Academy Alumni Spotlight: Rachel McFadden

Rachel McFadden will be the first to tell you that with a Masters in Engineering and a degree Civil Engineering, it’s hard not to embrace critical thinking, logic, and reasoning. With each Drio project, Rachel applies left-brain dominance to her work. It is great for clients to know that “under the hood” online strategies are well conceived and applied. But don’t confuse Rachel’s tendencies for all things analytical, it’s her ability to see how online functionality needs to work in a creative world.

Tell us a little about your professional background before participating in the Betamore course(s)

I began my career after college as a Civil Engineer. For the majority of my career, I worked in Construction Management. After my second child was born in 2011, I was looking for a career change. I wanted something that would allow me to have a more flexible schedule in order to balance my work and family life. I began exploring the web world a few years before my second child was born through a blog that I set up about my journey in motherhood.  

What led you to pursue a different set of opportunities?

The blog was a catalyst that taught me some of the background that I needed to know to design and develop websites as well as the tools for internet marketing. At the end of 2011, I decided to ask a few women that I was close with if they were interested in building a business around web design/development and online marketing. It was then that Drio was born.

Why did you choose to attend a course at Betamore? What about Betamore set it apart from other learning options you were exploring?

I chose to attend to the Front-End Web Development course in 2014 to receive some formal training. Before finding the courses at Betamore, I searched around at local colleges for some web development courses but found little that would meet my needs. Some of the college courses required pre-requisites and would be a more expensive and time-intensive road to go down. Betamore was a wonderful resource for a new company looking to make connections in the tech world, and I luckily already knew about them after 2 years of working in the tech field. When I found out that they were offering several continuing education courses, I jumped at the opportunity to sign up.  

What did you hope to achieve by taking the course(s)? Did the experience surprise you in any way / lead you down a path you weren’t expecting? If so, how?

I decided to take the Front-End Development course to grow my knowledge about web-development. Being entirely self-taught, I was excited to be enrolled in a course and to learn from a professional who had been working in web development much longer than myself. By taking this course, I hoped to achieve a well-rounded knowledge of the website development process and to be able to implement this process on projects that Drio was working on.

Tell us a little about the instructor’s style/learning environment? Did it match your learning style? If not, why?

The instructor began the course with lecture slides and some of the basics of web development. His style of teaching changed with the needs of the class to be more hands on. We worked together on developing some websites, working with Photoshop, CSS, HTML, and Javascript. I really enjoyed the hands on learning since I was most interested in using what we were learning on a daily basis at my day job.  

What types of opportunities have you pursued as a result of completing the Betamore course? Did taking the course at Betamore help influence your decision-making? If so, how?

I was a unique student in my class in that I was already working on developing websites on a daily basis. I have continued to grow and expand my web development knowledge to fit the needs of my business. The course at Betamore gave me the confidence to pursue new and more elaborate development projects.

What advice would you give to another student looking to take a Betamore course? Would you recommend this course or instructor to anyone else?

The courses at Betamore are like any college or continuing education course, you will get out of them what you put into them. If you can dedicate the time and energy required, you will get a great take away. I would highly recommend the courses to anyone who is looking for a career change or a new skill set. Your relationship with Betamore won’t conclude with the end of your courses. You can continue to stay involved with them and find a community of support.

Big Prizes and Civic Tech at the Fifth Baltimore Hackathon

The Baltimore Hackathon, now in its fifth iteration, has become a staple for techies in the Baltimore area and we’d like to announce that registration is currently open! Betamore is excited to see two of our fabulous alumni, Chris Guzman and Brigitte Warner, leading the charge this year as co-organizers.

The fifth Baltimore Hackathon takes place April 28–30, 2017 at Open Worksand Impact Hub Baltimore. We’re excited to see the Baltimore community come together and what participants build. Past winners have included high school students, social entrepreneurs, and important community members.

Humble Beginnings

Started by community members of a coworking/incubating space with a limited number of attendees, the Baltimore Hackathon has humble beginnings. However small the first hackathon was, it didn’t limit the impact made by its first attendees. Among the first attendees was popular iOS instructor Ray Wenderlich who made a storytelling iPad app.

