What We Do

Big vision. Concrete actions.

Our mission is to build a thriving tech ecosystem for innovators, founders and talent by strengthening its culture and connectivity and mobilizing regional and national assets around Baltimore startups. As a thriving tech hub, Baltimore will be a model for economic prosperity – an Equitech city.

UpSurge is an ecosystem builder,
doing tech differently.

As a professional ecosystem building organization, UpSurge is a 501c3 non-profit. We depend on generous support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and the public sector. Connect with us to learn more about how to support this important work impacting Baltimore and beyond!

Culture & Connectivity

A systems approach

We’ve built an interconnected set of strategies.

UpRise: Startup Advancement Program

Building the capacity and connectivity of a startup advancement network to improve navigation and outcomes for Baltimore startups.

Mobilization

Professionalizing collaboration for the tech ecosystem around high impact opportunities (and challenges) by leveraging local, regional and national networks and partnerships.

Marketing

 

Shifting the Baltimore narrative through better storytelling and thought leadership.

Building on Baltimore’s Momentum

UpSurge is the catalyst and driving force for Baltimore Tech.

$ 30 M
in capital connected to founders and fund managers
220 +
founders supported
31
companies brought to Baltimore through Techstars partnership
125 +
convenings hosted to draw together the ecosystem

Our Team

Chief Executive Officer

Bio
Kory Bailey

Chief Executive Officer

Hailing from Durham, NC, UpSurge CEO, Kory Bailey grew up loving sports and technology. A former professional athlete with over a decade of leadership in both early-stage startups and big tech, Kory has emerged as a thought leader on equitable economic growth and the biggest advocate for the tech community in Baltimore. The father of 3 boys is a proud Baltimore city resident who enjoys hosting community gatherings, experiencing the arts, culture and history of the city, and shining a light on Baltimore’s tech leaders whenever possible.

Quote he lives by“If NY is about money, LA is about fame, and DC is about power, then what is Baltimore about? Baltimore is about LOVE.”

Chief Operating Officer

Bio
Madeleine Stokes

Chief Operating Officer

Maddy oversees the UpSurge revenue, programs, and operations. Maddy started her career in international development, working in Beirut, Lebanon supporting civil society organizations and activists. She later spent four years helping Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures build a dynamic entrepreneurship community. Serving on the boards of the Baltimore Museum of Industry and B-360 Baltimore, Maddy brings her community development lens, good-trouble attitude, and love of people into everything she does.

Quote she lives by – “We have to be courageous. Learning how to face our fears is one way we embrace love. Our fear may not go away, but it will not stand in the way.” -Bell Hooks

Director of Partnerships & Mobilization

Bio
Robbin Lee

Director of Partnerships & Mobilization

Robbin manages UpSurge’s local, regional, and national collaborations and programs to foster greater participation in Baltimore’s tech startup ecosystem. Robbin has been gathering people and cultivating relationships for her entire career, producing hundreds of events, partnerships, and collaborations for organizations in both Baltimore & DC such as Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District and Baltimore Homecoming (BHC). Robbin served as the executive director of BHC where she mobilized a network of Baltimoreans
across the world to invest in Baltimore City. Being a gatherer outside of work too, Robbin is a founding member of the Baltimore Chapter of NAAAP (National Association of Asian American Professionals), a Thread volunteer, and an advisor to local Baltimore startups. She also serves on the boards of Business Volunteers of Maryland and the UMBC Alumni Association.

Quote she lives by – “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits.” – Dr. Freeman Hrabowski

Senior Data Analyst

Bio
Chris Bunner

Senior Data Analyst

As Data Analyst, Chris focuses on UpSurge’s reports and internal data systems. Chris, a suburban Atlanta native, graduated from Boston College in 2022 with a BS in Management, a major in Economics, and a minor in Social Impact. As a Venture for America ‘22 fellow, Chris is excited to learn from and support Baltimore’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Quote he lives by – “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin

Rimjhim Khandelwal

Program Manager

Bio
Rimjhim Khandelwal

Program Manager

Rimjhim is a Program Manager at UpSurge Baltimore. She leads their startup advancement programming with a focus on building capacity in the ecosystem for a thriving tech economy. A venture capital lawyer by trade, she has over 7 years of experience in the Indian startup eco-system. She also dabbled in entrepreneurship with her robo-advisory startup Eve targeted towards Indian millennial women. Prior to joining UpSurge, she got her MBA at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business where she had a special focus on sustainable business, venture capital and startups. She is passionate about gender equity and bridging the gender investment gap in the Baltimore tech ecosystem.

