The eighth annual Baltimore Innovation Week (BIW) is set to kick off this Saturday, providing a wide range of events in celebration of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in Baltimore.
The event kicks off Saturday, October 5, with Emerging Technology Centers (ETC) returning as the lead organizer for the second year in a row. They’ve curated a full lineup of events including panel discussions, happy hours and plenty of chances to meet innovators where they work.
Top innovators, industry experts, government partners and educational institutions will lead events in order to further spread the word about Baltimore’s budding innovation community.
The celebration lasts until Oct. 11 as each day focuses on a different aspect of innovation. There’s plenty on the calendar, so we’re taking a look at some of the highlights ahead of time. Below is a look at what’s coming up for the first four track days: Civic, Science and Education and Creative and Media and Explore
Saturday, October 5: Civic
On Saturday, October 6, BIW begins by highlighting community partnerships and local investment.
Volunteers will meet in the morning with nonprofit partners Baltimore Tree Trust and Break A Difference at Lake Montebello to plant trees in East Baltimore. Volunteers will also assist in tree maintenance and trash removal in the area.
Following the volunteer work, there will be a barbecue where local nonprofits will demonstrate their volunteer efforts and discuss how volunteers can become more involved in their respective work.
In the afternoon at The Startup Nest, a panel of experts on blockchain, digital assets and emerging technology will discuss how blockchain could affect the Baltimore community. The panel includes Jim Liew, COO and cofounder of SoKat, Black Blockchain Consultants CEO Cheree Warrick and Axes and Eggs founder Samson Williams.
Sunday, October 6: Explore
BIW continues with a theme of showcasing Baltimore’s neighborhoods, architecture and history.
Doors Open Baltimore 2019, the city’s largest festival of architecture and neighborhoods, is running throughout the weekend. That brings it right in line with Baltimore Innovation Week. Visitors will have the chance to meet in over 50 different buildings with the people who design, build and preserve the city’s spaces.
Doors Open Baltimore will host over 12 guided tours of neighborhoods and buildings as architects and designers explain the history of the city’s most iconic buildings.
Monday, October 7: Science and Education
To begin the working week, BIW looks to bring excitement to Monday with an emphasis on science and education as a means for meaningful change.
It’s the first of a full week of Coffee and Coworking, where ettendees can explore entrepreneurship hubs in different parts of the city. Over 40 coworking and makerspaces will open their doors for people to take tours and participate in workshops.
The programming gets off and running for the day at 9 a.m. at downtown coworking space Homebase. That’s where a panel will discuss using technology to improve quality of life for all citizens. The panel includes Kenya Asli of the Baltimore City Office of Information & Technology, Lauren Hamilton of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Michael Hunter of Volunteers of America, Mike Fried, the CIO of the Baltimore City Health Department, Jonathan Moore of Rowdy Orbit and Shannon Redd of Cisco.
At noon, Dent Education, an organization that seeks to promote equity by supporting underserved youth, will lead a skill share program Impact Hub Baltimore. The event, led by CEO and cofounder of Dent Education Rajan Patel, seeks to transform ideas into prototypes with lessons about how to approach the design process.
In the afternoon at the University of Baltimore, startups will have a chance to pitch their concepts to the school’s entrepreneurial experts. And the bus will be there. It’s the annual Startup Maryland Day Celebration at UB’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Running 2:30 -7 p.m., this year’s event features workshops, one-on-one coaching, a startup boot camp and networking opportunities. Plus, they’ll have food and drink.
Back at Impact Hub Baltimore, the day closes out with happy hour and a panel discussion featuring former teachers who made the jump to the business realm.
The Educators to Founders panel, running from 5:30-7:30 p.m., features three CEOs: Ashley Williams of Infinite Future Schools, Danna Thomas of Happy Teacher Revolution and Jess Gartner of Allovue.
Tuesday, October 8: Media and Creative
The fourth day of BIW focuses on designing the future of technology.
At 8 a.m., visitors can begin the day at Gensler Baltimore to learn how organizations manipulate office space to improve innovation.
From 10-11:30 a.m., attendees can also visit the Maryland Institute College of Art’s (MICA) Bio Fab Lab to learn from artist Ryan Hoover about how students are blending their artistic visions with science and technology.
Baseball is over for the year, but Camden Yards figures into BIW. Starting at 11 a.m., Visit Baltimore will host a session at the Camden Yards warehouse titled “Marketing Baltimore Through Our Booming Creative Class.” After a panel with speakers like Orioles Senior VP of Senior Vice President of Administration & Experience Greg Bader, GreiBO President and CEO Shelonda Stokes, there will also be a chance to take a tour of Camden Yards.
Starting at 3 p.m., there will be several panels in the afternoon at the B&O Railroad Museum, all under the banner of “The Innovation of Speed and Technology.” Transportation and delivery will be the topic with panelists including Goodwill Industries VP of Marketing & Communications Johnathan Balog, Maglev Marketing and Creative Manager Craig George and Whitebox CEO Marcus Startzel. Sessions during the afternoon will take a dive into mobile marketing, and how tech and data will play a role in the 2020 campaign.
The sessions close out with a happy hour, providing a chance for further mingling with folks in marketing, creative professions and media.
Over at Clark Burger in Fells Point, Byte.Lion is hosting a session on lean product design for startups that’s specifically geared toward businesses building a new web or mobile software product. Marc Hausle, the software development firms head of user experience, will talk about testing assumptions and finding out whether users will be interested. Running 4-6 p.m., the session also includes food, drinks and networking.