Accelerate Baltimore Announces the Six Startups Selected for 2017 Cohort

One Startup Will Be Selected to Receive $100,000 in Early Stage Seed Funding Upon Completion of the Accelerate Baltimore Program  


BALTIMORE, MD (January 5, 2017) – The ETC (Emerging Technology Centers), Baltimore City’s award-winning technology and innovation centers, announced today that the following six companies have been accepted into its Accelerate Baltimore™ 2017 program:


  • Arbit – a mobile social engagement tool built for professional athletes, celebrities, and brands to connect with their fan bases through photo-polling;
  • Barttron – makes Chord, a smart collar that uses only positive reinforcement to keep pets safe within invisible fences, establish indoor boundaries, and eliminate annoying behavior;
  • Gunbail  – a mobile application that reduces gun violence by incentivizing criminal offenders to surrender illegal guns in exchange for bail release;
  • Reciprocare a technology company that helps both paid caregivers and home care agencies to make more money by connecting them in support of fast-track hiring;
  • Swaggle – a mobile marketplace that easily connects men’s resale fashion sellers to interested buyers with a curated and personalized experience;
  • The Wealth Factory (WealthyLife) – a designer of financial literacy and workforce development education technology games that provides an engaging experience while users learn how to earn income, budget, and manage their finances.


“For this 2017 cohort, ETC saw the highest quality applications and the group of judges found it a challenge to select our six finalists,” said ETC’s President Deb Tillett. “The value the Accelerate Baltimore program provides to the cohort continues to resonate with applicants and graduates and reinforces Baltimore as the place for innovation, startups and technology.”


This year is the sixth year in which the ETC, in partnership with the Abell Foundation, will be running Accelerate Baltimore. Each of the six companies above will be awarded $25,000 in seed funding and four months of programming supplied by the ETC.


“Over the last six years, the Accelerate Baltimore competition has enhanced the visibility of Baltimore as a great place to start and expand a business,” said Robert C. Embry, Jr., President of the Abell Foundation. “The program takes small companies with big potential and offers them a valuable on-ramp to refine their products and attract customers, all of which has led to successful follow-on investment and job creation for the City of Baltimore.”


In addition, one Accelerate Baltimore company will be awarded an additional $100,000 following successful completion of the program. Last year, the additional funding was awarded to mybestbox, a consumer products and analytics platform that helps people jump-start and maintain healthier lifestyles in a convenient and affordable way. After looking extensively at early stage funding trends in the 2015 market, ETC concluded that this additional funding would enhance the probability that these companies would create success.  This conclusion was proven true when mybestbox was able to move their business forward by and moving into a new warehouse to help improve product fulfillment and by establishing a clearer operations plan resulting in growing customer acquisition.


In just four months, Accelerate Baltimore aims to close the gap between innovative ideas and the ability to get to market quickly. In addition to the seed funding, these companies will receive free office space, access to a high-level advisory team, a “hands-on” instructional program, mentors and connections to potential investors, partners and resources.


“Accelerate Baltimore’s track record of helping early stage companies demonstrates how a small infusion of capital along with expert guidance and connections can help a company succeed and grow,” said William H. Cole, president & CEO of the BDC.  “As ETC is a venture of the Baltimore Development Corporation, we work closely together to ensure that its member companies have access to all the resources the City offers.”


To date, 28 companies have gone through the Accelerate Baltimore program. Of the $800,000 awarded from the Abell Foundation to Accelerate Baltimore companies to date, Accelerate Baltimore graduates have raised an additional $11.9 million in following on funding. The Accelerate Baltimore program ends with Investor Pitch Night on April 19, 2017, an event hosted by ETC and attended by angel investors, venture capitalists, the press, and the Baltimore tech community at large. Companies that have successfully graduated from Accelerate Baltimore include Allovue, NewsUp, PrintLess Plans, Loople, Fusiform, Point3 Security, ClassTracks, and Brinkbit, among others.



About ETC (

The ETC, a venture of the Baltimore Development Corporation, is a 501(c) (3) technology and innovation center focused on growing early-stage companies. The ETC provides four programs for entrepreneurs: a tech focused incubator, Incubate Baltimore, a seed accelerator program, Accelerate Baltimore, a co-working space open to innovative individuals and teams, Beehive Baltimore and now the newest pre-accelerator program, Pioneer Baltimore. The ETC promotes economic development, providing business, technical, and networking connections to help these companies grow. Since 1999, the ETC has provided assistance to over 500 companies, 85% of which are still in business, creating more than 3,000 jobs and raising more than $2.4 Billion in outside funding.