Equitech Tuesday #150: The 150th!

Dear Baltimore Tech Community,

We’ve come a long way… On Tuesday, May 21st, we celebrate the 150th Equitech Tuesday with our ESO partners from across the city – Blackbird Laboratories, bwtech@UMBC, Early Charm, ETC, Fulton Bank, Hutch, Innovation Works Baltimore, Loyola’s Simon Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Morgan State University’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center, Techstars, TEDCO, Towson StarTUp, USM – just to name a few! Join us at Waverly Brewing for a special Equitech Tuesday where we raise a glass to each other – the people who make up a more connected ecosystem.

Before I joined UpSurge, I remember Kory Bailey putting Equitech Tuesday on my calendar every Tuesday until I finally came to Equitech Tuesday #40.  It took me forty weeks to finally engage.  But when I did, I saw Kevin Carter from EcoMap Technologies who I had been meaning to catch up with for weeks. Then I started coming more frequently and often texted Erica Myers (VFA) to meet up with me.  Now I see Kevin with Rebecca Rosenberg and Bailey Surtees supporting each other at every couple of Equitech Tuesdays, bringing more people into the fold. Coming to Equitech Tuesdays was one of the core reasons why I felt welcomed into the tech community when I started at UpSurge.

Here are some words from our CEO Kory Bailey, reminiscing about the early Equitech Tuesdays:

In a recent peer ecosystem visit to my hometown of Durham, NC, the UpSurge team met Chris Heivly, serial entrepreneur and author of ‘Build The Fort’ (which I can’t wait to read). He talked about the fallacy of believing that economic development and growth is a natural result of simply adding entrepreneurship programs and accelerators to an ecosystem. He said, “Before any of those programs can be successful, first you have to build a community.” Equitech Tuesday is the front door to and the living room for Baltimore’s tech community. A place where you are welcome. A place where the most wonderful connections and collisions happen. A place where you belong.

On May 25, 2021, following the first public facing event for UpSurge at Impact Hub, founders Ellington West (Sonavi Labs), Nick Culbertson (Protenus), Derek Battle & Jal Irani (Flave), Julianna Buonanno (Techslice), Mac Conwell (RareBreed Ventures) and others, many of us meeting each other in-person for the first time, walked down to Alma Cocina to continue the conversation. I simultaneously marveled at the unique talents and collective gifts of this small group of leaders. They all seemed larger than life to me (literally and figuratively). This gathering would become the first of many Equitech Tuesdays.

A few weeks later, I met a 5’2” giant named Pava LaPere, who unlocked something in me that I had put my finger on but couldn’t quite capture in words. Ecosystem building is the intentional effort involved in bringing stakeholders together and creating opportunities for growth for founders as people and for their companies. Thus, our role at UpSurge is to create mutually beneficial exchanges of capital (yes, all 7 forms) along the founder and startup journey.

Equitech Tuesday has become an asset to our ecosystem and a staple of the Baltimore Tech community. It continues to facilitate the introductions, connections, conversations and activities necessary for founders to develop and startups to grow. It draws investors, tech talent, real estate developers, corporate operators, creators, artists, activists, and local and state officials… leaders from every sector of the public and private sector interested in engaging with founders and the tech economy. The 150th Equitech Tuesday is an important milestone and I am excited to celebrate it with our ESO partners. They are the programs and partners that touch so many of our budding founders and the next generation of startups that will impact the growth of our beloved city… Baltimore.

Now, we look forward to the next 150 Equitech Tuesdays. As you may have noticed in the last couple of weeks, Equitech Tuesdays have been moving around and have featured different groups in our ecosystem. That’s because we want our weekly gathering to be an opportunity for our founders and entrepreneurs to discover and meet the many people and organizations who support the tech community in Baltimore and vice versa. Many of the Equitech Tuesday have been organic collaborations, but we’re also listening to what our community wants from these weekly gatherings. So keep coming out to Equitech Tuesdays – whatever # it is, I hope you learn something new, see new & familiar faces, and make a meaningful connection each time. And let us know where you’d like to go, who you’d like to see, or what ideas you have for Equitech Tuesday #156 and beyond!


Robbin Lee

Director of Partnerships & Mobilization

UpSurge Baltimore

Bookmark this landing page and mark you calendars for the upcoming Equitech Tuesdays:

#151: May 28Equitech Tuesday: Mid-Atlantic Innovation (with Techstars Equitech Accelerator, Techstars Washington D.C. JP Morgan Accelerator, World Trade Center Institute CEO Council, & Maryland group attending the BIO International Convention)

#152: June 4Equitech Tuesday: Generative AI Summit with University of Baltimore Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and the Center for Digital Communication, Commerce, and Culture

#153: June 11Equitech Tuesday: Family-Friendly Night

#154: June 18Equitech Tuesday: Expression & Connection with Maryland Art Place

#155: June 25Equitech Tuesday: Demo Day with Conscious Venture Lab