Business Pitch Bus Tour Ends in Columbia Friday

The two-week tour is being used to aid and highlight entrepreneurs in the state.


A bus tour designed to highlight Maryland's budding businesses will end its two-week trip around the state with a party celebrating Maryland's entrepreneurs on Friday at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

The bus tour, called Pitch Across Maryland, began on Sept. 11 and proceeded to make its way around the state giving entrepreneurs the chance to pitch ideas and connect with sources of financing.

"Our goal for the tour is bring together entrepreneurs from across the state, introduce them to mentors, find critical resources, and provide them with the guidance they need to be successful," said Mike Binko, co-chair of Startup Maryland at the beginning of the tour.

The last stop in Columbia, will feature music, food, a cash bar, a speech by Slava Rubin, CEO of crowd funding company Indiegogo and a farewell address from Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, according to Startup Maryland.

“Howard County is pleased to host this important Last Stop, First Step event,” said County Executive Ken Ulman, in a statement. “Startup Maryland’s Pitch Across Maryland bus tour has been a fantastic opportunity to showcase the state’s innovation economy.”

A spokesperson for the pitch bus said that so far the tour has generated over 100 video business pitches, and that they are expecting more than 200 by the time the tour concludes.

All the video pitches made during the tour will be posted online and people will be able to vote for their favorite ideas, according to the spokesperson. The top eight in the poll will move on to the MD Entrepreneur Expo in November, where a winner and runner-up will be chosen, according to the spokesperson.

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Matt M September 25, 2012 at 04:24 PM
So what is the bus tour? It's buses carrying video equipment, or...the people making the pitches travel around and record videos? Are the buses just a gimmick?
Andrew Metcalf September 25, 2012 at 04:53 PM
No the buses go from city to city in MD to give prospective entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their ideas. The pitches are recorded, will be posted later on the group's website, and then people can vote on the best pitches. Top eight vote getters will have a chance at the Entrepreneur Expo in Nov. to present their ideas, where a first place and runner-up idea will be chosen. Bus also presents an opportunity to find resources to connect entrepreneurs with financial resources that will help them get their idea off the ground.
Lee Richardson September 26, 2012 at 03:33 PM
The article does not say who can attend (professors, students seeking to become entrepreneurs, and the citizenry?) or whether there is any cost for entry or food.
Howard County Economic Development Authority September 26, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Hi there. It's free and open to the public. To register to attend the “Last Stop, First Step,” party at the Merriweather Post Pavilion, visit to http://www.StartupMD.org/LastStop.


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