How 2 Md. entrepreneurs are taking Amazon’s Alexa to senior care

Two Rockville startup founders are out to change the game for senior living, to save employees time and make life easier for residents — with help from a familiar friend. PrimroseIntel, the year-old company with a voice-enabled system to improve communication at senior care facilities, is preparing to launch its product June 17 following a pilot phase at the Village of Rockville. And Amazon’s Alexa (NASDAQ: AMZN) is that voice. Co-founders Jason Gottschalk and Camille Roussel are now negotiating contracts with two multisite providers after founding their business in March 2018. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Why local hospital executives want to keep you out of their emergency rooms

If you had walked into an emergency room in Greater Baltimore a decade ago, your experience would have been dramatically different than what you might find today. You would have been more likely to be admitted and your stay would have been longer. It’s more likely you would have undergone several tests before being released. And typically, the hospital would have known nothing about you before you walked in the door. But all that has changed over the last several years as hospitals make advances in technology, infrastructure and cost of care. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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University System of Maryland leads $1.6M funding round in Silver Spring software firm

Silver Spring's Retrium Inc. has raised $1.6 million in new funding led by the University System of Maryland’s venture fund. USM's Maryland Momentum Fund contributed $400,000 in fresh capital to the four-year-old software firm. The deal marks the fund's largest single investment to date. Other investors include members of the Dingman Center Angels, an investment group run by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland, College Park. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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National Harbor’s 9th hotel just broke ground

You can find a hotel room at any price point at National Harbor, and visitors will soon have another choice: the ninth hotel property at National Harbor. OTO Development has broken ground on what will be Hyatt Place National Harbor, the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The seven-story, 156-room waterfront hotel is scheduled to open in late 2020. (WTOP)

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Under Armour among 170 companies asking Trump to not raise tariffs

Under Armour Inc. joined Nike Inc., AdidasAG and dozens of other companies in signing a letter to President Donald Trump urging his administration to not raise tariffs on footwear imported from China. Trump, a Republican, earlier this month proposed implementing 25 percent tariffs on $300 billion worth of imported goods from China, including clothing and footwear. The proposal comes as tension between the U.S. and China has risen after negotiations on a possible trade agreement fell apart. Footwear companies, including Baltimore-based Under Armour, say the proposed tariff increase "would be catastrophic for our consumers, our companies, and the American economy as a whole." (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Maryland companies less optimistic about this year's business climate

Most Maryland businesses remain optimistic — but not as much as last year — that the markets they serve will grow in the coming year, even while sales, revenue and employment at companies in the state were down in the first quarter. The data comes from the Maryland Business Climate Survey's latest report, which surveyed more than 250 senior executives at Maryland firms about their company's performance in the first three months of the year. The survey is carried out quarterly by the University of Baltimore's Jacob France Institute and the Maryland Public Policy Institute. It first began in 1995 but was relaunched in 2018 after several years without a survey. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Baltimore property market resets, using manual workaround to avoid hacked computer networks

Baltimore’s property market sputtered back to life Monday as officials launched a manual system for processing sales, asking sellers to swear they’ll pay any outstanding bills discovered when the city’s ransomware-stricken computer networks come back online. But progress was slow at an office in the Abel Wolman Municipal Building, where a niche group of real estate companies bring deeds to be processed and prepared for recording at the courthouse. A supervisor in the office said her clerks usually process a deed in about 30 minutes. But without computers, the job was expected to take three times as long. (Balt. Sun)  

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In search of business deals, Baltimore delegation makes annual trip Las Vegas for retail convention

Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young and a bevy of other city officials will spend much of the week in Las Vegas to attend an annual retail convention where cities and companies go to cut deals. Lester Davis, a spokesman for the Democratic mayor, said Baltimore has had success in bringing investment home after attending the event, known as the International Council of Shopping Centers RECon. “He’s going obviously to lure retail to the city,” Davis said. “He’s going to let folks that Baltimore city is a great investment and is open for business.” (Balt. Sun)

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