At the tail end of Baltimore Innovation Week 2016, dozens of founders and tech business founders descended on Baltimore to explore the city’s tech landscape. There were entrepreneurs from Connecticut, coworking space managers from Iowa and civil servants from Philadelphia. They all came for Startup Champions Network Summit, a two-and-a-half day, invite-only event that puts the spotlight on burgeoning tech cities around the country.
The summit, which took place from Sept. 28-30, was hosted by Startup Maryland, a regional initiative launched from the Startup America Partnership that focuses on building up local entrepreneurship.
The summit was kicked off Thursday by Startup Maryland cofounder Mike Binko on the first floor of the building that houses the Spark Baltimore coworking space. Later, attendees heard from tech scene reps like Innovation Village founder Richard May (who took to the stage at MICA to welcome the crowd at our Baltimore Innovation Awards the following night) and Julie Lenzer, the former Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship director who’s now at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The twice-annual, invite-only summits have been held in Santa Barbara, Nashville and Little Rock.
Binko said he pushed for this to take place in Baltimore, to expose the group to Maryland’s surging entrepreneurship ecosystem and timed it for BIW16. The goal of these summits and the network as a whole is to share lessons in strengthening local pipelines for small business growth, Binko said
Activities included a tour of Under Armour’s Lighthouse Innovation Center, a manufacturing and design center in Port Covington that opened in June. Many attendees visited Betamore’s Beta City conference, others joined Technical.ly’s Baltimore Innovation Awards.
There were presentations about inclusion in entrepreneurship.
— Rodney D. Foxworth (@RDFoxworth) September 29, 2016
— Levi Baer (@MysteryBaer) September 29, 2016
Plus, discussion about what it takes to build a startup ecosystem.
— Levi Baer (@MysteryBaer) September 30, 2016
There was also lots of brainstorming via Post-its.