Tag Archives: baltimore

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Incubate Spotlight: Innovative Charitable

I spoke with Dale Kelley, the CEO and President of one of ETC’s newest members, Innovative Corporate Charitable Solutions. Innovative Corporate Charitable Solutions, who joined ETC’s IncubateBaltimore 2 months ago, is a company whose software is designed for corporations that want a new, advanced way of making charitable donations.The company started when Bob Wieder saw an application for a new system of charity donations in the corporate world. Wielder then came to Kelley, a fellow baseball coach for their sons’ team, and the two got a development team together. But Innovative isn’t just your typical charity donation company.


Bob Wieder, founder of Innovative Charitable, and Jim Clifton, VP Sales, 
and Marketing strategize messaging with the video production team.

“We have a really big vision,” said Kelley during our talk. “We want to link corporations to the community and bridge that gap.” Innovative believes that the key to achieving this goal lies in the corporation’s own employees. Who better to connect to the community than those who are the community? What makes Innovative truly unique is its bottom-up approach. Instead of the company making one large donation to a single charity, companies using Innovative give the decision to the employees.


How? With Innovative, the corporation designates so much money for  charity and then allots the money to a certain number of employees. Each employee then picks a charity to donate that money to. These smaller donations are seen as more genuine because the charities they go to are selected personally by each employee. Innovative is a very personal software. At the end of the donation process, the employee can then choose to share the news of this donation on social media (Facebook or Twitter). Innovative even has the president of the company film a short video that is presented to the employee during the process.


Why choose to do small donations though rather than a couple of large ones? Well, smaller donations help to expand the company’s footprint, Kelley explained. This method spreads the donations to smaller, local charities that may not typically receive many donations. When an employee starts the donation process, they may pick a charity they already have in mind or they may scroll through a list provided by Innovative. They can also narrow-down the list by type of charity and where the charity is located. Unless the employee designates a different state, the default area is determined by their IP address. This encourages those donating to give-back to the local community.


So what is Innovative’s future plans? “We are in the angel stage right now,” said Kelley, “but we hope to obtain our first several customers this year.” As for long term goals, Innovative aims to be a national company. ETC’s IncubateBaltimore helps Innovative Charitable to grow as a startup. Kelley says that ETC’s Haven campus provides the perfect place for brainstorming in its coworking space. The mentoring and opportunity to meet others are also great benefits that Innovative has gained since joining IncubateBaltimore. And ETC is excited to welcome Innovative.

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What’s the Buzz About TechBUZZ?


Whether you’re an investor or a startup, TechBUZZ has something for you. This event by the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA), which is hosted in various locations in the DMV, three times a year, brings together investors and top startups in one space. This is the first year they are hosting this event in Baltimore City. This is the perfect opportunity for both networking and for startups to present a thorough 4 minute pitch to investors actively seeking early-stage entrepreneurs. A wide range of startups present at each event, from software and education technology to business and food technology.

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Over the past 3 years, multiple ETC startups have taken the stage at TechBUZZ.

SurveySnap – (Spring 2013) An app that helps  collect and organize information about job sites, such as floor plans, maps, aerial images, and more. On their site, you can find a free trial. SurveySnap is also an Accelerate Baltimore graduate.

SameGrain – (Fall 2013) A social app that lets you connect with other people who have the same interests, values, backgrounds, and more. They emphasize privacy and anonymity on their social platform.

Rehabtics (Fall 2013) An at home system utilizing Microsoft Connect for rehabilitation

Roadmap – (Summer 2014) “Intelligent product management, scheduling, time tracking, and resource planning.” Their software helps you organize and manage projects. A free trial can be found on their website.

PeerAspect – (Fall 2015) Data management software. Their flagship software called Sheets has been praised for its flexibility and ease.

NewsUp – (Fall 2015) Integrates relevant news with engaging quizzes. They call themselves “the current events trivia game where you play the news!” In July 2015, the company closed a $500,000 equity round, led by the McLane Group.

Sickweather – (Spring 2015) An app that tells you the illness forecast. See how many sicknesses are about on your phone or Apple Watch. Sickweather has been featured on Time, NPR, Fox, CBS, BBC News, and more.

Point3 Security – (Spring 2016) A security company that offers a “human-driven service.” Their security mechanism, Odile™, detects advanced cyber threats on your computer or network.

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For the Summer 2016 TechBUZZ, ETC’s own Fusiform will be presenting their pitch. Fusiform was founded by Param Shah and Alex Matthews to change the world of orthopedics. Their FusiformCAST technology streamlines the process for clinicians’ of administering orthopedic devices. Not only does FusiformCAST’s scanning technology save valuable time by cutting down the time needed for each appointment, but it also greatly reduces possible errors in the ordering process.

Benefits for clinicians include order collaboration, scanner compatibility, patient tracking, and messaging. The order collaboration feature allows a clinician to look at the 3D scan of the patient along with their central fabricators, which makes communication and collaboration easy.

Vendors, too, benefit from using FusiformCAST. With CAST, vendors can easily track orders, communicate with their clients, and customize CAST to fit their business by uploading their catalogs and order forms.

Fusiform is a 2016 program graduate of the Accelerate Baltimore program.


All are welcome to attend the Summer 2016 TechBUZZ on Thursday, June 16th from 1pm-7:30pm.  The event is located at the Columbus Center in the Inner Harbor on 701 E. Pratt Street. If you want to attend, use the following code for $10 off: MAVATBETC.

