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Two Baltimore firms make Business Insider's 'Best Startups' list

Business Insider has featured a list of the 15 Best Startups to Work For in America and two Baltimore companies made the list: Parking Panda and Groove Commerce

Creative digital agency Groove offers 100 percent benefits and free Friday lunches, Business Insider writes. The company also recently moved into a 10,000-square-foot office in the Fallsway Spring building near Little Italy. 

Parking Panda hosts retreats at the beach and outings in restaurants. 

Office design company Turnstone partnered with University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Professor Peter Cappelli to come up with the list. Turnstone asked for nominations and then judges selected the 15 best based on four criteria: Business goals and impact, leadership, the culture and office space, and success potential, a measure of the business's ability to grow and how that growth could contribute positively to the community.

See the whole list here

Ad Age names Millennial Media exec a 'Woman to Watch'

Advertising Age has named a female executive at Baltimore's Millennial Media on its list of "Women to Watch."

Mollie Spilman, the Canton mobile advertising firm's chief marketing officer, is one of 25 successful females on this list.

The former chief marketing officer at Yahoo tells Ad Age that Baltimore acts is a weekend respite for her and her two kids after spending her work week traveling to far-flung destinations like Paris, London, Los Angeles, Germany and Singapore. 

In spite of her achievements, she tells Ad Age that she has mixed feelings about being labeled a successful female executive.

"You don’t want to be singled out as a special case, as if there should be some different threshold for women.”

Read the entire story here.

Entrepreneur magazine says Maryland is the best state for starting a business

Maryland, Colorado and Virginia support innovation and their high-tech workforce, according to the fourth annual Enterprising States report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

Entrepreneur magazine features the list of states, which also included Utah and Massachusetts in the top five. The U.S. Chamber took a look at the number of high-tech businesses, STEM job concentration and programs that support entrepreneurs. The report credited the Free State for its Activate program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the Maryland Entrepreneurs Resource List. 

Read the entire story here

Mobile TV service Dyle expanding to Baltimore

Mobile TV service Dyle is expanding into Baltimore, USA Today reports. 

Launched in August, Dyle is growing rapidly and will be in 116 stations in 39 markets by the end of the year. It is currently in 91 stations in 36 markets.

"In using Dyle and MyDTV, TV stations send broadcast signals over the air to a smartphone or tablet (currently, limited to Apple devices)," USA Today writes. "Users must pay about $80 to $100 for an antenna dongle, inserted into their device, which receives the broadcast signals."

You can read the rest of the story here

Phelps Wins Gold in Social Media Race

Everyone knows by now that Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian in history, with 22 medals. 

But he's struck gold in social media as well, according to a Reuters story that appeared in the Huffington Post. 

Reuters reports that Phelps added one million followers during the London Olympics, bringing his total count to nearly 1.3 million. He also has 800,000 Facebook fans. Jamaican track-and-field athlete Usain Bolt is ahead of the race, with 1.5 million Twitter followers. 

And in other Michael Phelps news, the Rodgers Forge native is set to appear in his own reality show. Don't get too excited. We probably won't see our hometown boy engage in crazy antics a la Real Housewives. He'll be playing golf on the Golf Channel's the Haney Project, the Hollywood Reporter writes

Maryland Passes Groundbreaking Social Media Law

Embarrassed over the Facebook pics your friends posted of you swilling beer at a pool party last summer? 

Well your employer won't see them if you work in Maryland. The state is the first to pass a law that prohibits employers from asking staff for their passwords to social media sites. The law's passage got coverage in newspapers and tech sites around the country. 

"According to Maryland’s ACLU, states like California, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan and Massachusetts have already developed legislation that would ban the practice," Government Technology writes. 

You can read the rest of the story here

City Paper Surveys Baltimore's Online News Scene

Fresh on the heels of the conclusion of the NewsTrust project, the Baltimore City Paper has published an in-depth feature surveying Baltimore's online news landscape.

From the source:

Right now, Baltimore has around eight steady sources of online news, far more than that depending on how you broaden the definition. Some are corporately fed, such as North Baltimore Patch, Charm City Current, Bmore Media, or Baltimore Examiner, and some are independent, such as the Baltimore Brew and Investigative Voice.

For six months, Baltimore was fortunate enough to have an organization here dedicated solely to analyzing the city's journalistic output, NewsTrust Baltimore (the local pilot project of the larger NewsTrust organization). It was a bit like Yelp crossed with the Columbia Journalism Review. The project ceased operations on July 31 (it was always intended as a six-month pilot), leaving behind a collection of reports, one of which is a final comprehensive analysis of sorts. It eventually concludes, "The local news scene is in a state of flux with more than a little creative chaos. But patterns are emerging. As news startups and impassioned individuals become more rigorous and as traditional news organizations become more open and responsive to the public, there is a growing opportunity for collaboration across the local journalistic community."

Read the whole feature here.

Further reading: Bmore's February, 2011 feature on emerging news sites.

Local Startup 410Labs Generates National Buzz With Shortmail

Local startup 410Labs made big news last week by announcing a round of funding for Shortmail, a new too designed to alleviate the burden of overwhelming email conversations.