Fractional CFO

Bio

Market Research Intern

Bio

Our Board

David Bramble
MCB Real Estate

As Managing Partner at MCB Real Estate, P. David Bramble dedicates his time to sourcing transactions, financial structuring and overseeing project underwriting and execution. A corporate and real estate attorney by training, David brings a deep knowledge of all aspects of the real estate cycle.

MCB Real Estate
David Bramble
Claire Broido-Johnson
Fermata Energy

Claire Broido-Johnson is COO of Fermata Energy. She is the founder of CBJ Energy and has been an entrepreneur in clean energy for more than 20 years. Prior to Fermata, she was Managing Director of the Maryland Momentum Fund, a $10 million investment fund supporting early-stage companies affiliated with USM institutions.

Fermata Energy
Claire Broido-Johnson
Jeff Cherry
Conscious Venture Labs

Jeff Cherry is CEO and founder of Conscious Venture Labs and the Conscious Venture Fund, building on his national leadership in Conscious Capitalism®. Previously Jeff was a CEO, hedge fund manager, designer, entrepreneur, educator and mentor.

Conscious Venture Labs
Jeff Cherry
Shervonne Cherry
Spark Coworking

Shervonne Cherry is the Director of Spark Coworking and an entrepreneurial ecosystem builder. She heads operations, community development and ecosystem growth for Spark, collaborative workspaces in Baltimore, Kansas City and St. Louis.

Spark Coworking
Shervonne Cherry
Nick Culbertson
Protenus

Nick Culbertson is Co-Founder and CEO of Protenus, a leading healthcare compliance analytics platform. He’s an eight-year U.S. Army veteran and highly decorated U.S. Special Forces operator (Green Beret). Nick was awarded two Bronze Stars, one for extraordinary valor.

Protenus
Nick Culbertson
Deric Emry
StepStone Group

Deric Emry is Senior Managing Director, Private Equity at the StepStone Group. With over 20 years of venture capital experience, Deric previously served as Venture Partner at Greenspring Associates and General Partner for ABS Capital Partners, a leading growth equity manager.

StepStone Group
Deric Emry
Justin Hanes
Johns Hopkins Medicine

Justin Hanes is Director, Center for Nanomedicine and Professor of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins Medicine. He is also a serial entrepreneur who has started companies including Kala Pharmaceuticals and GrayBug, and advises entrepreneurs and investors.

Johns Hopkins Medicine
Justin Hanes
Mike Hankin
Brown Advisory

Mike Hankin is President and CEO of Brown Advisory, a global investment management firm. He is deeply committed to Baltimore and is the Co-Chair of UpSurge.

Brown Advisory
Mike Hankin
Brown Advisory

 

Jacob Hodes is the CIO for Private Investments at Brown Advisory. Prior to joining the firm, he was an attorney in the Corporate Department at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where he worked with both public and private companies on mergers and acquisitions, financing transactions, reorganizations and corporate governance.

Brown Advisory
Jacob Hodes
Isaac Kinde
Thrive Earlier Detection

Isaac Kinde is head of research and innovation and a co-founder of Thrive. The technologies he co-invented with Thrive founders have subsequently enabled the earlier detection of several different cancers and other genetic diseases from a wide variety of clinical specimens.

Thrive Earlier Detection
Isaac Kinde
Inner Loop Capital

Justin Label is the Managing Director of Inner Loop Capital, a Baltimore-based seed-stage venture capital firm focused on founders in the greater Washington, D.C. region. Justin has been working in venture capital since 1999, including 10 years at Bessemer Venture Partners in Silicon Valley.

Inner Loop Capital
Justin Label
Troy A. LeMaile-Stovall
TEDCO

Troy LeMaile-Stovall, CEO of TEDCO, leads its mission to support economic development by cultivating an inclusive entrepre-neurial innovation ecosystem. He brings over 25 years of experience in investment management, higher ed, tele-communications, IT, and management consulting.

TEDCO
Troy A. LeMaile-Stovall
Elise Liberto
Brown Advisory

Elise Liberto is a Partner and Private Equity Portfolio Manager at Brown Advisory. Elise co-leads Brown Advisory’s venture capital program, overseeing investments in both private companies and fund managers. Elise launched and currently runs the firm’s proprietary direct investment strategy for early- and growth-stage private companies.

