If you’ve got a great idea,
wants to hear from you. Sponsored by Baltimore City and the Emerging Technology Centers, the second AccelerateBaltimore has funding for six companies that can move from an idea to a product in 13 weeks.
Applications are available online through Nov. 30. The Abell Foundation is the funding partner, providing $25,000 per winner, who receive free working space, legal help and access to all services at either of the two centers in Canton or Hopkins/Eastern, for 13 weeks.
The Emerging Technology Centers (ETC) held the first AccelerateBaltimore last April. It was the first such event in the state and the first in the City of Baltimore. There were four winning companies out of 40 applicants. Winners of the first AccelerateBaltimore were social networking firm Kithly
and Unbound Concepts
. Publicity about the competition was limited, says ETC Director Deborah Tillett, but there will be a major effort this time to reach out locally and nationally to potential applicants via the incubator network.
“Accelerates are the next evolution in startup cultures,” she says. “One of the most important things for entrepreneurs and small businesses is access to capital. This is a real shot at that. The $25,000 can put you over the edge.”
Applicants do not have to be Baltimore-based and if they win, they do not have to stay in Baltimore after Accelerate ends. A panel will narrow applicants to 12, who will be invited for in-person interviews. Winners will be announced on Jan. 7, begin working in the Center of their choice in February and have a viable technology product ready by the end of May.
At Accelerate’s conclusion, the six winning companies will pitch their product to a group of investors.
Although Accelerate is open to all start-ups, Tillett says they have to use modern technology to create new business solutions. ‘They have to end up with an actual product,” she says, noting that having the technical co-founder of the start-up as part of the company team makes that result more likely.
Source: Deborah Tillett, Emerging Technology Centers
Writer: Barbara Pash