Four Baltimore startups named to join new accelerator

March 29, 2012|Gus G. Sentementes

Four Baltimore startups were chosen to participate in the inaugural accelerator program launched by the Emerging Technology Center, the city's main technology business incubator.

The news, announced Thursday, couldn't come at a better time for the city's tech scene. Millennial Media Inc., a mobile advertising firm that started as an ETC incubator company, went public today on the New York Stock Exchange, in a bid to raise more than $130 million to fuel its worldwide growth.

Local entrepreneurs seem eager to feed off the momentum that Millennial's IPO is expected to bring to local technology companies.

Each of the four companies will receiving $25,000 in seed funding and expert mentoring to develop their market and bring it as quickly as possible to market. ETC officials are managing the program, which was made possible by a $100,000 investment from the Abell Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic foundation that is increasingly investing in the city's startup ecosystem.

The ETC and Abell hope to make the AccelerateBaltimore program run and graduate companies a few times a year. The first batch of companies are:

* Flying Pig Digital:  A website and mobile app for exploring/sharing news by providing a game-like experience with real rewards.

* Hooopla: A mobile app that facilitates the process of organizing social activities among friends and allowing merchants to offer group discounts.

* A crowd sourced web application  for both personal and charitable gifts

* Unbound Concepts: A proprietary machine-learning algorithm designed to read text and “level” books by reading level

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