UBalt, Loyola - Drivers of Economic Development - Host Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Annual Meeting, Oct. 13-16
September 29, 2021
Contact: Office of Advancement and External Relations
With colleges and universities increasingly viewed as drivers of economic development and business evolution, The University of Baltimore and Loyola University Maryland will host the 2021 Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) Annual Meeting in Baltimore on Oct. 13-16. This worldwide gathering of experts, representing higher education and its connections to policymakers, business leaders and consumer interests, is designed to "advance excellence in entrepreneurship through the unique role" of university-based centers where entrepreneurship is taught and nurtured, according to the GCEC mission statement. UBalt's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Loyola's Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship will share hosting duties for the event, which will take place at various locations throughout the city.
In coverage by Technical.ly Baltimore, Henry Mortimer, director of UBalt's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, says the GCEC event will clarify the "engine of university entrepreneurship as a driver for economic development." For both city-based institutions, capturing that energy at the local level can be a game changer.
"Communities can be sustained and revitalized through entrepreneurship," Mortimer says. CEI and similar centers at other universities are "preparing students to go back into communities, run businesses and add to the economy."
The event's theme, "Leading with Entrepreneurship: Succeeding in Revitalization," is intended to provide clear examples of how higher education and entrepreneurs are leading the way to create the new companies that are transforming their communities. Baltimore's many co-working spaces, business incubators, and dozens of federal research labs, all within a 30-mile radius, provide a broad, close knit entrepreneurial ecosystem that makes the region a desirable "Surge City" in which to start and grow a business. Paired with the significant contributions of 13 metropolitan colleges and universities to this entrepreneurial stance, the Baltimore region is home to many new, successful companies—particularly in the tech sector—which are in turn bolstering the city's ongoing revival.
Event highlights include the following:
Keynote speakers, many of whom are from Baltimore or have a Maryland connection:
- Nnadagi Isa, co-founder, lor tush
- Marcus Bullock, CEO, Flikshop
- Allysa Dittmar, co-founder, Clear Mask
- Ryan Maliszewski, CEO, Mozzeria
- Philip Gaskin, vice president of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation
The theme song for the conference, "Big Shot," was composed by local musician and artist John Tyler. This original recording is inspired by and celebrates the home-grown sound known as Baltimore club music.
The Thursday and Friday evening hosted gatherings will be held at several key innovation/entrepreneurship locales, including the Emerging Technology Centers, Fast Forward at Johns Hopkins University, and The Grid at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. These locations are a part of neighborhoods that are undergoing revitalization, and demonstrate the transformational impact that entrepreneurs have made to change the trajectory of entire communities.
Finally, the Saturday gala will take place at the Visionary Arts Museum.
"With its many entrepreneurial experts, Baltimore can experience positive change in every neighborhood," says University of Baltimore President Kurt L. Schmoke. "More people, just starting out in life or in the middle of a career, are recognizing the opportunities that come from working on their own ideas, in their own ways. It's up to us, across the city and the region, to support their talent and determination. The impact on local communities when we do so is enormous, and it's growing every year."
"This is a great opportunity not only for the two universities but also for the whole Baltimore business community," says Murray Dalziel, dean of the University's Merrick School of Business. "It brings together entrepreneurs and thought leaders from around the world, all dedicated to building a brighter future for local, national and global economies. The University of Baltimore was founded by entrepreneurs, so we are proud to be a part of it."
The event's organizers note that UBalt and Loyola "will feature GCEC members' success stories in entrepreneurship and innovation in the pursuit of revitalization. We'll showcase higher education's role in the urgent movement to support underrepresented entrepreneurs who have been most impacted by economic crisis and hold the most potential for growth. All centers will welcome discussion on how to stay relevant when campus finances are in jeopardy, and how GCEC members play a leadership role in revitalizing both higher education, and our economy, in recovery."
Read about the GCEC conference in Technical.ly Baltimore.