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Fodor's says Baltimore is undergoing a 'foodie renaissance'

Baltimore gotten some serious foodie cred, according to Fodor's Travel. 

From swanky joints like Ouzo Bay in Harbor East and farm-to-table restaurants like Fleet Street Kitchen, Baltimore is undergoing a culinary renaissance, Fodor's writes.

"Chefs are embracing the farm-to-table movement, working with growers from across Maryland and Virginia to incorporate locally grown ingredients on their menus," Fodor's writes.

Fodor's also mentions the Food Market in Hampden; Waterfront Kitchen in Fells Point; Pabu and Wit & Wisdom, both located in the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore; and, Woodberry Kitchen. It also mentions Canton's the Fork & Wrench, whose owners are opening another restaurant in Fells Point. Read the entire story here

USA Today highlights the next big idea competition at Under Armour

USA Today went behind the scenes of Under Armour's "Future Show" competition, in which the athletic apparel company seeks out the next great product idea from top innovators.  

The winner came up with a lighted shirt for joggers who run at night. Chris Forgey came up with Light Bohrd after worrying about his son longboarding (a longer type of skateboard) after sunset.

"The contest lures inventors from across the nation — all hoping to catch the eye of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, who started his $2 billion company 17 years ago by innovating a shirt for athletes that pulls moisture away from the body to keep them dry," USA Today writes.

Two years ago, a contestant devised a magnetic zipper, which will show up in jackets in the fall, USA Today writes. Read the entire story here

Real Food Farm takes its farmers market on the road with a food truck

Farmers' markets have become popular across Baltimore, but according to Inhabitat.com, Real Food Farm is taking the farmers' market idea one step further.

The design and sustaintability weblog reports that Real Food Farm has established a "mobile market" food truck that brings fresh produce to the area surrounding Clifton Park in northeast Baltimore. This area is a food desert, a place where residents may not have access to a supermarket.

Designed by students at the Maryland Institute College of Art, the truck delivers fresh produce from the Real Food Farm's location in Clifton Park and makes scheduled stops at farmers' markets, private houses and schools.

Read the full story here.

And see BmoreMedia's feature on "Green Masterminds" like Real Food Farm. 

New York Times profiles growing Baltimore beauty company

A New York Times article puts the spotlight on Towson-based Mally Beauty, which is one of QVC's top five beauty vendors.

Founder and makeup artist Mally Roncal recently appeared on the shop-from-home network to tell the story behind her line of beauty of products, including a mascara made from an Italian formula, Japanese pigments and a French lash comb, the Times writes.
 
According to the New York Times, Roncal surged ahead in the beauty business after creating Beyonce's look for her performance at President Barack Obama's inauguration. Mally Beauty has sold seven million units in the U.S.  since premiering on QVC eight years ago, the Times writes. 
 
Read the full story here.

Under Armour's new running shoes are produced in a bra factory

Baltimore sportswear maker Under Armour has unveiled a new approach to making running shoes – shoes that fit like bras.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the shoes will be called Speedform and will hit the market at $120. The look is inspired by spacesuit design and their production will take place in a bra factory. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the Speedform shoes are a part of Under Armour’s campaign to triple its revenue in its footwear division in the next two years. Last year, footwear sales accounted for 13 percent of the company’s revenue.

Under Armour Senior Creative Director Dave Dombrow told investors that no shoe has ever fit so well, Bloomberg Businessweek writes.

Read the full story here.

Under Armour makes new sportswear line for Superman fans

Baltimore sportswear maker Under Armour has inked a licensing deal with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to produce a line of their famed athletic gear that features DC Superheroes such as Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, Variety writes.

The sportswear is available now on UA.com and sporting goods retailers and will be sold through the fall, says Variety.

This isn’t the first time the two companies have collaborated, as Under Armour provided the uniforms for the Gotham Rogues in the final film of the “Dark Knight” trilogy. After a well-received spring debut for an early version of a “Man of Steel” shirt, the companies decided to unveil a more expansive line, Variety writes. 

Read the entire story here

Food Network's 'Great Food Truck Race' shoots in Maryland

“House of Cards” isn't the only show shooting in Maryland anymore, as this week filming in Maryland turns from the political to edible.

Food Network show “The Great Food Truck Race” filmed in Annapolis June 21, the Baltimore Sun writes. The multi-week, coast-to-coast challenge pits food truck vendors against one another to see who can sell the most tacos, burgers and other fare.

The Indian-Mexican inspired Tikka Tikka Taco, the Hawaiian-style Aloha Plate Truck and cheese-steak vendor Samboni Boys took part in the Annapolis challenge, the Sun reports.

The Annapolis episode will air Sept. 15. Read the full story here.

Foreman Wolf opening first Howard County restaurant

Restaurant owners Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf are heading West for their latest venture. 

The duo behind Pazo, Petit Louis Bistro, Johnny's, Cinghiale and Charleston are opening a new, yet unnamed restaurant on Columbia's Lakefront, the Baltimore Sun reports. The restaurant will replace the shuttered Red Pearl, next to the popular Sushi Sono. 

The restaurant will likely open by the end of the year and hire 60 to 70, Tony Foreman tells the Sun. Its the first Howard County business for the Foreman Wolf Restaurant Group

Read the entire story here

Dangerously Delicious pie guy makes debut on 'The Next Food Network Star'

Rodney Henry, the owner of Dangerously Delicious Pies, was off to a strong start in the first episode of the "The Next Food Network Star."

Henry is one of 12 contestants, which included several restaurant owners and one former model, competing for the chance to host his own show on the network. Dangerously Delicious has stores in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Giada De Laurentiis, Alton Brown and Bobby Flay host the show. 

In the first challenge, the TV hopefuls had to create a 30-second pitch tape for Food Network executives. Later, individuals in a focus group voted whether they liked or disliked the contestants. The cooks then turned up the heat by making a dish with potatoes.

The audience loved Henry's pitch and a Food Network exec said he believed Henry is "the pie guy." Though his mini potato-and-crab pies didn't turn out as expected, the judges liked the taste. Henry, however, didn't make the top three performers in the first episode.

You can watch the entire episode here

Blog says Baltimore is an EdTech hub

GettingSmart.com, a blog that highlights innovations in learning, recently featured Baltimore's Digital Harbor Foundation.

The foundation is located in Federal Hill site, at the site of a former recreation center that has become a technology hub where Balitmore City school students can learn about web design, mobile app development and digital media production.

"Less than a year old, the Foundation already had one spinout company, An Estuary, a professional development company," GettingSmart.com writes.  

Read the entire story here



Entrepreneur magazine says Maryland is the best state for starting a business

Maryland, Colorado and Virginia support innovation and their high-tech workforce, according to the fourth annual Enterprising States report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

Entrepreneur magazine features the list of states, which also included Utah and Massachusetts in the top five. The U.S. Chamber took a look at the number of high-tech businesses, STEM job concentration and programs that support entrepreneurs. The report credited the Free State for its Activate program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the Maryland Entrepreneurs Resource List. 

Read the entire story here

Forbes chats with company about designing Baltimore company's mobile app

Forbes recently interviewed the owner of a company that redesigned WellDoc's mobile app. Based in Baltimore, WellDoc has created the first FDA-approved app to manage diabetes.

