Events / Pitches / Startups

Femly wins $27,500 at Baltimore Homecoming’s Crab Tank pitch competition

The five pitches were part of the event bringing notable names with Baltimore roots back to town to reconnect, and meet the folks building new solutions.

Arion Long, CEO of Femly (right), won a pair of checks at Crab Tank. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Between panels that featured the vocal stylings of actor Lance Reddick and Brooks Robinson’s memories of his Orioles playing days, Baltimore entrepreneurs took the stage on Friday at the B&O Railroad Museum.

M&T Bank Baltimore and Chesapeake President Augie Chiasera noted it was a setting that showcased some of the ways that Baltimore played a role in advancing train travel.

“We’re going to carry on that spirit of innovation today,” he said.

The Crab Tank pitch competition was part of the day’s session for Baltimore Homecoming, an event that brings together the notable folks who have roots in the city but have gone on to live elsewhere.

In its second year, the three-day event series added the pitch competition as a means of showcasing entrepreneurs. For the founders, this also had the benefit of providing a chance to win part of the $27,500 prize winnings and getting a chance to present in front of influential folks. The judges were:

  • George P. Stamas, partner at Gibson Dunn and Crutcher law firm
  • Ashton Newhall, managing general partner at Greenspring Associates, the Owings Mills-based venture capital investment platform
  • Shanna Tellerman, CEO at Modsy, an online interior design company
  • Melanie Whelan, CEO at SoulCycle, the indoor cycling and fitness lifestyle company
  • Rodney Williams, founder and CCO at Lisnr Technology, an ultrasonic data company

The five companies offered a mix of consumer products, edtech and health IT.

The M&T Bank-sponsored prize winnings were divided into a pair of categories that included a $25,000 judges’ choice and $2,500 audience choice.

Both checks went to one winner: Femly. Chief Estrogen Officer Arion Long won the support of the judges on stage as well as those in the crowd.

The company manufactures feminine care products such as tampons, pads and liners that are made with organic materials. Long embraced a “business-to-business-to consumer”: sales model that sees the company selling to companies and organizations, who in turn can than provide them in restrooms for free.

“This funding was what we needed to manufacture 300,000 of our products to land our first full hotel chain partnership and close on that deal. At the end of the day I think our story, our concept and our scalability resonated with the judges and we’re really excited about that,” Long said afterward.

Here’s a look at the rest of the companies who pitched:

emocha Mobile Health: Sebastian Seiguer pitched the Johns Hopkins spinout’s video-based directly observed therapy technology, which is designed to help people stick with medication regimens.

Fashion Spa House: At BWI, Cynthia Rumph runs a boutique that distributes local products, and is looking to expand its footprint at the airport with an Uber-style service. The top seller? A T-shirt that says: “I love my curls curves color and culture.”

SmartyPrep: Ian Siegel pitched the edtech startup’s standardized test prep platform, which is designed to open up more access to specialized tutoring. It offers content to build skills, and uses AI to connect students with tutors.

Sonavi Labs: Ellington West pitched the stethoscope that combines noise-cancelling innovation and AI to provide access to tools that can help diagnose respiratory diseases.


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