woman standing in front of a small audience giving speech
Photo courtesy Baltimore Homecoming's Twitter account.

The Crab Tank business pitch competition, Baltimore’s online version of Shark Tank, has opened public voting now through July 5.

The competition is the creation of Baltimore Homecoming, an organization connecting accomplished Baltimoreans around the globe to “spark new collaborations and drive new investments in Baltimore’s future,” read the press announcement.

Crab Tank is sponsored by M&T Bank, and local business owners compete for a $25,000 grand prize and a $2,500 people’s choice award.

The first Crab Tank competition was held in 2019 to benefit Baltimore’s small- to medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs. This year is the first time Baltimore Homecoming has opened nominations to the public, which they hope will encourage companies to apply in the future. This year, Baltimore Homecoming received more than three times the number of applications as they did in 2019.

“We know there is a strong community of innovative leaders and startups in Baltimore, which is why we were thrilled with the positive response from the public in sharing their ideas of who they want to see up on the stage in October,” said Matt Reeds, Baltimore Homecoming’s deputy director.  

The Baltimore community can vote for up to five of the ten companies presented to advance to Baltimore Homecoming’s signature event on Oct. 20, 2023. Voters are asked to choose the five companies that “have the most potential for scale and community impact.”

The five companies receiving the most votes “will pitch to an audience of Baltimore alumni and panel of judges from the technology and business communities” for the grand prize and people’s choice award in October.

According to the press announcement, the Crab Tank pitch competition also provides finalists with coaching resources to help finalize their pitches, and “high-quality video content for marketing.”

“Following the [October] event, winners continue to benefit from the program with opportunities to network with Baltimore Homecoming’s alumni and community partners at regional events, increase visibility on a larger scale and increase access to social, intellectual and financial capital,” wrote Baltimore Homecoming officials.

Dr. Charles Johnson-Bey, senior vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton, is on Baltimore Homecoming’s Board of Directors.

“I love the Crab Tank competition because it highlights the great and innovative ideas that so many people in Baltimore have,” Johnson-Bey said. “Helping the small business visionaries realize the next implementation of their dreams is awesome!”

Voting for Baltimore Homecoming’s Crab Tank pitch competition is now live at this link.