In an article titled "6 Things You Should Do When Designing for Mobile," Forbes chats with Moment Design Inc. Principal John Payne about redesigning the WellDoc app so it can be commercialized.

Holding a design charette, or a collaborative approach to design, and gathering insights about the user experience, were among Payne's recommendations. Read the entire story here



Details magazine says Artifact Coffee's mushroom burger is a must-try sandwich

Details magazine says that Woodberry's Artifact Coffee is one of the best spots to get a vegetarian sandwich.

In a section highlighting vegetarian trends, Details describes Artifact's mushroom burger as a "must-try" meat-free meal.

"James Beard winner Spike Gjerde's mushroom patty at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore is bound with tofu and oats on a benne seed bun with sauteed onions and greens," Details writes.

The magazine highlights a number of other vegetarian dishes, in cities from New York to San Francisco to Chicago.

It's the latest accolade for Artifact. Food blog the Daily Meal recently named it one of the best coffee shops in America. Chef and Owner Gjerde also owns Woodberry Kitchen and is one of the partners behind a massive food incubator, commerical kitchen and community classroom under development, called the Food Hub.



Fast Company says Maryland is the third most innovative state

Maryland is home to a thriving startup community, says Fast Company. The magazine ranks the Free State No. 3 on its list of the most innovative states.

Florida, Texas, Arizona and Alaska rounded out the top five. Mississippi, Oklahoma and Virginia were at the bottom three of the list, which ranked the 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

Maryland also ranked No. 4 on Fast Company's breakdown of the number of startups per million residents.

The magazine culled data from a variety of sources to come up with the ranking: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity and others. 

Online grocer Relay Foods gets $8M to expand in Baltimore and D.C.

Online grocer Relay Foods has gotten a fresh round of capital, which Forbes says it is planning to use to expand further in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

The Charlottesville, Va., company has raised another $8.25 million, from Battery Ventures, TomorrowVentures and many smaller shops, Forbes says.

“'It’s huge for the company in that this more than doubles our funding and allows us to expand aggressively into the D.C. and Baltimore markets,'" Relay CEO Zach Buckner tells Forbes. 

In addition to offering traditional grocery items, Relay delivers dairy, produce and other products made locally. It also sells eco-friendly products like Seventh Generation cleaning supplies. It is one of a handful of companies that are taking the buy-local food movement online.

 

Food blog says Woodberry's Artifact is one of the best coffee shops in America

Woodberry's Artifact Coffee is one of the best places to get your java jolt, according to food and drink blog the Daily Meal.

The Spike Gjerde-owned venture comes in at No. 15 on its list of Best Coffee Shops in America. The Daily Meal raves about Artifact's " 'barn chic,' farm-to-table vibe" and its BYOB dinner service. (Read about Artifact's plans to serve beer and wine).

The blog editors asked shop owners and baristas to pick their favorite coffee joints based on quality of food and coffee, atmosphere and customer service to come up with its list of 33 shops and chains.

Coffee shops in Portland, Ore., and New York took the No. 3 and No. 2 spots. Ultimo Coffee in Philadelphia came in at No. 1.


OpenTable diners name Food Market and Ouzo Bay top 'hot spots'

Two Baltimore restaurants earned a spot on OpenTable's Top 100 Hot Spots: Harbor East's Ouzo Bay and The Food Market in Hampden. 

If you have been to either, you probably know that they're both pretty busy, even if you pop in at 9 p.m. on a weekday. Specializing in fresh seafood, Greek restaurant Ouzo Bay opened last year.  The Food Market opened on The Avenue almost a year ago. 

OpenTable compiled the list based on more than 5 million restaurant reviews for more than 15,000 restaurants throughout the U.S.

You can see the list here

Video Americain gets a plug in the New York Times

Baltimore's Video Americain, one of the few remaining video rental shops in a dying industry, has gotten a shout-out in the New York Times' small business blog.  

Miguel Gomez recently opened — you guessed it, a video store! — in suburban Philadelphia and told the New York Times that streaming and online video rentals can't beat the personal experience of browsing through titles and getting recommendations at a store.

"There aren’t too many video stores left in the country, but the ones that are left are all pretty great," Gomez tells the New York Times. "Baltimore has Video Americain, Seattle has Scarecrow Video, Austin has both I Luv Video and Vulcan Video, San Francisco has both Lost Weekend Video and Le Video … so there are communities still supporting video stores, as long as the video stores have stellar inventories."

Video Americain has two Maryland locations: one on Cold Spring Lane in Roland Park and another in Takoma Park. Last year, it closed its Charles Village shop


Baltimore mentoring program featured in Forbes

Sarah Hemminger tells Forbes magazine that when she moved back to Baltimore for grad school in 2004, she and her husband Ryan felt like "something was missing."

That something was being part of a loving, nurturing community. That prompted her to launch the Incentive Mentoring Program, which matches a family of committed volunteers with underperforming high school students.

"We must build a reliable social support network by facilitating dependable, long-term relationships among students and caring adults," Hemminger tells Forbes

Forbes Says Baltimore is a Tech Hot Spot

America's new hotbeds of technology innovation are not in the major cities like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, but smaller ones, according to Forbes. And ranking No. 4 on Forbes' list is the Greater Baltimore region, where jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) grew nearly 18 percent between 2001 and 2012.

The Washington, D.C., metropolitan area got the top spot, followed by Riverside-San Bernadino, Calif., and San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas. 

New York, L.A. and Chicago, in contrast, all lost tech jobs in the past decade, according to the data crunched by Praxis Strategy Group

"As the social media industry matures and consolidates, employment is likely to continue shifting to less expensive, business-friendly areas," Forbes writes.

You can read the rest of the story here



Pizza Today Features Chazz Baltimore's Potato Pie

Potato pizza savored in Tuscany, Italy inspired restaurateur Sergio Vitale to serve a potato pie at Chazz: A Bronx Original restaurant, Pizza Today writes.

"Vitale’s coal-oven-fired white pizza is topped with sea salt seasoned potatoes, pecorino and fontina cheeses, rosemary and gar­lic," the magazine writes. "After baking he drizzles calabrese chili oil over it."

To prevent the pizza from getting too soggy, Vitale says he places a layer of shredded fontina cheese underneath the spuds, which he spaces out carefully.

“ 'Too many spuds cropped up in the center will make a soggy pizza,'” Vitale says. You can read the rest of the story here

Gordon Ramsey Visits a Reinvented Cafe Hon

Denise Whiting and her restaurant Cafe Hon are once again the darlings of the Hampden neighborhood, according to a recent episode of Gordon Ramsey's "Kitchen Nightmares."

Ramsey revisits Cafe Hon a year after his first visit to find a bustling restaurant, humble owner and good food. 

"The food was better, they said, the staff seemed happier -- the first piece portrayed them as primed for a full-scale revolt -- and the community seemed ready to let bygones be bygones, especially once Whiting made good on her promise to let go of the trademark," writes Chris Kaltenbach in the Baltimore Sun.

Whiting, of course, faced a public relations nightmare after trademarking the word "Hon." She then later abandoned the trademark and her decision was broadcast on MIX 106.5 and on "Kitchen Nightmares."



Baltimore Restaurant Owners to Star in Reality TV Show

The owners of Hampden's Alchemy restaurant are starring in a new reality television show, according to tourism and hospitality website Citypeek.com. 

Baltimore-based RLTV is featuring the couple on a show called "What's Next," scheduled to air in the spring.

"The foodie show uses the small 75 seat venue ALCHEMY's partners Sommelier/Pastry-Bread-Sweets Debi Bell-Matassa and Executive Chef Michael Matassa to cover and tackle issues like: how do you run a business, how do you manage to work side by side your spouse," Citypeek.com writes

Founded by John Erickson, cable channel RLTV caters to the 50 + crowd in its programming.



Travel Channel Films in Federal Hill

Cross Street Market or Eastern Market? It's a showdown between Federal Hill and Capitol Hill on the Travel Channel.

The cable network was in Baltimore Dec. 7 and filmed at the Cross Street Market, writes Kevin Lynch in SouthBMore.com

"Get down to the market and let people know how great the area is," SouthBMore.com writes. "And, while you are there, grab something at one of the many merchants and support local business."

We can't wait to see the show when it airs. 

New York Times: Woodberry Kitchen Stocks Up for the Winter

How do restaurants serve up the freshest produce in the winter? They can, store and preserve, says the New York Times, which prominently features Woodberry Kitchen in its feature on how restaurants are saving up for the winter. 

"At Woodberry Kitchen, the chef Spike Gjerde collaborates with local growers to stock an abundant pantry, serving diners at his 162-seat restaurant," the Times writes. 

" 'We got in the kitchen and froze 10 cases of tomatoes and roasted, peeled and seeded 10 cases of peppers,'” Gjerde tells the Times.

The story also mentions Carroll County's Black Ankle Vineyards, which supplies grapes to Woodberry.

You can read the entire story here



Seattle Music Guru Picking Out "Aggressive" Songs for Under Armour

Spencer Manio picks out the right music that meshes with a company's brand. 

And the 39-year-old Seattle resident is picking out "aggressive electronic music" to play at Under Armour stores, Manio tells NPR. 

He can't reveal the songs just yet, but NPR writes that "there will likely be mainstream songs by Skrillex and Calvin Harris, who soundtrack many a CrossFit and 'bootcamp' experience."

You could also hear Hudson Mohawke, Rustie, Baauer, Lunice and TNGHT next time you're buying Under Armour workout shorts. 

"If he pulls it off right, he'll communicate the brand, intrigue the consumer and expose people to extraordinary music," NPR writes.  "Essentially he's trying to help Under Armour convince you, whoever you are, even if your body is not a temple, that you could be in the Olympics."

Read more about Under Armour's music guru here



Huffington Post Visits Lexington Market

Huffington Post recently went on an expedition to Baltimore's Lexington Market. The reason? To see the tempting display at Berger cookies' stall. 

The cake-like cookie with fudge frosting has been making its way south to grocery stores in the Washington, D.C., market.

"If you've ever had Dangerously Delicious' Baltimore Bomb pie, the critical ingredient in the oh-so decadent dessert is a little not-so-healthy treat that's been a favorite in Charm City for generations: Berger cookies," Huffington Post writes. 

The article comes with a mouth-watering slideshow. 

Baltimore Native Brings Lake Trout to Brooklyn

An iconic, blue-collar Baltimore dish has made its way to the hippest of all food havens: Brooklyn.

Yeah, there are men in skinny jeans and Buddy Holly glasses chomping into a Lake Trout sandwich as you are reading this.

Baltimore native Matt Lang opened Lake Trout in the Williamsburg neighborhood, along with area restaurateur Joe Carroll. The spot is decorated with Baltimore sports memorabilia. 

"The semiotics get stickier at Lake Trout, whose name refers to a working-class Baltimore specialty that is neither lake in origin nor trout," the New York Times writes. "Mr. Lang purchases deboned fillets, contrary to tradition (crunching a few bones is supposed to be part of the fun), and coats them in cracker meal and flour."

You can read the entire review here

Ray Rice Endorses New Sports Drink

Baltimore Ravens' Running Back Ray Rice is getting pumped about a new sports drink. 

Rice is one of five athletes that is investing in sports drink BodyArmor, launched last year by FUZE Beverage creator Lance Collins, Forbes writes. 

"'I first tried BodyArmor in training camp,'” Rice tells Forbes. “'I had been drinking other stuff, and the one thing I loved about BodyArmor was that it keeps me hydrated.'" 

"Through this partnership, the athletes will engage in events, promotions, product testing and campaigns both regionally and nationally," Forbes writes. "Additionally, there will be opportunities to support their own charities, such as The Ray Rice Charitable Fund, which helps aid youths in the Baltimore, Md., and New Rochelle, N.Y., areas."

You can read the entire story here



IdeaMensch to Help Marylanders Turn Ideas Into Reality

IdeaMensch is a community that shows people how to bring their ideas to life and it is helping the fine folks in the Free State. 

"Whether your idea is an app, a nonprofit, a book, a website or an invention – what matters is how you bring it to life. Who matter are the people who bring those ideas to life," the IdeaMensch site says. The Los Angeles-based organization is going on a four-month road trip and is hitting every state. 

It makes its stop in Maryland Sept. 25 at the Loyola Columbia Graduate Campus, starting at 6 p.m. Speakers include Social Toaster CEO Brian Razzaque and PointClickSwitch CEO Phil Crowskey. Read more about the Baltimore event here

One Baltimorean Gets Nostalgic About Berger Cookies

Berger cookies' expansion into Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia can only be a good thing, right? 

Not according to a Baltimorean who says the cookie is so linked with Baltimore, it can't possibly be truly appreciated by non-natives. 

"Can a city like DC boasting so many five-star restaurants really value this simple cookie?" Andrew Reiner asks in the September issue of GO:AirTran Inflight Magazine. 

"First, there's the look of the Berger, as it's often called, with its leviathan mound of hand-dipped fudge icing atop a cakey wafer. 'A chocolate delivery vehicle,' is how one cyberspace foodie refers to it. The fudge icing is just that ponderous— and inconsistent."

Read the rest here


Los Angeles Magazine Dishes With Bryan Voltaggio

Bryan Voltaggio paired up with his brother Michael Voltaggio of Los Angeles’ Ink to present “Hungover with the Voltaggios” to the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival.
 
The crowd enjoyed the two brothers for both their culinary skills and comedic relief, according to a recap in Los Angeles Magazine.
 
The Voltaggios exuded the same personality and cooking style as fans saw on Season Six of Top Chef when Michael won and Bryan, owner of Frederick's Volt restaurant, was second runner-up. “Bryan seems happy to play it straight while Michael engages in all manner of wild and eccentric experimentation. Hence, the coffee cake," LA Magazine writes. 
 
The best part about Bryan’ cinnamon swirl coffee cake and dollop of bay leaf ice cream and Michael’s egg yolk gnocchi and bacon is that they’re things you can replicate at home, Bryan tells the magazine.

That is of course, if you have superb culinary skills and liquid nitrogen.

