Dear Baltimore, Thank You.

UpSurge Partners Celebrate a Successful Year

On Tuesday, June 7, over 200 founders, investors, city, state, university, nonprofit and corporate partners joined us for the One-Year Anniversary of Equitech Tuesday and a celebration of last Summer’s UpSurge Teams.

This UpSurge-hosted event was an amazing reflection of Equitech and the work we’ve done in Baltimore over the past year. The energy and love in the building was palpable. There’s no doubt that we’re slowly building something very special here in Baltimore.

We celebrated the beauty and grit of our growing family, recognized some of our most engaged and impactful leaders, released our Building in Baltimore Guide, and embraced the importance of community, connectivity and collaboration across the ecosystem. To quote UpSurge Director of Relationship Development, Kory Bailey:

If NY is about money, LA is about fame and DC is about power, then what is Baltimore about? Baltimore is about LOVE.

He went on to say Baltimore expresses the kind of love akin to family. It can sometimes be messy and complicated but also extremely loyal and supportive. Let’s continue to show up for each other and lead with love.

The Winners of Our First-Ever UpSurge Equitech Awards

We also took a moment to recognize a group of people who have been rock-star partners, not only in their support of UpSurge but also in their willingness to go above and beyond for our Baltimore tech community. 

We are seriously grateful for the contributions of each winner, though we had a little fun coming up with the awards themselves… The envelopes, please!

– The D-Squared Award for being the most consistent attendees at Equitech Tuesdays went to Deric Emry of Stepstone and Dexter Carr Jr. of Game4Good.

– The Abacus Award went to the person we can count on every time, Kristen Valdes of b.well Connected Health. 

– The Pitch Perfect Award for the person who killed it, over and over, at high-profile pitch competitions this year went to Ellington West of Sonavi Labs.

– The Carabiner Award recognized two people who forge strong links between early-stage founders and local accelerators, Marianna Pappas of Conscious Venture Lab and Brendan McAdams of Accelerate Baltimore.

– The Salted Caramel Award went to the person who holds our feet to the fire while constantly encouraging us, brings his salty-but-sweet approach to everything he does — Ken Malone of Early Charm.

– The Scaleup Star Award went to two local founders who have taken their business from the farmers market to the shelves of Whole Foods, Nicole Foster and Dwight Campbell of Cajou Creamery. 

– The Future Tech Award for building pathways for the rising tech workforce of Baltimore and beyond went to LaToya Staten of Fearless.

– And The Purple Glow Award went to the person who has become a face of Baltimore tech, shining a glow on our ecosystem nationally and internationally, Mac Conwell of RareBreed Ventures.

Looking Forward

This year’s honorees are just a few of the hundreds of people who are building, shaping and accelerating Baltimore’s Equitech community every day.

There’s no doubt that we’re slowly building something very special here in Baltimore.