First look inside Betamore’s new City Garage space

Betamore recently opened for business at its new spot in Port Covington's City Garage.

The Federal Hill-based incubator and startup hub announced plans last year to double its footprint by expanding to City Garage, the former bus depot Sagamore Ventures, the venture capital arm of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank's private investment firm, converted into space for startups and an innovation lab for the Baltimore-based athletic apparel brand.

The 8,000-square-foot space at City Garage can accommodate about 90 people, said Betamore CEO Jen Meyer. The organization has about as many people based in its Federal Hill offices.

"There's a huge need for this right now," Meyer said. "It's not just companies in the incubation space."

The open space is designed to be flexible, to meet the needs of a range of workers, from freelancers and telecommuters to small companies that want to use Betamore as their home base.

Long wood tables are available for individuals who need just enough space for a laptop and coffee mug, while private offices are available for companies that want more room and a little privacy.

The space has 60 individual desks and two shared conference rooms members can use for meetings, hosting clients or video conferences.

Rents vary by the type of space and how often it will be used. Co-working desks cost $225 a month per person, with private offices starting at $1,300 a month. Day passes are available for $30.

Betamore was founded in 2012 as an incubator to provide low-cost office space and training for startup companies.

The organization's Federal Hill space, at 1111 Light St., has served as the launchpad for companies such as cyber security firm ZeroFOX and Citelighter, the education technology startup that was recently acquired by Sylvan Learning.

In 2015, Betamore converted to a nonprofit organization by merging with the Greater Baltimore Technology Council.

With a robust schedule of networking events, mentorship opportunities and classes, the combined organization has aimed to serve as a central node of the city's growing community of entrepreneurs and startups, beyond those renting space.

Past classes and workshops have covered topics such as coding, Google Analytics, communications strategies, and other skills that budding entrepreneurs may need.

The new space at City Garage will advance that goal, Meyer said, by strengthening Betamore's partnership with Sagamore and creating opportunities for more classes and workshops.

Betamore and Sagamore have worked together previously to put on Beta City, a day-long entrepreneurship showcase held at City Garage.

sarah.gantz@baltsun.com

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