Events / Startups

Maryland has a delegation heading to Silicon Valley for Startup Grind’s big annual conference

Startup Grind Columbia gathered a cohort of companies and tech community leaders to head to the Feb. 11-12 event.

Startup Grind is a great place to ask the questions you always wanted answered. (Photo by Flickr user JD Lasica, used under a Creative Commons license)

The Startup Grind Global Conference gets underway in Silicon Valley on Tuesday, and Maryland will be represented among the expected 10,000 attendees.

About 30 founders, incubator heads and entrepreneurship community leaders will be in attendance to form the first-ever Maryland delegation to the conference.

It makes good on a goal set by Chris Haug more than three years ago. That’s when Haug founded Startup Grind Columbia, which is the mid-Maryland chapter of the worldwide network of events and resources for early-stage companies that has 650 chapters. At the time, Haug said he formed the chapter to highlight the startup activity in the area from Baltimore and D.C., as well as provide resources for the founders of those companies.

Along with holding regular local events, Haug also started going to the global conference on the West Coast. He’s been accompanied by local startups that got accepted into Startup Grind’s invite-only “Accelerate” community, and brought a few leaders who were interested in waving the banner for Maryland, as well.

“I wanted to do what I could to bring the ecosystem together and to provide opportunities for greater exposure to show the world all the incredible resources and assets that we have here,” he said.

After working with a number of folks in the region, it’s a full-blown delegation, with plans to have a booth and hold a happy hour. The local leaders attending include ETC President Deb Tillett and recently appointed Maryland Department of Commerce Director of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Allyson Redpath. The Columbia-based Maryland Innovation Center, TEDCO and the NEXT Program of Potomac-based law firm Shulman Rogers will also be represented.

“It’s a good testament to the collaboration that’s possible in this region,” said Sean Sutherland, director of accounts at Baltimore-based creative agency Kapowza and active member of the Columbia chapter’s leadership team.

Plus, there’s a cohort of companies that Startup Grind Columbia put together after gathering up applications. They will be exhibiting at the conference. The startups are:


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