Open Works to host startup pitch contest with $10,000 prize

Open Works, a makerspace in Greenmount West, is launching a business boot camp and pitch competition with a $10,000 grand prize.

The EnterpRISE Venture Competition is intended for early stage companies that manufacture prototypes or products using the types of advanced fabrication technology housed at Open Works.

In addition to the $10,000 prize, the winning company will receive a six month membership with studio space at Open Works.

“Open Works is a great place to grow a business, and we think it’s time to put our money where our mouth is and invest in Baltimore’s incredible talent pool,” said Will Holman, Open Works’ executive director, in a statement.

Built by Baltimore Arts Realty Corp., Open Works offers co-working space and memberships to use its workshops, including a wood shop, metal shop, digital media studio and electronics lab.

Twenty companies will be selected to participate in the competition and present a two-minute pitch to a panel of judges during the first round of the contest on Sept. 22.

Ten chosen to advance to the next round will participate in six weeks of mentoring and workshops before returning to the judges Nov. 17.

Five will win cash prizes and a six month membership to Open Works.

In addition to the grand prize, the competition includes $5,000 for the second place company and $1,000 for each of the three remaining top-five finishers.

The Baltimore Development Corporation, TEDCO and the Abell Foundation provided funding for the competition.

Applications are due Sept. 8 and can be submitted online at http://www.openworksbmore.com/enterprise/

sarah.gantz@baltsun.com

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