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'Pitch Across Maryland' Bus Tour Stops at UB Sept. 20

Gauges Potential Success of Student Entrepreneurs' Business Ideas; UB Welcomes Delegation Representing Business, Government; Students Get Feedback on Ideas for New Products and Services

September 7, 2012
Contact: University Relations
Phone: 410.837.5739

Budding entrepreneurs from the University of Baltimore will have a unique opportunity to share their ideas and concepts for new businesses with several successful business leaders, when Startup Maryland's "Pitch Across Maryland" bus tour stops for a rally at the UB campus on Thursday, Sept. 20 for a business pitch competition. A number of local and regional business and political leaders will be part of the event, which celebrates entrepreneurship and brings focus to Maryland's diverse businesses and cultures. The event is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. in front of UB's Merrick School of Business, 11 W. Mt. Royal Ave.

The bus, which is touring the state Sept. 11-28, will stop at select business incubators, economic development agencies, community colleges and universities to highlight entrepreneurship and allow the state's newest crop of entrepreneurs a chance to make their "elevator pitch" to those with experiences in starting and nurturing new businesses.

At UB, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture are highly regarded components of student learning, in the classroom and through internships, networking events and campus life. Many UB students are returning to school to earn a degree in hopes of launching their own business. Others are interested in social entrepreneurship—a burgeoning effort to pilot for-profit ventures with foundations and other non-profits, all in an effort to strengthen their capabilities and extend their reach into new communities. Still others are young inventors or technology buffs, sparking their web-based ventures and planning for a future in which individual expertise is more highly prized than ever.

"We believe that all of these different kinds of entrepreneurs offer a vision for a new economy that is already at work in Baltimore," said Johnetta Hardy, director of the University of Baltimore's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. "They are college students, but they also are raising the bar for what it means to own and invest in a new business in the city. They bring energy, imagination, and know-how to the University—as well as a lot of great questions about what makes a business really take off. That's why we're pleased to have the Pitch Across Maryland bus visit our campus. It's a window into a bright future for Baltimore, a city greatly enriched by small business—independent firms, franchises and wholly new concepts taking off every day. And at UB we're going to hear from some of the best of them."

Startup Maryland, part of the Startup America Partnership, said its Pitch Across Maryland tour will include opportunities for students to receive feedback about their interactions with business leaders. The bus tour will include videos, blogs, social media and news coverage to provide a "snapshot-chronicle of economic potential across the state of Maryland," the organization said.

The bus will include a "video pit," a mobile recording studio where entrepreneurs will come on board and record their brief business pitch. These pitches will be uploaded to the competition site for entry into the state-wide business pitch competition.

Julie Lenzer Kirk, co-chair of Startup Maryland, said, "We're excited to discover the undiscovered entrepreneurs while helping the state ignite entrepreneurship and unite the different parts of Maryland's entrepreneurial ecosystem."

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the School of Law, the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Public Affairs and the Merrick School of Business.