Maryland Ranks No. 7 For Growth in Women-Owned Firms

Maryland isn't a bad place to start a business if you're a woman, according to a study commissioned by American Express OPEN.

The report puts Maryland No. 7 on its list of states that had the most growth in the number of women-owned firms and their  economic clout between 1997 and 2012. Maryland didn't fare as well as our neighbor Washington, D.C., which came in at No. 1. Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona and North Dakota rounded out the top five. 

In a similar ranking for cities, the report put Baltimore No. 4, after Washington, D.C., San Antonio and Houston.

The study relies on data from the U.S. Census. You can see the entire report here



Baltimore Tops D.C. in Food Truck Battle

Baltimore came out on top in more than one Battle of the Beltways. 

Not only did the Baltimore Orioles beat the Washington Nationals but the city bested its rival at A Taste of Two Cities, a food truck competition held Saturday at the Westport Waterfront. It was organized by food truck owner Damian Bohager
 
First place went to Baltimore’s Gypsy Queen food truck, followed by the Red Hook Lobster truck of D.C. in second and Baltimore’s Miss Shirley’s truck in third.
 
A panel of six judges, three from each city, determined the winner. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a big supporter of Baltimore’s food trucks, presented the Mayor’s Cup to Gypsy Queen.
 
The People’s Choice awards, which were decided by competition visitors via text, went to D.C.’s the Cajunator and Baltimore’s Souper Freak. 

Read more about it in the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post

"Ace of Cakes" Duff Goldman Expands West Coast Biz

Did you ever watch an episode of Ace of Cakes and think "hey, I could do that?"

Well it's now time to put your hubris to the test. 

The so-called bad boy of baking Duff Goldman is opening Cakemix in Los Angeles. It's DIY for the bakers, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

"Cakemix is for anyone off the street who wants to go wild with a tube of buttercream. By decorating a cake, that is," the Times writes. 

You get to choose between a 6-inch or 9-inch cake and then get fondant, buttercream, edible spray paint and the help of an on-staff decorator. 

Cakemix is opening this month next to Charm City Cakes West, his L.A. outpost of the Remington bakery featured in the Food Network show.  

You can read the entire story here

Fast Company Recognizes Baltimore's Tech Scene

Forget Silicon Valley. There are loads of other cities throughout the U.S. that have a promising tech scene. 

That's according to Fast Company, which says Baltimore is of "15 Tech Scenes in Places You'd Never Think to Look."

Phoenix, Charleston, S.C., Salt Lake City and Cleveland are some of the other towns on its list. 

"Baltimore has a startup market pumped full of youthful energy," Fast Company writes. "These burgeoning entrepreneurs can tap into a slew of resources, such as Accelerate Baltimore, a business accelerator, and Innovate Maryland, which forges partnerships between schools and tech companies."

You can read more about Baltimore's tech scene here

The photo includes a picture of Baltimore Sun Tech Reporter Gus Sentementes, who was featured last month in Fast Company for creating a home renovation app. 

Baltimore Tech Journalist Creates Home Renovation App

Baltimore Sun tech reporter Gus Sentementes is used to writing profiles of emerging tech companies. 

But this time, Sentementes is the subject of a profile himself in Fast Company after creating an iPhone app called NestPix. The app allows homeowners to track how much money they are spending on renovations. 

"'People are looking for ways to protect the value of their home,'" Sentementes tells Fast Company. "'This can give them some kind of comfort.'"

You can read the rest of the story here

Virginia Mortgage Lender Opens Lutherville Office

A subsidiary of growing Cardinal Financial of McLean, Va., has opened a Lutherville office, reports American Banker.

It's the third office it has opened in Maryland in the past month  as it tries to win business from larger banks that have scaled back their home lending. 

You can read the rest of the story here

Parking Panda Gets a Nod in Wall Street Journal

Baltimore startup Parking Panda is shifting into high gear. 

The company, which rents out parking spaces in private garages and driveways and was highlighted in a Bmore Media feature in November, got some good ink in the Wall Street Journal.

"While some high-tech companies got their start in garages, a new crop of business founders, including Nick Miller of Baltimore, is giving fresh meaning to the term 'garage entrepreneur,'" the Wall Street Journal writes. Parking Panda is expanding to San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia after having closed $250,000 in funding from angel investors. 

You can read the rest of the story here

Facebook IPO Roadshow Stops in Baltimore

Facebook took its investor pitch on the road and made a pit stop in Baltimore, according to the New York Times. 

It also hit Boston, San Francisco and Chicago prior to its prepares to go public May 17 or 18. It's on track to raise nearly $11 billion with a market valuation of $86 billion, the Times writes. 

You can read the rest of the story here



Baltimore Beer Brand's Revival in Wall Street Journal

An old-time Baltimore beer's revival was featured in the Wall Street Journal.

Tim Miller of Easton bought the trademark rights for National Premium beer in 2010 and plans to produce as many as 100,000 cases in the next couple of years

His story, along with those of other entrepreneurs looking to bring back old brands, was highlighted in the April 18 issue of the Wall Street Journal. 

Miller tells the paper that he has lined up two distributors and hopes to start selling the beer later this year. You can read the story here

Blimey! BBC Takes a Swig of Baltimore Beer

Baltimore's reputation as a beer town has spread across the pond. The BBC has a big feature on the renaissance in Baltimore's beer industry. 

"Beer is flowing back into the city, thanks to a combination of young beer enthusiasts, cheap real estate and the persistence of local brewers," the BBC writes.

Max's Taphouse, Pratt Street Ale House, Clipper City Brewing Co. and the Brewer's Art all get a mention in the story

Still, we can't help but be flattered that the BBC followed Bmore Media's lead. We wrote this story on the growing number of Baltimore brewers

Under Armour CEO and Ravens Owner on Forbes' Billionaire List

Nine Marylanders made the Forbes' list of wealthiest individuals.

With a net worth of $1.1 billion, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank made the cut for the first time. He came in at No. 1075. Steven Bisciotti, Baltimore Ravens Owner and founder of staffing firm Allegis Group, came in at No. 913 with a net worth of $1.4 billion. 

Hoteliers Richard Marriott and Bill Marriott Jr. also made the list. 

You can see the complete list here and a snapshot of the Marylanders on the list here

"Kitchen Nightmares" Airs Cafe Hon Episode

Baltimoreans finally got to see the long-awaited "Kitchen Nightmares" episode featuring Cafe Hon Owner Denise Whiting and her controversial move of claiming ownership of the word "Hon."

And it was as dramatic as expected. 

Whiting was stuck with a public relations nightmare after the trademark. Critics said she was trying to profit from a word that has become synonymous with Charm City itself. 

It was all documented on the show hosted by British chef Gordon Ramsay, who convinced Whiting to give up her trademark.

"In the show’s final segment, Television Chef Gordon Ramsay and his 'team' of culinary experts literally snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, transforming the iconic 36th St. restaurant and 'persuading' its insufferable proprietor Denise Whiting to give up her claim to ownership of the trademark 'Hon,'" writes Alan Z. Forman in his Voice of Baltimore news site. You can read the rest of his summary and analysis of the show here

Harbor East Chocolatier Ranked No. 6 in Nation

Baltimore has a number of chocolate makers in town. And one has earned national recognition.

Complex, an online lifestyle magazine for 20-something men, has named Glarus Chocolatier the sixth best in the nation. 

"Baltimore's Glarus Chocolatier uses traditional Swiss recipes for each of their handcrafted creations," the website writes. "Think a small craft brewery, but with chocolate covered strawberries rather than pilsners and lagers. Got it? We feel drunk already."

It's the only Baltimore chocolate company to earn a spot on the list. 

Arts and Tech Meet for Create Baltimore

It was 2012's first snowfall, but that didn't stop 200 people from trekking to the University of Baltimore for the second annual Create Baltimore. 

"Ideas were spit-balled, the collaborators of tomorrow (perhaps) met each other and an assortment of topics were covered," writes the Baltimore Brew. "People discussed mapping and visualizing, journalism and various ways to shine a light on government data, creating an advocacy organization for city bicyclists, improving food access in urban neighborhoods and a host of other ripe topics."

You can read the rest of the story here

Baltimore County Shop to Be Featured on Reality TV Show

A Baltimore County sports shop will be the subject of a new reality TV show, according to the Baltimore Sun's David Zurawick.

ABC will follow the owners of Robbie's First Base in Timonium in 12, half-hour episodes. You can read more about the planned TV show in Zurawick's blog.

Advertising.com Founder Scott Ferber Rebrands TidalTV

Scott Ferber is rebranding his new company TidalTV and is now calling it Videology, the Baltimore Business Journal writes.

Videology is building a network of advertisers for video content and has signed up AOL Video as a client, the newspaper reports.

Ferber is the Baltimore entrepreneur who co-founded Advertising.com with his brother John Ferber. In 2004, the entrepreneurs sold Advertising.com to AOL for $435 million. You can read the rest of the story here.

Late Philanthropist William Polk Carey Remembered

Philanthropist William Polk Carey, who donated millions to Maryland universities, died Jan. 2 in West Palm Beach, Fla. Newspapers around the country remembered the investment firm owner who managed an $11.8 billion investment portfolio.
That includes the Wall Street Journal, which ran an Associated Press story remembering the late entrepreneur.

Last year, Carey gave $30 million to the University of Maryland law school and gave $50 million to found the Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business in 2006.

University of Baltimore Law Graduate Now Best-Selling Author

Darcie Chan is a 37-year-old attorney who has sold 400,000 copies of her self-published book "The Mill River Recluse," writes the Wall Street Journal.

And Chan got her law degree from the University of Baltimore. Numerous literary agents and publishers rejected the book before Chan decided to publish it herself, she tells the newspaper. You can read more about Chan's literary success here. (Registration is required).

White House Hosted Baltimore Entrepreneurs

What do Urban Pirates, Marine Steel Wire Products, aMuse Toys and Union Box Co. have in common?

Leaders from all of these Greater Baltimore firms were invited to the White House to share their thoughts on health care reform, the economy and other business concerns, according to the Baltimore Business Journal.

You can read more about the meeting and see a complete list of businesses that participated here.


Cafe Hon Owner Drops Trademark

When the public got word that Café Hon owner Denise Whiting had trademarked the word "Hon," the Hampen business owner faced a backlash that affected sales of her restaurant.

But she told several media outlets that she is dropping her trademark of the term of the uniquely Baltimore term of endearment. 

She also apologized for stirring up such controversy.

Thanks, Hon.

You can read more about it here.

Cool Local Companies Need to have a Strong Facebook Presence, Right?

From the article: "Citybizlist took a look at the 10 finalists of TechNite's 10 Hottest Technologies in Town to see what their Facebook presence looked like. We figured that if these were the hot technologies in Baltimore, they would be on the forefront of how social media, Facebook in particular, could be harnessed to attract interest, promote dialogue, create connections, establish a strong brand, etc." Read the full post here.

Easton Man Looks to Revive National Premium

If Easton real estate agent Tim Miller can pull it off, National Premium beer will soon make a return to area coolers.

From Erik Maza at the Sun:

For decades, National Premium has been a hazy, distant memory. Stored-away memorabilia and faded beer ads were all that remained of its once-storied legacy.

That may change next year. Tim Miller, an Easton real estate agent, has acquired the trademark and has ambitious plans to bring the beer back to the Baltimore market by next baseball season. He has secured the formula and announced a new, spiffy logo. Capital investment and brewing are next.


Read the full story.

Local Startup 410Labs Generates National Buzz With Shortmail

Local startup 410Labs made big news last week by announcing a round of funding for Shortmail, a new too designed to alleviate the burden of overwhelming email conversations.

From the source:

But it's not just Twitter for email. There are other interesting elements of the service too. For example, you can set any Shortmail conversation to be private or public. The latter feature I tested out yesterday with 410 Labs (the company behind Shortmail) co-founder Dave Troy. Below, find my Q&A back and forth with him. (They don't currently have embeds, so I took screen shots of it to include in this post. But you can find the thread live on the web here.)

As Troy notes below, 410 Labs has secured a $750,000 Series A round of funding. True Ventures, 500 Startups, Fortify Ventures, and The Maryland Venture Fund drove the round. Individuals including Tim O'Shaughnessy (co-founder of LivingSocial), Jeff Ganek (founder of Neustar), Abdur Chowdhury (chief scientist at Twitter), among others, participated as well.

Read the full story at TechCrunch.

Budget Travel Honors Baltimore Pie Shop Maven

One of the country's top five new pie shops to open in 2010 was started by none other than Baltimore's Rodney Henry, according to Budget Travel magazine.

Henry is the owner of Dangerously Delicious Pies, long known among Baltimoreans. Last year, Henry opened a Washington, D.C. store.

The November issue of Budget Travel magazine recognizes the DC shop along with others in Chicago, Portland, Ore., San Francisco and New York. You can read the entire story here.

Local Brewmaster Roams the World Creating Belgian-style Brews

Some people travel the world creating art. Others take their talents on the road to design buildings. Still others study different cultures to bring new zing to their culinary creations. For Baltimore resident Brian Strumke, it's all about beer.

Here's an excerpt:

"Love & Regret, which Strumke brewed at the 'Hofbrouwerijke brewery in Beerzel, Belgium, in February, is a saison (farmhouse-style ale) spiced with heather, chamomile, lavender and dandelion. It accompanied the first course of a beer dinner at Pizzeria Paradiso two weeks ago. (Stillwater is expanding its market to encompass 18 cities nationwide, and I caught up with Strumke in the midst of a road trip that had already taken him to Vermont, Boston and New York City.)

None of the unusual ingredients stands out by itself, but Love & Regret has a delightful floral perfume that wafts up the back of one's throat and fills the sinuses. It measures 7.2 percent alcohol by volume (reasonable by the standards of today's high-octane "imperial" beers) and offers a crisp aftertaste that perks up the appetite."

Read the entire article.


TEDCO's New Chief Hopes to Expand Agency's Mission

Maryland Technology Development Corporation's new head, Robert A. Rosenbaum, took a little time out to talk with The Washington Post about his plans for the agency.

