TU alum, StarTUp participant celebrated as top Baltimore engineer

October 26, 2021

Jal Irani continues success following StarTUp Accelerator


TU alumnus and current computer and information sciences faculty member Jal Irani ’15 has been named as one of Technical.ly’s ReaList Engineers, 21 pioneering engineers in the Baltimore area.

“This is our curated list of influential technologists that are key contributors on their teams and in Baltimore,” Technical.ly said in a story. “It’s a mix of professionals across roles and organizations. They’re being recognized just as much for how they shape people as systems. We think you’ll find a common willingness to put in the work, collaborate, lead and teach.”

Irani co-founded Flave—a mobile app that incentivizes foodies to eat local instead of at chain restaurants, through gamification and personalized friend recommendations.

Technical.ly praised Irani, also a ReaLIST Startups honoree, for leading development of Flave’s mobile app. Technical.ly further extolled the organization’s presence and promotion of local businesses during the pandemic.

“It’s a massive honor to be considered one of the 21 most influential engineers in Baltimore for 2021,” Irani says. “Having a positive impact on the community is the core thesis of my company, so being recognized for this is an affirmation that our team is pushing in the right direction.”

Flave was a member of the 2020 cohort of Towson University’s StarTUp Accelerator program. Irani returned with Flave co-founder Derek Battle as mentors for the 2021 cohort.

“TU has been an incredible support system throughout my entire entrepreneurial journey,” Irani says. “My peers and chair within the CIS department have always been encouraging through each step of the process.

“The StarTUp and Executive Director of Entrepreneurship Patrick McQuown were fundamental in helping grow our idea into an actual business. Most importantly, my students have given me unique perspectives when approaching difficult problems. They are the most creative minds in the entire TU ecosystem.”

Irani and Flave were chosen late last year to be a partner in the new UpSurge Baltimore, which launched with the intention to find, support, scale and celebrate high-impact startups while also developing strategies to attract new companies, talent and capital.