Accelerate Baltimore readies for second class of startup dreamers next year

Big news today for startup dreamers: The Accelerate Baltimore program, run out of the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore, is going to launch its second program next year, and will over spots to six companies.

The first Accelerate Baltimore class of four companies graduated this past summer, and they're all bumping and grinding trying to get to the next level.


Those interested in applying to the program, to help launch their own companies, will see an application process begin in October. The program will begin in February 2013.

Here's what you get if your company is selected: $25,000 in seed funding (technically, a convertible note), plus program support, mentorship and guidance, and a Demo Day, where you can show off your product to investors. The seed funding comes from the philanthropic Abell Foundation, in Baltimore.


Interestingly, it appears there is no longer the requirement for a Baltimore company that goes through the program to stay in the city. Such a requirement was in place for the first batch of companies this year, but I talked to many people in town who thought that was a bad idea, to limit companies in that way.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the news today. (The city of Baltimore contributes funding to support the ETC.)

BALTIMORE, MD. (SEPTEMBER 21, 2012) – Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the Emerging Technology Center (ETC) announced the launch of the second AccelerateBaltimore program in partnership with the Abell Foundation. The program will start accepting applications in early October 2012, and the accelerator will begin in February 2013 with up to 6 companies—a 50% increase from the first AccelerateBaltimore program.

With the Abell Foundation as the funding partner and the ETC providing the program support services, the first AccelerateBaltimore was launched in April 2012. It was the first business accelerator in Baltimore City and the state of Maryland. The goal of AccelerateBaltimore is to help technology companies meet the challenges facing a start-up and get to market quickly.

“Sometimes what keeps a new, innovative business from taking off is not a lack of creativity or vision, but a lack of business knowledge,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “With the support of the Abell Foundation and the ETC, we have created a space for promising technology start-ups to flourish. By partnering to create new economic opportunity in the city, we not only help create jobs today, but we develop a strategy for helping others with bright ideas get off the ground in the future.”

AccelerateBaltimore will again provide $25,000 in seed funding to each accelerator company, free office space, access to a high-level advisory team, a 13-week hands-on instructional program, and connections to potential investors, partners, and resources.

“Technology moves so fast these days that start-ups need to be nimble and move just as fast,” said Deborah Tillett, President and CEO of the ETC. “We developed a program at ETC that caters to early stage companies and offers the intense, hands-on help they need to get traction and get to market fast!”

The first class of AccelerateBaltimore accepted four companies: Kithly, NewsUp,, and Unbound Concepts. These four were selected from over 40 applicants. At the end of the 3-month program, each of the companies launched their products on Demo Day, an event at the ETC that was attended by angel investors, venture capitalists, the press, and other entrepreneurs.

The ETC will conduct broad international and national outreach, searching for the next round of applicants while showcasing Baltimore’s robust innovation economy. ETC will promote the program via traditional and social media, as well as through direct outreach to university engineering and science departments, the NBIA’s international incubator lists, and ETC’s direct partnerships with international incubators. Details and applications will be available online at in early October 2012.

For more information about AccelerateBaltimore, contact the ETC at (410) 327-9150.

About the ETC:

ETC is a venture of Baltimore Development Corporation. It is a non-profit business incubator with two separate facilities. The ETC focuses on growing early-stage technology, biotechnology, and innovation companies in Baltimore City.

More than an opportunity for the growth of individual companies, the ETC provides an environment in which like-minded companies can accelerate their potential through partnerships, joint ventures, and other collaborations. It is estimated that ETC companies have created in excess of $375.8 million in economic activity for the City of Baltimore.