Over the past year, I’ve been interviewing people in the Baltimore Tech community to find out how companies get started with funding, advice for hiring that first employee, and where to work once you’ve outgrown your basement. But my favorite questions — and the ones I ask at the end of every interview — are: Why Baltimore? What is your favorite thing about this city?
I started asking those questions because I was new to the city, and because I’m always looking to learn something new. Now I ask people why they love Baltimore just to see their faces light up when talking about the place they call home.
So this year, Baltimore is my valentine.
Remind yourself why you love this city, or maybe get acquainted with what makes Baltimore great.
Thanks to everyone who helped me love Baltimore more this year:
- Patrick Rife, Pixilated
- Deb Tillett, ETC
- Steve Silvius, Three Ring
- Shervonne Cherry, Spark
- Nick Miller, Parking Panda
- Morad Elmi, emocha
- Elizabeth Smyth, Johns Hopkins University
- Jen Meyer, Betamore
- Andrew Mavronicolas, BackPack ‘Em
- Rose Burt, Yet Analytics
- Margaret Roth, Yet Analytics
- Scott Winn, Strajillion
- Andrew Schuster, Newsup
- Mike Subelsky, Staq
What is SmartLogic?
SmartLogic is a custom web/mobile development company based in Baltimore. We are committed to helping the Baltimore tech community thrive and grow. Many of our clients are startups who face an array of questions when launching their business. We want to be both a technical resource and a reserve of knowledge on everything a startup founder might want to know.
Still have questions? Maybe we can help. Try our Lunch and Learn program.
“There’s a lot of grit and people want to make it work here.”
“Why Baltimore?” asks Startup Soirée co-founder Patrick Rife. “Let me count the ways.”
It takes more than one person to come up with all of the reasons why Baltimore is great though, and the list is made up of reasons large and small.
ETC President Deb Tillett says the friendly competition between neighborhoods is key.
“I love the fact that Highlandtown and Hampden are vying for the ownership of the word ‘Hon,’” she said.
And the camaraderie of a night out at the ballpark is good regardless of how well the Orioles are playing.
“I like Camden Yards a lot,” said Steve Silvius, co-founder of Three Ring. “I like to buy the cheap tickets and sit in the bar.”
For Shervonne Cherry, the community manager of Spark, Baltimore always offers her a chance to see something new.
“For me there is a lot going on,” she said. “I really like Mount Vernon. I like going to the Walters Art Museum and just hanging out, and then grabbing a beer at Brewer’s Art.”
But sometimes you run right by what Baltimore has to offer.
“On the water in Fell’s Point in the evening or the mornings, I run a lot down there,” said Parking Panda co-founder Nick Miller. “It’s probably one of my favorite places in Baltimore.”
The waterfront neighborhood offers more than nice running scenery.
“It’s nice during the day, you’re on the water. There’s places to hang out at night, restaurants and bars, you can’t ask for more,” said Morad Elmi, the co-founder of emocha.
Elizabeth Smyth with FastForward loves the vibe of the city.
“This is an up and coming city,” she said. “There’s a lot of grit and people want to make it work here.”
People are making it work Jen Meyer says because they have endless options.
“There’s every single type of amenity and opportunity: culture, arts, music, etc. All of that is here,” said Meyer, the CEO of Betamore.
And you can’t talk about Baltimore without saying smalltimore.
“Baltimore is a community where you can know the other people who are doing the things that you’re doing, or that you’re interested in doing,” said Rose Burt, a co-founder of Yet Analytics.
Art-lovers don’t have to go to a museum.
“Graffiti alley, that’s in Station North,” Shervonne Cherry said. “There’s an area there that if you’re a graffiti artist in Baltimore you can pretty much have at it and go to town.”
Even if you’re not from here, it’s easy to get swept up in the love.
“I wasn’t born in Baltimore but I got here as soon as I could,” said Scott Winn, co-founder of Strajillion.
And when Winn arrived, the city welcomed him with open arms.
Meyer agrees. “When someone comes from out-of-town, it’s almost like the welcome wagon comes out to bring them into the fold,” she said. “And I don’t think you find that everywhere.”
For Patrick Rife, what he loves about the city isn’t just what is great now.
“I think there are so many good things to come. You’d be blowing it to not come and do something here if you’re looking for a ton of opportunity,” he said. “Because there is nowhere — there’s certainly nowhere on the East Coast — that has the unrealized potential that is getting ready to powder keg like Baltimore.”
What do you love about Baltimore? Let us know in the comments or tweet @SmartLogic.