With a ‘build it first, figure out the money second’ mentality, Baltimoreans are determined to maximize every resource and opportunity the ecosystem has to offer.

Entrepreneurs Thrive in Charm City

Powerhouse anchor institutions and business leaders alike support initiatives that showcase Baltimore’s entrepreneurial spirit and bring innovative ideas and technologies to the city’s booming health care, education, and social enterprise sectors.

Baltimore is called ‘Charm City’ for a reason; there are more than 280 unique and inviting neighborhoods that make up the fabric of the city. You’ll find internationally-renowned universities and historical landmarks down the street from hip bars, trendy restaurants, and bustling art galleries. The city also offers expansive public parks, state-of-the-art maker spaces, and a vibrant music scene.

What are Fellows up to when they are not contributing to Baltimore’s growing startup ecosystem? Volunteering in their communities, meeting up for hikes, and trying their hand at improv or 3D printing.

VFA Baltimore By The Numbers

148 Fellows

Placed in Baltimore since 2013

59 Company Partners

Have hired VFA Fellows

17 Fellow-Founded Companies

Based in Baltimore

How Fellows Describe Baltimore

"Baltimore is simply the greatest city in America. From the people, to the food, to the culture, and everything in between – Baltimore welcomes you in as one of its own."

Adeel Afshar '19

“Generations of people showing up for each other. Lots of emerging talent across many industries across many communities of color."

Steph Hsu '16

“The incredible blend of arts, culture, science, technology, and finance makes Baltimore a truly remarkable city with thought leaders continually producing new ideas."

Anand Macherla '18

Where Fellows Work

Baltimore’s startup ecosystem centers around “Ed, Meds, and Feds,” with new biotech, medtech, and cybersecurity startups launching every year. But there’s also an emerging food and beverage industry and a thriving social enterprise sector. Baltimore Fellows are medical device engineers, product managers, software developers, marketing directors, and more.

Making financial planning accessible

Reducing neighborhood and racial wealth divides

Educational software that blends artwork with tech

Taking technology from bench to bedside

Baltimore's Fellow-Founded Companies


Connects farmers to local beekeepers

Learn more

What's Mapnin

Connects students with communities through maps

Learn more

Zest Tea

Provides all the rush and energy without the grind

Learn more

What Fellows Love About Baltimore

“Baltimore feels like both a collection of small close-knit communities and a big coastal city at once. There is always something to do and people to see!”

Emily Miller '19

“Eating at Ekiben or Luchadoras, hiking in Patapsco and the Appalachians, going to Bike Party with 1000 of my closest friends, getting raw oysters, long walks in parks, and going to Camden Yards to watch the sunset instead of baseball.“

Elias Meyer-Grimberg '16

“I’m grateful for Baltimore’s diversity, rich history, and collection of distinct neighborhoods. From long walks along the harbor when the sun rises to grabbing dinner with Fellows in Little Italy at night, I can’t imagine a better VFA city to be in!”

Kylie Long '19

"VFA prides itself on a network of alums who have gone on to start new business and nonprofit ventures in the city, as well as work at influential companies. It has placed 148 fellows in Baltimore since 2013, and more than half still live here.”

– Emma Simpson, Venture For America
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