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8 Things Startups Love About Coworking

Coworking is becoming a popular trend all over the globe and with good reason. If, by any chance, you are unfamiliar with what coworking is, well let me explain it in the simplest way possible: coworking is a membership-based workspace with a diverse group of professionals in a communal setting.

Now what is it that makes this concept of coworking so effective and appealing to those in the startup scene? To find out we decided to do a little internal research among our own companies here at the ETC to find out exactly why coworking spaces have become so popular.

  • Community & Culture

Entrepreneurship can get lonely at times, but when you are in a workspace that thrives on energy, it gives you an extra burst of motivation that you may not get from working in your home office or local coffee shop. A close knit community is what makes coworking a great office space option for many members.

  • Diverse Industries

Unlike a traditional office, coworking spaces consist of members who are working for different companies and organizations among a variety of different industries. Working among people that do  different kinds of work can also make your own work identity stronger. One member said, “having relationships with the different companies lets us use each other as resources”. So when you’re placed in a setting where the norm is to help each other out—and there are many opportunities to do so—it opens up doors.

  • Variety of Communal Workspaces and Flexibility

Your work environment and  style is completely up to you. Coworking allows people to decide whether to put in a long day, sleep in and work late, work early and leave early, take one break, take ten breaks, the options are endless and it’s all based on what makes you feel the most productive. But it doesn’t just stop at having the freedom to make your own work schedule, coworking spaces also give people the option to work in a more quiet space when they need to focus, or jump into a collaborative space with shared tables where interaction is encouraged.

  • Events

At a traditional business office you are with one company who, more so than not, has the authority to tell you which industry related events or conferences you are or are not going to attend. However, in a coworking space that is definitely not the case. Events are one of the greatest benefits of working in a coworking space. Launch parties, hackathons, tech talks, workshops, venture capitalist guest speakers, happy hours, panel discussions, monthly classes and demo days are some of the most popular types of events that coworking spaces host but the options are endless and in regards to connections, there only going to grow.

  • Open Concept Office Space

Cubicle life, most people have been there, done that, and as someone who has experienced it first hand I’m sure I can speak for most when I say that it is the worst. Having an open concept office space creates an environment that is inviting, warm, and makes you want to come to work.

  • Massage Chair (or amenities)

So the massage chair is specific to the ETC space but we had to throw it in here because come on, if your space had access to a massage chair at all times of the day it would be on your list too. Although, to make this more general towards all spaces, it is known that one of the most appealing aspects of coworking are all of the awesome amenities that come with being a member. Coffee, espresso machines, conference spaces, coffee, telephone booths, free printing, did I say coffee?

  • Interaction

With the ability to get multiple opinions from people in different industries with different points of view can be extremely helpful when help is needed. However, even though you are surrounded by a group of people, socializing isn’t mandatory or forced by any means. Members have the freedom to pick and choose when and how to interact with others. For example, members are more likely to enjoy discussions over coffee in the kitchen area because they went to that part of the space for that purpose.When they want to be left alone elsewhere in the building such as at their desk, they are able to get that privacy.

  • Not traditional

Coworking is not your traditional workplace setting and that, in itself, is appealing. Although coworking spaces are becoming a rising trend in cities around the world it is still not considered the norm therefore it’s desirable.

A coworking space opens you up to people and experiences you would have missed in the first place. You’re only as boring as the space and people around you. The excitement that anything can happen, anyone can show up, at any time on any day makes a coworking space anything but boring; which as it would seem, gives justification to this popular trend.


So, are you a startup still working from home or your local coffee shop?

If so, it might be time to consider coworking as the next steps in moving your business forward. For more information about the ETC or to schedule a tour contact us or email us at info@etcbaltimore.com. 


Startup Crawl

Join us here at Betamore for Startup Crawl, an event that puts talented college students + grads in the same room with the startup / tech community to learn the industry, create beneficial connections and discover what the Baltimore Tech community has to offer.

Come with your friends, shake a few hands, and experience how fun working for a startup can be. This event is exclusive to college juniors and seniors, as well as recent grads (must be less than one year out of school). 

Students, come prepared!

  • We’ll kick off the event with name tag registration and some opening remarks from Betamore, overviewing our campus and the Baltimore Tech community.
  • Bring 15-20 copies of your résumé to distribute.
  • No need for three piece suits and ties but do look presentable.

Designing an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Building A Community Through Collaborative Workspace

WHO: The Verve Partnership + Hyperspace
: Designing an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Building a Community Through Collaborative Workspace
WHERE: Spark, Baltimore
WHEN: Wednesday 4/20 6:30PM for refreshments, talk starts at 7PM  

WHY: Since the first Refresh Baltimore event in 2008, our city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has experienced tremendous growth. We’ve seen familiar startup hubs expand, and new ones emerge.
In order for this success and growth to continue, it is vital to design a collaborative environment and culture where entrepreneurs, designers, and developers can thrive. Getting the right people, in the right place, at the right time accelerates the rate at which creativity and innovation can happen.

The Verve Partnership + Hyperspace prioritize capturing the culture of a company and designing a space that not only reflects that culture, but also encourages a new way of thinking. The moment you walk into one of their projects, you develop an immediate understanding of the brand, culture, and identity of the community that calls that space home. They design for experience.