The first Baltimore Hackathon also served as the nesting grounds from which organizations like Betamore would emerge. The prizes weren’t much at the first event; they totaled to a bit more than $1,000. Instead, it was all about growing the Baltimore Tech community and playing with new technologies. In the few years between the first Baltimore Hackathon and the most recent one, the number of attendees have jumped to over 150 people. This year the Baltimore Hackathon will offer over $10,000 in prizes, and an even broader exposure to new people and tech.

The Hackathon’s importance to the Baltimore community

The Baltimore Hackathon has always been one of the largest networking events for Baltimore based devs. It has also given student attendees exposure to STEM opportunities. Past attendees & winners include high schoolers, Digital Harbor Foundation students, and representatives from local makerspaces such as the Baltimore Node. It’s incredibly inspiring to watch longtime hackers mentor and give advice to student and youth attendees.

It’s a happy occurrence that all of the core leadership team of the Baltimore Hackathon are all from underrepresented groups in tech. That team is committed to making the event an accessible and inclusive space. In doing so we’ve published a code of conduct to ensure that all participants can enjoy the event.

Since the first year of the Baltimore Hackathon, we’ve always embraced our motto of “Build. Meet People. Have Fun.” Keeping with that theme, there will be three categories of prizes for hackers to participate in. Teams can the software track, the hardware track, or win a prize for audience’s favorite project. The audience’s favorite project will win $1000. While first, second, and third place for the software and hardware tracks will win $2000, $1000, and $500 respectively.

This year attendees will still have a chance to win after we wrap up on Sunday afternoon. There will be a follow up event on July 29th, 2017. Participants will have the time between Sunday’s award ceremony and the follow up event to continue working on their projects. We’ll invite all projects, whether or not they won a prize, to come back and present the progress they’ve made on their hacks for a chance to win one of the follow up prizes worth a combined amount of $3,500.

The Civic Tech Prize

Another change we’re making to the Baltimore Hackathon is the addition of one other prize. We’re going back to our roots and again offering a civic tech prize originally offered at the second Baltimore Hackathon. The grand prize winner for the civic tech track will walk away with $2500, second prize is worth $1250, and third prize is $750. The civic tech prize, sponsored by the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Information Technology, will be awarded to the team that can build an innovative and creative project, or best use data to solve issues experienced by Baltimore City citizens.

The Baltimore Hackathon has consistently been a venue for social change. One of the winners of last year’s hackathon joined the Social Innovation Lab at Johns Hopkins to promote the availability of tax credits to Baltimore City homeowners. We’re excited to formalize dedication to social innovation with the addition of the civic tech prize. It’s also appropriate to note that our venues will be Open Works: a makerspace in the heart of Baltimore’s up-and-coming arts and entertainment district and Impact Hub Baltimore: an innovation lab, community center, and coworking space that regularly hosts events for social innovators.

See you at the Baltimore Hackathon!

We hope you attend! Tickets are only $20 (less if you’re a student). The ticket includes a free t-shirt, amazing food all weekend long, and the chance to make lifelong connections within the Baltimore community. Register now!

Reposted from AngelHack with permission from the author.

Welcome, Chris!

Who are you?

Hey! My name is Christopher Tiffin, a current junior at Loyola University Maryland. While I am a leader in the classroom and on-campus, my true passions lie in entrepreneurship and design thinking. Starting at 16, I started a landscaping business with three of my best friends. What was intended to be a neighborhood-exclusive endeavor quickly turned into a small business, hiring a handful of fellow high school students. This grass roots beginning, no pun intended, brought on a myriad of entrepreneurial opportunities. I worked as an intern for a wearable tech startup, recognized as a University Innovation Fellow, and consulted on a few small-scale startups. In my spare time, I am working on an app that will (hopefully) revolutionize the college selection and application process.

What are you doing here?

I am blessed to find an internship opportunity where my outlandish ideas and thoughts are not only accepted, but encouraged. While it is my every intention to develop networking skills, I want to use this time as an opportunity to learn – a form of learning unachievable in a formal, academic setting. Moreover, and an interesting phenomenon nonetheless, our society has crafted a fantasized image of entrepreneurship – it’s “cool” to say that you are an entrepreneur. I want to learn what it actually takes to successfully start a business.


