Techstars and UpSurge Baltimore Launch Techstars Equitech Accelerator to Attract Companies, Talent and Capital to Baltimore

The Techstars Equitech Accelerator will build and nurture an innovation economy in Baltimore where “all belong”

BALTIMORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, today announced the Techstars Equitech Accelerator, a new Baltimore-based program focused on driving an inclusive innovation economy in Charm City. The accelerator is a collaboration with UpSurge Baltimore, a recently launched Public Benefit Corporation aimed at propelling Baltimore into the top tier of innovation cities.

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The accelerator embraces UpSurge’s distinctive framework of ‘equitech.’ Equitech is an industry-agnostic framework focused on building an innovation economy where all belong. It’s a force-multiplier, building on the proven benefits of diverse teams, leaders and perspectives. Equitech is a lens to attract, align and support startups – not a filter to exclude them. Equitech companies include those grounded in the values of diversity, those led by underestimated founders, and those developing technologies that increase access and equity in society.

“Baltimore is a city with an incredible network of civic, academic and corporate organizations ready to drive this big vision to establish Baltimore as the world’s first Equitech city,” said Nancy Wolff, General Manager at Techstars. “We are genuinely honored to be joining forces with UpSurge to launch the Techstars Equitech Accelerator, support the growth of Baltimore’s innovation economy, and prove that diversity and belonging accelerates startup and business performance.”

The Techstars Equitech Accelerator will begin accepting applications from global startups for its inaugural class on May 10, 2021 for a three-month program that will take place November 2021 through February 2022. Techstars and UpSurge are currently seeking a Managing Director to lead the program with support from UpSurge leadership. Annually, ten startups will be selected to participate in the accelerator where they will receive funding, hands-on mentorship from the Techstars and UpSurge networks, access to curated workshops and resources, and access to the Techstars global network for life.

“Our partnership with Techstars to launch the first ever Equitech accelerator is an anchor initiative of UpSurge. Techstars accelerators are sought after by the country’s most exciting startups, and we think that together, we have an unparalleled platform on which to build this big vision,” said Jamie McDonald, CEO of UpSurge. “Equitech is about building an innovation economy where all belong – and our partnership with Techstars is a key step in making Baltimore the nation’s first Equitech City.”

Startups interested in the program are encouraged to learn more by visiting the Techstars Equitech Accelerator page or expressing interest here. Corporations looking for more information about Techstars’ dedication to corporate innovation can learn more at https://www.techstars.com/corporations.

About Techstars

The Techstars worldwide network helps entrepreneurs succeed. Founded in 2006, Techstars began with three simple ideas—entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone, collaboration drives innovation, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to enable every person on the planet to contribute to, and benefit from, the success of entrepreneurs. In addition to operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, we do this by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to help build thriving startup communities. Techstars has invested in more than 2,300 companies with a combined market cap of more than $193B. www.techstars.com

About UpSurge Baltimore

UpSurge Baltimore is building an engine to propel Baltimore into the top tier of US innovation cities. Their work centers on founders, tech-enabled and scale businesses, helping to launch, support, grow and celebrate high-impact startups. UpSurge is also developing strategies to attract new companies, talent and capital to Baltimore. We don’t envision Baltimore as just the next great tech city, but as the world’s first Equitech City. Equitech is a force multiplier on a tech economy – where diversity is a competitive advantage. It’s the cultural framework for UpSurge, a lens to attract, align and support startups – not a filter to exclude them. Over time, not only will entrepreneurs and investors around the world look to Baltimore as a launching pad for transformational companies, but more Baltimoreans will see the knowledge economy as a pathway for their own upwardly mobile futures.


Ali Whitman



Jamie Fontaine

UpSurge Baltimore


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