Startup Maryland today announced dates (September 9 – 27) and the rough route for the Pitch Across Maryland 2.0, the second annual state-wide tour and celebration of entrepreneurship and startup companies.
Referred to by CBS News affiliate WBOC-TV 16 as “Opportunity on Wheels,” the inaugural Pitch Across Maryland tour was an overwhelming success last year. The bus traversed the state all in the name of celebrating entrepreneurship. A sampling of details, key data and results from last year’s tour follow:
25 tour stops around the state
6 months of active media coverage; more than 1 million press impressions
More than 30 “Rock Star” tour sponsors/partners including (universities, economic development agencies, angel/VC investors, incubators/accelerators, affinity brand owners, sponsors)
More than 225 startups attended; 168 startups “pitched” their idea/business
Video Pitch Competition winnowed field to Top 3 Fan Favorites and 8 Finalists as Best Candidates for Venture Investment
Governor Martin O’Malley got in on the action and on the bus rolling up his sleeves alongside Maryland startups. O’Malley pitched the Invest Maryland Challenge and MD Venture Fund
During the Tour Startup Maryland jumped from # 22 to # 4 in startup density (# of startups per million population) a key metric; Startup Maryland has since moved up to rank # 2 in U.S.
Startup Maryland was invited to the White House and Capitol Hill to brief President Obama’s OSTP team and testify to Congress on how to cultivate strong startup communities
“This year’s Pitch Across Maryland 2.0 will be bigger and better,” stated Julie Lenzer Kirk, Startup Maryland co-chair. “With 6 months to plan instead of 6 weeks we anticipate a much larger turn-out and many more mentors/partners at each Tour Stop.
Stakeholders from all categories are already lining up to co-host stops and herald the celebration. While Startup Maryland intends to remain true to it’s BY Entrepreneurs … FOR Entrepreneurs mission the simple fact is the wealth of resources available to startups in Maryland is relatively unequaled and more surprisingly … unknown.
“From research dollars flowing through federal labs (NIH; USDA; NASA; NIST) to cyber-security and defense hubs (Ft. Meade – NSA/DISA; Ft. Detrick; APG) to world leading academic institutions (Johns Hopkins; UMBC; University of Maryland) this confluence of resources gives Maryland startups an Unfair Advantage,” added Michael Binko, co-chair Startup Maryland. “This concept of resource wealth and the Unfair Advantage is a key theme identified by our Startup Maryland entrepreneur Champions as critical in their efforts to forge and inflect strong high-growth companies,” Binko continued.
At each stop, Startup Maryland and Tour Sponsors/Partners host rallies sharing information about the incredible entrepreneurial resources across the state. Additionally, entrepreneurs are provided coaching, guidance and support from business mentors and other leaders from TEDCO, DBED as well as active angel/VC investors.
Then, the entrepreneurs climb onto the bus and pitch their idea/business in the mobile UpStart Show™ video studio. Videos are uploaded to YouTube® and then open to public viewing/voting. This aspect of the competition allows the entrepreneurs, sponsors and tour hosts to activate social networks for even broader awareness and celebration.
For the blog from the road last year go to http://www.governor.maryland.gov/blog/?p=6848 . For more information as well as a complete schedule of tour stops see below and visit www.startupmd.org: