Extra, Extra! Startup Soirée Moves to City Garage

Startup Soirée is moving to City Garage in Port Covington effective immediately.

Fellow Startup Soirée people! We've been hinting at a bunch of big news in the future and we're finally ready to let the cat out of the bag! Startup Soirée is moving to City Garage in Port Covington effective immediately.

While PixilatedHQ has been an exceptional home for our community, a move to City Garage will enable us to scale the message and create a broader Startup Soirée community. A win for everyone.

City Garage. (The Daily Record / Maximilian Franz)   

City Garage. (The Daily Record / Maximilian Franz)

So, what's to be expected?

Well, for starters the A/V in the space will be far superior to that at Pixilated. We'll be able to screen brand trailers that are being created by community businesses as well as our own brand trailer that features so many of you! 

We'll also find ourselves in a MUCH larger venue which couldn't come sooner as we had our greatest attendance yet at last month's Soirée with Deb Tillett. The goal is to scale the size of the monthly soirées in an effort to bring in more industry diversity.

Who is our first moderator at City Garage? 

We're bringing in Greg Cangialosi from Betamore,  Baltimore Angels, Mission Tix and formerly of Blue Sky Factory to lead a group conversation on Bootstrapping your business. If you're not familiar you can check out a little more about Greg here!

What can you do to help?

Well for starters, help us spread the word! If you're in an incubator, co-working space or other startup environment - tell people about Startup Soirée! Let them know it's free and totally about business owners.

If you have a friend with a business, get them to sign-up! Know someone who's on the fence? Bring them along and we can push them in the right direction. Is there a local business that you love? Ask to speak with the owner and then invite her.

That's right people, this platform is yours as much as it is ours. Help us make it an even more incredible representation of the thriving business community here in Baltimore.

Can't wait to see you all, 

Patrick, Nic, Rachel & Jes

Startup Roundup | September 27th, 2015

Startup Roundup | August, 13th 2015

Startup Roundup August 16th 2015

Action vs Inaction: Baltimore


What's the narrative? What are we talking about? What is being said? How many of those things are true? You should be asking yourself these questions every fucking day. Not just because what's happening in Baltimore is happening but in service of not creating similar situations in the future. 

By the way, I live here. This city is a part of me. I am a part of it. In this role I am not unique. In this role I occupy a space inhabited by thousands of people. I am a Baltimorean. I speak about my city the way I see fit. Things are very different than what is being produced on the local and national media platforms. 

America has a very serious problem with accountability. Baltimore is very much a representation of that problem on a smaller scale. For years our city has been allowed to deteriorate. The physical infrastructure that was once proud is long neglected. Almost 50 years btw. 50 years. 

The pictures that we see on the media portray a Baltimore freshly rioted. Boarded up. Abandoned. The truth? Huge swaths of our city have looked that way for 50 years. Why? Because we never did anything to repair the damages and fallout from the late 60's. Almost 50 years ago....

This Unrest: Looks Black and White but really; It’s Blue

At the foundation of this argument lies the simple fact that a young black man was apprehended by Baltimore police officers for no reason and the results of that altercation were him being dead. There are no shades of gray when it comes to that simple fundamental fact. It's not a black-and-white issue. It's blue and brutal.

Every person of color has the right to be furious. Every person who is a citizen of Baltimore, who is a citizen of the United States of America, who is a person with a heart should be furious. We need to spend more time working on possessing empathy to understand the complexities that come into every person's day-to-day lives.

Responsibility: What You Can Do

So the question goes, seriously though, what can I do? There's a lot that you can do and the best thing about it is all it takes is opening your mouth. So many of the tropes that are being reported about our city are wrong. So many of the stories spinning wildly on the national media circus or grossly inaccurate. They're misrepresentations of what is actually happening in favor of good click bate and headlines. In favor of people tuning in to broadcasts. In favor of Gillette having more ad views. This is where we can have a tremendous impact. Don't be lazy. Set the record straight. 

Stop the bullshit and start speaking up about what you see and how you actually feel. No one should be held hostage to the viewpoint of other people just because we are nervous to offend or hurt their feelings. If people around you are telling stories you know to be false speak up. Out of sync perspectives on what's happening in Baltimore are our worst enemy right now. We should be spending our time on dialogue not shaking our heads at falsehoods. It's our responsibility to let the world know what the real deal is. When we ignore the fight in front of us we enable it.

Leading in Light: Where I’ll Be

My plan for trying to be a productive and helpful participant in the dialogue is to continue to share information. I don't think it's my place to say what is right and what is wrong. I don't think it's my place to stand on the pulpit.

