etc's startup in a box 

take the next step with your idea this spring with co.starters


ready to focus on your side hustle?

The Pioneer Program is an initiative of the ETC (Emerging Technology Centers), Baltimore’s award-winning incubator.

This program is designed to take your early-stage business idea to the next step. Whether that is developing a business plan or working on a prototype, the ETC wants to help future entrepreneurs find the time to put these thoughts into actions. The program is developed with the working professional in mind. The cohort will meet once a week after work hours. Focus on your idea for the next 9 weeks, and you could be ready to apply to the ETC’s Accelerate Baltimore program for a $25,000 seed investment and the confidence to quit your day job.



Pioneer Baltimore is powered by the CO.STARTERS program. CO.STARTERS equips the cohort with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving endeavor. 

CO.STARTERS Philosophy

  • Invest in individuals. We believe that people are what really matter, more than the ideas they bring to the program. Regardless of what stage you're at in launching your business, CO.STARTERS will help you find the best way to pursue your dream. 
  • Community first. We believe that individuals thrive in the context of community. CO.STARTERS is about bringing people together to learn from one another in order to create a strong network of support for starters.
  • Keep it simple. We believe that by making concepts and languages easy to understand, we will help starters focus on the practical steps to launch, moving them quickly toward their goals. 

Are you a pioneer?

Apply to this program if:

  • You have an idea that is keeping you up at night
  • You're open to receiving feedback on your idea
  • Your solution will use technology (web, app, device) in some way
  • You want to meet and support other people at a similar stage in the process

what does the program look like?

During this program:

  • You will meet once a week from 6 pm-9 pm at the University of Baltimore
  • The program will be lead by a CO.STARTERS trained facilitator
  • You will be paired with a mentor that will offer advice and guidance  
  • You will hear from a variety of community business leaders

what's in this for you?

This program will benefit you by:

  • Helping you develop a clear vision for your business idea
  • Connecting you to entrepreneurs, mentors, & resources in Baltimore
  • Providing a binder full of info for each topic covered in the 9-week boot camp


This 9-week program will bring guest speakers to the table each week to help you understand and grow the following areas of your business:

Week 1: Knowing Yourself
Week 2: Knowing Your Customer
Week 3: Getting the Relationship
Week 4: Building the Model
Week 5: Strengthening Your Structure
Week 6: Discovering Your Bottom Line
Week 7: Accounting for Growth
Week 8: Planning for the Future
Week 9: Celebration Night


The program will use the CO.STARTERS Canvas as a tool to keep Pioneers thinking through each part of their business.




We want pioneers to get the most out of the 9-week program. This means that there might be additional questions that need answers and are not covered during the weekly sessions. Sometimes it's nice to connect with someone who has been in your shoes. Each company selected to the Pioneer Program will be matched with a current or graduate ETC company founder or entrepreneur-in-residence to guide pioneers through their entrepreneurial journey. 


January 25, 2018 - Applications open
February 9, 2018 - Applications close
February 26, 2018 - Program starts

April 30 2018 - program ends
May 7 2018 - Celebration night



  • Program will require an application to be considered
  • The ETC will select 10 participants
  • There is no fee to apply, but there is a $250 fee to participate
  • The program will be hosted at the University of Baltimore Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and take place on Monday evenings



The ETC is a non-profit venture of the Baltimore Development Corporation and the City of Baltimore's technology and innovation center. The ETC is what you need it to be, and more. Offering 3 additional programs to the entrepreneurial community- Accelerate Baltimore, Beehive Baltimore and Incubate Baltimore- the ETC is home to over 100 innovative companies with two vibrant locations. Since the late 1990's ETC current and graduate companies have raised over $2 billion in funding and created over 2,300 jobs in Baltimore. Find out how you can join our community today by visiting our website.