Governor Martin O’Malley announced the winners of the first-ever Pinterest Business Pitch Contest, launched in March.
“Entrepreneurship is truly one of the engines that make our economy run. To create jobs and keep moving forward, we need your ideas, we need your creativity, and we need your energy,” said Governor O’Malley. “One of the ways we’re achieving our goal is through contests like these – harnessing new technologies like Pinterest to showcase our small businesses and start-ups, and to spur entrepreneurship.”
The contest is a partnership with the University of Maryland College Park, the Future of Information Alliance, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and the Baltimore Angels. Maryland entrepreneurs pitched their businesses using 10 images on a Pinterest board. Submissions were showcased on Governor O’Malley’s web site. Boards and pins were made available for public comment. Following the public comment period, a panel of business experts chose winners in two different categories: “Student Entrepreneurs” and “Boot Strappers.” First place winners received MacBook Air and runner ups received an iPad courtesy contest partner the Baltimore Angels.
“We are honored to have had the opportunity to help out with the first-ever Pinterest Business Pitch Contest,” said Jason Hardebeck, member of the Baltimore Angels. “The visual format made reviewing submissions a lot of fun, and we were blown away by the creativity of these emerging entrepreneurs. This bodes well for value creation and the future of the Innovation Economy in the Old Line State, and we are looking forward to the day when these Maryland startups are ready for outside investors and make their pitch to the Baltimore Angels!”
Before the awards were announced, Chief Innovation Officer Bryan Sivak hosted a panel discussion, where a diverse group of business leaders and entrepreneurs from around the State offered their advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Winners and their pitches are below. Three young blossoming entrepreneurs, Julia Schillaci, Grady Booth and Kevin Mullin, were also recognized by the Governor for their remarkable ideas.
First Place: GB Wallets
Second Place: Discrete Secrete Solutions
First Place: BeerGivr
Second Place: Mission Launch