For 40 years, cities have been transformed by their embrace of innovation and risk-taking. They’ve produced the advances that have changed our world and generated jobs and wealth for those who’ve participated. But they have also hollowed out the urban middle class. It wasn’t intentional. But it’s real.
Equitech is the defining framework for UpSurge, anchoring our work in a belief that diversity of teams, leadership and perspectives is a force multiplier for tech company growth.
We can build a more vibrant, prosperous future for all of Baltimore, and be a model for the world. More high-growth companies. More quality jobs. More pathways to opportunity. At UpSurge, we’re approaching our growth with intention. With purpose. With lots of voices in the conversation.
Baltimore’s future major companies will not be imported; they’ll be born here.
The world will benefit from their technologies. They’ll generate quality jobs for our neighbors, with higher wages and career mobility. They’ll build the culture and reputation of our city. And, Baltimore will surge as our people invest in neighborhoods, support small businesses, cultural institutions, and nonprofits.
1. Anchor the ecosystem in a defining Equitech vision. Bring lots of voices into the conversation through UpSurge teams, connections across the ecosystem and pilots with key partners.
2. Focus on Baltimore founders and companies. Acknowledge them. Support their goals. Help them overcome their obstacles. Connect them to partners, peers, mentors and customers. Celebrate their wins. Share their stories.
3. Attract new companies, capital and talent to Baltimore. Engage in direct outreach to attract companies and investors. Build out an Equitech Accelerator hub to introduce high-potential startups to the magic of Charm City.
4. Share the story through a global Equitech Prize and a national marketing program that brings visibility to Baltimore and our Equitech vision.
5. Bring the people here to see all the energy and brilliance of Baltimore up-close.
In 2021, more than 200 volunteers from tech, industry, academia and the community gathered to generate Baltimore-specific strategies to nurture, support, attract and retain entrepreneurs and startups at all stages and from all backgrounds.
The result? 152 priorities in three timeframes — quick wins, systems changes and moonshots — all focused on building a tech-for-all ecosystem in Baltimore. The report engages a range of people, from elementary school students in Baltimore City Schools to leaders of corporate America. And we’ll be tracking our progress against these vital aims.