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Citelighter moves to new offices, leaving room for new startups at Betamore

The edtech startup is staying nearby and the incubator is adding several companies to its roster.

Citelighter cofounders Lee Jokl, left, and Saad Alam. (Photo courtesy of Amanda Nolan)

Betamore has a new alumnus. As a result, the Federal Hill campus has openings in its incubator space for the first time this year.
After outgrowing the space as it continued to add employees, Citelighter has moved out. But the edtech startup is staying close by, in new offices at the Foundry on Fort Avenue.
For Citelighter, the connections forged at Betamore run deep. For instance, investor John Cammack sits on the board of both Citelighter and Betamore. Citelighter cofounder Lee Jokl said the edtech startup attributed the company’s successful transition from New York to Baltimore to resources at Betamore, and said the company benefitted from being around other edtech startups and entrepreneurs. “At the same time, we didn’t want to be overstaying our welcome,” Jokl said.
Betamore CEO Jen Meyer said at one point, staff struggled to keep up with requests for new desks. “They were ready, and it was a great opportunity to get good space,” she said.
Jokl said the company looked at several spaces, but wanted to stay close to the incubator.
“One thing that really was important to us was, if we can’t be right in Betamore, we want to be really close to Betamore,” he said.
The edtech startup has been growing ever since move to Baltimore from New York in late 2013. Since closing a $2 million funding round earlier this year, the company’s Baltimore team has grown to include more than 30 people. According to numbers provided by the company, Citelighter’s tools that help students improve their writing skills are used in 5,000 schools across the country, including local schools.
The company’s new location at the Foundry has room for further expansion, Jokl said.
The move for Citelighter has them joining the ranks of Betamore grads that remained nearby. ZeroFOX, for instance, has offices one floor below Betamore. The timing is also somewhat fitting. Citelighter moved to Baltimore with help from the Propel Baltimore fund. Their graduation coincides with the announcement that the Propel Baltimore II fund has launched, which could help bring other companies to Baltimore.

With the newly freed space, Betamore moved several companies off its wait list. New companies moving in will be the Baltimore chapter of meal deliver company Galley Foods, online legal dispute resolution service Preconcile, web app development firm the Caktus Group and Kaigo Health, which links patients with “personal care assistants.”
Meyer said she is also talking to additional companies that could move in by Nov. 1, but she expects about 10-15 desks to be open. (Apply here.)
That will provide new opportunities for early-stage companies to connect with the community, and get access to the community of companies, potential investors and other technologists.
“You never know who you’re going to be sitting around, or talking to or spending time with over coffee, and that’s a pretty neat thing for these companies,” she said.

Companies: Citelighter / Betamore
People: Jen Meyer / Saad Alam

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