Betamore is set to open a second location in City Garage next year.
The expansion is part of a broader partnership with Sagamore Ventures that will increase education and workforce development efforts at the Port Covington innovation hub (and former city bus depot) that companies owned by Kevin Plank opened last year.
At Betamore’s holiday party inside City Garage on Thursday night, CEO Jen Meyer relayed stats for the Federal Hill campus such as the $57 million in funding that companies have raised and the 18,000 cups of coffee served. Then, she announced the expansion.
“You will see Betamore here in City Garage in 2017,” she said, spurring cheers.
The incubator will have a new coworking space in the Main Street portion of City Garage, where more than a dozen product startups have moved into offices around the outside of the long space in the last year. The 8,000 square foot space in the central corridor will house about 60 desks, private offices and two conference rooms. Sagamore Development is helming the build-out, which is expected to begin in January.
Through the partnership, Betamore will be leading management and operations of the Main Street space.
When the new space is open in mid 2017, Betamore will have a presence in Federal Hill at the 1111 Light Street campus that opened in 2012, and in Port Covington. Members will be able to access both spaces through a joint membership offering.
Betamore expects to add staff for the new location, Meyer said.
With the new location, Betamore also plans to widen the scope of its education programming. Adding to its existing slate of courses in areas like web development, marketing and building a business, new maker-oriented classes will be offered at City Garage’s makerspace, The Foundery.
“Literally under one roof, you can learn how to code, you can understand your Google Analytics, you can build your business model, you can get coached how to pitch VCs, you can weld, you can work on 3D printers,” Meyer said. “… the second you have something you want to put out, you can do it.”
Betamore and Sagamore Ventures previously worked together on Beta City, a celebration of Baltimore tech held for the past two years at City Garage during Baltimore Innovation Week.
According to both organizations, an interest in education is the common thread that led to a year-round partnership in the building.
The possibility of expanding outside the walls of the 1111 Light Street campus was discussed back when Betamore transitioned to a nonprofit model, and Meyer has said Betamore is at “maximum capacity” for its education programming at its Federal Hill space. Earlier this year, they held courses at Spark Baltimore and Citelighter.
Sagamore Ventures is also eager to offer more education and expand workforce development efforts with the startups focused on products housed at City Garage and tools at The Foundery, said Managing Partner Demian Costa.
“Betamore’s focus on education is why we partnered. That’s the main reason,” Costa said.
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