Tech Incubator Launches “Accelerate Baltimore”

Baltimore’s technology firm incubator, The Emerging Technology Center, has started an accelerator program for the city modeled off of programs that have been successful in attracting entrepreneurs to other American cities. The Sun describes Accelerate Baltimore this way: five companies are enticed to Baltimore “for a three-month boot-camplike program where mentors work with founders to develop a minimally viable technology product for the marketplace. The new startups will be based, rent-free, in the ETC in Canton during the program.”

After that three month period, participating entrepreneurs will present their startup ideas to investors who can help take them to market. Unless they are acquired, the companies that make it through the program are compelled to stay in Baltimore for five years, thus returning the investment made by the city in them.

One of the notable aspects of Accelerate Baltimore is its funding structure: a public-private partnership among the Emerging Technology Center, Baltimore Development Corp. and the Abell Foundation, both nonprofits. At the AIA event that inspired CPHA’s Annual Meeting program, ” Shrinking City/Growing City: Baltimore’s Future?” Senior Resident Fellow at the Urban Land Institute and former Mayor of Pittsburgh Tom Murphy specifically cited public-private partnerships as a prime means of bringing entrepreneurs to Baltimore.

Applications can be found at the Accelerate Baltimore website, and the deadline for application is January 31st. The first class of five companies is expected to be announced in March.

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