Big events are a celebration and a chance to get everybody together. But they also serve as a natural check-in.
Take Beta City and its host location of City Garage in Port Covington. A year ago, City Garage was just opening its doors for the first Beta City. The former bus garage already had massive scale, but the event during Baltimore Innovation Week was the first look for entrepreneurs. Fast forward a year, and the space is filled with companies that span tech and textiles, a makerspace and a giant innovation manufacturing center.
Let’s just say, we’ve been there more than a few times.
This year’s event, which was organized by Betamore and Sagamore Ventures, provided a key look at the progress of Baltimore startups. Take the pitch competition, for instance. Tissue Analytics, which took home a $50,000 investment from TEDCO, raised $1.9 million earlier this year and is looking at more growth for its wound-care technology. Sickweather, emocha, Fixt, Workbench and Sisu Global Health are all expanding their client bases beyond Baltimore. And there’s an embrace of startups in all of Maryland, as indicated by the other pitch competition winner, Potomac-based TopBox. Its award was funded by Evergreen Advisors, Baltimore Angels, SunTrust, Johns Hopkins Tech Ventures, SC&H, Greenspring and the University System of Maryland.
Light City happened for the first time this year, earning organizers the “Silo Breaker” award from Betamore.
Around City Garage, companies opened their offices and displayed their work under the big demo tent.
Here’s a glimpse:
There was stuff you have to grow.
Lots of attendees were carrying flowers from on-demand flower startup UrbanStems.
There was cutting-edge tech. BaltiVirtual showed off augmented reality, and Ready Robotics was making moves.
— PHD Tech Solutions (@phdtechsolution) September 29, 2016
In another office, Bustin’ Boards has a mini halfpipe for trying out the goods.
Even the name tags were made by a Baltimore company.
— Melissa Tarkett (@MelissaTarkett) September 29, 2016
So on the morning after, as we prepare for the Baltimore Innovation Awards tonight, let’s take a moment to look at what we’ve done. But let’s also think about where we’ll be next year.