Baltimore entrepreneurs urge business community to promote itself

November 'Moguls' 111814

Technology and innovation leaders in the region say it’s imperative that Baltimore businesses, particularly small companies, collaborate and aggressively promote the Greater Baltimore region as an ideal location for growing a business.

“The number one thing is we have to work together,” said Karl R. Gumtow, CEO of CyberPoint International. “Baltimore is a city of neighborhoods and the neighborhoods don’t necessarily work together. Even entrepreneurs – we have entrepreneurs that are in Federal Hill, in Canton, and we all compete for the same resources, for the same concepts. We have to realize there is one fundamental thing and that is we all love Baltimore.”

Gumtow, a GBC board member, Todd Marks, president and CEO of Mindgrub Technologies, LLC, and David Warnock, a GBC board member and senior partner of Camden Partners, discussed technology trends and offered insights into their industry at the GBC’s third ‘Meet the Moguls’ speaker series event on November 18.

Gumtow stressed the importance of promoting Baltimore’s innovators and innovations.

“I have to imagine that Under Armour is doing something for the first time ever in the world,” Gumtow said. “I’m sure T. Rowe (Price) is doing something for the first time ever in the world. We have to advertise these things, we have to share them jointly.

“We have to create this environment of cooperation versus competition and if we can do that and start to define and solve some of these problems, I think we’ll just blow them away,” Gumtow said. “I can give you lots of statistics about why Maryland is better, it is fertile ground, there is a lot more here.”

Warnock shares a similar view.

“At the end of the day we need to have successful companies in Baltimore,” Warnock said. “We need to do whatever it takes to make these guys (Gumtow and Marks) have really big companies.

“We’ve got to work together and believe that this town is as good as it is,” said Warnock, who rattled off the city’s acclaimed hospitals, financial institutions and growing companies. “We are a great place to live. The quicker we start believing in that and working together, it’s going to be good and I’m very optimistic about where we’re going to go.”

The ‘moguls’ also discussed the use of technology in today’s classroom and the opportunities it affords students.

“What’s coming fast and what we should aspire to is why shouldn’t every kid in a Baltimore City high school have access to Mandarin or access to advanced astronomy or access to science or remedial this or remedial that?,” said Warnock, a founder and trustee of Green Street Academy, a charter school in Baltimore. “It’s all about giving regular kids access to great educational outcomes and you can do that with online education and I think that’s the kind of stuff that’s coming.”

Marks, a former teacher, said our education structure is evolving and the direction we’re headed is to “online, blended classrooms.”

“You’re going to see a lot of schools adopting digital technologies in the classroom but it’s going to look more like computer labs, it’s going to look more like the workplace,” Marks said.

Gumtow said we can build a better Baltimore – and tomorrow’s workforce – by business leaders paying it forward.

“If you step out and help someone, a kid in high school or a young entrepreneur or a new endeavor, that will make a difference,” he said. “The number one thing is relationships. How do you get those relationships? It’s helping someone else. If we would do that more as a city together, we’ll kick everyone else’s butt.”

When it comes to businesses hiring, Baltimore’s workforce is well educated and employers should take advantage of that, Warnock said.

“We need to start working together,” he said.

“Today‘s program highlighted the importance of business leaders joining together to bolster Baltimore’s economy,” said Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the GBC. “Their challenge to business leaders is entirely consistent with the mission of the GBC – to bring together the corporate and civic community to find solutions to problems and to work to advance our region’s competitiveness. The speakers reinforced the premise that to improve the business climate of the Greater Baltimore region it will require collaboration among its corporate and civic leaders.”

The ‘Meet the Moguls’ series includes networking, discussion, Q&A and how the GBC can focus on nurturing industry growth.

Moderated by GBC President and CEO Donald C. Fry, each ‘Meet the Moguls’ event highlights a different industry group and aims to highlight job creation and investment that various industry sectors bring to the region, industry trends in the next 12 to 18 months and issues or concerns the ‘moguls’ are experiencing or foresee in the future.

A  January 13 ‘Meet the Moguls’ event will focus on port and port-related companies.

If you go:

When: Tuesday, January 13, 2015; 7:30-9:30 a.m.

Where: GBC Offices, 111 S. Calvert St., Suite 1700, Baltimore, MD 21202

Cost: $25 GBC members, $50 non-members

January ‘moguls’: James White, Executive Director, Maryland Port Administration, and Bayard Hogans, General Manager – Baltimore, Ports America Chesapeake, LLC

Register to attend

Contact Sara Garbarino at 410-727-2820 ext. 29 or sarag@gbc.org.

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