If you want to see a city with pride and passion, come to Baltimore on the Friday before a Ravens football game. The entire city is purple, our home team's color. School kids wear purple. Working men and women wear purple. The cupcakes at local bakeries are -- you guessed it -- purple.
A Ravens game might be the occasion, but our pride and passion are bigger than our team. During Orioles games, we sing "Oh" as loud as we can during the national anthem that was penned right here ("Oh say can you see by the dawn's early light"). We put Old Bay (thank you McCormick Spice, a Baltimore company) on everything from crabs to ice cream.
We are also passionate about the future of this city, and if you visit, you'll see it in a single word printed on bumper stickers and billboards across the city: BELIEVE.
But we know believing is not enough. We also have to do something to address the very real economic challenges facing our city. The good news is, we are. Groups across the city are investing to harness the power of innovation to create a new economy based on the organic growth of technologies, products and ideas born right here. We are nurturing conditions that will enable this growth to thrive because we understand the importance of supporting a start-up ecosystem. We understand what needs to be done to attract and retain the best and the brightest, fuel economic growth and create new jobs and opportunity that includes and lifts all our citizens and communities.
Here are seven reasons why we believe that Baltimore and its startup ecosystem hold promise for the future:
- Baltimore is a place with a deep well of innovation spanning multiple sectors with distinctive regional strengths in biotech, educational technology and cyber security. Education innovator Sylvan/Laureate is based in Baltimore as are many other promising education and technology companies. High growth cyber security companies like Cyberpoint, RedOwl, and Zerofox are staffing up to provide inventive solutions to the nation's growing cyber threats. And companies like Sonavex are using technology to improve surgical outcomes.
The rest of the country is taking notice of the progress Baltimore is making. A recent feature in Entrepreneur Magazine cited Baltimore as the second hottest start-up city that isn't San Francisco or New York, and this Christian Science Monitor article called Baltimore one of the top "cool" cities for Millennials who want to live in affordable, entrepreneurial, culturally rich and impact-oriented cities. And on September 28, legendary entrepreneur and investor Steve Case of AOL and Revolution fame, will be in town to kick off his next Rise of the Rest Tour, focusing on America's next great start-up cities.
When Case and his Revolution team are here at the beginning of Baltimore Innovation Week, investors and entrepreneurs around the country ought to be watching. Baltimore is a place where passions run deep, and more and more people across the country are starting to BELIEVE.