Brown Advisory
Elise Liberto
Mary Miller
Johns Hopkins

Mary Miller is a former senior official in the U.S. Treasury Department and executive at T. Rowe Price. She is a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins 21st Century Cities initiative, serves on the boards of the Silicon Valley Bank, The Jeffrey Company, and the Baltimore Neighborhood Impact Investment Fund, and is active in a wide range of local activities.

Johns Hopkins
Mary Miller
Mary Morris
The Baltimore Fund, University of Maryland

As Director of the Baltimore Fund, Mary engages regional contacts and companies to promote and administer the program and support USM. The fund is a financial incentive for companies affiliated with USM to relocate and expand operations in Baltimore City. Mary also provides outreach and programming to support the innovation community. She manages Anchor Ventures and serves on the MIPS Review Board and TEDCO’s MII Board.

The Baltimore Fund, University of Maryland
Mary Morris
Eileen O’Rourke
Abell Foundation

Eileen O’Rourke is the CFO and director of impact investing at the Abell Foundation. Her 30 years of experience includes managing direct investments in early companies and providing innovative financing solutions in support of social mission activities.

Abell Foundation
Eileen O’Rourke
Joseph S. Simms
Stanley Black & Decker

Joe Simms is Chief Diversity Officer for Stanley Black & Decker. Joe is championing a broad approach to diversity, equity and inclusion – working collaboratively to enhance transparency and drive change.

Stanley Black & Decker
Joseph S. Simms
Shelonda Stokes
DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP OF BALTIMORE

Shelonda Stokes is President of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. An electrical engineer by training, she is also an accomplished entre-preneur. Prior to DPOB, Shelonda was founder and CEO of GreiBO, an international brand, media and marketing agency.

DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP OF BALTIMORE
Shelonda Stokes
Keith Stone
Brown Advisory

Keith Stone is a partner and private equity analyst at Brown Advisory. He is also active in Baltimore, serving as Chair of the Job Opportunities Task Force and as a board member of Paul’s Place, Maryland Humanities and Pratt Contemporaries.

Brown Advisory
Keith Stone
Ryland Sumner
Point Field Partners

Ryland Sumner is the President of Point Field Partners, the family office for Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti.

Point Field Partners
Ryland Sumner
Christy Wyskiel
Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures

Christy Wyskiel is Executive Director of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. She is a fierce advocate for the future of Baltimore and the role Johns Hopkins plays in an increasing number of companies born, built and grown locally. She is Co-Chair of UpSurge.

Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures
Christy Wyskiel
David Bramble
David Bramble
MCB Real Estate

As Managing Partner at MCB Real Estate, P. David Bramble dedicates his time to sourcing transactions, financial structuring and overseeing project underwriting and execution. A corporate and real estate attorney by training, David brings a deep knowledge of all aspects of the real estate cycle.

Claire Broido-Johnson
Claire Broido-Johnson
Fermata Energy

Claire Broido-Johnson is COO of Fermata Energy. She is the founder of CBJ Energy and has been an entrepreneur in clean energy for more than 20 years. Prior to Fermata, she was Managing Director of the Maryland Momentum Fund, a $10 million investment fund supporting early-stage companies affiliated with USM institutions.

Jeff Cherry
Jeff Cherry
Conscious Venture Labs

Jeff Cherry is CEO and founder of Conscious Venture Labs and the Conscious Venture Fund, building on his national leadership in Conscious Capitalism®. Previously Jeff was a CEO, hedge fund manager, designer, entrepreneur, educator and mentor.

Shervonne Cherry
Shervonne Cherry
Spark Coworking

Shervonne Cherry is the Director of Spark Coworking and an entrepreneurial ecosystem builder. She heads operations, community development and ecosystem growth for Spark, collaborative workspaces in Baltimore, Kansas City and St. Louis.

Nick Culbertson
Nick Culbertson
Protenus

Nick Culbertson is Co-Founder and CEO of Protenus, a leading healthcare compliance analytics platform. He’s an eight-year U.S. Army veteran and highly decorated U.S. Special Forces operator (Green Beret). Nick was awarded two Bronze Stars, one for extraordinary valor.

Deric Emry
Deric Emry
StepStone Group

Deric Emry is Senior Managing Director, Private Equity at the StepStone Group. With over 20 years of venture capital experience, Deric previously served as Venture Partner at Greenspring Associates and General Partner for ABS Capital Partners, a leading growth equity manager.

Justin Hanes
Justin Hanes
Johns Hopkins Medicine

Justin Hanes is Director, Center for Nanomedicine and Professor of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins Medicine. He is also a serial entrepreneur who has started companies including Kala Pharmaceuticals and GrayBug, and advises entrepreneurs and investors.

