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Conscious Venture Lab’s new accelerator cohort will focus on smart cities

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Conscious Venture Lab put out the call this week to apply for its first cohort in West Baltimore.

The accelerator that helps on impact-minded businesses is planning to fund up to 10 companies for the four-month program, which begins in August. Companies get an investment of $50,000 and access to office space and mentors in exchange for eight percent equity.

The cohort has a specific focus on smart cities and urban resilience. The call for applications specifically mentions an interest in technology being developed around big data, connected devices, open systems, Internet or Things (IoT) and blockchain.

“We will be looking for companies that can improve the way we provide services in cities, how we live together and find new ways to use technology to increase economic opportunity and create more livable and equitable urban environments,” Conscious Venture Lab Director Jeff Cherry said in a statement.The accelerator spent two years in Columbia, where it launched in partnership with Howard County Economic Development Authority. Last year, Cherry announced plans to move operations into Innovation Village, the 6.8-square-mile innovation district in West Baltimore.

New funding has also emerged. Last month at Light City, Cherry and Joe Mechlinski of Shift (formerly entreQuest) gave details about Shift Ventures. The fund was created in part to support Conscious Venture Lab companies. The accelerator also received $100,000 from the Baltimore Development Corporation’s innovation fund.

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