Published 10/10/19 in Awards and RealLIST Engineers honorees. Awards and RealLIST Engineers honorees.

The biggest wins create an industry’s history. Yet the community that sets the stage for those milestone moments happen because of the people who are doing the work to start and grow.

To close out Baltimore Innovation Week’s Dev Day on Wednesday, celebrated the folks who are building in Baltimore — whether it’s companies, partnerships or a new autonomous system that can deliver a human organ via drone.

With nominees and the community gathered during happy hour, the Awards were presented in six categories across people, companies and innovation.

It was the culmination of a nomination and online vote to highlight the best in new thinking. And we also gave formal recognition of the honorees for the first-ever RealLIST Engineers, which makes up the most influential software developers and technical leaders in the community.

Here are Baltimore’s winners of the 2019 Awards:

Invention of the Year: University of Maryland School of Medicine’s kidney delivery by drone

The April 19 flight of a human kidney over Baltimore via unmanned aerial vehicle to University of Maryland Medical Center, where it was successfully transplanted into a patient. The partnership behind the flight included a collaboration between Dr. Joseph Scalea of University of Maryland School of Medicine and UMD’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, surgeons and researchers at UMMC, the Living Legacy Foundation and AiRXOS.

Scalea, the University of Maryland Medical Center surgeon who led the team, accepted the award.

“My mission in life is to save other lives,” he said.

Impact Leader of the Year: Aaron Brooks, founder of MASTERMND Academy

The founder of online tech bootcamp MASTERMND Academy and co-organizer of the Baltimore Black Techies meetup group. Brooks is a DevOps engineer at downtown digital services firm Fearless.

The award was accepted by Ashley Brooks, who is Brooks’ wife. She spoke of Brooks’ mission: to remove barriers to entering the technology field.


Help us congratulate Aaron Brooks, @mastermndio!

Last night Aaron was named Baltimore’s Impact Leader of the Year by @TechnicallyBMR. Not only is Aaron doing amazing things at Fearless but he also runs MASTERMND Academy, a free online bootcamps for programming and DevOps skills!

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CTO of the Year: Josh Budman, Tissue Analytics

Budman is cofounder and chief technology officer at Inner Harbor-based wound tracking tech company Tissue Analytics.

In an extended interview with this year, Budman talked about his passion for the technology that the company is building

“You’re developing ideas, you’re putting them into real life, and people are using them,” he said. “There is nothing I think that is cooler than that, especially if it can deliver a quantifiable benefit to patients or to users.”

Spark Baltimore@sparkbmore


Congrats to #sparkbmore members, @mastermndio of @fearlessbmore for winning Impact Leader of the Year AND @budman_josh of @TissueAnalytics for winning CTO of the Year by @TechnicallyBMR! Spark was there to celebrate our member wins during #BIW19’s #DevDay happy hour!

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Startup of the Year:

Team ahead of the Awards. (Courtesy photo)

Team ahead of the Awards. (Courtesy photo)

Combining Baltimore’s tech strengths in cybersecurity and advertising technology, the Federal Hill-based company developed technology to stop malicious ads, known as malvertising. It has grown quickly in 2019 under the leadership of a team of Millennial Media alums led by CEO Matt Gillis.

Growth Company of the Year: Whitebox

The six-year-old ecommerce technology company created a platform providing startup and established brands with tools for process automation, order fulfillment, marketing and more. In 2019, the company has grown with a $5 million raise, key hires, including a new CEO in former Media executive Marcus Startzel, and a new office in Baltimore that puts the tech team alongside the spaces where products are packed and shipped.

Corporate Innovation of the Year: LifeBridge Health and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield innovation partnership

The two local healthcare leaders joined forces in 2019 on an innovation challenge bringing startups closer to the payers and providers. Going forward, the two innovation teams are planning the launch of a new innovation space and fund to early-stage support digital health companies.Companies: WhiteboxTechnical.lyProjects: Baltimore Innovation Week