OUR PERSPECTIVE ON THE CURRENT STATE OF BALTIMORE’S STARTUP ECOSYSTEM — A BASELINE REPORT
Baltimore’s startup ecosystem has been rising in prominence over the last decade. Most recently, Baltimore was named one of the best emerging economies for startups. In the last few years, the number of deals and the total deal size in Baltimore has hit historic highs. Average deal size across all financially backed companies (pre-seed to late-stage) has grown from $1.2 million to $4.8 million since 2016. Increasingly, investors and founders recognize that Baltimore has what it takes to launch and grow profitable, high-growth businesses.
MEETING THE MOMENT POST-COVID
In the post-COVID era, Baltimore is poised to accelerate. With new City leadership, building momentum, the strength of our anchor institutions, and the commitment that both the public and private sector have made to the mission of UpSurge, all of the ingredients are in place. Baltimore is relatively affordable and highly accessible on the 1-95 corridor. With the untethering of companies and workers from traditional startup cities, Baltimore is ideally suited to meet the moment and propel our growth in a post- COVID economy.
BETTING ON DIVERSITY
With our Equitech framework, we are poised to meet the moment as the country increasingly recognizes that diversity is an empirical economic advantage, not a compromise. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Striving to increase workplace diversity is not an empty slogan — it is a good business decision. A McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have returns above the industry mean.”
Morgan Stanley further underscored the potential of diverse founders in its eye-popping report, The Trillion Dollar Blind Spot. “Multicultural and women-owned businesses could account for $6.8 trillion if they matched their percentage of the labor force and business revenues were equal to traditional firms.”
The work of UpSurge to build a high-velocity, thriving, diverse knowledge economy in Baltimore is a long-term vision. And this is just the start. The charts and data in the 2021 report set out a baseline for the existing Baltimore startup ecosystem in terms of funded Baltimore based startups, and funded companies with a significant Baltimore presence.