The City of Baltimore Uses AWS CloudStart to Innovate for Residents with the Cloud

Amazon Web Services | February 27, 2019 AT 11:00 AM
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The City of Baltimore is collaborating with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) CloudStart program to develop solutions to serve the city and citizens of Baltimore. AWS CloudStart supports Economic Development Organizations (EDOs) by providing resources to educate, train, and embrace the cost-effective options that AWS cloud computing services can offer to organizations that are serving customers in the government, education, and nonprofit space.

“Baltimore has a long history of entrepreneurship and innovative firsts,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “My administration is continuing that tradition by creating technology-centered solutions to enhance government services. AWS Cloud computing has many adaptable uses in the public sector, and we look forward to exploring and mobilizing how we use these tools to help entrepreneurs and residents access opportunities and resources in Baltimore.”

Through AWS CloudStart, the City of Baltimore is supporting Baltimore founders who are creating innovations such as: a medical device and public health mobile app to manage asthma conditions, a financial wellness service that increases wealth creation, and a mobile app that scans social networks for indicators of illness so people can avoid areas where they are likely to get sick.

The Mayor’s Office of Small, Minority and Women Business Development, and the Baltimore Development Corporation’s Emerging Technology Centers (ETC) invited AWS to conduct three information sessions on cloud computing to local small business owners and startup founders. These Baltimore innovators received an overview of cloud computing and the benefits of the AWS Cloud. They also learned how the City of Baltimore’s collaboration with AWS through the CloudStart program will provide them access to AWS Promotional Credits, an online portal of resources to get started using AWS, and technical advice about which services they need.

The City of Baltimore was represented by:

  • Deb Tillett, ETC President and Executive Director, explained the AccelerateBaltimore program, the 13-week tech accelerator program at the ETC, which will include CloudStart benefits for the cohort that starts this month.
  • Paul Taylor, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Small, Minority and Women Business Development, and his staff members, Naomi Shay, Amanda Rodrigues Smith and Myra Blanchard, added the importance of including minority and “Main Street” businesses in the AWS CloudStart program.
  • Andy Cook, Program Manager of “Made in Baltimore,” dove deep to understand how product manufacturers can benefit from AWS services.
  • James Peterson, Outreach Coordinator for BLocal at the Small Business Resource Center, highlighted the mentoring resources provided by the City of Baltimore to help business owners get the greatest benefit from the city’s collaboration with AWS.
  • Jet Lu, Director of Digital DevOps in the Baltimore City Office of Information Technology, encouraged the group of innovative entrepreneurs to share their success stories so everyone will know how great it is to be in Baltimore.

The AWS Cloud and AWS CloudStart program overviews were provided by:

  • Laura Dennis, US State and Local Government Account Executive, AWS
  • Belinda Matingou, International Expansion Team Business Development Manager, AWS
  • Michael “MJ” Jackson, US SLG Vertical Lead for Public Health and Elections, AWS
  • Ray Chang, US State and Local Government Senior Solutions Architect, AWS
  • Stacey Jackson, VC and Startups Business Development Manager, AWS
  • Jessie Metcalf, US State and Local Government Program Manager, AWS

After each session, startup founders were able to think big about how the technology resources they will receive can help them improve their customer engagement, operational efficiency, and business effectiveness. Natasha Wainwright, founder of Natasha’s Just Brittle, a candy manufacturer who offers a shared-use facility to other food producers, developed the idea for a solution to improve the efficiency of scheduling her kitchen space by using the AWS Cloud to allow other business owners to see the availability of her facilities.

The ETC and the Mayor’s Office of Small, Minority and Women Business Development have selected 40 Baltimore businesses to benefit from the AWS CloudStart program.

Visit the AWS CloudStart webpage to learn how the program is helping organizations around the world start their journey to the cloud.