Here's an excerpt:

"Rosenbaum, a former managing director of Baltimore-based Nobska Ventures, also is pushing to close a gap in how the money is handed out. Too often, early-stage companies are left gasping for funds as they mature. If funding permits, he wants Tedco to fill that gap by following up on its seed investments with a second infusion of cash to help promising companies grow."

Read the entire article.

It's All Good in Harbor East

If you haven't been to Harbor East recently, then you've been missing out on the latest additions to one of Baltimore's most dynamic communities. The city's newest neighborhood continues to evolve and gain kudos for Baltimore.

Here's an excerpt:

"In the last six years, in the hands of the Baltimore-based H&S Properties Development Corporation, the area has sprouted towering condo, hotel and office buildings along with gleaming restaurants and shops, some of which possess a spiffed-up, cookie-cutter Mall of America feel.

Harbor East has proven such a draw that its borders have expanded far beyond what was first planned as an eight-block area, bumping up against neighboring Little Italy."

Read the entire article here.


Dangerously Delicious Pies Starts the Engine on New Food Truck

Local piemaster, Rodney Henry, has added another layer to his sweet and savory empire by taking his treats on the road with a new food truck. There's only one problem: you'll have to take a 45 minute drive to find it as it roams the streets of Washington, D.C.

Here's an excerpt:

"The District's newest food truck, Dangerously Delicious Pies, enjoyed its first full day today on the campus of the George Washington University in Foggy Bottom. Headed by operator Lloyd Blanchard, the truck offers an assortment of savory and sweet pies as well as quiches."

Read the entire blog post.

Wine Meets Cupcakes as Two Area Entrepreneurs Team Up

Synergy can be a really good thing bringing together two seemingly disparate partners, Emily's Desserts and Pizzaz Tuscan Grille. Especially when the results are Baltimore's first wine and cupcake bar.

Here's the deal.

Small biz doing the heavy lifting in Station North's ongoing transformation

Its status as Baltimore's first State-designated arts district got the neighborhood revitalization started, but it's the area's small businesses that keep the place humming.

Check out a few pics from the NY Times slideshow.

Canton's green carwash leading the nation

Washing your car. Everybody does, but few think about its impact on the environment. A local entrepreneur is on the cutting edge of the carwash industry with his green carwash in Canton.

Watch the video:


Baltimore's Marlin Factory example of small biz that's essential to US

The Marlin Steel Wire Products factory in Baltimore is part of a network of small businesses that are vital to the U.S. and it's economy.

Here's an excerpt:

"Small businesses have become a bellwether for the condition of the American economy. Indeed, to hear politicians talk, small business is—pick your favorite cliché—the lifeblood, the backbone, the thunderously beating heart of the American economy.

Like most clichés, these have some truth. America could truly not survive without operations like Marlin Steel Wire Products. Among other things, they produce specialized parts like that stand, in small production runs that would be uneconomical on the scale of an airplane or automobile plant. Even mighty industrial machines cannot survive without tiny cogs."

Read the entire article here.


Local entrepreneurs hope intro of BNote currency will encourage shoppers to keep it local

You're at the checkout counter at a local retailer and instead of pulling out a pile of greenbacks -- U.S. government issued $1s, $5s, $10s or $20s -- you hand the cashier a bunch of BNotes. That's the scenario two local entrepreneurs hope to see play out soon across Baltimore.

Here's an excerpt:

"Baltimore may soon have its own local currency, or scrip, if Jeff Dicken of the Baltimore Green Currency Association has his way. Next spring Dicken, with partner Michael Tew, is planning to launch the BNote, a form of money that can only be spent locally. The object, Dicken said, is to have the money stay in the local community and help the community grow economically.

"A bunch of us realized that there is a real need for economic options in Baltimore City," Dicken told the AFRO. "A local currency provides a way for residents to support their own community and their own local merchants. And it makes them think twice about where they spend their money, whether they want to support their neighbors, the local merchants, or whether they want to support national chains that may be taking the money and booking it as profit in Delaware or Texas."


Read the entire article here.


Baltimore Photo Safari part of biz trend to help tourists keep their trips in focus

It's one of the best parts of returning home from a trip -- showing photos of travels to destinations near and far. It's a highlight unless the pics are out of focus, have a finger or two in them, and the list goes on. Baltimore Photo Safari is just one of the new workshops springing up around the world helping tourists avoid mistakes and make the most of their travel-based photography.

Here's an excerpt:

"Our group rendezvoused outside the Maryland Science Center for a quick briefing by Muse, who was dressed in urban safari attire: hiking boots, brown pants, checked shirt, blue cap. He showed us a series of photos, using the USS Constellation and his children as models, that highlighted various lessons: study the scene before shooting, don't overcrowd the image, and zoom in on details."

Read the entire article here.

Spray on solar power generators? Yup, and a Baltimore biz is behind the idea

Companies developing alternative green energy sources are known for their innovation and out-of-the-box mentality.  New Energy Technologies, a Baltimore-based company, is taking it to the extreme with two new technologies that seem like something from a Sci-Fi film.

Here's an excerpt:

"In the not too distant future, companies may spray the world's tiniest solar cells on office and residential building windows to generate electricity. New Energy Technologies, (OTCBB: NENE), a Baltimore-based firm that is developing the SolarWindow technology, is also working on a MotionPower system that grabs kinetic energy from cars, trucks and buses as they decelerate to enter maintenance facilities, parking areas or drive-in windows.

The company has developed successful prototypes of its technologies. It tested MotionPower, for instance, at a Burger King, a Holiday Inn Express, and a Four Seasons Hotel and is looking for additional test sites with high bus or truck traffic in and out of a facility.

Its SolarWindow technology not only works with sunlight, but also with artificial light, says John Conklin, who recently took the helm as CEO of the company."

Read the entire article here.


Towson Library launches pilot program to teach small biz owners

The Towson Library has started a new program for small business owners that introduces them to the free services the library offers and teaches them how to use them.

Here's an excerpt:

"The free service offers an hour of one-on-one training to business people on the use of databases, websites and print sources available through the library.

"I highly recommend it for anyone trying to break the ice in the Towson area or even Baltimore County," said Hyson. "It's a great resource. It offered us hundreds of thousand of contacts," he added, "and the driving force is that it was free."

Indeed, some of the databases available at no cost through the Baltimore County Public Library website (bcpl.info) would otherwise cost hundreds of dollars.

Among the offerings are Standard & Poor's NetAdvanatge, a source of business and investment information; Reference USA, a list of 11 million company profiles including addresses, phone numbers, numbers of employees, sales volume and product lines; and Value Line Investment Survey Online, a resource offering information and advice on some 1,700 stocks."


Read the entire article here.


Blackberry maker Research In Motion eyes entry in mobile ad biz via Millennial Media

Millennial Media  could soon be part of mobile giant Research in Motion. The Blackberry-maker has been in talks with the mobile advertising company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Here's an excerpt:

"Under pressure in the increasingly competitive wireless market, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. is shopping for a mobile advertising network, people familiar with the matter said.

In recent months, the Canadian device maker has held talks with Baltimore-based mobile ad network Millennial Media about a potential acquisition, these people said. But the talks have stalled over disagreements regarding the value of Millennial, which serves advertisements on its own network of mobile websites. It also brokers ad sales to a group of other mobile ad networks."


