May 28, 2020

RealLIST Connectors: Meet 110 top community builders in Baltimore tech and entrepreneurship

From founders to incubator leaders to extraordinary networkers, these are the people making the links to grow the community.

Think tech and entrepreneurship, and it’s likely that the companies come to mind first. Whether they’re startups, social enterprises or small businesses, the association puts a focus on the young companies building new products and business models.
But the growth of these ventures has an entire community around it, stretching across the people who run spaces where they’re based, the investors and finance experts who help make decisions, and advisors and mentors who offer the hard-earned advice from their experience building around it.

To get a handle on what Baltimore’s community really is, the links between people are one of the most important categories to map, and these connectors help us find our way.

For the past four years, we at Technical.ly have been bringing you lists of promising startups in Philadelphia, Baltimore, D.C. and Delaware. Last fall, we launched the inaugural lists of influential and impressive engineers. Now, we’re happy to introduce the next evolution in the RealLIST series: RealLIST Connectors, our roundup of folks working to build their local tech, entrepreneurship and innovation community by linking others with an eye toward future growth and inclusivity.

In this list you’ll see a lot of different initiatives that these leaders have started and organized, but there’s one thing that unites them: It’s not just about them. In conversations over the years, it’s been clear that they care about Baltimore’s tech and business community, and leaving it better for future generations. Many have had success at individual pursuits, but so often it’s the case that they realize they didn’t get there on their own. So now they’re connecting others to help the cycle continue, whether that’s through organizing a meetup, starting a new organization or going out of their way to make sure two people know each other.

That’s how communities grow.

This list was compiled with input from Technical.ly’s newsroom, including Assistant Editor Stephen Babcock (hey!), Managing Editor Julie Zeglen and CEO Chris Wink. We solicited nominations from the community itself, but mainly, we referred back to our years of reporting on the local tech, entrepreneurship and innovation economies. What you see below is a peek into our source book. It’s a chance to celebrate those who might not always have the title of CEO, and a look at the groups that form around specific interest under the broader umbrellas of Baltimore tech and entrepreneurship.

Some are leading far-reaching initiatives to break down the silos between sectors of the city’s economy, while others are event organizers. Others are simply always ready with an email introduction.

These acts of connection help businesses move forward, and bring new people into the community. If we’re going to continue to grow, we’ll need more.

SHERVONNE CHERRY
Director of community and partnerships at Spark Baltimore, the downtown coworking campus; cofounder of Baltimore Womxn in Tech meetup.
An ecosystem builder creating space for making connections, Cherry is always willing to make an extra connection in both the Spark community, and throughout Baltimore.

View article online here