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Ed tech firm raises $1.25 million, including from Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank

Baltimore, MD -- This old city garage at 101 W. Dickman St. will be converted into a makerspace for business start-ups under Kevin Plank's ambitious plans for the land his Sagamore Development has acquired in Port Covington.
Baltimore, MD -- This old city garage at 101 W. Dickman St. will be converted into a makerspace for business start-ups under Kevin Plank's ambitious plans for the land his Sagamore Development has acquired in Port Covington. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

An education technology firm that relocated to Baltimore in January said Wednesday it has raised $1.25 million in venture capital financing, including a $300,000 investment from Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank.

CWIST, which creates software and lesson plans designed to turn drones and robots into educational tools, plans to use the investment to expand its team, said founder Chris Sleat, 49, who started the firm in Annapolis in 2013. The company has two employees and 11 contractors, he said.

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CWIST hopes to raise $1.5 million in its Series A financing round, Sleat said.

Plank invested in CWIST through Sagamore Ventures, the venture capital subsidiary of his private investment firm. Severna Park-based SFP Capital also invested $950,000.

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"We look for innovative companies that have potential and passion," said SFP Capital CEO Paul Serini. "CWIST's mission, innovative education platform and its success in engaging educators in the maker space, was a perfect fit for us."

CWIST moved from Annapolis to Baltimore in January. The firm is now based in City Garage, a building conceived of as a "makerspace" that is owned by Plank's Sagamore Ventures and opened last year.

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