We prepare businesses and residents for crowdfunding opportunities that will boost Maryland's economy.
The Exchange aims to prepare Maryland companies and investors for crowdfunding and to launch local businesses ready to place offerings on federally licensed portals. By facilitating grassroots investing in the state’s most promising locally owned enterprises, the Exchange promises to pump tens of millions of dollars each year into local businesses in Maryland, which will increase the likelihood of these companies staying, succeeding, and growing the state’s economy.
To mobilize Maryland companies and grassroots investors for crowdfunding, we:
Educate them about the emerging opportunities for crowdfunding;
Prepare them for participating in successful crowdfunding campaigns;
Introduce them to one another, starting in targeted neighborhoods; and
Connect them with the federally licensed portals that will enable actual investments to proceed.
A core part of this work is this website, which serves as a virtual platform through which local investors and businesses can learn about crowdfunding and connect.
Leading this effort are Michael Shuman, director of Local Economy Programs for Neighborhood Associates Corporation, and Stephanie Geller, founder and director of Community Wealth Builders.
Michael Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and a leading visionary on community economics. He’s the Director of Local Economy Programs for Neighborhood Associates, and currently an adjunct instructor at Bard Business School in New York City and at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. He is credited with being one of the architects of the 2012 JOBS Act and dozens of state laws overhauling securities regulation of crowdfunding.
Stephanie Geller has been working on the ground in Baltimore for over the past six years to foster an ecosystem more supportive of local and minority-owned businesses. As the Director of Community Wealth Builders, her work centers on fostering more equitable, inclusive, sustainable neighborhoods by promoting and catalyzing community wealth building models across Baltimore.
•Jeff Cherry: Founder & Director, Conscious Venture Lab
•Rodney Foxworth: Director, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies
•Fagan Harris: President & CEO of Baltimore Corps
•Bill Joyner: Senior Economic Inclusion Specialist, UMB Office of Community Engagement
•Venroy July: Principal, Miles & Stockbridge
•Frank Knott: Founder & President of Innovation Works
•Mary Miller: Senior Fellow, J. Hopkins 21st Century Cities Initiative
•Jimmy Rhee: Special Secretary, Maryland Governor’s Office of Minority Business
•Michael Seipp: President, Southwest Partnership
•Ben Siegel: Opportunity Zone Director, City of Baltimore
•Thiru Vignarajah: Partner, DLA Piper