EdTech Company Citelighter Relocates from Betamore to The Foundry

| October 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

First reported by the Baltimore Business Journal, South Baltimore-based education technology (edtech) company Citelighter has expanded into an approximately 7,000 sq. ft. office at The Foundry on Fort Ave. in Locust Point. The company was previously located at Betamore, an incubator and technology campus at 1111 Light Street in Federal Hill. Citelighter is taking over a space at The Foundry vacated by Bully Entertainment, an animation and game design studio, which recently relocated to Towson.

Co-founder and COO Lee Jokl told SouthBMore.com that the new space was pretty turn-key having the conference room, breakout rooms, and open space they were looking for. Citelighter only installed a couple new walls and a new basketball hoop that Jokl and his team are pretty excited about. The space, which is located in a historic redeveloped factory, includes high ceilings, exposed rafters, and a lot of exposed brick.

IMG_9862Citelighter began the process of looking for a new space for its growing company with broker JLL in February. After getting a deal done with Foundry on Fort owner Merritt Properties, the company made the move to its new Fort Ave. location on Monday. Jokl noted that they have room to grow in the new space and additional space could be made available in the building.

“We wanted to stay in South Baltimore and be close to the action,” said Jokl. “There is a great tech energy you can feel in South Baltimore, a lot of which is being facilitated by Betamore.”

“This area is also perfect for everyone who works here,” continued Jokl. “My co-founder Saad Alam lives in Federal Hill and we have the Charm City Circulator, the stadiums, easy access to the highways, and many restaurants and amenities. I can just walk outside my office and find everything.”

It has been a fast rise for Citelighter after making the decision to relocate to Baltimore from New York City at the end of 2013. The company hired its fourth employee in Fall 2014 and now has 30 employees based in Baltimore, in addition to about 15 employees located overseas.

Citelighter is a web application that helps facilitate the writing process for students in grades 3-12. The application is currently used in more than 5,000 schools around the country. Jokl, who has a background in IT finance and operations, and Saad, who has a background in sales in marketing, both decided they wanted to start a business and do something important in the world.

The idea was born when Saad’s brother was ready to drop out of college during his freshman year, having difficulty writing research papers because his writing instruction in high school was inadequate. After Saad worked closely with him to help get him through the semester, he and Jokl came together and decided to quit their corporate jobs and help more students in writing through proper instruction and technology.

Being in the edtech ecosystem of Baltimore has been a big help to Citelighter. “Moving to Baltimore was the best major decision we made. There are great resources and angel investors here, and Betamore is terrific,” said Jokl. “We’ve been able to make great hires here and there is such a wealth of talented teachers in the area.”

“It has been incredible to see Lee and Saad, as well as their team, build such an amazing product and company,” said Betamore CEO Jen Meyer. “Betamore is proud to be Citelighter’s first home base in Baltimore and we are excited to have been able to provide critical support during their growth. They have been an instrumental part of our success and we will enjoy watching them as they continue to move forward.”

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About the Author:

Creator of SouthBmore.com and resident of SoBo. Graduate of Towson University and owner of Incept Multimedia, a full service video production company. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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