There's so much happening in Baltimore these days that my little ol' tech blog can't keep up with it. Here's what happened this week, and what's coming up that you should know about:
1. Tech Parents can party: We held the second bi-monthly Baltimore Tech Parents happy hour event on Tuesday night, at Heavy Seas Alehouse. The topic was "disruptive online education." The guest speakers were Susan Magsamen, of Curiosityville.com, and Burck Smith, CEO of StraighterLine.com. The discussion was great. We had about 30 people in the audience (nearly double the turnout from the first Tech Parents meetup) and I think people liked it, gosh darnit, they really, really liked it! You can join the Baltimore Tech Parents Facebook group here.
2. Watch out, Barnes & Noble: The Ivy Bookshop, in North Baltimore, launched a new website -- well, its first website. This is big news for Baltimore book lovers, who frequent the store for its carefully curated selection of books and who participate in local book clubs. I wrote a story last year about how the book store was sold by its founder to out-of-town buyers from New York/New Jersey, a husband-and-wife team. The new owners, Ed and Ann Berlin, want to do more in-store events and they're still building out a website where book clubs will be able to have their own presence on their website. There are perks for those who participate in the Club Ivy book club online.
3. Cybersecurity boon for UMBC: Just announced today, the University of Maryland Baltimore County, already known of its prowess in cybersecurity education and training, is getting a $2.5 million grant over five years from the National Science Foundation to train 22 students in cybersecurity. The students will get full-ride scholarships, plus stipends.
4. Subelsky Ignited: Mike Subelsky, a co-founder of Ignite Baltimore and overall Renaissance-programmer dude, has moved on to his next startup: AdStaq. I noticed this bit of news when Subelsky, with whom I'm connected with on LinkedIn, added his new status to his profile. He's working on the startup with co-founder James Curran, an Advertising.com alumnus. The wants to tap into the wealth of online advertising expertise in our area, and is building a tool "that combines all of your ad technology reporting, enabling you to watch your campaigns, inventory, data, analytics and sales pipeline closely." If you're an online ad engineer looking for a new opportunity, expect to see some openings at AdStaq, here in Baltimore and in New York.
5. Baltimore UnWired: The Greater Baltimore Tech Council (GBTC) is holding its next out-of-the-box event on Aug. 24-25 at Johns Hopkins University, where the local tech community and government/institutional stakeholders will work on builiding minimal-viable products that address some of Baltimore's most intractable problems. Ticket price: $10.
6. WordPress Geeks Unite: WordCamp Baltimore is coming Sept. 8 to the Maryland Science Center. This is 1) a cool event and 2) a cool venue. Kudos to the organizers for pulling together this one-day geekfest for people who love to build websites and blog on the WordPress platform. There are a ton of speakers and sessions there, and the ticket prices start at $10 for youth, $20 for adults and $50 for sponsor-level tickets. I expect to be there because I recently developed a WordPress site for my mobile app.
7. Get on the Bus: There's a "Startup Bus" that will soon be traveling around Maryland promoting the state's innovation and entrepreneurial resources, and hosting a Pitch Across Maryland competition for entrepreneurs. It'll be traveling around the state from Sept. 11 - Sept. 28. It's stopping in all the corners of Maryland. The itinerary is here.
8. Baltimore Innovation Week: A feisty new tech blog in town, called TechnicallyBaltimore.com, has set up camp with some eager journalists from Philadelphia at the helm. They're under an ambitious timetable to pull together Baltimore Innovation Week, a 10-day celebration of all things tech in the city. It's scheduled from Sept. 20 to Sept. 30.
9. Boom-boom Betascape: Coming the weekend of Sept. 22-23, Betascape is a hands-on geekfest for artists and technologists. It's a "weekend-long artwork and technology and exploratorium." Here's the schedule. Tickets start at $50 (MICA students can go free.)