Mike Hankin
Mike Hankin
Brown Advisory

Mike Hankin is President and CEO of Brown Advisory, a global investment management firm. He is deeply committed to Baltimore and is the Co-Chair of UpSurge.

Jacob Hodes
Brown Advisory

 

Jacob Hodes is the CIO for Private Investments at Brown Advisory. Prior to joining the firm, he was an attorney in the Corporate Department at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where he worked with both public and private companies on mergers and acquisitions, financing transactions, reorganizations and corporate governance.

Isaac Kinde
Isaac Kinde
Thrive Earlier Detection

Isaac Kinde is head of research and innovation and a co-founder of Thrive. The technologies he co-invented with Thrive founders have subsequently enabled the earlier detection of several different cancers and other genetic diseases from a wide variety of clinical specimens.

Justin Label
Inner Loop Capital

Justin Label is the Managing Director of Inner Loop Capital, a Baltimore-based seed-stage venture capital firm focused on founders in the greater Washington, D.C. region. Justin has been working in venture capital since 1999, including 10 years at Bessemer Venture Partners in Silicon Valley.

Troy A. LeMaile-Stovall
Troy A. LeMaile-Stovall
TEDCO

Troy LeMaile-Stovall, CEO of TEDCO, leads its mission to support economic development by cultivating an inclusive entrepre-neurial innovation ecosystem. He brings over 25 years of experience in investment management, higher ed, tele-communications, IT, and management consulting.

Elise Liberto
Elise Liberto
Brown Advisory

Elise Liberto is a Partner and Private Equity Portfolio Manager at Brown Advisory. Elise co-leads Brown Advisory’s venture capital program, overseeing investments in both private companies and fund managers. Elise launched and currently runs the firm’s proprietary direct investment strategy for early- and growth-stage private companies.

Mary Miller
Mary Miller
Johns Hopkins

Mary Miller is a former senior official in the U.S. Treasury Department and executive at T. Rowe Price. She is a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins 21st Century Cities initiative, serves on the boards of the Silicon Valley Bank, The Jeffrey Company, and the Baltimore Neighborhood Impact Investment Fund, and is active in a wide range of local activities.

Mary Morris
Mary Morris
The Baltimore Fund, University of Maryland

As Director of the Baltimore Fund, Mary engages regional contacts and companies to promote and administer the program and support USM. The fund is a financial incentive for companies affiliated with USM to relocate and expand operations in Baltimore City. Mary also provides outreach and programming to support the innovation community. She manages Anchor Ventures and serves on the MIPS Review Board and TEDCO’s MII Board.

Eileen O’Rourke
Eileen O’Rourke
Abell Foundation

Eileen O’Rourke is the CFO and director of impact investing at the Abell Foundation. Her 30 years of experience includes managing direct investments in early companies and providing innovative financing solutions in support of social mission activities.

Joseph S. Simms
Joseph S. Simms
Stanley Black & Decker

Joe Simms is Chief Diversity Officer for Stanley Black & Decker. Joe is championing a broad approach to diversity, equity and inclusion – working collaboratively to enhance transparency and drive change.

Shelonda Stokes
Shelonda Stokes
DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP OF BALTIMORE

Shelonda Stokes is President of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. An electrical engineer by training, she is also an accomplished entre-preneur. Prior to DPOB, Shelonda was founder and CEO of GreiBO, an international brand, media and marketing agency.

Keith Stone
Keith Stone
Brown Advisory

Keith Stone is a partner and private equity analyst at Brown Advisory. He is also active in Baltimore, serving as Chair of the Job Opportunities Task Force and as a board member of Paul’s Place, Maryland Humanities and Pratt Contemporaries.

Ryland Sumner
Ryland Sumner
Point Field Partners

Ryland Sumner is the President of Point Field Partners, the family office for Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti.

Christy Wyskiel
Christy Wyskiel
Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures

Christy Wyskiel is Executive Director of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. She is a fierce advocate for the future of Baltimore and the role Johns Hopkins plays in an increasing number of companies born, built and grown locally. She is Co-Chair of UpSurge.

DOING THE WORK

Our Partners

UpSurge is a private sector initiative formed in 2021 and funded by a committed group of founding partners. We’re building an ecosystem in collaboration with the many dedicated leaders in Baltimore’s government, academic institutions, companies, entrepreneur support organizations, foundations, non-profits, and neighborhoods.

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