The UpShot: A New Year and a New UpShot!

A New Year and a New UpShot!


As we clean snow off our cars and curl up with hot chocolate; promise has unfurled its wings and taken flight!

Just in the last few weeks, we have seen local founders making their mark on a national level.

Crystal Berger, Founder of EBO was just featured in Forbes magazine where she was touted as a “a trailblazer with a resolute mission—to leave an indelible mark on the media industry.” In November, we saw Crystal take the stage representing the dreams and struggles of Black women founders across Baltimore during TEDCO’s Black Female Founder VC Forum.

In December, one of her mentees and our very own Naomi Winston, founder of The Creative Representation Empire (TCRE) appeared on CBS Mornings with none other than Gayle King! In her interview, she talked about her love for Baltimore and the love and support she has received from our tech ecosystem. As a Black, queer, female founder, she exemplifies what we all know and love about Baltimore’s tech ecosystem: a chance to be your authentic self and pursue a more inclusive, innovative future for the city. We wish her luck as she jumps into founder life full time starting today!

Techstars Equitech alum Eddie de Guia, founder of EQL Finance also appeared on Good Morning Washington, talking about his product aims to make financial wellness more accessible. A Baltimore native, his company is democratizing financial resiliency through expanded access to information, services and care to help promote a better financial outcome.

Lastly, a huge shoutout to B.well Connected Health, Cerebro Capital, Protenus and Backpack Healthcare for being featured as part of 10 Startups to Watch in 2024. B.well with its exciting Samsung partnership, Cerebro Capital’s patent on AI tech that predicts bank loans, Protenus securing two patents focusing on the firm’s drug diversion surveillance technology, and Backpack Healthcare’s acquisitions of Hurdle Health and SHE Health, are well on their way for a big year in 2024. Baltimore’s designation as a federal technology hub could lead to the flow of millions of dollars flowing into the region to expand the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and health care. These companies are at the forefront to bask in the advantage that these developments will bring within the health care and AI industries.

It is exciting to see the new year bringing fresh pairs of eyes witnessing the growth of our ecosystem. At UpSurge, the new year brings a renewed vigor to create a culture of belonging in tech in Baltimore. A vigor we share with many of the other organizations supporting entrepreneurship in Baltimore. We hope that this year will bring with it not only attention but more outpouring of support and resources for our passionate and innovative founders from within Baltimore and from across the country!

What’s UP: Founders

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What’s UP: Funders

What’s UP: Friends

Heads UP: Opportunities

Heads UP: Events

Catch UP: Media

  • UpSurge emphasizes a more nuanced view of Venture Funding data: Despite 2023 decline in venture funding, for a second year in a row, Baltimore outperformed the nation. Trends in AI, Life Sciences, and Clean Tech investments prevailed in Baltimore’s VC landscape. Stay tuned – UpSurge will drop its new state of the ecosystem report in late February.
  • Barry Wright, Chief of Staff at Noom, champions Baltimore: embracing remote work, building local connections, and nurturing the city’s tech ecosystem!

The UpShot is Baltimore’s Equitech ecosystem news, curated for startups, founders, funders and friends all working together to build the country’s first Equitech City. #ThisIsEquitech