Baltimore Innovation Week / Career development / Events /

ETC’s ‘Bee in the Buzz’ networking event keeps it light

Instead of a boring old mixer, Bee in the Buzz Baltimore went with games and a "not business" focus. The gathering capped off Tuesday's Baltimore Innovation Week Business Track Day.

Networking at Baltimore Innovation Week 2014. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)
Disclosure: is the title sponsor and organizer of Baltimore Innovation Week.

On the third floor of the Emerging Technology Centers (ETC) building in Highlandtown, tech leaders and entrepreneurs stood face-to-face Tuesday night. But instead of elevator pitches and business cards, the Baltimore Innovation Week participants were swapping tales of their favorite cars and favorite Harry Potter characters.
Earlier, there was bingo.
The group was gathered for a networking event to close out BIW’s Business Track Day, which had hit the ground running with Entrepreneur Boot Camp at 8 a.m. After finishing the day with a conversation about failing, the group was likely ready for a drink.
That’s where ETC Community and Program Manager Jacqueline Albright entered with her event, dubbed “Bee in the Buzz Baltimore: Networking with a Twizzzt.”
“It wasn’t necessarily for people to find a job, it was for people networking to find each other,” she said after the event.
Albright sought to provide a hive that would facilitate networking in a fun atmosphere, combining games to help break the ice.
“I really wanted to focus on not business because a lot of times, and I think everyone in marketing and sales would know this, it’s all about relationships,” she said. “Let’s build relationships first, and through those you’ll find the synergies that you need to create partnerships, potential customers and collaboration.”
The result of the effort was a gathering of about 50 that brought together principals from But I’m a Unicorn, Dammit and staffers from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund. By the end of the day, But I’m a Unicorn’s Strother Gaines was out of cards.
The event, and BIW’s full day of programming, had the added benefit of offering a look inside the ETC building. Located at 101 N. Haven St., the space on the third floor of the old King Cork and Seal Building provides office space for tech companies and coworking space.
ETC moved from former offices in Canton to the Highlandtown location last year when its lease ran out, but the Baltimore Development Corporation-run organization took the opportunity to re-up their mission to help jump start growth in another Baltimore neighborhood.
A year later, Highlandtown is indeed growing.
For evidence, one need look no further than next door to ETC, where construction is underway on a similar office space.
“This whole block is going to be way different five years from now than it is today,” ETC’s Albright said.

Companies: Emerging Technology Centers (ETC Baltimore)

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