SALISBURY, Md.- A Maryland company wants local entrepreneurs to "get on the bus." Startup Maryland kicked off its two-and-a-half week "Pitch Across Maryland" tour in Salisbury Wednesday.
The tour gives local innovators the chance to show off their ideas, and then lets the public be the judge.
It represents a gathering of the minds like nothing ever done before.
"We saw somebody else wanted to do a bus in Iowa, [but] they never got off the ground. We said OK, why don't we do a bus across Maryland," explained Startup Maryland co-chair Julie Lenzer Kirk.
Rafael Correa is one of those who is happy to see the bus idea did get off the ground here in his home state, and he took full advantage of the opportunity Wednesday, with a game plan in place.
"Really, it's just about energy," he noted. "I think that your best presentations are something that's giving off the cuff, something that's very natural."
For entrepreneurs across the state like Correa, the bus represents opportunity on wheels: Making their pitch behind the camera, their fate ultimately rests in your hands.
When the moment of truth arrived Wednesday, Correa boarded the bus, got mic'd up and made his pitch.
Whether he wins or not, Correa may be part of something that becomes much bigger. At the national level, Startup America is keeping a close eye on the road this bus takes in Maryland.
"They're really watching what we're doing, because they're hoping that this can be the place that it starts and spreads across the country," said Lenzer Kirk. "Nobody's ever done anything like this before."
The bus will make a total of 25 stops throughout the state. At the end of the tour, video pitches will be posted online so the public can vote.
Investors will then select the top two candidates to be mentored into other pitching competitions in Maryland.
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