Baltimore Among Forbes’ Top Ten Startup Sites

Forbes Magazine named Baltimore among its top ten sites for business startups, citing the area’s investment in higher education and technology.

One facet of the Fortune article is a discussion of efforts to broaden the geographic distribution of venture capital to areas beyond some of the traditional “hot spots” including Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston:

One of those investors is Steve Case. The billionaire co-founder of AOL co-founded DC-based VC firm Revolution in 2005 and has been running it ever since. He launched his Rise of the Rest seed fund in 2014 to fuel startups in underserved cities. He made a splash last year with a $150 million Rise of the Rest early stage fund. The fund’s investment roster features some of the richest, most successful Americans in business: Jeff Bezos, Sara Blakely, Dan Gilbert, Henry Kravis, Eric Schmidt, Howard Schultz, Meg Whitman and more.

“The goal is to level the playing field so everybody, everywhere who has an idea has a shot at building a company and the American Dream,” says Case. It’s also good business. “It is a great arbitrage because there is less capital focused on those places and valuations are lower,” he says. “Maybe there is too much capital in Silicon Valley, maybe valuations are too high? There is not too much capital in St. Louis or Columbus.”

Regarding Baltimore as one of the top locations for this sort of investment, the listing notes:

The proximity to Washington, D.C. helps Baltimore’s startup community. Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures serves as the commercial arm of the school’s researchers and investors. JHTV had 164 patents last year, seventh most among schools.

Read the full Forbes article online.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties