Events / Startups

After a hiatus, Mid-Atlantic Venture Association’s SURGE conference returns Feb. 24 to 26

SURGE is an expansion of the D.C.-based association's TechBUZZ event and focuses on providing up to 50 early-stage tech startups with counsel as they scale.

SURGE keynote Tamar Yehoshua. (Photo via LinkedIn)

The Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA) is bringing itsĀ SURGEĀ conference back at the end of this month.

SURGE is an expansion of the D.C.-based association’s TechBUZZ event and focuses on providing up to 50 early-stage tech startups with counsel as they scale. The SURGE ’21 conference is slated for Feb. 24 to 26 after previously being scheduled for the end of January. MAVA decided to move the event after the Capitol insurrection and the events that followed.

The SURGE conference returns after MAVA decided not to host it last year due to the pandemic. The association instead launched a virtual program in September 2020 called Forefront, a conference that connects startups and growth companies with private investors and foundations to foster direct investment opportunities.

Register for SURGE '21

MAVA first piloted SURGE in 2018, then hosted a full version of the conference in 2019. Usually the program spans a full year and culminates with an in-person conference in the fall where the 50 selected startups get a chance to pitch their ventures. Despite some unpredictable changes, the association will be hosting SURGE ’21 and it has already shared a peak into the first wave of companies slated to pitch.

Here are some of the startups selected from the DMV region that will be a part of SURGE ’21:

  • Charlottesville, Virginia-based Babylon Micro-Farms, provider of an on-demand indoor farming service
  • Bethesda, Maryland-based BrainScope, a medtech firm that’s creating products to assess traumatic brain injuries
  • D.C.-based Cove, a tech-enabled network of coworking spaces
  • Arlington, Virginia-based Fend, developer of cybersecurity solutions for critical infrastructure
  • Reston, Virginia-based Givio, curator of a charitable giving app
  • Bethesda, Maryland-based RallyBright, a software platform that helps business leaders and coaches build better teams

This year’s conference will be packed with round table discussions, one-on-one meetings with investors and selected startups, general sessions focused market-leading technologies. Tamar Yehoshua, chief product officer at Slack, is the SURGE ’21 keynote speaker who will be a part of the fireside chat on Feb. 26.

(Another virtual event coming up in the next few weeks:’s NET/WORK tech jobs fair, on Thursday, March 18. Read about our plans for the multi-market event, which will include dedicated time for job seekers to talk with D.C.-area companies.)

Companies: Mid-Atlantic Venture Association

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