Donte Kirby,


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.

As Baltimore rebuilds from 2019 ransomware attack, is $10 million for a cure better than prevention?


Baltimore City Hall, which houses agencies that were impacted by the 2019 ransomware attack. (Photo by Flickr user David Kirsch, used under a Creative Commons license)

What does $10 million, committed for curing a city’s ransomware affliction, actually buy you?

AJ Nash, VP of intelligence at cybersecurity company ZeroFOX, says it depends on how you want to handle the situation. Firms can negotiate the ransom. For Baltimore, trying to recover from the devastating 2019 ransomware attack, that ransom was $76,000 worth of Bitcoin.

MICA’s 2022 UP/Start Venture finalists are working on metaverse jobs, equity and bedtime stories


A look at the UP/Start Venture Competition finalists for 2021-2022. (Courtesy image)

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has announced the eight finalists for its 2022 UP/Start Venture Competition, which offers $100,000 to emerging entrepreneurs from the Baltimore art college’s community.

Make an impact in Baltimore with these holiday gift options


The Innovation Works gift guide. (Courtesy photo)

The holidays are upon us, and there are plenty of ways to shop local. That includes buying from a Baltimore maker or social entrepreneur.

Here’s a gift guide with both products and events to keep your money circulating in the Baltimore community and benefiting the neighborhoods that are often the first to support a new business.

Baltimore City’s telecommunications department is replacing ‘ghost’ phone lines as it makes tech upgrades


A project to upgrade Baltimore City’s phone system is nearly complete. Photo by Jennie/Flickr.

Baltimore City government’s recently-renamed Department of Telecommunications is wrapping up a phone line modernization project that has saved $2.4 million for city government, and, in turn, taxpayers. That’s according to the City comptroller’s office, which oversees the department.

Broadband and small businesses are among Baltimore’s priorities for $641 million in American Rescue Plan funding


Brandon Scott
Mayor Brandon Scott is setting priorities for federal relief funds.

Baltimore City is getting a big sum of aid from the federal government. Broadband and small businesses figure to play a key role in the plans.

On Monday, Mayor Brandon Scott laid out the priorities and process for distributing the $641 million Baltimore City will receive as part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to the community.

What Baltimore’s highest salary earners say about the city’s future


(L to R) Venroy July, Dr. Daa’iyah Cooper, Bree Jones. (Collage by

After she relocated from Brooklyn in 2017, Dr. Daa’iyah Cooper made Baltimore her home.
But the emergency medicine physician wasn’t only thinking about her own house. She owns multiple properties and put down roots in her Southwest Baltimore neighborhood.

It shows how movement into the city can build wealth.

Baltimore’s OIG finds City IT paid out six-figure sum with termination agreements


Baltimore City Hall. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

In a report from the Baltimore’s inspector general this week, the City’s IT department was flagged for potential waste over a policy that allowed employees who were terminated by the department to collect pay for unused vacation and sick time.

M&T Bank and the Aspen Institute will provide $70k in grants to Baltimore residents who “weave” communities together.


The Aspen Institute Weave project is distributing grants in Baltimore.

M&T Bank and the Aspen Institute’s Weave: The Social Fabric Project on Wednesday debuted an awards program in Baltimore that aims to celebrate and support leaders building connections between neighbors.

The Weaver Awards is providing $70K in funding through its inaugural program in Baltimore, with a focus on highlighting those who prioritize relationships, and “weave Baltimore’s social fabric,” per a news release.

Comcast is delaying plans to enforce internet data caps until 2022


Photo by Mike Mozart/Flickr

Comcast has delayed the rollout of its data caps in the northeast U.S. until sometime in 2022, an announcement that many advocates for digital equity count as a win of a battle, and not the war.