Read the entire article here.


Food service sector continues to thrive in Greater Baltimore area

While the local and national economies continue their halting recovery, area vendors report that food service is one sector that's not struggling in the Greater Baltimore Area.

Here's an excerpt:

"Through good economic times or bad, the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., corridor remains a stronghold for the foodservice business, produce vendors in the area say.

It's just a matter of finding the right niche, they add.

Jessup, Md.-based Lancaster Foods Inc. has grabbed ahold of fresh-cut business as its ticket into the foodservice sector.

A move to a new building two years ago prompted the strategic shift, said Jerry Chadwick, vice president of marketing and business development for the company, which built its business on the retail side."

Read the entire article here.

Two Baltimoreans bike across country to raise money to buy bikes for kids with parents in military

Paul Lebelle and Adam Burkowske, two friends from Baltimore, have hit the middle stages of a cross country bike tour for their Bike Free charity. The idea is to raise $125,000 to purchase bikes and helmets for the children of military personnel.

Here's an excerpt:

"The pair began their ride in Maryland on June 10 and plan to end it with several large fundraisers in mid-October in California. They have been riding about 300 miles a week while carrying 60 pounds of gear on each bike.

Burkowske said Bike Free has connected with Rotary Clubs along their route to help raise money for the cause and has paired with the USO for distribution of the bikes, which they hope to do in December.

Lebelle and Burkowske met five years ago while working in a Baltimore restaurant. Both had given up their vehicles and taken to bicycles, and both were looking for something that would give their life greater purpose.

Burkowske said he had always wanted to walk across the country, doing volunteer work along the way. He shared his dream with Lebelle."

Read the entire article here.


It's a street vendor's life for more and more Baltimoreans

It's one of the bright sides of a struggling economy, entrepreneurs creating new businesses. With credit tight, new business owners in Baltimore are looking beyond the confines of a traditional brick-and-mortar business to other opportunities that require less capital.

Here's an excerpt:

"Street vendors like the Quints are popping up on new corners, with city-inspected stainless steel food carts in tow. At the end of last year and into this summer, applications for street vending licenses shot up, said Alvin Gillard, Baltimore's vendor board chairman. The city still hasn't caught up with processing all of them.

"We see anywhere from 20 to 30 applications each meeting," Gillard said of the board's bi-monthly review of vending hopefuls. "More folks have turned to street vending as a means to survive."

Read the entire article here.




Johns Hopkins' Carey Biz School combines business smarts with heart

It's not often that a top tier university launches a brand new school. With its new Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins and the school's inaugural dean Yash Gupta are out to redefine the MBA.

Here's an excerpt:

"At Johns Hopkins it will be compulsory for MBA students to work with the department of medicine and public health. For example, business students will have to work with their scientific counterparts to write a business plan and bring a product to market "connecting invention with innovation", as Prof Gupta puts it. "If I am going to pull this together, I've got to have a synergystic school," he says.

Students must spend time in developing countries, such as India, Rwanda, Kenya or Peru, and work in teams on economic development projects, such as introducing a drug delivery system for people with Aids."

Read the entire article here.


TEDxOilSpill fills in gaps of missing info on oil and the environment

Just in case you couldn't make it to the TEDxOilSpill conference held in Washington, D.C., here's what the event's two founders, Dave Troy and Nate Mook, had to say about it.

Here's an excerpt:

"There's sort of this void right now with information coming out of the Gulf," says Nate Mook. "Something catastrophic has happened. Most people don't understand the underlying issues that led to this happening. They're really not aware of the all of the complexities behind their getting into their car and driving … it's brought to the forefront a lot of things that have been on the sidelines for a long time – with our oceans, with how important the marine eco-system is, with where we are getting our energy, what are we putting at risk, and … new technologies being developed."

Read the entire post here.

Baltimore's blue-collar roots may lead to faster economic recovery

As cities around the U.S. fight to pull themselves out of ditch dug by the global economic downturn, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and other cities that were built up by a bevy of industrial industries may fare better than those with economies rely heavily on more vulnerable sectors like the housing market.

Here's an excerpt:

"At a recent London School of Economics symposium on U.S. and European cities, Katz said American bubble cities are characterized by "real estate economies built on consumption and excess."

More mature industrial centers, he said, tend to have strong universities and a history of research, innovation and making things. If America is going to "rediscover our innovation mojo," as Katz put it, traditional industrial metros are best equipped to lead the way..."

Read the entire article here.


Bmore filmmaker nabs distribution deal for “Putty Hill”

Baltimore director, Matthew Porterfield, whose second film "Putty Hill" was featured at this year's Maryland Film Festival in May, will soon make its way into theaters around the U.S. thanks to a newly signed distribution deal.

Here's an excerpt:

"It's good to start the day with good news: in this case, word that the young Baltimore director Matthew Porterfield's extraordinary second film, "Putty Hill," has been acquired for theatrical and home-video distribution."

Read the entire post here.



Letter to the Editor challenges Sun article on Baltimore's arts districts

A recent article published in the Baltimore Sun poopooing the City's plans to create a third arts district on Baltimore's westside has stirred up controversy among arts community. In particular, those involved with the Highlandtown arts district have taken exception to the reporter's characterizations of the area. It prompted this Letter to the Editor.

Here's an excerpt:

"Characterizing the Highlandtown Arts District as a "failure" ("Do arts districts live up to their hype?," May 14) is an insult not only to the hundreds of cultural workers who have poured their resources into turning East Baltimore into a set of thriving, expanding neighborhoods, but it's an insult to Baltimore as a whole. Baltimore's arts districts continue to grow and expand, and while most of the artists who work to bolster Baltimore's spirit and reputation are doing it more for love than money, the arts in Baltimore certainly seem to be thriving.

Nearly a decade ago, I moved to Baltimore because I fell in love with the city, particularly because of its place in the history of the arts and the potential for growth that permeated the city's atmosphere. I was in search of a city in which to change careers, and Baltimore won."

Read the entire letter here.


City officials press on with new arts district

The New York Times takes a look at the city's arts districts and its plan to create a third arts district on the Baltimore's westside. The paper of record doesn't draw any conclusions but presents both sides of the debate.

Here's an excerpt

"The idea for a west side arts district has been around at least since the administration of Kurt L. Schmoke, Baltimore's mayor from 1987 to 1999. Over the years, the city took steps to improve the area, though without official arts district designation.

One step was to turn the old Hippodrome Theater at 12 North Eutaw Street into the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, which opened in 2003. Another was converting the century-old Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, at 21 South Eutaw Street, which was modeled on the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, into artists' studios.

Mr. Schmoke, now dean of the Howard University School of Law in Washington, said that while he had not seen specific plans for the new arts district, he supported the idea generally."

Read the entire article here.


Wish you'd seen the 2010 Kinetic Sculpture Race? Here's a video

Didn't make it to the American Visionary Art Museum's 2010 Kinetic Sculpture race? We've found a few videos, so you can see what you missed.

