Refresh Baltimore

Designing an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Building A Community Through Collaborative Workspace

Kelly Ennis, Leora Davalos & Jeff Joerling

Since the first Refresh Baltimore event in 2008, our city's entrepreneurial ecosystem has experienced tremendous growth. We've seen familiar startup hubs expand, and new ones emerge. In order for this success and growth to continue, it is vital to design a collaborative environment and culture where entrepreneurs, designers, and developers can thrive. Getting the right people, in the right place, at the right time accelerates the rate at which creativity and innovation can happen.

Hear from the design team behind both Betamore and Spark Baltimore and learn about the process of incorporating culture into spatial design, different types of communities within our active ecosystem, and the importance of diverse work cultures.
Photo of Kelly Ennis

Kelly Ennis

Founder and Managing Principal of The Verve Partnership, Kelly leads the vision of firm, aligning business objectives with award winning design and strategy solutions. She is where the buck stops. Kelly is accountable for day-to-day project oversight as well as larger strategic objectives. Twenty+ years of experience has taught her the value of a trust-based and team-focused management approach. She has established alliances with leaders in complementary industries, and forms tailored teams of hand-picked experts for every project.

Kelly is proud of the solid relationships she has with all her clients, past and present, each in their own unique market sectors: technology, professional services, non-profit, and entertainment. Prior to founding The Verve Partnership, she’s worked from coast-to-coast, holding senior design and management roles with global firms. She holds a BFA in Interior Architecture from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and is a Certified Interior Designer in several jurisdictions.

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Leora Davalos

Leora Davalos serves as Hyperspace’s New Business Development, where she works closely with both the sales and project management teams. As New Business Development, Leora has an exemplary track record for increasing sales revenue for both large and small companies.

Prior to joining Hyperspace in 2014, she was with Scaffold Resource as Business Development, building and managing many vendor and client relationships. Previously, she has 10+ years serving as a Historical Real Estate Developer at Hale Street Lofts, renovating turn of the last century buildings in downtown Charleston, WV with the Historical Preservation Society.

Leora has extensive experience in strategic partnerships, contract services sales, and product marketing. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from West Virginia University, and an Associate’s degree in Interior Design from CCBC.

Born in California, Leora lived in different cities across the U.S. before falling in love with the East Coast. She now calls Baltimore home, where she and her husband have decided to raise their family. Leora brings vitality, professionalism and warmth, and a mindset of service and advocacy to her work with clients at Hyperspace.

Photo of Jeff Joerling

Jeff Joerling

Jeff is an Analog Collaboration Advocate for turnstone, a Steelcase brand,  who works remotely from Denver, Colorado. He has been in the furniture industry for over a decade. A USGBC LEED-accredited professional, he has earned an NBIA Incubator Manager Certificate and is proud to be a founding member of LExC and a GCUC participant. Jeff is passionate about coworking spaces, incubators, accelerators, startups, and has worked all over North America helping create collaborative, energetic communities that foster creativity and rapid growth. Jeff’s bylines include articles for, Yahoo Small Business, Work Design Magazine, and an appearance on the All Things Coworking podcast.