Baltimore Tech Startup Guide

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Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash

Hi, my name is Lolita Taub and I’m an enterprise tech professional and investor, am new to Baltimore, and excited to dive into the local tech startup community with you in this post! This is the fourth city startup guide I put out (Madrid, New York, San Diego). I hope you find it as resourceful as the global community has found the others — especially because it was put together with the help of the Baltimore tech ecosystem!

There’s something special about Baltimore. It’s so American — the good and the bad of it. This is where our country’s anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, was born. This is where the American Industrial Revolution was born. Baltimore was also an example of where segregation, the separation between white people and people of color, took a stronghold. The remnants of the city’s redlining are still here in the form of the “black butterfly;” there are wing-shaped areas in the city that are occupied by a majority black population and an “L”- shaped area (in between the butterfly wings) that’s home to a white majority. The silver lining is three-fold: there’s a lot of talent in Baltimore; there is a community that’s betting on the city, and tech presents an opportunity to make a lot of wrongs right.

Join our Baltimore Tech slack here.

Here’s what you’ll find in this guide:

  • Why Is Baltimore #5 in the Top 10 Rising Cities for Startups in the US?

Feel free to jump around and if you see that I missed something, please leave a comment and I’ll update the post periodically.

Why Is Baltimore #5 in the Top 10 Rising Cities for Startups in the Us?

Forbes ranked Baltimore as fifth on the list of emerging startups cities last year. Thirty cities were compared using data from PitchBook, Moody’s Analytics and the Kauffman Foundation. The rankings were related to costs (business and living), education levels, college presence, entrepreneurship rates, working age population growth and venture capital investments (density, total number, value and percent changes).

It’s also awesome that Baltimore enjoys the company of John Hopkins, University System of Maryland, proximity to DC, and Steve Case, a prominent venture capitalist, rooting for us. Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures serves as the commercial arm of the school’s researchers and investors. JHTV had 164 patents last year, seventh-most among schools. Between the University of Maryland, Baltimore and Johns Hopkins, the city has two preeminent academic institutions championing and supporting Baltimore’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as trying to commercialize academic research. And the proximity to Washington, D.C. helps Baltimore’s startup community.

Baltimore VC Activity

Overall

Funding for Baltimore startups is on the rise. Cumulatively, in the last decade, startups have gone from raising less than $100M to over $500M in Q3’19. https://www.crunchbase.com/hub/baltimore-startups#section-events

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At over 450 deals, the majority of deals are seed and early stage.

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Top 5 investors include TEDCO, Abell Foundation, Dreamit Ventures, Baltimore Angels, and TCP Venture Capital.

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2019 Deals

According to PwC’s 2019 US MoneyTree Report, 18 Maryland startups raised $79 million in the first quarter; top deals included Allovue, Terbium Labs, BurnAlong and Vixiar Medical. In the second quarter, Baltimore, as part of the DMV, ranked in the top 3 metros for the number of deals done. And let’s not forget Protenus’ recent $17m raise.

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Exits

Baltimore brought in one of the nation’s top exits with unicorn Paragon Bioservices; they were bought by Catalent for $1.2 billion cash.

Acquisitions

A Baltimore trend that is emerging is Baltimore startups acquiring other companies.

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Also, TrackOffs bought Avast earlier in March 2019.

Baltimore VCs

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Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Here is a list of 171 venture capital investors who have made investments in Baltimore.

Here is a list of venture capital funds in Baltimore

  • QuestMark Partners — QuestMark Partners is an expansion-stage venture capital firm, providing growth capital to exceptional management teams across the U.S.

Baltimore Angel Groups

  • Angel Venture Forum — The Angel Venture Forum is an ad hoc group of more than 30 active, experienced angel investors from more than 24 angel investor groups located throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

Top Individuals/Angels

Here are Baltimore’s top angels by number of investments.

  • Frank A. Bonsal, Jr. — Mr. Bonsal has been an active advisor to Outcome Capital since its inception in 1998. Mr. Bonsal is a Co-Founder and General Partner at New Enterprise Associates, one of the country’s largest venture capital firms. NEA invests in early-stage companies and works with management to nurture and build companies of real and lasting value. His investment activities focus on a broad range of technical and service-oriented companies.

