Universities to study how to turn Baltimore into a “smart city” — Baltimore Sun
In its second year, Light City Baltimore will bring some big names to town next week for its innovation conferences, ranging from a Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer to a renowned poet. But while there may be a national spotlight on the festival and its speakers, organizers have designed the conferences to bring attention to homegrown problem-solvers and social innovators, says Light City board co-chair Jamie McDonald.
Today, the governor, the mayor and community officials gathered to bid farewell to the Madison Park North Apartments, a former subsidized housing complex off of North Avenue in Reservoir Hill once called the “Murder Mall” of Baltimore.
Despite the intensifying testy legal battle between Light City Baltimore’s founders and the city, the show must go on. Last Friday, Baltimore’s arts promotion office announced it had opened registration for the nine-day festival’s innovation conferences (now called “labs”), along with some of the speakers and a couple new focuses.
For Leap Day only, Light City U, the innovation conferences taking place as part of the Light City Baltimore festival March 28 – April 3, is offering all-conference tickets for $99, more than 50 percent off of the $200 regular price. Light City U is a series of four conferences with the theme of “Powering Social Change.”
Courtesy Bmore Media – Last year was a banner one for Baltimore area startups and the trend should continue in 2014, entrepreneurs say.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce named Maryland the top state for entrepreneurship and innovation while Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank launched a boot camp for entrepreneurs last year. And gb.tc Executive Director Jason Hardebeck recently launched a Baltimore accelerator, DreamIT Ventures, for healthcare information technology companies.
Last week, I shared the results of an Abell Foundation study comparing Baltimore’s innovation ecosystem with the more established community found in Boston. While the authors undertook a fair comparison and outlined what they viewed as the initiatives needed to accelerate Baltimore’s innovation community, Baltimore already has assets that make us well situated for a promising future; assets, which if marketed correctly, might help us solve some of the very challenges the report identified.
Courtesy Bmore Media – Payroll manager Joey Campbell used to take her work with her to outpatient chemotherapy treatments at Mercy Medical Center.
But now she has found a more uplifting way to pass the time while she undergoes the brutal, hours-long treatment at the downtown Baltimore hospital. She’s making jewelry and creating rubber stamp projects, thanks to Mercy’s artist-in-residence, Andrea Cooper. Campbell says she hopes she and other volunteers have brightened the moods of patients at Mercy’s Institute for Cancer Care for the past five years.
Courtesy Citybizlist – The Abell Foundation underwrote a comparison of Baltimore’s innovation ecosystem with that of Boston. Sean Pool and Matt Van Itallie, of Canterbury Road Partners, undertook the work and their report is telling of the challenges in front of us, but also reveals great promise of the resources we already have and what Baltimore’s innovation ecosystem can become. The full report can be found on the Abell Foundation website.
Sean and Matt set out to answer three foundational questions. What are the major characteristics of Baltimore and Boston’s current entrepreneurial ecosystems? What are some of the specific details of some of Boston’s institutions driving their ecosystem? What are the implications for Baltimore from the understandings these researchers reached in Boston? The Report is worth reading to gain insight to all these questions, but I am only going to focus on parts of the last one they raised – what can we learn from Boston?
Courtesy of Bmore Media – One Towson company makes games. Another, in Columbia, manufactures a “smart” sports glove. The other two, in Baltimore and Catonsville, sell alternative energy and weather information. As diverse as they sound, they share a common trait – they’re all young, innovative companies that are growing.