Just for fun:

Pancakes or waffles?

Either, as long as it’s gluten-free. (No, I am not a hipster nor is it a voluntary decision)

Sarcasm or seriousness?

Neither. No matter what, I am perpetually happy!

Sneakers or flip-flops?

Crocs – the most versatile footwear on the market.

Morning or night person?

5am, every morning.

Winter or summer?


Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate-Vanilla Swirl, of course!

Favorite Expression?

“You are the summation of your five best friends” — Mary Tiffin

Digital Design Trends for 2017

Looking back at design trends from recent years and examining new ones is a neat lesson in how user preferences and needs change over time. It’s the job of design to grow with those changes.

In 2015 and 2016, Flat Design and responsive web templates were everywhere in the digital world. Because these trends are minimal, adaptable to every screen, and easy to personalize or replicate they really took off. To give Flat Design credit where it’s due, this method really seemed to be among the first digital design trends that really embraced the screen as its medium. It really struck a harmony between usability and appearances.

There is a catch to the huge popularity and replicability of Flat Design. Maybe you’ve noticed this too: so many websites and apps now look exactly the same.

This infographic about 2017 design trends promises that the design world will shake this up in the coming year. Flat Design will still feature heavily in 2017, but this year is adding some much needed depth, color, and edginess to 2D design. Look out for neon gradient overlays and bold geometric patterns, as well as friendly and funky colors and hand-drawn illustrations.

Here is what you can expect to see across the web this year:

Design Trends 2017 Infographic
Infographic Courtesy of

Digital Marketing Strategy: Four Things I Learned in Class

By Hannah Spurrier, Content Developer at Orange Element


I signed up for Betamore’s Digital Marketing Bootcamp this winter for a refresher and to gain a few additional tips I didn’t learn while earning my degree. Three weeks later, I left the classroom with a Digital Marketing Bootcamp certificate, a yummy candy bar, and a head full of marketing tricks I had no idea existed. I was (pleasantly) surprised that I in fact don’t know it all when it comes to the digital marketing world, even if I’m fresh out of graduate school and immersed in it every day. Here are some key takeaways I scribbled in my notebook for future reference.

  1. Conducting Effective Keyword Research
    As Orange Element’s content developer, I’m in charge of creating content for our blog, social media, and other relevant platforms. In addition to content creation, I’m tasked with determining what keywords to use in our headlines, meta descriptions and more. I thought I had a pretty good idea of how to find the best keywords, but this class introduced new tools for even more accuracy and effectiveness: UberSuggest, Answer the Public, and Google Keyword Planner are all great resources to gather comprehensive keyword and topic ideas.
  2. The Importance of H1 Tags and Keyword Placement
    Before taking this class, I’d simply select a primary keyword and place it somewhere in the headline and body copy. Not a bad strategy, but there’s a smarter method to the madness. To improve search rankings, I learned, the primary keyword should ideally be in the main <h1> headline, in the first 90 characters of text, and mentioned three additional times throughout the piece. But that’s not all: secondary keywords are also important for your overall site ranking and authority, and should be placed in <h2> subheads (like the bold ones in this post) and at least once in the body copy.
  3. Tools to Improve Digital Marketing Strategy
    I always look forward to new tools that make my professional life easier. Our instructor showed us numerous tools to simplify our workflow, but two stuck out: Hotjar and Google Search Console. Hotjar provides HTML code to place into your website that produce user heat maps, visitor recordings, and conversion funnels, so you can get actual data about your user experience. Search Console is a free tool you can integrate with your Google Analytics to gather queries, traffic sources, and other search data to improve your search strategy.
  4. The Best Questions to Ask Exiting Customers
    While my background is on the agency side rather than B2C, it’s still useful to know what questions to ask website visitors to get the most valuable information about your business. I learned there are 3 questions to ask exiting customers (whether that’s via a popup form or chat box on your landing page) to discover any content gaps:

    • What were you looking for in today’s visit?
    • Were you able to find it? If not, why?
    • Would you like us to contact you? If so, leave your name and number and we’ll get back to you soon.

