Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Baltimore, MD


Baltimore has the honor of being known as the best city in America for businesswomen as well as one of the Top 5 best cities for minority entrepreneurs.

Baltimore, MD is the largest city in the state and the 30th-largest in the country. In 2017, ShareFile’s Businesswomen Power City Index named Baltimore the best city in America for businesswomen. Additionally, it was number five on ExpertMarket’s list of the best cities for minority entrepreneurs. The Kauffman Index ranked the Baltimore metropolitan area 17th in entrepreneurial growth and 12th in main street entrepreneurship, which measures established small business activity.

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that make up Baltimore’s entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

A group for entrepreneurs in the Baltimore metropolitan area to meet with, support, and educate one another.

A networking group that aims to create mutually beneficial connections between entrepreneurs and small business owners.

One of the East Coast’s largest networking groups, Baltimore Professionals and Entrepreneurs offers free memberships and discounted access to workshops and professional consultations.

Networking events for female entrepreneurs in and around the Baltimore metropolitan area.

B’More Entrepreneurs offers networking events as well as educational workshops for entrepreneurs.

A group for active and aspiring entrepreneurs that want to make connections and learn new ways to succeed.

A networking group open to all women, but especially those interested in entrepreneurship.

Hosts monthly technology demo events where entrepreneurs, tech developers, and other business- or technology-minded people can connect with one another.


Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

An annual weeklong conference celebrating technology and entrepreneurship in the Baltimore area.

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Expo is an annual event hosted by the University of Maryland, Baltimore that celebrates UMB’s student and faculty entrepreneurship.

Every year, Baltimore plays host to an awards ceremony honoring the best small businesses and owners around the state.

MoneyBaltimore is a conference designed to help stimulate and support the growth of minority entrepreneurs and small business owners in Baltimore.

TEDCO hosts an annual event that celebrates the entrepreneurial and small business community of Baltimore specifically and the state of Maryland as a whole.


Startup Competitions:

Entrepreneurs with early-stage startups in life science can compete in the Baltimore 1st Pitch competition and connect with potential advisors, mentors, and resources.

University of Maryland, Baltimore’s BioPark campus offers a startup competition and expo to students with promising business ideas.

Loyola University Maryland hosts a pitch competition for all graduate and undergraduate students with ideas for ways to contribute to the growth of Baltimore.

TU students can compete in a lower-stakes Big Idea Poster Competition as well as the Business Model Competition or Shark Tank-inspired Tiger Cage pitch competition.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County offers a pair of startup competitions to students, one in each semester.


Co-working Spaces:

A co-working space in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore that’s specifically designed for small businesses, freelancers, and remote workers.

ETC Baltimore’s co-working space for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the Baltimore area includes free parking and a gym room for members.

Located in a converted row house in Baltimore, Charles Village Exchange has several flexible membership plans and amenities for members.

A co-working space with a wide variety of amenities available to members, including free coffee.

Located in the heart of the central business district, Hub Baltimore offers flexible membership plans for customers.

In addition to providing co-working space, Impact Hub also connects its members to resources and people that can help them succeed.

In addition to co-working space, Officense offers professional phone service, access to conference rooms, or even just a professional mailing address.

A co-working space with both private offices and shared workspaces for entrepreneurs and innovators, specifically designed to promote collaboration.


Maker spaces:

A hackerspace and maker space that provides tools and equipment generally tailored more to technology and hosts weekly OpenHack nights that non-members can attend.

A smaller maker space that offers access to equipment after members take an introduction class as well as 3D printing services to non-members.

In addition to providing access to their many tools and equipment, The Foundery also offers a number of classes to educate and inform aspiring makers.

Open Works is a large maker space with a variety of facilities and studios as well that offers several membership plans to best fit a customer’s specific needs.



Betamore is an incubator program and campus that supports and helps launch technology-based startups in Baltimore.

The University of Maryland’s BioPark offers a working space and lab as well as resources and education at the BioInnovation Center.

UMBC’s incubation program and research park provides two separate tracks, one for cybersecurity and IT startups and one for life-sience and technology business startups.

The Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology provides an incubation program for life science startups.

An incubator program from ETC Baltimore that provides startups with resources, advising, working space

Towson University’s incubator program that serves seed- and early-stage companies founded by TU students, faculty, and staff as well as other regional entrepreneurs.



ETC Baltimore’s 13-week accelerator program for early-stage startups that use technology to solve problems.

An accelerator program open to all students at Johns Hopkins University, FastForward U provides participants with training and connects them with resources.

An acceleration program that gives capital and support to healthcare delivery, technology, and finance startups.

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In addition to the Harbor Launch incubation program, IMET offers plenty of support to entrepreneurial students, including a fellowship program.

Entrepreneurial-minded students at Johns Hopkins can find connections to a number of resources as well as several classes through the university.

TU’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship connects students with resources to help them succeed as well as offering an entrepreneurship minor and concentration in the business administration major.

UB’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides support to students, alumni, and faculty interested in entrepreneurship.

UMB has a student-run initiative that supports entrepreneurship on campus by holding workshops and events, and an annual expo as well as working on projects.

UMBC offers resources to students as well as an entrepreneurship minor and an MPS degree in entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership.


Angel Groups/VCs:

Aims to invest in early-stage technology companies, specifically ones in the Mid-Atlantic region.

In addition to funding other funds, Greenspring Associates also provides direct investment to expansion-stage companies in a wide variety of sectors.

Provides funding to early-stage companies in any sector. Primarily focused on companies in the state of Maryland, the Fund will also consider regional technology companies.

Slate invests in a small number of manufacturing, distribution, and service businesses that make between $3 and $15 million per year.

A venture capital firm that provides funds to early-stage technology startups located in Baltimore.

Baltimore is home to one location of Wasabi Ventures, a company that invests in and works with startups in a variety of sectors, especially those in the early stages.

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Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

The Baltimore Business Journal offers a number of regular newsletters covering a variety of topics.

Baltimore Corps, an organization dedicated to advancing social and economic innovation and development in Baltimore, offers a monthly newsletter.

The LEDC helps Latinos in the Washington, DC and Baltimore metropolitan areas succeed. Their newsletter provides news and updates on their efforts.

Offers a weekly newsletter that covers all the important things happening in Baltimore’s technology scene.


Are you familiar with an entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Baltimore not included in the article above?  If so, let us know via a comment below, and we will add it to the article. 

Interested in Ecosystem Spotlights of other cities in the USA?

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Article by Quinn Pilkey

Quinn Pilkey

Quinn is a journalism major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also serves as a freelance author for Hashtag Basketball where he writes about the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and at FundingSage where he researches and writes about entrepreneurial ecosystems.