Watch the video:



Company's move from Texas to Baltimore nets it No. 4 in list of fastest growing inner-city biz list

Leaving the wilds of Texas behind for the urban environs of Baltimore turns out have been a good business move for Paniagua's Enterprises. The Charm City transplant has grown more than 100 percent since heading east. It's recent success landed the company the No. 4 spot on Bloomberg Businessweek's list of the "Fastest Growing Inner-city Companies."

Here's an excerpt:

"Paniagua's Enterprises specializes in voice, data, and video fiber optic cable installation for commercial and government clients. After relocating the company's headquarters from Texas to inner-city Baltimore, founder Jaime Paniagua says he established a relationship with United Cable (now Comcast)."

Read the entire article here.


Maryland developer designs no phone zone software for cars

Call it an amazing bit of serendipity or just plain luck, but for a Middletown, Maryland couple the recent campaign launched by Oprah Winfrey and other organizations around the country to get people to stop using their cellphones while they drive, could be their break. John Tsinonis, a software developer, and his wife, Joana, a business development expert, have developed software that will prevent drivers from receiving incoming calls or texts as well as sending them while the car is in motion.

Here's an excerpt:

"The proTextor software blocks incoming and outgoing text messages and phone calls while a driver's vehicle is in motion. GPS-enabled software engages when a vehicle starts moving, blocking incoming and outgoing calls and texts. The goal is to keep drivers' hands on the wheel and eyes on the road by preventing cell phone use while the car is in motion.

More than 80 percent of crashes involve some type of distracted driving, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. And although many states now require drivers to use hands-free devices, using a cell phone in any context while driving is distracting -- period, Joana Tsinonis said.

The Maryland General Assembly's recent ban on using a cell phone while driving highlights how serious the problem is, John Tsinonis said. The law goes into effect Oct. 1.

The development of proTextor has a personal side to it. The Tsinonis have six children and the thought of a texting-while-driving accident strengthened their quest to find a solution."

Read the entire article here.


Spro Cafe has folks wondering how good can a $13 cup of joe be

Spro Cafe, a new coffeeshop in Hampden, offers a $13 cup of coffee. Two CNN writers wonder in these economic times, what's up with that!

Here's an excerpt:

"Times are tough, which is why most Americans are taking their coffee with two tablespoons of cheap. Inexpensive coffee is being poured by the bucketload at fast food restaurants like McDonalds, with its successful McCafe line, and Burger King, which is planning a nationwide Seattle's Best roll-out this summer.

Even slightly swankier Starbucks is offering totally credible coffee that's no more than a buck and change. So what could possibly make a cup of joe worth $13?

According to Jay Caragay, speaking to The Baltimore Sun, it's "very fruity, juicy, good mouth feel, [and] full bodied." And Caragay should know, because it's his Baltimore coffee ship Spro that's selling a 12-ounce cup for $13. Apparently, even during lean times there are fat cats prowling for novel luxuries."

Read the entire article here.


Brookings report ranks Bmore in Top 5 metros exceeding pre-recession output

According the latest Metro Monitor report from the Brookings Institute, only 28 of the nations 100 metropolitan areas have managed to regain their pre-recession goods and services output levels in the last quarter.

Here's an excerpt:

"The unemployment rate in America hasn't budged of late, but the flat jobless rate may not tell the whole story. More than a few smaller, dynamic cities have already exceeded economic output levels seen before the recession."

Read the entire post here.

Four MD counties make Forbes' Richest Counties List

Close proximity to D.C. is a boon for several counties in Maryland. Not only do workers benefit from employment provided by the Feds, but also from businesses closely associated with the government, according to yet another Forbes list.

Here's an excerpt:

"The country's riches tend to trickle away from big cities. It's not major metro areas raking in the biggest salaries; rather, it's the tony suburbs just outside big-industry centers that soak up big-city money.

Glitzy Southern California and big oil states are largely absent from the list: 19 of the 25 richest counties in the country are on the East Coast. In part, that's because our list looks at the middle incomes, and counties in the East tend to be smaller, thereby allowing for less of a spread between the richest and poorest workers...The federal government generates a wealth of jobs, keeping unemployment in the D.C. metro area at a low 6.2% (the national average is still near 10%)...

Not far from D.C. lies another cluster of wealthy counties. Howard County, Md., a suburb of Baltimore, has a standout school system with standardized test scores that consistently beat out the national average, and median household incomes of $101,710. In nearby Montgomery County, where 59% of residents over 25 have an advanced degree, households bring in a median $93,999. Historic Calvert County, Md., has profited from its roots as a tobacco-rich farmland as well as its proximity to Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and claims a median income of $89,049."

Read the entire article here. Or, cut to the chase and check out the stats on No. 13 Calvert County, No. 21 Charles County, No. 3 Howard County, and No. 10 Montgomery County.


Female entrepreneurs dispute women in biz stereotypes

More women own small businesses than men, however, stereotypes that negatively impact female entrepreneurs are still going strong. Entrepreneurs -- all women -- from Maryland tell why those stereotypes are so yesterday.

Here's an excerpt:

"The American public's attitude toward female business owners hasn't changed much in recent decades, according to a new national survey, with 94 percent saying women only want to contribute to the family income and not grow a business.

But some female entrepreneurs argue the perception doesn't match reality. They say women want to develop their businesses just as much as men do, but are often the primary caregiver in the family and must make time for other priorities.

Janine DiPaula Stevens, founder of Baltimore-based Vircity, takes issue with that stereotype: "I wouldn't be in that category. ... You always want to contribute to your family, but no, I'm going to grow the business.""

Read the full article here.

Maryland entrepreneur scores big with innovative dog bed design

You could say that Mike Harding is now the cat's meow for dogs. The Glen Burnie, MD-based entrepreneur is, after a few setbacks, apparently a rising star in the pet bed industry.

Here's an excerpt:

"Hard times for Mike Harding led to dogs around the world resting comfortably.

Harding got laid off from his Wall Street firm in 1987, and it was that setback that led him to start his own company — Kuranda Dog Beds in Glen Burnie, The Capital in Annapolis reported yesterday."

Read the full post here.


Keeping up with what's new in Bmore eats scene

People always gotta eat, right? The economy doesn't seem to have made a dent in the number of new restaurants springing up all over Baltimore. This blogger thought it an ideal moment to make a list of some of the newest places to dine around town. 


Here's an excerpt.

"It seems like there have been a bunch of new restaurants and bars opening in Baltimore recently. Here's just to name a few:

Langermann's – Canton – Located at the Can Company in Canton, this place took over what used to be Kiss Cafe. They seemed to do a much better job of giving the place an identity and atmosphere, something that Kiss Cafe could never do. It's an "upscale casual" place, with white tablecloths, but a chill setting. The bar looks like a cool/cozy place to hang out. I was able to eat lunch there the other day, and the food was great. It is pegged as "southern inspired global cuisine". The turkey apple and brie sandwich with smoky mountain pepper jam on raisin bread was to die for. I will definitely be going back for dinner sometime."



Read the entire article here.

Baltimore SmartCEO's unveils list of 50 fastest growing companies

Baltimore SmartCEO's has released it's list of the fastest growing companies in Baltimore. Did your favorite make the cut?

See which companies made it here.
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