calvin Thomas‘s Dolphin University Swim School, a learn-to-swim brand emphasizing water safety and social development. With six locations teaching swim skills, Thomas pitched a growth of 12 locations and $3 million over the next three years.
  • The third-place or “silver” winner of $5,000 was Agui Swim, an eco-friendly swimwear company cofounded by Abby Decker.
  • The fourth-place or “bronze” winner of $3,500 was Keppel and Kismet, a creative workshop and boutique that acts as a manufacturing partner for solo entrepreneurs and microbusinesses. Created by Nichole Sullivan, the company also won the $1000 Audience Favorite award.
  • The winner of the Pitch Creator Hustle Award and $500, as chosen by its fellow Baltipreneur companies, was Mindful y Radiante, a wellness company that promotes well-being and stress reduction. The company was founded by Maritza Alcoreza.

Each of the eight ventures received an additional $2000 in stipends.

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Those interested in catching up with each of these ventures can watch this livestream of the event, starting at 16:30:


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. -30-
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