Donte Kirby,


How I Got Here: Willie Sanders Jr. and the power of a 10-year plan

Willie Sanders Jr. founder and CEO of Pass IT On. (Courtesy photo)

If traditional university education was the only route into tech, Willie Sanders Jr. wouldn’t be in the field right now.

“I’m a professor at the school I dropped out of,” the founder and executive director of Pass IT On told This detail encapsulates the non-traditional journey Sanders took to his current role, through which he aims to get more people into tech.

After Roe’s overturn, here’s why one reproductive health-focused founder wants to support ‘all women’

Reproductive health ribbon. By Flickr user Jason Audrey Licerio

Arion Long went through multiple doctors ignoring her concerns about an extremely heavy period before she found one that believed her. With that doctor, she learned she had a tumor caused by chemicals in tampons that were unknown to her.

That was the birth of Femly, a social enterprise that improves access to healthier feminine and reproductive care with eco-friendly hygiene products. The company’s focus dovetails with Long’s desire to educate and end period poverty. But the story goes even deeper.

5 key lessons learned from Impact Hub’s convening of entrepreneurial leaders

Panelists and audience at the Small Business Mini- Summit. (Courtesy photo, taken by Ben Seigel)

Entrepreneurial support organizations in Baltimore are no longer siloed, and the Small Business Mini-Summit at Impact Hub Baltimore offered an opportunity to see how this coalition of business development orgs came together to help the city’s small businesses.

Nneka N’namdi wants you to use this app to fight blight in Baltimore

A screenshot from Fight Blight Bmore’s app, depicting a reported vacant and blighted property near southern edge of Druid Hill Park. (Screenshot by

Nneka N’namdi recalled a moment in 2016 — well before the recent launch of her housing organization’s app — when she saw kids navigating an ungated demolition site comprising of four brownstones on West Baltimore’s Fremont Avenue.

There were no protective barriers or signage warning about the giant holes on the street where the basements use to be. She imagined all the ways it could go wrong.

What $150,000 to YouthWorks really means for Baltimore

A mural, depicting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., at the Eastside Youth Opportunity Center in East Baltimore. (Courtesy photo via YouthWorks Baltimore’s Facebook page)

Seven years ago, Jason Perkins-Cohen saw parents brave a March snowstorm to check out a YouthWorks information session for summer jobs programs.

It was his first week as director of the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, and he looked out onto a packed room for a program that was almost four months out. That’s when he learned just how important YouthWorks was to Baltimore parents, and how passionate they were about finding opportunities for their children.

The Baltimore, DC area boasts the country’s second-best life sciences market

Life sciences. (Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels)

Baltimore and DC might be separated by at least an hour’s worth of driving (45 minutes if you’re lucky), but taken together, their metro areas amount to one of the country’s top markets for life sciences.

Meet the rocket scientist creating fashion for the cosmos

Sabrina Thompson, founder of Girl in Space Club. (Courtesy photo)

Back in the spring of 2019, NASA was supposed to reach the milestone of launching the first all-women space walk.

It didn’t happen because there weren’t two medium-sized space suits that fit women. NASA rocket scientist Sabrina Thompson made a point of fixing this deficit and considering the needs of women in space by designing space suits for female astronauts.

Baltimore wants to close the digital divide by 2030. A local tech coalition recommends these tactics

Baltimore Tracks is working toward a more diverse tech workforce. Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash.

The City of Baltimore’s digital equity framework revolves around the goal of closing the digital divide by 2030. It’s an ambitious objective, but a wealth of local organizations can help the city get it done.
In fact, they’ve already started.

17 young West Baltimoreans became a UMB STEM prep program’s first alums

Members of the CURE program’s first cohort pose during their recent graduation ceremony. (Courtesy photo)

The first group of young people to participate in the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s long-term STEM program for secondary students celebrated the end of its collective journey with a celebratory graduation ceremony last month.

RealLIST Connectors 2022: Meet the 20 people nurturing Charm City’s tech ecosystem

Members of the 2022 RealLIST Connectors class. (Courtesy photos; graphic by

Every strong ecosystem needs pollinators to help keep it alive and thriving.

These 20 busy bees keep the Baltimore tech ecosystem thriving by creating events, building networks and guiding young entrepreneurs to scale successful companies. Because of this work and their other local boosterism efforts, now recognizes them as this year’s RealLIST Connectors.

The Baltimore Comptroller’s Office just made it a lot easier to track government spending


The interface of the Board of Estimates summaries tool.

In an effort to improve transparency in government spending, the office of the City of Baltimore‘s Comptroller Bill Henry has created a searchable database of all Board of Estimates (BOE) transactions dating back to January 2021.

These Johns Hopkins student-created startups earned $170,000 from FastForward U


Exterior of the FastForward U building in Baltimore’s Remington neighborhood. (Photo via Facebook)

Thirteen companies founded by Johns Hopkins University (JHU) pupils received close to $170,000 in total award money during FastForward U’s second annual Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge.

3 key takeaways from Baltimore leaders’ chat on the city’s best digital future


Baltimore Tracks is working toward a more diverse tech workforce. Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Earlier this week, leading denizens of Baltimore’s tech ecosystem joined city officials to discuss the best strategies for an equitable and vibrant digital future.

MAGIC and Innovators of Progress join forces with new sponsorship


Left to right: Graham Dodge, executive director of MAGIC, stands with Innovators of Progress and new MAGIC board member Markus Proctor. (Courtesy photo)

Two Maryland-based organizations dedicated to economic and technological innovation — the Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (MAGIC) and Innovators of Progress (IOP) — recently linked up with a new deal that lets IOP fundraise under MAGIC’s nonprofit status.

A fashion line for tall boys wins the University of Baltimore’s 10th annual pitch competition


Clarrissa Cozart celebrates her win at the 10th annual Rise to the Challenge business pitch competition, which took place at the University of Baltimore’s Wright Theater. (Courtesy photo)

Several companies and ventures at different growth stages each earned multi-thousand prizes during the University of Baltimore’s recent Rise to the Challenge pitch competition.