March 16, 2022

15 players changing Maryland's startup and innovation scene

Greater Baltimore is chock full of companies and nonprofits developing new products, growing their teams and supporting their communities.

But we've singled out 15 outstanding innovators to honor with the 2022 Fire Awards, presented by Maryland Inno and the Baltimore Business Journal. The honorees include nonprofits, incubators, startups and more established firms, and vary in industry and geography across Greater Baltimore.

These companies are closing new rounds of funding, launching new projects, adding employees, growing their footprints, promoting equity and sustainability and elevating the local startup universe.

And most importantly, they are all on fire.

The Maryland Inno team selected the 15 winners after sourcing nominations from the public. We divided the winners into five categories of three, based on industries. One category, "Still Burning" was created for companies that we recently honored with tech-focused awards, but we felt were still well-deserving of this year's Fire Award.

Still to come, we'll reveal a top "Blazer" company from each category at our Fire Award celebration in April.

Stay tuned for more information about the event, here.

As always, this list is not intended to capture all of Greater Baltimore's large and very impressive innovator ecosystem. But each member of this group deserves the recognition — read on to find out why.

2022 Fire Award Winners

Igniters (accelerators/incubators/coworking hubs)

Spark CoWorking - Baltimore: A coworking space supporting Baltimore's entrepreneurial ecosystem since 2016. In 2021, the organization grew from one to three locations, adding offices in St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, which allowed Spark to increase the number of companies it supports from 150 to more than 300. The company is planning to launch a fourth location in Arlington, Texas this year, along with an expansion in Baltimore called Spark Flex. The pilot program will focus on custom-built suites for maturing companies. Spark's recent growth allowed it to increase its employee count by 75% in the last year.

Read more online here.

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