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Meet the 6 Startups Selected for ETC's 2019 Accelerate Baltimore Cohort

Meet the 6 Startups Selected for ETC's 2019 Accelerate Baltimore Cohort

Originally Posted by Morgan Eichensehr of Baltimore Business Journal

Emerging Technology Centers has accepted six young companies into its 2019 Accelerate Baltimore cohort.

Accelerate Baltimore, now in its eighth year, is an annual four-month program hosted by the ETC incubation and coworking space in East Baltimore. The accelerator aims to help startups develop their products or services to bring them closer to commercialization. It is backed by funding from the Abell Foundation and sponsored by Harbor Designs and Bowie & Jensen LLC.

Each participating company is awarded $25,000 in seed funds and will have access to free office space, over 16 mentors and advisers, weekly guest speaker sessions, incubation services and educational programming though the ETC. That includes a course on how to pitch for funding through investor-created tool, Pitch Creator. One company will also be selected to receive an additional $100,000 after completing the program.

To date, Accelerate Baltimore has supported 41 companies that have raised over $22.3 million in funding and created 125 jobs in the city.

Here are the growing firms that have been selected for the 2019 cohort:

  • Blood Sweat & Gears — Invented an automated granular product dispenser for residential or commercial use to spread salt or ice melt on walkways, driveways and paths during winter months. The spreader can also work with seed, feed and fertilizers for year-round lawn use.
  • Gami — Provides a subscription-based monthly origami pack for beginners, including diagrammed and scannable video instructions.
  • Mojoe Brewing Co. — Created a travel single-serve portable brewer and mug that uses proprietary K-cup-like coffee capsules to brew fresh coffee on the go.
  • ReVased LLC — Managesan online marketplace that aims to repurpose flowers from weddings, by connecting brides to local florists, charities and other brides.
  • Spotswash LLC — Provides an app-based waterless car wash and detail service that contracts with residential and commercial buildings with parking garages to wash tenants' cars while they work or sleep.
  • Vagrant Coffee — Runs a cafe-on-wheels business that allows customers to request a "carista" and custom mobile espresso bar, built into the back of a MINI Cooper, to their location.

Notable former Accelerate Baltimore cohort members include Allovue, a local finance-oriented edtech that recently raised a $7 million Series A, and ClearMask, a startup working to bring an entirely transparent surgical mask to market to improve doctor-patient communication.

Last year, the $100,000 pitch competition prize went to IsItGood, an app-based startup that is working to create a kind of "Rotten Tomatoes for podcasts," to help avid podcast listeners find new shows and episodes they'll like.

The Future of Coffee is Mobile [Product Update]

The Future of Coffee is Mobile [Product Update]

We are increasingly living in a world where mobility is critical to our daily lives. Earlier this year, Kayla Auffermann of the National Coffee Association reflected on mobility in the lives of coffee drinkers, writing, "It’s important to note that [the shift to out-of-home coffee consumption] is not only a question of preference, but also a reflection of our increasingly mobile (and WiFi-dependent) lifestyles: ultimately, people drink coffee where and when works for them."

As we enter 2019, many coffee brands are heeding to this trend and barreling towards more mobile friendly products and services. Dunkin' Brands (who recently dropped the 'Donuts' in an effort to move toward beverage-led retail) has been launching mobile products that cater to the customer on-the-go. The company launched an On-The-Go Mobile Ordering App and a drive-thru lane just for mobile orders, one of the first in the industry. 

As a part of their recent growth strategy, Starbucks Corporation has put major focus on their digital footprint, "opening the App’s Mobile-Order-and-Pay capabilities to non-Starbucks Rewards members [and unveiling] a series of campaigns – inside and outside stores – designed to build personalized digital relationships with customers that create new revenue opportunities."

The Market Is Ready for a Portable Brewer

MoJoe Brewing Co. created the mojoe™ Mobile Brewer to accommodate time-crunched professionals, commuters, and coffee lovers and is expected to share the on-the-go coffee space with brands such as Dunkin', Starbucks, and Keurig Green Mountain. In the next 5-10 years, as mobile coffee consumption continues to rise, the mojoe™ Mobile Brewer will be commonplace in homes and workplaces.  

Even more, as self-driving car technology becomes more commonplace, so will in-car brewing, as driverless cars turn lost commuting time into quality time. Your morning coffee may be very different in a few years.

Keep Calm and Brew in 2019

The mojoe Mobile Brewer will be here this year: we are projecting pre-order shipments and product launch this Fall 2019. As we gear up for launch, we will hone in on exact dates and confirm addresses. If you are a current pre-order customer, please feel free to reach out to confirm your order.

Recent product developments have led to a more robust brewer, prioritizing performance, portability, durability:

    • Manufacturing has entered its last stages and final performance and quality testing will occur Q1 2019. 
    • Tests related to upgraded heating technology and decreased brewing time are ongoing, with a goal of reducing brewing time by 20%.
    • mojoe™ Rechargeable Battery design development will be complete in Q1 2019. The design is expected to feature a detached lithium ion battery unit, capable of two brews with the mojoe™ Mobile Brewer.

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