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April 18, 2011

Baltimore's Startup Weekend -- the winners!

So this weekend, I ran a few errands: I went to the bank, dropped off recycling, cleaned my house, worked, and tried to pay some fatherly attention to my kid.

Sounds like a typical weekend for a lot of folks, right? Well, not for the uber-ambitious people who spent 2 1/2 days of their lives breathing, eating and sleeping the Baltimore Startup Weekend experience. That's some of them below.

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I wrote a story about the event for entrepreneurs and techies here. But it didn't quite do it justice. There were a TON of great ideas there, and super-motivated people who made a lot happen in a weekend. I saw prototypes, alpha versions, beta versions, and almost-ready-for-primetime versions.

In the 2+ years I've been covering these types of events in the Baltimore area, I have to say that, in my outsider's view, this was perhaps the strongest one, in terms of raw idea power and get-up-and-just-do-it initiative.

Baltimore's tech scene indeed has come a long way.

It helped that about half of the crowd seemed to be coming from out of state. This is, net-net, not a bad thing. We want outsiders being attracted to Baltimore. Let them move here. Let them connect with talented folks here. And hopefully, let them find some office space to call home here for their business. It is a good thing when Baltimore is seen as a place that's friendly to the shiny brightness of risk-taking entrepreneurs.

That said, Startup Weekend was a competition and there were winners. Here they are:

* 3rd place: @Dapprly, an app that enables people to crowdsource opinions of their outfits before they go out on the town, and @talkchalkco, a powerful Facebook app that enables teachers and students to do their work on the social networking site.

* 2nd place: @ispylocal, AKA Localize, AKA Proportunities, which enables owners of vacant buildings to essentially poll the neighborhood for ideas on what businesses should move in to the empty space, via text messages.

* 1st place: @Parking_Panda, an app that enables people who own driveways to rent them out, to make a little extra cash and help alleviate parking problems in the city.

If anybody puts together a list of all the ideas and pitches that came out of Baltimore's Startup Weekend, please let me know and I'll re-post here.


This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech

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You can find all the companies and participants of Baltimore Startup Weekend here.

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About Gus G. Sentementes
Gus G. Sentementes (@gussent on Twitter) has been writing for The Baltimore Sun since 2000. He's covered real estate, business, prisons, and suburban and Baltimore City crime and cops. He was one of the first reporters at The Sun to use multimedia tools and Web applications -- a video camera, an iPhone -- to cover breaking news. He hopes to cover Maryland geeks and the gadgets and Web sites they build, and learn -- and share -- something new every day.

Gus has a wife, a young daughter and two feuding cats. They live in Northeast Baltimore.
This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location: baltimoresun.com/balttech
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