Read more on Baltimore’s Funders.

Baltimore Startups to Watch

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Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

There are close to 200 startups in Baltimore. The top 5 in Baltimore, by CB Ranking, are:

  • ZeroFOX — ZeroFOX, The Social Media Security Company, enables organizations to identify, manage and mitigate social media based cyber threats

Baltimore’s top 10 most promising startups in the realLIST 2019 include:

  1. Facet Wealth — Facet Wealth is a financial services industry.

Two other startups worth keeping an eye on

  1. Thrive which got $110M in Series A funding in May

Greater Baltimore-Maryland Area

If we broaden our range, in the Greater Baltimore-Maryland Area, we count 220 startups. The top 15 startups in the Greater Baltimore-Maryland Area, by CB Ranking, include:

  1. Dragos — Dragos is an industrial cybersecurity company that exists to safeguard civilization.

Top AI + Big Data startups in Greater Baltimore-Maryland Area, by CB Ranking

  • Catalyte — Catalyte uses AI to identify, upskill and assemble high-performing software development teams.

Top Enterprise startups in Greater Baltimore-Maryland Area, by CB Ranking

  • Catalyte — Catalyte uses AI to identify, upskill and assemble high-performing software development teams.

Baltimore Incubators and Accelerators

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Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash
  • Conscious Venture Lab — Conscious Venture Lab is an immersive 4-month, curriculum and mentor driven accelerator, We build companies focused on the power of purpose.

Read more on Baltimore’s accelerators and incubators.

Baltimore Coworking Spaces

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Photo by ROOM on Unsplash

Technical.ly’s Stephen Babcock put together a great guide to 25 of Baltimore’s coworking spaces here. I list 10 below.

Read more on Baltimore’s Coworking spaces.

Baltimore Communities

  • Baltimore Tech on Slack

Baltimore Labs

  • Sapio Sciences — Sapio Sciences is a leading provider of LaboratoryManagement, Electronic Lab Notebook, and Knowledge Management Solutions.

Baltimore Events and Conferences

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Baltimore Innovation Week
  • Baltimore TechBreakfast — TechBreakfast is a fun, a monthly demo-style event where entrepreneurs and tech folks see showcases on cool new technology in a demo format.
    Startup Breakfast — Bimonthly breakfast club and startup workshop located in the ETC.

Baltimore Tech Media and Podcasts

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Technical.ly Baltimore

Baltimore Startup Jobs

You can find startup jobs in Baltimore on Angel List.

Baltimore Techies

A starter list of connected individuals in and from the Baltimore tech community

  • David Troy, CEO at 410Labs

Baltimore City Resources

Baltimore companies on the 2019 Inc. 5000: The Most Successful Companies in America list

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Big thanks to contributors and supporters who made the Baltimore Tech Startup Guide happen Alex Riehm, Pava LaPere, Mckeever (Mac) Conwell, II, Josh Taub, Andrew Coy, Danny Jacobs, Jess Gartner, Stephen Babcock, Christy Wyskiel, Liz Burger, Shervonne Cherry, and many more!

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About Lolita Taub
Lolita Taub is the Co-Founder and General Partner at The Community Fund and acting interim Head of Sales at Catalyte. She is a first-generation Latinx operator and investor pushing for diversity in tech. With 15 years working within the Silicon Valley ecosystem, she has accomplished +$50 million in sales and made 38 investments as an angel investor and VC at Backstage Capital. Lolita is also a Co-Founder of the Startup-Investor Matching Tool, a scout at Indie.vc, Venture Partner at NextGen Venture Partners, and an LP at Operators Collective. Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur have featured her as a women in tech promoting diversity. She has a BA from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the IE Business School. Most importantly, she is a dog mom to the cutest Dachshund mix, Choco.

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About investing in community-driven cos + supporting our underestimated founder/investor fam. GP @thecommunityvc Scout @lightspeedvp Frmly @backstage

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