The lesson? Never assume you already know it all. Especially in the ever-changing digital landscape, new trends and tools emerge every single day. Everyone could use a refresher, whether that’s only six months after graduate school or ten years as a business owner. Consider signing up for a Google certification or taking in-person classes at community centers like Betamore. Your business strategy (and your brain) will thank you.

Visit Orange Element’s website and read the original blog post here.


Betamore at City Garage

We are excited to announce a partnership with Sagamore Ventures to bring Betamore to City Garage. We will be working together on a number of initiatives including increased educational programming, workforce development efforts, and a build-out of coworking space in Main Street of City Garage.

Through collaboration with The Foundery, the industrial-grade makerspace currently located at City Garage, this expansion will allow people to learn to code and weld under one roof. Our education programming will grow to include cutting-edge STEAM classes and workshops including coding, 3D printing, woodworking and welding that are unique to the location. This will create an optimal space for companies focused on product innovations to tackle their hardware, software, and business needs in one place.

The new coworking space will include 55-65 desks, two conference rooms, private offices and an open event space. Betamore’s original location at 1111 Light street will continue operations, and current Betamore members will be able to work at either space through a joint-membership between the two locations for a modest additional fee. The build-out of the space will begin in January 2017 and the design will be done by our incredible partners at The Verve Partnership.

The expansion enables us to offer entrepreneurs increased opportunities to launch and build successful businesses. Additionally, it aligns our mission with influential partners, who can help us move quickly and more effectively. Betamore will also become involved in the workforce development initiatives spearheaded by Sagamore Development Company, helping train and place employees in local technical and manufacturing positions. The more companies that we help succeed, the more Baltimore and our region will thrive. We are working to ensure that Baltimore continues gaining recognition as a destination for entrepreneurship.

We can’t wait to share more with you over the coming months as construction begins and new details arise. Stay tuned!


The Betamore Team



“Federal Hill Incubator Betamore is Expanding into City Garage” — Baltimore Business Journal

“Betamore to Expand to Port Covington” — The Baltimore Sun

“Betamore Expanding, Launching Initiatives at City Garage” — The Daily Record

“Betamore is Expanding to City Garage” — Baltimore

“Betamore Partners with Sagamore Ventures” — citybizlist

Welcome, Davis

Who are you?

Hi, I am Davis Booth and I am now a senior at The Gilman School, my final year of a twelve year journey. I am interested in a wide variety of subjects spanning the academic, extracurricular, and athletic aspects of life. Academically, I am very much so intrigued by two disciplines: computer science and entrepreneurship. I have pursued both avidly, taking an AP Computer Science course during my junior year and attending a summer program at Duke University meant to deepen my understanding of entrepreneurship and key business principles. Extracurricularly, I am affiliated with a number of clubs at Gilman, including Informal Debate Club, The Gilman News, and Cultural Practices Club. Athletically, I play two sports: basketball and golf (if you consider golf a sport). Currently, I am in the midst of the very stressful process of applying to college. For you underclassmen out there, I have to admit that it is just as bad as they say it is; start early. In the future, and as a treat to myself, I hope to finally find some time to catch up on an increasingly long list of movies that I am yet to watch, as I continue to lose touch with the pop culture that is so prevalent in today’s society.

What Are You Doing Here?

Honestly, I am surprised I did not stumble upon Betamore earlier in my life. It seems to me that Betamore perfectly fuses both of my burning passions: technology and entrepreneurship. I am super excited to continue to learn more about both fields and I am so thankful that I found a place where I can delve deeper into both, simultaneously. I am excited to see what it takes to keep a startup like Betamore above water, while watching other startups do the same. I hope I can help in any way possible and I hope to take every opportunity available to me to learn about both entrepreneurship and technology.

Just For Fun

Pancakes or waffles?

  • Pancakes. No question, no debate, non-negotiable, end of story.

Sarcasm or seriousness?

  • Depends on what side of the bed I wake up on.

Sneakers or flip-flops?

  • Sneakers. Flip-flops provide a higher probability of stubbing toes and I hate stubbing my toes.

Morning or Night person?

  • Depends on what you consider night and morning. I am a 2/3 AM kind of person.

