On September 28, 2017, Betamore and Sagamore Ventures presented Beta City: an annual event that brings together Baltimore’s innovators and changemakers for live pitches, startup demos and a celebration of the growing entrepreneurial community in our city. In its third year, Beta City welcomed over 1,200 attendees and brought together six regional startups to pitch their companies to a panel of more than 20 judges.
The startups competed for $25,000 in prize money, contributed by Brown Advisory. This year’s judges panel included Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh and Maryland Technology Development Corp.'s new CEO George Davis, as well as representatives from investment firms like Grotech Ventures, Greenspring Associates, Camden Partners, and Baltimore Angels.
After much deliberation, City Garage tenant company Hungry Harvest won the top prize! Hungry Harvest is a fresh produce delivery service on a mission to address urban hunger problems by providing low-cost produce to families living in food desserts. Hungry Harvest has also appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” as well as a semifinalist in Kevin Plank's Cupid's Cup entrepreneurship competition. CEO Evan Lutz accepted the award at Beta City and said, “There are a lot of problems we can influence in our city just through food. We want to introduce healthy food into everyone’s lives. That’s our mission, and this award helps us do that.”
The other Venture Capital Pitch Day finalists were: b.well: A personal health app that allows consumers to consolidate and manage their families' health and insurance information. emocha: A mobile health platform that helps encourage patients to adhere to medication regimens through video interactions with care providers. Protenus: A cloud-based analytics and security firm that helps monitor and protect patient privacy through electronic health records. Next Step Robotics: A robotics company developing a low-cost, portable ankle robot to help treat foot problems and improve function in patients who use assistive devices to walk. VitusVet: A mobile app that allows pet owners and vets to better monitor pets' health and medical history.
Jen Meyer, CEO of Betamore commented, “It was so exciting to see the caliber of companies presenting for the pitch. It has become very competitive to gain a spot in the top six.”
After the Pitch Competition, guests were invited to explore the Demo Area where over twenty vendors shared the ideas and inspirations behind their products and companies.
The summer interns from the Bet on Baltimore program, were also in attendance as Baltimore's best were on display.
Meyer said, “Local businesses have really rallied around this effort and view it as an important part of supporting entrepreneurs and innovators. The engagement from our judges in the region and the amount of community support for this event is really amazing. The support from our sponsors was unbelievable.”
To learn more about Betamore, visit their website here.