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Betamore attracts more members, launches new classes


Betamore’s co-founders, Mike Brenner and Greg Cangialosi, in their incubator facility. (File photo)

Betamore — Baltimore’s newest “urban campus for technology and entrepreneurship”— has been bustling with activity since opening in December in Federal Hill.

Dozens of techies, designers and entrepreneurs have signed up as Betamore members, while the center’s business incubation services have attracted more than a dozen startup companies. Last month, Gov. Martin O’Malley chose the facility, at 1111 Light St., as the launch space for the state’s new-and-improved online business licensing system.

Plus, organizers said they are moving ever closer to realizing their ultimate vision for the center. They plan to roll out series of classes this month on topics of interest to members, like the basics of coding or how to find funding for new ventures. By March 1, they hope to average four-to-six classes and workshops a week.

The educational component is what differentiates Betamore from similar co-working spaces throughout the city, said co-founders Mike Brenner and Greg Cangialosi, and it’s what makes the center more than just a business incubator.

In addition to providing desk space for startup entrepreneurs and discounted programs for paying members, Betamore is designed to encourage meaningful interaction and collaboration among members of the community who occasionally choose to stop by.

On Monday night, they will host “The Rise of the Angels (And the Entrepreneurs),” a session on how the process of financing a startup company has changed. The talk will be led by Paul Singh, a partner at 500 Startups, a “super angel” fund based in Mountain View, Calif.

Singh will discuss “the tangible factors and economics of early stage financings around the world,” and share helpful hints and strategies. The event — which targets startup entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and angel investors— is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and costs $15 for non-members (Betamore members get in for free).

Some classes, like the one on Monday, will be taught by well-known industry players. But organizers said they also want Baltimore-bred professionals to be the ones at the front of the classroom sharing their expertise with their neighbors.

The following week, though, that teacher might take on the role of student by enrolling in a peer’s class — that’s the vision.

And if Betamore maintains the progress of the past two months, that vision might very well materialize sooner rather than later.