Winter or summer?

  • Summer. Schoolwork and coldness = misery.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

  • Coffee.

What do you do when you are happy?

  • Drive on the little-known country roads in Baltimore County

What do you do when you are angry?

  • Hands down best way to take out anger: Wii Boxing.

How Google and Salesforce are changing the Nonprofit Landscape

by: Greg Meyers, President + Founder at AfterClicks Interactive

One of the most rewarding experiences any one person or company can make is do donate their time, money and/or services to the less fortunate. Since 2008, I have had the privilege of helping 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organizations increase awareness, volunteerism and donor funding with the help of “in-kind” programs like Google Grants and “Power of Us Program”. However, these remarkable gifts from both Google & Salesforce which have significantly improved awareness and donor management for Nonprofits, desperately needs more of it’s own awareness about it’s existence and that is the reason for this article.

Online Tech companies such as Google and Salesforce realize the complexities of running fiscally successful Nonprofits in this digital age. Like all companies and organization, they are seeking the best people, strategies and tools needed to meeting and exceeding their annual fundraising goals.

In order to achieve these goals, there is no better combination than Google Grants and When we combine these (2) two service offerings together, it creates an invaluable tool that all Nonprofits need to stay competitive. Here’s what is offered:

  • Google Grants = $10k/month in FREE Website Traffic:
    • Google Grants gives away $10k/month in Free Advertising within the search results.
  • Salesforce = FREE CRM Management to organize leads, volunteers, funding and events.
    • 10 Free Subscriptions of the Enterprise Edition and deep discounts on all other services/subscriptions.


What is Google Grants?

Google Grants is a unique one-of-a-kind advertising program that is designed specifically for 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organizations. The goal of this program is to utilize and transform the Google Adwords system into a powerful tool to spread advocacy, awareness, volunteer-ism and overall increase donor funding. Google provides approved 501(c)(3) Nonprofits with $10,000 per month in in-kind AdWords™ advertising.

Who is Eligible for a Google Grant?

According to Google, they have awarded these Grants to over 20,000+ nonprofits across more than 50 countries. Nonprofits that have 501(c)(3) status and are registered through the Internal Revenue Service within the United States are eligilble to apply for this grant.

Who is NOT Eligible?

  • Fiscally sponsored organizations.
  • Organizations already participating in the Google AdSense program
  • Organizations that are either religious or political in nature
  • Organizations focused primarily on lobbying for political or policy change.
  • Governmental entities and organizations, hospitals and medical groups, schools, childcare centers, academic institutions and universities are not eligible for Google Ad Grants

How does Google Grants Work?

  • If your organization is selected, Google will send you an award notification via email with detailed instructions for setting up your account, and contact information for a Google Grants specialist.
  • It is recommended that if you are not a certified Google Adwords Professional, hire an experienced Non-Profit Search Marketing Agency to help you get the most out of your Google Grants Program

Common FAQs about Google Grants

  • The Grant/Award Value depends on overall performance of the campaign. Typical Avg Contribution is around $10k/month.
  • Your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) will be $2.00 USD.
  • Google creates the account for you and funds it directly.
  • Your Google Grants account is subject to the same algorithms and policies as a regular account.
  • Google Grants ads appear on, alongside or above the main search results.
  • Google Grants ads are not eligible for distribution in the Content or Placement Targeting Networks.
  • You can use Google Analytics with this Google Grants Program.
  • Your ads will be entirely text-based (no videos or images).
  • They’ll appear only on Google search results pages.
  • All campaigns must be keyword-targeted.

To maintain your eligibility for Google Ad Grants, your organization must:

  • Link your ads to one (and only one) website domain, which should be the same one that was approved in your initial application.
  • Actively manage your AdWords account by logging in once a month and making at least one change to your account every 90 days.
  • Your ads and keywords should match your organization’s programs and services.
  • Strictly commercial advertising is prohibited. If you’re promoting products or services, 100% of the proceeds must go directly to supporting your program.
  • Your ads must not link to pages that are primarily composed of links to other websites.
  • Your ads may not offer financial products (like mortgages or credit cards), nor can they request donations of cars, boats, or other property.
  • Your site can’t display Google AdSense ads or affiliate advertising links.