From the source:

But it's not just Twitter for email. There are other interesting elements of the service too. For example, you can set any Shortmail conversation to be private or public. The latter feature I tested out yesterday with 410 Labs (the company behind Shortmail) co-founder Dave Troy. Below, find my Q&A back and forth with him. (They don't currently have embeds, so I took screen shots of it to include in this post. But you can find the thread live on the web here.)

As Troy notes below, 410 Labs has secured a $750,000 Series A round of funding. True Ventures, 500 Startups, Fortify Ventures, and The Maryland Venture Fund drove the round. Individuals including Tim O'Shaughnessy (co-founder of LivingSocial), Jeff Ganek (founder of Neustar), Abdur Chowdhury (chief scientist at Twitter), among others, participated as well.

Read the full story at TechCrunch.

TEDCO's New Chief Hopes to Expand Agency's Mission

Maryland Technology Development Corporation's new head, Robert A. Rosenbaum, took a little time out to talk with The Washington Post about his plans for the agency.

Here's an excerpt:

"Rosenbaum, a former managing director of Baltimore-based Nobska Ventures, also is pushing to close a gap in how the money is handed out. Too often, early-stage companies are left gasping for funds as they mature. If funding permits, he wants Tedco to fill that gap by following up on its seed investments with a second infusion of cash to help promising companies grow."

Read the entire article.

Towson Library launches pilot program to teach small biz owners

The Towson Library has started a new program for small business owners that introduces them to the free services the library offers and teaches them how to use them.

Here's an excerpt:

"The free service offers an hour of one-on-one training to business people on the use of databases, websites and print sources available through the library.

"I highly recommend it for anyone trying to break the ice in the Towson area or even Baltimore County," said Hyson. "It's a great resource. It offered us hundreds of thousand of contacts," he added, "and the driving force is that it was free."

Indeed, some of the databases available at no cost through the Baltimore County Public Library website (bcpl.info) would otherwise cost hundreds of dollars.

Among the offerings are Standard & Poor's NetAdvanatge, a source of business and investment information; Reference USA, a list of 11 million company profiles including addresses, phone numbers, numbers of employees, sales volume and product lines; and Value Line Investment Survey Online, a resource offering information and advice on some 1,700 stocks."

Read the entire article here.

Blackberry maker Research In Motion eyes entry in mobile ad biz via Millennial Media

Millennial Media  could soon be part of mobile giant Research in Motion. The Blackberry-maker has been in talks with the mobile advertising company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Here's an excerpt:

"Under pressure in the increasingly competitive wireless market, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. is shopping for a mobile advertising network, people familiar with the matter said.

In recent months, the Canadian device maker has held talks with Baltimore-based mobile ad network Millennial Media about a potential acquisition, these people said. But the talks have stalled over disagreements regarding the value of Millennial, which serves advertisements on its own network of mobile websites. It also brokers ad sales to a group of other mobile ad networks."

Read the entire article here.

Baltimore's fire chief one of first in nation to embrace social media

Fire Chief James Clack doesn't rely on radios or meetings at the firehouse to talk to officers and firefighters in Baltimore's Fire Dept. He turns to social media, and he's one of the first fire chiefs in the country to do so.

Here's an excerpt:

"In the age of the Internet, some fire departments have tried to limit what makes it online, but some chiefs have used technology to allow them to better communicate with firefighters and officers.

Baltimore Fire Chief James Clack has been one of the most proactive chiefs in the country when it comes to using social media.

"I really have a lot of ways to interact with our workforce," he said during a session at Firehouse Expo today that also include Syracuse Fire Chief Mark McLees and Memphis Fire Chief Alvin Benson."

Read the entire article here.

Two of Baltimore's own included in Google's Fiber for Communities "Thank You" video

Nearly four months after some 1100 cities submitted proposals as part of Google's Fiber for Communities initiative, a $1 billion project that will bring super high-speed broadband to the city or cities Google has chosen, the search giant responded with a YouTube video thanking them. Two of Baltimore's own Mario Armstrong and Joe Weaver, who's holding a Google logo created by his daughter, are included in the video.

Read Google's response here.

Watch the video:


Watch: Mayor Rawlings-Blake talks about using social media

What's it take to be a mayor in the 21st century? A good grasp of social media and pushing out information to constituents is one thing, according to Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Watch the video:

TOTW: We like 'em quirky

This week it was a quirky tweet that made the top of our super short list this week....

@SocialMedia411 tweets this updated rewrite of a classic, " Dance like the photo's not tagged, Love like you've never been unfriended, Tweet like nobody's following"  We're gonna try it tonight!

@BaltimoreGal had a good one, too! " I am eating my favorite sandwich: Maryland heirloom tomato with peppered goat cheese! YUM #summereats" Mmmmm....heirloom tomatoes one of summer's greatest pleasures. We'll take one of those!

Don't see your tweet? Follow us @bmoremedia and @bmoremediame, or send us a favorite tweet from a Baltimore tweeter!
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