I do think that it's my place to share as much credible information that I've been able to vet myself. I do think it's my responsibility to challenge what is being told to me. It is my responsibility to stand up and have courage to speak out when people that I love say things that I do not agree with. It's no longer an acceptable time for me to let someone off the hook because they're my friend. I do this with the understanding that every time I speak out I do something to tell the truth and when I remain silent I co-sign their message. For me, no way.

It's my responsibility to educate my children. That no matter how young they are I have a responsibility to give them the best perspective on what is taking place. I'm promising myself not to let their heads be filled with stories that aren't true. I'm doing my best to keep focus on giving them narratives that they can understand. Narratives that I can skillfully build on as they grow older. I am tasked with the responsibility of helping my children grow up in a society that desperately wants to call itself "Post-Racial" although it's far from it.

To Whom Knows Where?: El Futuro

What does the future hold? I have absolutely no idea but I do know that I'm committed to making Baltimore a place that is better and better every day that I can be in it. I know that I'm going to commit myself even more to having a positive impact on this great city.

I've said it once before in this column and I intend to reiterate again and again. I very much believe that the solution that is going to pull many of our midsize cities out of this crazy slip that they're stuck in is going to come at the hands of entrepreneurship. I believe that it is up to us to recognize the communities that allowed us to become who we are. I believe that we can develop a system for harmony, productivity and real life. For everyone. Will you join me?

FOLLOW ME @PatrickRife

The Baltimore Startup 5: Volume I

Baltimore Startup Nicolas China

The Need-To-Know Startups In Charm City

I’d like to introduce my new series on the Startup Soiree blog: The Baltimore Startup 5.

Every other week for the next 10 weeks, I’m going to give you a bit of my perspective on who’s doing innovative & groundbreaking stuff in the Baltimore startup world.

The bi-weekly Startup 5 will consist of 5 amazing young Baltimore area businesses that you should know about, if you don’t already.

So without further adieu, I’d like to announce the first group of companies that made the cut in The Baltimore Startup 5.


Chris Sachse Horsetail Technologies

Horsetail Technologies

Horsetail Technologies provides IT services and support for credit unions. This Federal Hill based company has chosen Baltimore as its home, but manages clients all across the nation.

Co-founder and CEO Chris Sachse is a leader in the credit union tech niche and speaks to the credit union community on a number of topics; from innovation to operational efficiency to security and digital marketing strategies.

In addition to his passion for the credit union movement, Chris has a vision to help evolve the Baltimore entrepreneurial community through innovation and technology.


Mozell Films Baltimore Startup Lee Morton

Mozell Films

Mozell Films is a Baltimore based film-making company driven by adventure and designed to enthrall. 

With a knack for storytelling, Creative Director & Lead Explorer Lee Morton founded the company paralleling his successful wedding film business, Clickspark.

Lee named his company “Mozell” after his grandmother, who embodied the values of his vision. Lee’s grandmother represented hospitality, authenticity and work ethic. She instilled in him, and thus his company, the values of resourcefulness, perfectionism, love and leadership.

Gundalow Juice

Gundalow Juice is the first cold-pressed juice wholesaler in Maryland.

Although only in the “juice game” at the moment, founder & CEO Dana Sicko has a vision for Gundalow to provide convenient, healthy and great tasting foods and drinks that fuel ambition. 

Dana sees Baltimore as a permanent home for Gundalow and views it as a place rich with opportunity. The product has been received incredibly well in its short existence and Baltimore is lucky to have Gundalow as a part of its startup ecosystem.


Treason Toting Co.

Treason Toting Co. creates quality toting goods, accessories, and lifestyle products right here in Maryland. They “create things we need and hope you love.”

Co-founders Jason Bass & Aaron Jones have found a way to seamlessly blend style, craftsmanship, and utility. Their true vision lies in the power of their brand, and what it stands for. Their mantra is “Bury Your Worries, Carry Your Stories”.

Keep an eye on Treason Toting Co., as they take their brand to the next level.


Yet Analytics Margaret Roth

Yet Analytics

Yet Analytics is a Baltimore based tech startup that is focused on “improving human capital through big data analytics.”

Founded in 2014 by Shelly Blake-Plock, Margaret Roth & Rose Burt, these Bmore enthusiasts have created a data analysis platform that aggregates, connects, visualizes and analyzes data from any source in real-time. Yet’s B2B solution creates the opportunity for companies to effectively measure employee training, efficiency and effectiveness.

Yet Analytics is making big data easy to understand. The opportunities are endless!

Be sure to keep the pulse of these 5 Baltimore startups. Big things are on the horizon!

I love you Charm City.

Follow Nicolas China on Twitter @Nico_C7.

Nic is co-founder and owner of Pixilated (@PixilatedPhoto) &Startup Soiree (@StartupSoiree).