What is Salesforce Power Of Us Program?

The Power of Us program gives Nonprofits access to Salesforce products and resources to help expand their goals. This program includes 10 donated (FREE) subscriptions and deep discounts on additional subscriptions, products and/or services from Salesforce.

Salesforce understands that the most valuable asset is the staff’s time and that is where Nonprofits manage their programs and services and deliver them in efficient new ways. One of the benefits of “moving to the cloud” is streamlining manual processes and reducing paper, that spend less time on administration and more time delivering quality programs.

To learn more about the “Power of Us Program”, please visit


Beta City Year Two

Last Thursday, Baltimore’s brightest minds gathered at City Garage for the second annual Beta City. This year’s event truly exceeded our expectations. With a 72% increase in company pitch/demo applications, $75K in venture capital awarded, an international presence and over 1,000 attendees, it’s safe to say that the second Beta City was even better than the first.

Beta City, Betamore’s annual fundraiser, serves as an embodiment of our mission to make Baltimore a leading global entrepreneurship destination. This event is so much more than a gathering of leaders, makers and innovators. This day truly highlights the building commitment and growth of Baltimore and Maryland’s innovation sector. “Since our inaugural event last October, we have had an outpouring of support from local businesses, entrepreneurs and the tech community who continue to drive the growth of Betamore and the Baltimore community,” said Jen Meyer Betamore CEO.

That is exactly our mission at Betamore: to get people excited about Baltimore and help businesses grow by making the right introductions. The success of this year’s event would not have been possible without everyone involved past, present and future.
—Jen Meyer, Betamore CEO

The event began with the Venture Capital Pitch Competition, where 8 companies pitched for $75,000 in prize money. TopBox and Tissue Analytics took home top awards at the competition. TopBox, founded by Jeff Yentis, develops software to help companies understand, through trackable data, the issues that most affect their customers. Tissue Analytics, founded in 2014 by Kevin Keenahan and Josh Budman, is a mobile application that takes pictures of wounds to assist doctors in better analyzing them and tracking their recovery.

Among the other companies in the competition were emocha, Fixt, Sickweather, Sisu Global Health, SnobSwap, and Workbench.

Following the pitch competition, over 1,000 attendees filled City Garage for The Main Event. The evening included demos from over 30 entrepreneurs and an award ceremony revealing the winners of the pitch competition and the three recipients of awards honoring individuals for their contributions to Baltimore’s entrepreneurial community.

Betamore’s three awards recognize those in our community that continually contribute to building Baltimore into a destination for entrepreneurs to build their businesses. The Silo Breaker award is given to a member of the Betamore community that actively works to break down silos between people and institutions in Baltimore. This year the Silo Breaker award was given to the team behind Light City Baltimore. Light City demonstrates efforts that are a critical component of what Betamore seeks to do — illuminate the collective wisdom and experience of our community for the purpose of entrepreneurship.

The Beta award recognizes individuals with deep impacts on the local tech community who, over their lifetime, has benefited the entrepreneurial community in Baltimore through idea generation and testing. This year the Beta award was given to Paul Palmieri for his overall impact on Baltimore’s entrepreneurial community through his roles as an executive at, CEO and Co-founder at Millennial Media, and as an investor in numerous local and nationally based startups – just to name a few.

The RISE Award, a new addition for this year, recognizes an emerging entrepreneur who can be found supporting others and encouraging us to rise to our full potential. The RISE award was given to Luke Cooper, CEO of Fixt, who embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship in Baltimore.

What a tremendous event. You should be so proud of what you’re accomplishing. Our depth and breadth of cool companies that are making a difference is extraordinary. Stay focused on greatness-it’s working.
—Mike Gill, Maryland Department of Commerce

We are incredibly grateful for the support of our community; this event would not have been possible without you. Thank you to our sponsors, partners, vendors, judges, volunteers, attendees, board and Advisory Board. We are a lean team with an ever-growing community support system. We are proud of the spotlight that together we shine on Baltimore and the great companies that call it home.

Thank you for all of your hard work to make last night such a success. I don’t think I have ever been to an event with that much energy and excitement in one (or many) rooms.
—Daniel Thrailkill, Ellin & Tucker

To read more about Beta City 2016, check out our recap here.

