More Resources to Make Ecosystems More Accessible
Today we are thrilled to announce that EcoMap Technologies has closed a $3.5M Seed Round led by Las Olas Venture Capital, with participation from Janus Venture Partners, GroTech, Conscious Venture Partners, Techstars, TCP, and other local partners. You can read the full press release here.
Four years ago, EcoMap was founded on a simple premise: information about the ecosystems all around us should be more accessible. It was crazy to our founders that you could Google nearly anything, but if you searched “resources for entrepreneurs in Baltimore” or “female-led companies in AR//VR”, you didn’t get any meaningful results. Why was the information so close to us so hard to access?
What seemed like a simple problem - aggregating information about what was happening in an ecosystem - ended up being an incredibly complex one to solve. But after a few years of research and product iteration, we launched the first commercial version of EcoMap for Baltimore’s business community in early 2020. If we only knew then what would come next.
From launch, there was immediate demand for what we had built. Ecosystems across the country began to reach out, wanting a platform to power their local small business or tech community. But then, organizations starting reaching out to get EcoMap to power their industry, corporate network, resource hub, partner community, and more. At that point, we knew we’d built something special.
For the past two years, we have been sprinting to keep up with this demand. Like many startups, we launched with nothing more than an MVP held together by technical duct tape. While delivering platforms for customers spanning the Aspen Institute to Meta, we had to actually build the technology that would become the EcoMap, while simultaneously growing our team at a rapid pace, all during a global pandemic and warranted social unrest.
Many things happened along the way. We got into the Techstars Equitech program, one of their most competitive to date. We raised a small pre-seed round from local partners including MindGrub Ventures, the Baltimore Angels, and Pax Momentum. Most importantly of all, we brought on Sherrod Davis, a powerhouse in Baltimore’s tech ecosystem to join EcoMap as our Chief Operating Officer. His work and dedication is what made this growth possible.
At the same time, we went dark on social media and even with our own personal networks. Keeping up with the inbound demand - even with no marketing - was brutal, and it left little time to engage with the community or even share about our progress. Many people asked if EcoMap was doing okay, thinking we might had fallen victim to the pandemic. In reality, it was the opposite - we were struggling to survive hyper growth.
As a female and Black-led team, the funding needed to scale is harder to come by, a persistent and nefarious problem that should not be lost in the joy of this announcement. But we were incredibly lucky to be connected with the Las Olas team, who immediately understood our vision and acted with unmatched conviction and speed, helping us go from opening to oversubscribed in just 5 weeks.
Now that we've crossed our I’s and dotted our T’s, we’re looking forward to the next phase of EcoMap’s growth. We’ll be expanding our team from 16 to 22, hiring key positions such as a Head of Sales, Head of Marketing, and a Head of Customer Success. Additionally, we’re looking for a stellar Product Growth Marketer and Business Development Associate to support our growth. You can find information on all open jobs at EcoMap here on our website.
We’ll also be doubling down on our commitment to building more accessible and equitable ecosystems, starting right here at home. In the coming weeks, we’ll announce more exciting plans about where we will be headquartering and how we want to engage with the most important ecosystem of all, Baltimore.
The journey to this point was challenging, exhausting, exhilarating - and we still have a long way to go. But because of the support we received from Baltimore’s ecosystem, and the partners & customers across the world who have supported our vision, we now have the resources we need to further our goal of making every ecosystem, accessible to everyone, everywhere.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us to this point, to our amazing team who made this possible, and the numerous mentors and advisors who helped us navigate the most challenging stage of a company’s lifecycle. We wouldn’t be here without you, and we look forward to growing with you.
Sincerely & with thanks,
Pava LaPere, Sherrod Davis, and the EcoMap Team