Finding the right space for your business can be critical to its success. In Baltimore, there are many coworking spaces and incubators to help you get your idea off the ground. Over the next few weeks, SmartLogic Studies will be highlighting some of the places that set startups and entrepreneurs up for success.
This episode—Where to Work: ETC—focuses on the Emerging Technology Centers, which are funded by the Baltimore Development Corporation. Entrepreneurs can apply to join two locations, with one center in Highlandtown, and another near Clifton Park. We talk with Deb Tillett, ETC’s President, and companies who call an ETC home.
Featured in Where to Work: ETC
Upcoming episodes of the Where to Work series will feature:
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The Emerging Technology Centers
Andrew Schuster, the founder of Newsup ended up at ETC through a referral. The referral was for more than office space.
“We ended up here through a referral from a company we were working with at the time who was an ETC tenant,” Schuster said. “They said, ‘Hey look, you guys have a great idea but I think you should go to the ETC. They really help companies go from ideation to more of a product and help them evolve.’”
The ETC is the city of Baltimore’s technology and innovation program. For 15 years, the ETC has been helping companies succeed. That longevity is what brought Yet Analytics and Margaret Roth to the ETC.
The ETC is “a great space and a cool area and we get lots of resources through the incubation programs,” Roth said. “Also, the support we got from the leadership team was just unparalleled.”
As a first time entrepreneur, Roth said she knew her company needed the business support services and mentorship the ETC provided.
Deb Tillett, the president of the ETC, she sets the tone for the leadership team.
“We see everything from idea to full implementation and we try and help at every stage to move you forward and get you going,” she said.
Tillett says the mentorship goes further than an open ear ready to listen.
“We have Accelerate Baltimore, which is a lean startup accelerator,” she said. “You get an office space, you get business support services, and you get C-level executive help as you need it.”
For Schuster, Accelerate Baltimore was a learning experience. “We met some amazing people; we were able to link up with mentors who have succeeded in the space,” he said. “They gave us insight you couldn’t pay for.”
Many of the mentors who help current ETC companies were once ETC tenants themselves.
“We have awesome success stories that come out of ETC like Millenial Media and SmartLogic and Groove Commerce and R2integrated,” Tillett said. “In our 15 years there have been 350 companies and they’ve created over 2,500 jobs. In the long-term they’ve collectively raised $1.6 billion in outside capital.”
And all of that success comes from different areas of business.
“We really appreciate the diversity in types of ideas, and types of technologies and startups that are in the ETC, but also the diversity of the people and their experiences,” Roth said.
Tillett does her best to make sure all of different companies and people who call the ETC home meet and work together.
“Our job is to really try and create those collaborative opportunities and make some connections,” she said. “Help you understand lots and lots of things that you don’t know.”
Andrew Schuster has worked hard to make Newsup a success but he also gives some of that credit to the ETC.
“Honestly, without their guidance, in a market like Baltimore I don’t know that we’d be able to have gotten to this point.”