Snaps from Beta City

Photos below courtesy of:
Tim Savage, @timsavage
Coyle Studios, @CoyleStudios

We’ll See You Next Year!

Looking for your Pixilated pictures?

Registration Badges
GIF Green Screen Booth
Flower Wall Booth
Digital Booth (in the tent)

Beta City 2016 Venture Capital Pitch Day Companies

We couldn’t be more excited to announce the eight companies that will compete for $75,000 in prizes at Beta City‘s Venture Capital Pitch Day on September 29. The live competition will kick off a day long celebration of leaders, makers, and innovators in Baltimore.

The Venture Capital Pitch Day selection process included several rounds of rigorous analysis and scrutiny, including an initial screening of each early stage business. To advance beyond the initial screening, each company’s application must demonstrate a minimum viable product, professionalism, and use of technology in an innovative way. Remaining companies are voted on by the Betamore Advisory Board, and lastly by a final judges panel, to then present in the live pitch competition at City Garage.

The eight finalists will have an exclusive opportunity to present their pitch to a distinguished panel of judges and influential leaders in the Baltimore tech community. The $75,000 in prizes are a collection of contributions by a number of local businesses, including TEDCO, Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, Evergreen Advisors, Baltimore Angels, the University of Maryland System, Greenspring Associates, SunTrust and SC&H Group.

The selected companies also have a unique opportunity to present their company to a room full of venture capitalists, senior business and community leaders, and entrepreneurs from leading companies both inside and outside of Baltimore.

Venture Capital Pitch Day Finalists

emocha is a mobile health platform created at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Clinical Global Health Education (CCGHE) that provides real-time access to health data, and helps solve patient engagement and adherence in healthcare.
Fixt offers a mobile app that provides background maintenance for Internet connected devices, using motion sensors to find damage and automate device replacements, repairs, upgrades, and other troubleshooting.
Sickweather scans social networks for indicators of illness, reporting and tracking these indicators in real-time. It is the largest illness crowdsourcing community, processing over 6 million reports per month.
Sisu Global Health is a medical technology company that focuses on improving healthcare access in low-resource settings, by building a medical device pipeline to strengthen health systems.
SnobSwap offers exclusive access to a large collection of trusted boutiques, by displaying them on one simple digital platform.
Tissue Analytics uses one mobile app to make wound tracking, measuring and assessment fast and accurate, and gives both healthcare providers and patients a breakdown of progress over time.
TopBox‘s award-winning software offers Cloud-based interaction analytics for contact centers, helping organizations discover the root cause of customer impacting issues.
Workbench focuses on project-based learning and exploration to host a community of innovators, offering a space for educators to connect and create classes, as well as hands-on lessons and student monitoring in real-time.

“This year, the applications to present at our pitch competition grew by over seventy percent, attracting local, national and international companies,” said Betamore CEO, Jennifer Meyer.

Beta City is confirming what many already know: that our region is attracting top-tier talent and investment for entrepreneurs.”

New to the event this year and in preparation for the live pitch competition, finalists will have an opportunity to participate in eight hours of professional council with leading business executives in the week leading up to the event. These business advisors include: Jason Tagler of Camden Partners and, Lynda Katz Wilner of Successfully Speaking and Henry Mortimer of Mortimer Communications.

In addition to the pitch companies selected, 17 additional entrepreneurs and innovators will be featured in the Demo Area at Beta City’s VIP + Main Event following the competition.

Beta City Demo + Featured Companies

We are excited to celebrate with more than 83 corporate and community sponsors and partners next week at Beta City. It is with the help and support of these sponsors that we lead a successful event and contribute to the growth of Baltimore’s ecosystem.

It is encouraging to see the enthusiasm and passion that so many entrepreneurs are bringing to our city – as business citizens we appreciate the responsibility to help these folks in any and every way possible.” — Mike Hankin, President and CEO of Brown Advisory.

We couldn’t agree more! If you are interested in attending Beta City, you can visit our event site at:, you can also purchase tickets here!

We Hope to See You @ City Garage for #BetaCity!


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