2020 was a tough year. Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Towson University launched its inaugural StarTUp Accelerator. While programming was exclusively virtual, our six fellows learned entrepreneurship techniques to help them build their ventures.

Now that we’re in July 2021 and pandemic restrictions have been lifted, we were able to launch our 2021 StarTUp Accelerator, with eight ventures, as a fully, in-person cohort. Members have been working collaboratively with Patrick McQuown, executive director of entrepreneurship, and the StarTUp team.

Highlights from this summer’s StarTUp Accelerator cohort

Connor Feroce and Bharath “B” Krishnamoorthy hopped on a Zoom call with the cohort to share their journey and provide advice about their ventures. Connor is the co-founder and COO at BeatGig, which he created as a student while at James Madison University. It’s now one of the top platforms to use when booking live performances. B is the CEO and founder of Axle Payments, a B2B service company that helps growing companies with logistics, finance, and technology.

The host of the podcast Heads N’ Tails, Kevin Saum, paid us a visit to talk about how he started his career. He featured one of our current fellows, Terrel Hunt from Good Choice Productions, in his talk. Kevin spoke to our fellows and discussed his venture. Kevin’s podcast focuses on injury prevention for athletes. He also discussed transitioning athletes out of the sports industry and into the real world.

The cohort took a long field trip to Virginia to visit two of the hottest startups in the area—Hungry and BarTrack. But on our way to Virginia, the traffic around the Washington, D.C. National Mall was uncharacteristically quiet. So, the team took advantage and visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

Hungry is a national platform for top chef-made food production and delivery service. This venture is strong enough to attract big name investors such as, Usher, Jay-Z, and Kevin Hart.

BarTrack is a tech-enabled beverage inventory management system. The system efficiently pours/tracks beer pours minimizing spillage and maximizing profits. So far, BarTrack has raised a total of $6 million. The fellows found out more about operating a lean startup as well as talking about how to expand their network. The phrase of the day was “Your network is your net worth.”

In late July, co-inventor of RoboKiller, Ethan Garr, stopped by our new space at the StarTUp at the Armory. Our fellows had a chance to sit down with Ethan to discuss how they can effectively grow their venture. Recently, Ethan started Breakout Growth podcast, where he gives advice and tactics to aspiring entrepreneurs.

So far, our fellows have learned a lot during their time in the 2021 StarTUp Accelerator. We have more events coming up that will be open to the public. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.