BALTIMORE, July 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cordish Companies' collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs, Spark Baltimore and global impact investment firm, Village Capital, have partnered together to bring the Village Capital Education: US 2016 venture development program to Baltimore, Maryland.
The 3 month, multi-city program is in collaboration with AT&T Aspire and W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will bring together 12 education-focused startups who are providing technology-driven solutions designed to improve student academic performance with the goal to improve workforce entry success for students. Village Capital has committed an investment of $150,000 to the two highest ranked startups, as voted by their peers at the end of the program.
During the four day workshop at Spark, the startups will engage with an award-winning program curriculum, one-on-one mentorship from industry leaders, and tailored engagements with potential strategic partners and investors. In addition to an engaging multi-day curriculum, on Thursday, July 28th, the startups will be joined by investors, entrepreneurs, and industry experts from the Baltimore entrepreneur ecosystem for a community event discussing the preparedness of the future workforce. The conversation will be led by a panel of education leaders and influencers from the Baltimore area.
"Education is the passport to a high-paying job, but too many students lack the academic resources and opportunities to position them for success," said Nasir Qadree, Head of Education at Village Capital. "The 12 entrepreneurs in our Education US 2016 cohort represent the top early-stage ventures today tackling academic success and career readiness. Our Education practice believes that Baltimore is the best possible environment for entrepreneurs working to solve this problem. With the support of Spark Baltimore, a new entrepreneurial hotbed in the city, we are thrilled to introduce these entrepreneurs to the Baltimore community."
"The Baltimore entrepreneur ecosystem is a vital part of the initiative to bridge the gap between education and employment in the United States. By bringing their programming to Baltimore, Village Capital is building meaningful connections between education technology hubs across the country," said Shervonne Cherry, Community Manager of Spark Baltimore. "Spark is a catalyst for advancing entrepreneurship and technical innovation through creative space, we are excited to provide an inspiring collaborative workspace for this cohort of engaged startups, as they innovate and create solutions for workforce readiness challenges."
Spark Baltimore is the second stop in a three workshop series, which kicked-off in Chicago on June 21, 2016 and will conclude in Chicago on September 9th, 2016, when two startups from the cohort will be selected to receive $75,000 each in investment funding.
Spark is Baltimore's most collaborative coworking space for entrepreneurs, creators and innovators, located within The Offices at Power Plant Live! Spark is an inspiring work environment, designed specifically with creators in mind and tailored to provide entrepreneurs not just what they want, but what they need. For more information about Spark or to inquire about a membership, please visit www.spark-bmore.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Village Capital
Village Capital sources, trains, and invests in seed-stage social entrepreneurs around the world. Village Capital develops entrepreneurs solving specific problems in agriculture, energy, education, financial inclusion, and health, and then puts the power of investment in the hands of those entrepreneurs, who award investment capital to the two ventures ranked highest by their peers at the end of every program. The organization's unique peer-selection model and curriculum received the prestigious McKinsey/Harvard Business Review M-Prize for innovation in 2013. Village Capital has supported 500 entrepreneurs across 39 accelerator programs in 9 countries in the last 5 years, creating 8,500 jobs and raising more than $118 million in follow-on capital.
About The Cordish Companies
The Cordish Companies' origins date back to 1910 and encompass four generations of privately-held, family ownership. During the past ten decades, The Cordish Companies has grown into a global leader in Real Estate Development, Gaming & Hospitality, Entertainment Management and International Urban Planning & Development. One of the largest and most respected developers in the world, The Cordish Companies has been awarded an unprecedented seven Urban Land Institute Awards for Excellence for public-private developments that are of unique significance to the cities in which they are located. Prime examples are The Cordish Companies' prominent role in the redevelopment of Baltimore's world famous Inner Harbor; Philadelphia, PA; Atlantic City, NJ; Charleston, SC; Houston, TX; Louisville, KY; Kansas City, MO and St. Louis, MO. In addition, The Cordish Companies has developed and operates multiple highly acclaimed entertainment destinations throughout the United States which welcome over 50 million visitors per year and are the most visited destinations in their respective regions. Over the generations, The Cordish Companies has remained true to the family's core values of quality, entrepreneurial spirit, long-term personal relationships and integrity. As a testimony to the long-term vision of its family leadership, The Cordish Companies still owns and manages virtually every business it has created. For more information visit www.cordish.com or follow us on Twitter.
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