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Friday, September 28, 2012

A Hotbed For Startups

We wanted to share this blog from the co-chairs of Startup Maryland where they talk about their experiences on the first-ever “Pitch Across Maryland” tour meeting entrepreneurs and discovering all that the State of Maryland has to offer for small businesses and startups. Contributed jointly by Startup Maryland Board Co-Chairs Julie Lenzer Kirk and Michael Binko Entrepreneurs are renowned for coming up with what seems like crazy ideas and making them reality. The big yellow bus wrapped in the Maryland state flag that has been traversing the state is a perfect example. The idea was hatched at the Startup America national summit in January – someone from another state talked about raising money for an entrepreneur bus tour but that bus never left the depot. To the contrary, the Startup Maryland Pitch Across Maryland bus put rubber to the road September 11th and has been rolling across the state – 26 stops in all – ever since. This Friday marks theLast Stop on the tour with a celebration at Merriweather Post Pavilion, but it is also the First Step in shining the spotlight on the incredible entrepreneurs we’ve met along the way. Since that wild hair - “Why CAN’T we drive a bus across Maryland to rally entrepreneurs?” – began to take root, the goals of this nearly three week tour through all corners of the state aligned perfectly with Startup Maryland’s four main focus areas discovered during entrepreneur town hall meetings conducted prior to the March Startup Maryland Launch Event. Those goals are: Access to capital Access to customers Resource mapping Awareness and celebration The Pitch Across Maryland bus tour and competition were conceived to shine a spotlight on entrepreneurs across the state as well as the ecosystem of support and services. Through this spotlight, the objective was to connect them all to each other not only within jurisdictions but across county borders and industry categories. More

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