In the first week of November, MIB Executive Director Andy Cook and Program Manager Brian Seymore travelled to Houston, TX for the annual Urban Manufacturing Alliance Gathering.  The first in-person gathering of its kind since 2019, UMA’s convening brought together  leaders of local brand initiatives (LBI’s) like Made In Baltimore and other economic development professionals from around the country to share best practices about how we support our cities’ maker economies. 

At the gathering, we learned of innovative models to help small businesses access real estate in Seattle, WA and Asheville, NC;  we had extensive conversations with our counterparts in San Francisco, Cincinnati, and Nashville; we heard from Baltimore’s own Dr. Ron Williams about advances to support the sector here in Maryland; we toured Houston’s east side and witnessed the many types of business models starting up in Houston’s maker community (check out Magpies & Peacocks, the world’s first non-profit fashion design house); and Andy even got to emcee a portion of the conference!

Participating in the UMA network has allowed Made In Baltimore to learn and grow much faster and with better results than we ever could have on our own.  At 5 years old, we are now one of the longer-running LBI’s in the network, and find ourselves in the position of being able to give back by sharing our knowledge and experience with newer programs.

If you’re a Baltimorean interested in connecting with the work of UMA, check out their site, or reach out to us at MIB, and we’ll happily make the connection. 

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