Author: admin

Why Baltimore is Poised to be a Leader in EdTech

The picture above was taken by Jess Gartner at the Education Hack Day in November. Jess is a 7th grade teacher at New Era Academy, a college prep public school in Baltimore that she joined through the Teach for America program. The man in the blue t-shirt above is Joe Manko, a principal at Liberty Elementary. He’s received a lot of attention lately for removing the majority of his administrative staff and using the freed up funds to invest in technology for his students. Because of this investment, Liberty is now a “one-to-one” school which means in this case that they are able to provide iPads for all students for a given class. I wanted to start this article with two real-life examples of K12 educators that work in one of the most distressed public school systems in the country and are yearning for new ways to engage their students. So much so that they are investing their own free time to consider just what technology might do for their classrooms. Why Education Technology (EdTech)? The US is noticeably falling behind in the global race of preparing our youth for the demands of our next generation’s economies. I’m not going to go into detail about my personal views about why I think that is. Instead, I’m going to talk about an opportunity we have to build a metaphorical life...

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Startup Culture Observations from Local Students

The following is a guest post from members of the student-run Hopkins Consulting Agency at Johns Hopkins University. About a year ago, Mike Subelsky wrote a blog post on this site titled Baltimore’s Startup Ecosystem. In it he highlighted the features that the Baltimore region offers startups – including affordable living, access to many institutions of higher learning, and convenient travel to major cities such as New York and Washington, DC. He noted also, however, that there is a notable lack of a startup culture in the region, and that it was difficult for newly formed companies to compete with the job offers provided by federal contractors. In this guest post we would like to offer the perspective of two students currently studying in Baltimore and managing a student-run consulting company, the Hopkins Consulting Agency. We hope to offer our perspective on the entrepreneurial trends we observe at our university and among peers at other universities. It is no secret that the risks of entrepreneurship are easier for young people to stomach. It is convenient, after all, to have few bills to pay, the overconfidence of being freshly graduated, and the safety net of your parents, should all things go terribly wrong. Still, the trends that we have observed in young entrepreneurship are not specific to any age group and may provide useful lessons for current and prospective startup...

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Startup 101

Startup 101 is meant to be a “Quick Setup” guide to help assimilate you and your startup with the Baltimore community. We’ll be recommending blogs to read, people to follow, and events to check out. If you’re to the Baltimore startup community, please feel free to join our discussion and introduce yourself and your startup » http://facebook.com/groups/baltimoretech/ Want to help us build this section?Feel free to get your hands dirty with our draft version on Google Docs » Blogs / Podcasts to Subscribe BaltTechLocal Gus Sentementes tech blog at the Baltimore Sun. Dave TroyLocal Local entrepreneur and angel investor’s blog on startup, tech, and community. Mike SubelskyLocal Local entrepreneur + programmer. Cofounder of @OtherInbox, @IgniteBaltimore, & @BigImprov VC in DCLocal Local venture capitalist’s blog on startups and VCs in the DC area. Beltway StartupsLocal Local entrepreneur’s blog on startup news in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. This Week in Startups Weekly internet show covering all things startup, includes everything from founder interviews to questions from the audience. This Week in Venture Capital Weekly web show which covers all aspects of fundraising, includes everything from interviews with venture capitalists and angel investors to questions from the audience. People / Groups to Follow Beehive BaltimoreLocal Baltimore’s first coworking space, located in Canton in the ETC building. 15+ daily members. StartupDigest MarylandLocal Startup events and news-bites for entrepreneurs in Baltimore, Maryland, delivered weekly!...

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Should we all move to Silicon Valley?

I keep thinking about this exit interview that Brian Sierakowski did with Paul Capestany, who is leaving Baltimore to move to San Francisco (joining the likes of other smart former Baltimore/Maryland transplants Patti Chan, Clarence Wooten, Paul Singh, Jared Goralnick, and others). He wants to start a high-risk/high-reward consumer Internet company. I respect Paul and count him a friend. He’s done a lot for the cause of entrepreneurship in the city and we all owe him our thanks! I wish him luck. And I can really understand where he’s coming from. San Francisco is a cool place for web entrepreneurs to be. All things being equal, if Paul’s dream is to start a big, risky consumer Internet company, he may have an edge by starting it in San Francisco. If you’re in a smaller, less-connected city like Baltimore competing head to head with a company based there, you may be at a serious disadvantage (Paul Graham makes the point in an essay about startup hubs). But are all things equal? Let’s break it down. People in San Francisco Are More Risk-Tolerant Paul says he can’t find enough risk-takers here, but is the talent hunt any easier out there? I assume the main types of people he needs are technical cofounders and designers willing to work for equity in lieu of cash. Those are in short supply across the world,...

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Making it Easy to Give Locally

You may have noticed a great deal popping up on your social networks recently: “Win $100 to Woodberry Kitchen by liking our Facebook page!” This marketing tagline is part of an aggressive marketing strategy that local startup GiveCorps has put out to start building their base of users. (Full disclosure: I was one of these lucky winners last week and not only received $100 to Woodberry, but GiveCorps also donated $100 to a nonprofit of my choice.) In a time of “deal-a-day” websites, GiveCorps’ mission is to market a “cause-a-day” to focus a lot of local interest and support from a new generation of philanthropists. The site allows you to give to a daily local nonprofit project and — in addition to feeling good about your charitable contribution — GiveCorps rewards donors with deals and discounts from local merchants. GiveCorps seeks to raise more than $5 million a year for nonprofits in each city by highlighting compelling local projects that inspire people to give and make a difference in their cities. How GiveCorps works GiveCorps uses the power of crowdfunding to raise money for local causes on a city-by-city basis. Donors can give anywhere from $10 to $10 million, with a suggested donation of about $25. Small donations from lots of givers can add up to a big difference for nonprofits who need funding. The company is located in...

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