Conscious Venture Lab kicks off fifth cohort with three new investors

SHIFT Ventures and Conscious Venture Lab have launched their newest accelerator cohort with nine socially-conscious companies. This is the fifth cohort of the community-focused accelerator, which provides training and early-stage funding for growing companies. This round of companies will be chiefly focused on solving problems of "urban resilience," such as sustainability and accessible housing. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Banking while black: Minority business owners with better credit scores than white counterparts face worse treatment and more scrutiny

Black and Hispanic men seeking small business loans faced more scrutiny and worse treatment from bank officers than less qualified white men, according to a study released this week by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. The results demonstrate the challenges minority entrepreneurs face when trying to access additional capital to expand their businesses. The study also found declines in government-backed lending to black business owners, dropping from 8 percent to 3 percent of small-business loans between 2008 and 2016. (Wash. Post)

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A bigger crop: Why Maryland’s medical pot growers are adding more plants

The air inside SunMed Growers’ sprawling, $10 million marijuana greenhouse was thick with the citrusy aroma of freshly harvested Lemon Skunk. Outside, heavy machinery cleared land for about 30,000 additional plants. “This is tripling for medical,” said owner Jake Van Wingerden, a former chairman of the Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Trade Association. “We’re ready to double again if recreational comes along.” (Wash. Post)

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Maryland casinos pull in $154.3 million in August

Maryland's casino industry saw its fourth-best month in August, according to the latest report from Maryland Lottery and Gaming. The state's six privately owned casinos collectively pulled in $154.3 million in revenue last month, a 5.4% increase compared with August 2018. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Google receives demand for documents from Justice Dept., acknowledging federal antitrust scrutiny

Google said Friday that the Justice Department has requested records related to its prior antitrust investigations, marking the tech giant’s first major acknowledgment that it’s a subject of a federal competition probe. The civil-investigative demand — acknowledged in a securities filing and a blog post — comes weeks after Justice Department officials said they would open a broad review of big tech, including search. (Wash. Post) 

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‘Deepfakes,’ deep pockets: Facebook spends $10 million on contest for detecting ‘constantly evolving’ videos

Facebook is spearheading a competition to find new ways to identify computer-altered videos known as “deepfakes.” But some artificial-intelligence specialists say the strategy might backfire. Those experts say the contest will probably hasten the already accelerating arms race between the malicious actors using AI to create increasingly realistic faked videos, and the technology companies racing to detect them. (Wash. Post)

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Washington County Humane Society names new executive director

The Humane Society of Washington County has named a new executive director. Colin Berry will officially assume the role on Sept. 19, according to a news release from the humane society. “I am incredibly honored to be given an opportunity to move into a new role at HSWC as executive director,” Berry said in the release. “I am proud of the work we do and am thrilled about several exciting new projects that are on the horizon. (Herald-Mail)

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Under Armour taps Duluth CEO as new head of North America

Under Armour Inc. has named the former CEO of Duluth Trading Co. as the new head of its beleaguered North America business. Stephanie Pugliese brings more than 25 years of experience in branded apparel, retail and merchandising. She has been president of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin-based Duluth (NASDAQ: DLTH) since 2012. She added the CEO title in 2015 and led lifestyle clothing brand through an initial public offering. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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