Politics & Business

Top 10 Venture Capital Deals in Baltimore-Washington


Courtesy of Citybizlist – Of the 40 venture capital deals involving Washington D.C. and Baltimore metro area companies in the first quarter 2012, the top 10 hauled in 81 percent of the committed capital with a combined $166 million.

The leader, Intrexon, which develops DNA control systems to enhance the safety and efficacy of biological therapeutics, is no stranger to large dollar investments. The company had already raised $145 million by last September.

Baltimore’s Archbishop Becoming Major Player in the National “War on Religion” Scene


Baltimore’s new archbishop, William Lori, is getting a higher and higher profile as a national Catholic voice. He is headed to Washington, DC to speak at a conference on the theme of “Rising Threats to American Religious Freedom.” The same lobbying group that is sponsoring the conference is presenting Archbishop Lori with the American Religious Freedom Award for his “gracious-but-vigorous defense of religious liberty in the face of increasing hostility,” which is to say that he has been a vocal opponent of mandatory birth control coverage in employee healthcare policies.

Meet the Match.com of the Baltimore Nonprofit World

Photo by Aaron Marshall


Courtesy of Bmore Media – Growing up in Upper Marlboro, Aaron Marshall wanted to overcome his stuttering.

After many years of work with speech pathologists, Marshall succeeded and the attorney is now a board member for an agency that helps others find their own voice.

The senior counsel for Northrop Grumman Corp. in Linthicum became a board member of the nonprofit Hearing and Speech Agency of Baltimore. Last year, HASA provided diagnosis, speech therapy, family education and other assistance to more than 100 individuals who stutter and hosted a special viewing for the Oscar-winning movie “The King’s Speech.”

Why Baltimore Is Better than Silicon Valley


Baltimore is a top city for tech jobs.

Silicon Valley is old news; if you want a tech job these days, according to Forbes, you’d be hard pressed to do better than… well, right here. Fun fact:  while California still has four times as many tech jobs as the national average, it turns out that the job growth is happening elsewhere. That’s partly because the gold-rush fever of a “tech-driven jobs boom” conveniently ignores the bust half of the cycle; according to Forbes, Silicon Valley actually employed 170,000 fewer people in 2011 than in 2000.

Congressional Speech Slips by a Grade Level According to a New Study


A recent study from the Sunlight Foundation determined that congressional floor speeches have dropped in sophistication from that of a high school junior to that of a high school sophomore since 2005. I guess that means that whereas in 2005 congress was full of speeches that went, “Oh my god, seriously? You support that bill, you are a moron, son, straight up!” now they’re more like, “This bill is soooooo lame, but mom’s gonna ground me if I don’t vote for it.” (It’s a subtle difference, really.)

Maryland’s Reps. Chris Van Hollen and John Sarbanes deliver speeches at the level of a 12th grader, so I’m assuming they devote a lot of time to talking about how they “can’t wait to get out of this town” and how they’ve already got college girlfriends and how they’re smarter than half their teachers here anyway.

The group also ranked the words of each congressperson according to frequency. You may be happy to know that Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger is frequently heard to utter “Ripken” and “Orioles” from the floor of congress.

Maryland Awards Millions of Dollars in Grants to Stem Cell Researchers


They are so many divisive political issues providing fodder for the culture wars in this country, I have to admit that sometimes I forget about stem cell research. I was only reminded of its existence by the recent awarding of several millions of dollars in state funds to 40 researchers, mostly from Johns Hopkins.

The various projects address diseases such as “sickle cell anemia, schizophrenia, type 1 diabetes, nerve injury, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and Lou Gehrig’s disease, among others.”

The grants represent a multi-pronged attack, investing up to $600,000 in each of nine research projects that have already turned up evidence in support their hypotheses, and up to $200,000 in each of 17 others that explore “novel approaches.”

What do you think? Do you have high hopes for stem cell research? Does it cross the moral line? Do you simply not have the capacity to form an opinion on one more controversial topic?

Inside Office Space: Media Works



Citybizlist continues its Pictorial Tour feature, in which we spotlight a local company’s office in pictures, with Media Works.

Media Works is a full-service, social media, strategic media planning, buying and research agency headquartered in Baltimore. Founded in 1989, the firm has grown to include more than 20 full-time professionals and support staff. Last year, Media Works doubled in size as the result of earning the $30 million Van Tuyl Automotive Group account, bringing the agency’s billings to more than $60 million. Other clients include Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, LifeBridge Health, and Kiddie Academy. (See more clients here.)

Media Works is led by CEO Jody Berg.

Enjoy the digital tour of Media Works’ office.

Welcome to Media Works! The front desk staff welcomes a visitor from WBAL

Our Social Media Manager catches up on what’s happening in the industry while relaxing in the front lobby

Green Day: Baltimore to Plant Promised Grand Prix Trees at Taxpayers’ Treat


We didn’t think we’d see the (green) day, but Baltimore City earlier this month commissioned a contractor to plant 150 trees in (or near) those downtown plots the Baltimore Racing Development group had plucked bare but guaranteed to replenish. These 150 trees – bankrupt Baltimore Racing has officially stiffed us on the 198 they promised – are worth $41,500 according to Erik Dihle, city forester, as reported by Tim Wheeler in The Baltimore Sun.

Just as this pricy plan comes as fresh dig to us at Baltimore Fishbowl, citizen activist (and tree-hugging lawsuit-filer) David Troy’s also surprised. He told The Sun he’s pleased that trees are being planted, but ticked by the taxpayers’ burden.

“The thing that everybody was also annoyed about and afraid of was that taxpayers were going to end up footing the bills for this,” he said, “and that’s exactly what has happened.”

Would Maryland Be Better Off with a Full-Time Legislature?


Do you, like FreeStater Blog author Todd Eberly, believe that the General Assembly’s recent budget and gambling fails –each requiring its own special session — are a sign that it’s time for Maryland to embrace a full-time legislature? Or, like Maryland Reporter‘s Len Lazarick, do you think that the General Assembly does enough damage in 90 days?

Crews Prepare to Repair/Resurface York Road Between Towsontown Boulevard and Stevenson Lane


The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) recently began a new one million dollar resurfacing project to improve safety and traffic operations along one mile of MD 45 (York Road) between Towsontown Boulevard and Stevenson Lane in Towson.

Crews are upgrading sections of curb, gutter, sidewalk and ramps to meet current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards; cleaning and repairing inlets and drainage pipes; and installing underground and overhead traffic detectors at intersections where needed.  Later this  summer crews will patch, grind and resurface this section of York Road.