What Beta City Means for Baltimore

Last Thursday, under the words “Made in America,” a select group of some of the region’s top early stage companies pitched their innovative ideas to a panel of Venture Capitalists and a room full of VIPs. Venture Capital Pitch Day kicked off Beta City, a day-long celebration of leaders, makers, and innovators in Baltimore. Additional companies, including some of the tenants for the new City Garage, shared their products, services, and ideas for the future with the nearly 1,000 people that attended the event. Beta City also served as the culminating event for Baltimore Innovation Week, as well as one of the last stops for Pitch Across Maryland. Ultimately, Beta City was a unifying moment for Baltimore — highlighting the partnerships being built throughout our entire community. This is what Betamore is about – and Beta City is the beginning of what we want to build together.

Beta City, Betamore’s annual fundraiser, serves as an embodiment of our mission to make Baltimore a leading global entrepreneurship destination. We exist to break down silos between people and organizations to benefit Baltimore’s entrepreneurial community, a community that is both established and also growing. “This event helped to validate our ecosystem, demonstrating the quantity and quality of people that support entrepreneurship in Baltimore.  This showed what many of us knew already — that Baltimore is an amazing place for America’s creative class to take root,” said Betamore Co-founder, Greg Cangialosi.

Baltimore is the City of Firsts. We come from a rich history of makers and innovators, and much of our city’s progress owes to manufacturing and making of physical goods. Beta City inhabited the newly renovated City Garage, a project by Plank Industries and Sagamore Ventures that transformed the old Baltimore City Garage into 130,000 square feet of reinvigorated real estate.  A functional space for makers and innovators, City Garage will focus on commercialization and finding new ways to take ideas and grow them into thriving businesses.

You guys kicked some serious butt and accomplished what no one else has been able to for this city EVER… #hustlehard. – Saad Alam, Co-founder + CEO Citelighter

The success of Beta City demonstrates the power of partnership lifting all of us up. Our sponsors, partners, volunteers, and attendees all came together to celebrate the amazing and incredible innovation that, as a City, we create. “This realization alone will create more adherents who will start companies, invest in companies or serve as advisors. In other words, the event will energize the ecosystem,” commented John Cammack, Chair of Betamore’s Advisory Board. Betamore, City Garage and the larger Baltimore innovation community recognize that there’s a creative class of people focused on 21st Century jobs. Baltimore’s the right place to build this, and this is the right time.

Fantastic event last night, congratulations on assembling a first rate crowd and program. The future of the event and our city is very bright. – Richard Gamper, Brown Advisory

While Beta City happens only once a year, it sparks continuing conversations, potential investments, and highlights Baltimore’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. The story continues as investors support Beta City companies, new companies launch and grow in Baltimore, and new partnerships form.

Betamore’s two awards, Silo Breaker and the Beta Award 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 Christy Wyskiel for her work with Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. 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 Bob Embry for his work with the Abell Foundation and the Abell Venture Fund.

There was more positive energy at Beta City than any other event I have ever been to, other than a sporting event. – Arsh Mirmiran, Caves Valley Partners

Snaps from Beta City

Courtesy of Tim Savage, @timsavage

The environment was both surreal and euphoric. You could feel the energy that was cultivating in every room. This is what it’s supposed to feel like. This is what we all want to be a part of. – Tom Popomaronis, Founder + CEO OpiaTalk

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Thanks to our sponsors, partners, volunteers and attendees for making the inaugural #BetaCity a success.

See you next year!

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