New Business Tour Starts In OC

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OCEAN CITY — The Pitch Across Maryland tour, a statewide event to provide guidance and access to resources to potential entrepreneurs looking to start new businesses, kicked off last week with a first stop in Ocean City.

Startup Maryland last week launched its Pitch Across Maryland tour with the first stop on a two-week plus trip across the state. At each stop, Startup Maryland is holding rallies, sharing information about the vast resources available to young entrepreneurs in the state and region and providing coaching and support from business mentors and other economic leaders in Maryland.

During the tour, budding business owners and entrepreneurs are also getting the chance to meet with potential investors, legal teams, advisory firms and marketing and public relations companies along with seasoned veteran entrepreneurs who have been down the startup road before. Potential entrepreneurs are also invited to show off their business plans in the Pitch Across Maryland contest.

On the Startup Maryland tour bus, adorned with the state flag, potential business owners are videotaping their business pitches at each of the tour stop locations. When the tour is over, the videotaped business pitches will be uploaded to the Startup Maryland website and will be voted on by a panel of experts, who will winnow the vast list down to a Great Eight of finalists. Then, at the TEDCO Entrepreneur Expo in November, another panel of experts will review the business pitches and narrow the final eight down to a winner and a runner-up.

The tour started last Tuesday afternoon when the huge Startup Maryland bus rolled into Ocean City and set up shop on N. Division Street and the Boardwalk. Last Wednesday, the tour started making its way back with stops at UMES, Salisbury University and Cambridge.

The tour was expected to round out its Eastern Shore leg with stops at Easton, Washington College and Chesapeake College on Thursday before returning to Annapolis on Friday. The tour concludes with a celebration at its final stop at Merriweather Post Pavillion on Sept. 28.

Startup Maryland Co-chair Julie Lenzer Kirk said this week the tour is aimed at bringing the spirit of new entrepreneurship to all corners of the state.

“The bus tour is a great way to generate excitement about startups statewide, while at the same time, giving individual entrepreneurs a chance to shine the spotlight on themselves and their communities,” she said.

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