If Baltimore Innovation Week is going to be an open house for people to discover and explore the tech and entrepreneurship communities of Baltimore, let’s make more in-roads between who’s already involved and who isn’t.
That was one common theme among many of the ideas that emerged during our public ideation event last month in the dark basement of Homeslyce on North Charles Street in Mount Vernon.
Thanks to Agora, there were appetizers and drinks aplenty for the 60 who came out (after a postponement during #BaltimoreUprising). If one of the conversations fueling #BIW15 is about exposing more of Baltimore to building a stronger future, the timing of our idea session was just right.
The focus was to meet new people and share new ideas for the fourth annual Baltimore Innovation Week, which is being held Sept. 25-Oct. 3, 2015. Attendees split into groups based on the week’s six tracks of events (Creative, Dev, Civic, Access, Business and Media) to discuss local and national ideas that should be included in #BIW15.
Here are a few ideas that are worth highlighting:
- Bring out the college students. More students should be out and about during the week. Set a goal of having students from all the region’s universities somewhere. Connect with college students groups.
- Get under-represented groups involved. We want to see women in tech conversations and extra effort to bring out people of color and other under-represented communities.
- How can kids get involved? We want high school students, like college students, to know this work is happening. There were many mentions of the Digital Harbor Foundation.
- Game Jam. Let’s show off the region’s gaming community and connect more kids with gaming.
- Host a Startup Crawl. Where people can visit multiple tech companies near downtown.
- More from our regional strengths. We want edtech events and social enterprise conversations.
- Bring out more of the sciences. MICA professor Ryan Hoover could talk about 3D fabrication and biosciences.
- Launch products. Connect a hackathon’s outcomes to other events and resources to give them new life.
- Under Armour. Where will UA and other big brands be during the week? Let’s connect big brands with small companies.
- How can we approach investors? Have an event to meet VCs.
- Do a Charm City Run. So people can run through and visit local tech companies.
- Show off the maker community. Either through a mini-maker fair or bringing out maker efforts at other events. We want Baltimore Node to be out again and 3D printing exposed.
- More arts groups should take on a tech focus. The community calendar should include Stoop Storytelling, Ignite Baltimore, Section1 and graffiti alley (paint a tech-inspired mural!) and other highlights of our creative work. “Let’s bring tech back to our creative roots.”
- Have an idea exchange. Where people who don’t know each other’s industries could meet and share.
- Show us off to civic and political leaders. The Mayor, Governor and other legislators should know. An event on how to do business with the city would work. There were calls for involving Councilmen Nick Mosby and Brandon Scott, specifically.
- #BaltimoreRising. Given the national attention we’ve commanded because of our challenges and opportunities, let’s talk about how tech success can drive wider impact for Baltimore. We could bring legislators, entrepreneurs and community leaders together.
- Jobs fair. Highlight all the companies that are hiring. If not a formal NET/WORK, use the week to connect employers and employees.
- Demystify coding. Offer more events for more people to be exposed to software
- Put local tech on display. Have a big event with lots of people from Baltimore and have more local tech there for people to meet and play with.
- Have a really great closing party! Oh, and can you have phone-charging stations there?
- Bring out more news media. Having more tech press out at events can be a way for Technical.ly Baltimore to bring more attention to companies and efforts. Let’s see D.C. reporters and contributors from other media, like WYPR and the Sun.
- Give entrepreneurs more lessons on telling their story. Have marketing and PR sessions for growing businesses.
- Big-name speakers. Who will be your biggest-name speaker? Kevin Plank, John Waters and Steve Case were mentioned.
Baltimore Innovation Week is made possible by our awesome community event organizers! See an idea that excites you? Join our very first #BIW15 Twitter chat on Monday, June 8 from 2-3 p.m. Follow us at @BInnovationWeek and use the hashtag #BIW15 to join the conversation and learn how to get involved.-30-