Professional Development

Columbia is getting a Startup Grind chapter

The event series is set to kick off Jan. 31. We talked to chapter director Chris Haug about connecting the “mid-Maryland” tech community.

At a 2017 event at 1776 in D.C.

(Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

The area between Baltimore and D.C. can feel the pull of both cities. As a longtime entrepreneur in Howard County, however, Chris Haug sees lots of activity in the area in its own right.
“There’s a lot of stuff going on here, and I’d like to do my part to help pull it all together in a mid-Maryland node,” said Haug, who runs 360 Strategy Solutions Group.
To provide a chance for entrepreneurs to connect, Haug is taking the lead in forming the Columbia chapter of Startup Grind, the global group of local chapters that feature fireside-chat events on building businesses.
It’s set to launch with its first event on Jan. 31 at Ellicott Mills Brewing Company in Ellicott City (where tech is part of the town’s post-flood recovery).
The featured speaker for the first edition is Tien Wong, CEO of Silver Spring-based Lore Systems and Opus8. Wong also cofounded CRM company CyberRep in 1991, which was acquired in 2003, and is an angel investor.
While it’s called the Columbia chapter, Haug said he saw the need to connect what’s happening in that “mid-Maryland” area more generally. He added that holding the event in Old Town Ellicott City will also help bring business to the area following last summer’s flooding.
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