In conjunction with the kickoff of Startup Maryland—a regional branch of Startup America—Governor Martin O’Malley announced a new business pitch contest designed to highlight Maryland entrepreneurs and small business owners. The contest will ask participants to pitch their businesses in 10 ten images using the new social media platform, Pinterest. Winners will be featured on Governor Martin O’Malley’s Pinterest page (www.pinterest.com/martinomalley) and will also receive a prize courtesy of the Baltimore Angels.
“In Maryland, we have a rich history of fostering entrepreneurship. From our many incubators to our diverse centers and institutions of higher learning to our strategic tax credits, we encourage entrepreneurship at every level,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Whether you’ve been in business for years or are just getting started, Maryland is the ideal place to do business and we encourage everyone to take advantage of this new contest.”
The contest is a partnership with the University of Maryland College Park, the Future of Information Alliance, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and the Baltimore Angels. Maryland entrepreneurs will be able to pitch their businesses using 10 images on a Pinterest board. Submissions will be showcased on Governor O’Malley’s website. Boards and pins will be available for public comment. Following the public comment period, a panel of business experts will choose winners in two different categories: “Student Entrepreneurs” and “Boot Strappers.” First place winners will receive a MacBook Air and runner ups will receive an iPad courtesy contest partner the Baltimore Angels.
“Angel investors love to be the first movers in hot new startup companies and emerging entrepreneurs,” said Jason Hardebeck, a member of the Baltimore Angels and Executive Director of the Greater Baltimore Tech Council. “The Baltimore Angels are honored to help support the first ever business plan competition on the fastest growing social network in history. Maryland is a state of ‘firsts’ and we look forward to seeing the great ideas that the next generation of entrepreneurs bring to life on Pinterest.”
Elana Fine, associate director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship said, “We are excited to see Governor O’Malley use a new technology like Pinterest to solicit innovative business ideas. By using the newest social media trend, the Governor can better connect with the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
Governor O’Malley recently announced that $84 million has been raised for Maryland’s Innovation Economy through InvestMaryland – an historic initiative created by the Governor and passed by the General Assembly last year to invest in the State’s promising start-up and early stage companies. This year, together with several of our research universities, Governor O’Malley proposed the Maryland Innovation Initiative—an effort to get at least 40 new technologies out of labs and into the marketplace.
“We are pleased to support the Business Pitch Contest, which showcases the best and brightest ideas of our entrepreneur community,” said Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Christian Johansson. “Contests like this are part of an overarching strategy in Maryland, which includes major programs like InvestMaryland and the Maryland Innovation Initiative, to build an economic climate where the most promising companies have a chance to mature.”
For contest guidelines and rules please visit this site: http://www.governor.maryland.gov/pitch.asp