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Career development / Ceos / Education / Funding

Power Moves: Micky Wolf leads the charge as Dent Education’s new CEO

Plus, UpSurge Baltimore celebrated its 100th Equitech Tuesday and Conscious Venture Partners landed a major fund management partnership with a New Jersey agency.

NEWLY APPOINTED DENT EDUCATION CEO MICKY WOLF (IN ORANGE) ALONGSIDE DENT STAFFERS, AND BOARD MEMBERS (Courtesy photo)

This editorial article is a part of State of Local Tech Month of Technical.ly’s editorial calendar.

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings, goings and other major actions of talent across the region. Got a new hire, gig or promotion? Email us: baltimore@technical.ly.
Update: This article has been updated since initial publication to incorporate announcements from EY, Squadra Ventures, Social Capital Builders and Technical.ly. (5/23/2023, 3:45 p.m.)    Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the Novella Center was managing a fund for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. It's instead Conscious Venture Partners, the Novella Center's parent entity, that is managing it. (5/25/2023, 1:53 p.m.) 

Rajan Patel joins Dent Education board as Micky Wolf takes CEO post

“I am transitioning from my role as CEO and will continue to support the organization as a member of the Board,” said Patel in an email distributed to Dent Education’s e-newsletter audience. Patel had built Dent, a design thinking, making and entrepreneurship-centered program for youth, since its inception in 2017. Micky Wolf, a long-time Dent staffer, will now serve as Dent’s CEO.

“After nearly 5 years at Dent building relationships with hundreds of high schoolers, partners, and teammates, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to lead our community of dreamers who do,” said Wolf. “I am lucky to find daily entrepreneurial inspiration from our youth who are innovative, community-minded, and authentic Baltimore leaders.”

UpSurge Baltimore’s 100th Equitech Tuesday

UpSurge Baltimore recently commemorated a significant milestone with a festive event, complete with a DJ, marking its 100th Equitech Tuesday. Held at The Garage at R. House, the celebration brought together esteemed leaders in the tech, entrepreneurship and founder communities. Notable Baltimore figures such as Pava LaPere, cofounder and CEO of EcoMap Technologies; Wendy Bolger, founding director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Loyola University, Maryland; and Trevor Pryce, founder of Outlook Enterprises (OVFX), were honored for their contributions to Baltimore’s thriving ecosystem. As a token of appreciation, these distinguished individuals received a special gift: a thoughtfully curated From Baltimore With Love Totebag, filled with various goodies. This gesture served as a testament to their ongoing dedication and impact within the equitech community, as recognized by UpSurge Baltimore.

UpSurge leaders Jamie McDonald and Kory Bailey offered remarks during the convening, as did Deputy Mayor Justin Williams.

Conscious Venture Partners to manage pioneering fund for New Jersey founders of color

Conscious Venture Partners (CVP), which also recently launched the Novella Center for Entrepreneurship, has been tapped by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority as an investment manager for what a press release called a “first-in-nation Black and Latino seed fund.” Jeff Cherry and his team at CVP will work alongside partners like Red Bike Capital, a Latina-led seed stage fund based in New York; and Tale Venture Partners. a venture capital firm based in Inglewood, California; to manage portions of the new fund and make investments into early-stage, innovative Black- and Latino-owned businesses throughout New Jersey.

And now, some more regional power moves:

  • Dr. Neil Pschirer has been appointed vice president of product development and strategy at Pixelligent Technologies.
  • Open Works successfully championed the passage of MD SB453 in May. The funding bill aims to establish and expand makerspaces throughout the state. The program supported by this bill is now live, offering not only financial support but also technical assistance and charter membership in the Maryland Makerspace Network.
  • CVP has also launched applications for its hybrid 12-week Conscious Venture Lab accelerator program. Applications are open through June 18 for early-stage, high-growth companies using technology to break down barriers to access and create a more equitable society. Benefits for applicants include office space for local cohort members, $125,000 in post-program funding, training, mentorship, networking and more.
  • UNCF (United Negro College Fund) launched an expansion of its Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to help HBCU students pursue business ownership. A panel commemorating the launch featured FemEquity founder Adeola Ajani in attendance.
  • The inaugural Make Space Accelerator — led by Ofori & Co. with the support of partners like Fulton Bank, Innovation Works and the City of Baltimore — held its first fundraiser and silent art auction to help launch its first cohort. Funds will support key focus areas like events, neighborhood tours, program support, volunteer stipends, supplies, marketing and creating a documentary.
  • Vincent Apruzzese was named AT&T’s latest president of external affairs for Delaware, Maryland and DC. This expands his territory beyond his extant region of Virginia.
  • Back in the winter, Impact Hub Baltimore announced the departure of acceleration director Q Ragsdale. According to his LinkedIn, Ragsdale is now the creative and business development director for Quirc.
  • Columbia-based, Black-owned social enterprise Social Capital Builders teamed up with the SkillUp Coalition to launch a pilot program to help low-wage job seekers with social capital development.
  • Baltimore-based Ayeshah Abuelhiga of Mason Dixie Foods and several other Baltimore-area, Maryland and mid-Atlantic entrepreneurs were named regional finalists in EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year competition.
  • Regional VC entity Squadra Ventures brought Adam Bixler on as a principal leading the firm’s cybersecurity practice.
  • Technical.ly had its own significant power move in the last few months: hiring Christina Kristofic as editorial director.

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Technical.ly editor Sameer Rao contributed to this report.

Companies: EcoMap Technologies / UpSurge Baltimore / Dent Education / Open Works / Conscious Venture Lab
Series: State of Local Tech Month 2023 / Power Moves
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