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Harpoon Medical Named Among Top 10 in's Most Exciting Startups in Baltimore Right Now

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The volume of startups says a lot about an area’s viability.

But as that number keeps growing, it’s worth considering which of those companies are “real.” It helps people who track startups (like, say, journalists) keep tabs on the next big companies coming out of Baltimore.

That’s why created the realLIST: a roundup of the top companies whose moves we’ll be tracking but, also, companies which have already proven to be “real” in their short lifespans.

So what exactly makes a company real? For one, a bold idea. Are the founders hoping to cash in on a buzzy market or are they going after a big idea?

The founders themselves are also important. Plenty of investors we’ve talked to identify team as one of the key factors in choosing where to invest (often more so than the “idea” of the company itself).

There’s also factors like customers and revenue, investment capital, team size and office space.

We took the liberty of setting up a few ground rules to narrow the scope of our experiment. To be considered for our realLIST companies had to:

Have been founded no earlier than 2013. That sunset period stems from cofounder Christopher Wink’s 2012 definition of a startup. This sunset period took away lots of real contenders (RedOwl, Citelighterand many more) as well as the companies which have moved out of that early stage (like ZeroFOX). We had to draw the line somewhere.

Make the majority of their revenue from a product. That means agencies were not eligible (sorry, Mindgrub).

Have not exited or undergone an acquisition or something close to that nature (think OrderUp or Millennial Media).

And so, here is Baltimore’s 2017 realLIST. Click on each company to read our coverage and get a sense as to why they made it.

(One important caveat about this list: Not making this list does not mean we deem a startup “unreal.” This is simply a snapshot of what we’re most excited about right now.)

8. Harpoon Medical

The University of Maryland School of Medicine spinout’s device that would make open heart surgery less invasive signals a big advancement, and could be acquired by Edward Lifesciences as soon as this year.

Click here to read the entire list via Baltimore