Introducing EcoMap 2.0

Everything you need to know about EcoMap Baltimore 2.0

If you’ve been to our site lately, you’ll notice that EcoMap got a major upgrade over the weekend. No longer is our data on Baltimore’s entrepreneurial ecosystem confined to a hacked Airtable (still, much love for Airtable). This new platform is a much better representation of one of EcoMap’s core products: intelligent resource portals to help entrepreneurs find the resources they need to build their ventures.

For those who are new to EcoMap, the site also provides a better overview of what we do as an organization. We are not just another company making resource databases; we leverage Artificial Intelligence to aggregate and analyze data on entrepreneurial ecosystems, including the resources and ventures within them, and the relationships between organizations.

While this does allow us to make robust, up-to-date portals and databases, it also enables us to get deep insights into the health and accessibility of entrepreneurial ecosystems. From autonomously generating lists of all nonprofits working on specific problems in a city, to analyzing how financing flows between startups with different types of founders, EcoMap is able to capture nuanced data on ecosystems that would otherwise be missed by manual investigations and reports.

In this post, we will provide a brief overview of the new platform, and let you know about our plans for future feature adds and navigational tools. Since EcoMap was founded by a lover of the Lean Startup, we knowingly launched this platform in an incomplete state; the order we add features depends on the features that our users ask us for. To submit a feature request, go here!

A Walk Through EcoMap Baltimore 2.0

So the first thing you’ll notice about EcoMap 2.0 is that it is much, much prettier than EcoMap 1.0. EcoMap 1.0 was our first attempt to getting our data on resources for entrepreneurs in Baltimore out into the world, and at the time, embedding an Airtable on our site was the quickest way to do that. Unfortunately, it was pretty darn ugly too.

Enter EcoMap 2.0, a platform that actually conveys the beauty of Baltimore’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. On the homepage of the Baltimore EcoMap, the first thing you’ll come across is a list of resources that have upcoming deadlines. We wanted to make these front and center so that entrepreneurs don’t miss any opportunities. If you want to feature a resource, get in touch with us.

If you keep scrolling, you’ll find even more cool featured resources in Baltimore. At the end of this section, you’ll find a link to Explore All Resources. This will take you to the full Resource Directory (Alternatively, you can use the navigation bar at the top by clicking the dropdown next to EcoMap Baltimore).

Also in this section you will find a way to sign up to our newsletter. You should really sign up, because if there is anything sexier than EcoMap 2.0, its our monthly ecosystem newsletter (and the majority of post-MVP web platforms, but we digress…). Really, it’s great. It covers everything you need to know about what is going on related to Baltimore + Entrepreneurship. Sign up here.

If you click on Explore All Resources (after signing up for the newsletter, of course), you’ll go to the Resource Directory, where you can find every single resource for entrepreneurs in Baltimore, categorized by Resource Type. More dynamic filters are coming soon, so you’ll be able to search for resources based on their stage focus, company-type focus, and more. You can also search for Resources using the handy search bar at the top.

For each resource, its type (Accelerator, Funding, etc) is indicated on the top of the Resource Card , and the types of ventures it focuses on (growth startups, small businesses, or nonprofits) is listed under the description. Depending on the type of resource, you’ll also see information about the Stages & industries it focuses on, the amenities it provides, upcoming deadlines, its resource provider, and more.

If you click on Learn More, you’ll be taken to the Resource Profile, which is automatically generated for every single resource on EcoMap Baltimore.

The Resource Profile covers everything you need to know about that given resource. The left column will show you the Resource Type, its full description, and any Keywords or industries affiliated with the resource. Additionally, you can see the Resource Providers. When applicable, Resource Providers are listed in a cascading nature (for example, FFU is a division of JHTV which is a division of JHU); otherwise, all Providers are listed in a random order.

The right column shows which types of ventures that the Resource targets, as well as the stages served by the resource. Below this is the contact information, in case you wanted to learn more or get in touch.

If you click on Learn More on a Resource Provider card, you’ll be taken to that Resource Provider’s profile page (shocker, we know). These Profiles provide more information about the Resource Provider, including its organizational type, location, and the resources that it provides. Alternatively, you can explore all Resource providers (categorized by type) from the Resource Provider directory.

The GeoMaps for both Resources and Resource Providers can be found on the last tab of their respective directories, under “Map”. If the view looks off, try zooming in or out to set the correct geographic boundaries. This is not a feature, it’s a bug. We’re working on it!

You can likewise view our in-site blog by clicking on Blog in the Navigation Bar, or by going to the blog section at the end of each page. We cross-post most blog articles to the site-based blog, but most of our stuff will be published here on Medium first.

Finally, as in EcoMap 1.0, you can Add or Edit Resources, Add or Edit Resource Providers, Submit Questions/Comments, and Submit Feature Requests on the Edit the Baltimore EcoMap page. All submissions will be reviewed by our team to ensure that they meet our quality and applicability standards for the Baltimore EcoMap.

Coming Soon to EcoMap Baltimore

Here at EcoMap, we believe in the Launch Quick mentality. We wanted to get our platform into the world as soon as possible so that we can see how our users respond to it, and add features from there. The majority of our features are driven by user insights and requests (submit one here!), but we do have a few features already in our pipeline.

In order, these are the features that will be coming to EcoMap 2.0 in the coming months:

  • Return of the Baltimore Event Calendar
  • Dynamic Filtering of the Resource Directory & an easy-to-use Resource Navigator
  • Specific Resource Portals for female founders, founders of colors, creative entrepreneurs, social impact ventures, and more
  • Basic User Profiles

Thanks for taking the time to learn about EcoMap Baltimore 2.0. We are very excited about this new platform, and hope that you are too! If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or life grievances, get in touch with our team.

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