As a local entrepreneur, as well as founder of SouthBMore.com, I was recently invited to the first StartUp Soiree, a networking event and meetup for local business owners started by Intrinsic Events and Pixilated Photobooth. It was a great event filled with individuals who are excited about their business and interested in soaking up as much knowledge as they could from other entrepreneurs.
Held at Pixilated Photobooth’s headquarters in the Morrell Park neighborhood of South Baltimore, I was able to meet many founders, many of whom were from South Baltimore, as well learn more about the companies started by individuals I knew already. Many individuals who have already been featured on SouthBMore.com, as well as developers working on big real estate projects on the peninsula, were also in attendance.
Nutreatious and Gundalow Juice CEO, and Federal Hill resident, Dana Sicko, provided food for the event. Also in attendance was Matt Mindel, a Federal Hill resident and co-founder of popular local sunglasses company Fed Thrill; Christopher DeLuca, a Locust Point resident who runs McHenry Project Consultants; Ray Gassert, a Federal Hill resident who started Premium Logistics North America; Ian Johnson, a Federal Hill resident and co-founder of Live To reLive, a local GoPro-focused video production company; Teri Pozniak, a South Baltimore resident and owner of T-Poz Photography; and, many others who I did not have an opportunity to connect with but hope to meet in the future. In general, it was so great to see so much entrepreneurial spirit in the area you live. It is this spirit that will surely boost the future of an already surging South Baltimore and metro area as a whole.
Groove Commerce’s Ethan Giffin, also a South Baltimore resident, was the featured speaker and hosted a Q & A session. The topics discussed included lines of credit, the benefits of being in Baltimore, how to balance a busy work and personal life, and setting up a good management structure. The benefits of being based in Baltimore was a popular topic; many agreed the area is ripe and overall “rocks.” Some of the reasons discussed included its affordability, the great pool of talent which benefits from the local colleges, a “chip-on-the-shoulder” attitude, and having a dynamic bunch of fun and interesting people residing here. Giffin noted that he could have taken his company anywhere in the country, but Baltimore was ultimately the best fit.
StartUp Soiree will be meeting once a month and the organizers are hoping they can be a big part of what co-founder Patrick Rife describes as a “major renaissance” brewing in Baltimore.
Photos (click to enlarge) provided by T-Poz Photography.