A couple weeks ago LAUNCH! Annapolis held their second annual Crab Derby event at the gorgeous Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Annapolis, with the help of MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Group. The event is part social mixer, part networking, part entrepreneurial power house, part charity booster, but it is all fun

After some mingling, and getting to know some new faces, the event kicked off with quick business pitches from five start up companies looking to raise capital, or connect with influential people. This year, the list included Phillip Morgan with MicroAer Technologies, Timothy Lorello with SecuLore Solutions, LLC, Brian Wojcik with DIY Realty, Phil Dimuro with Loople, and Erin Frey with FreyForman. Everyone did a great job and looked to be having quite a lot of fun doing it!

After the pitches came the much anticipated crab derby itself. Here’s how a crab derby works:

Small businesses and individuals sponsor the crabs, give them clever names, and then get others to donate to the crab as well (like a “Walk for…” event). During the event, attendees place bets on which crab will win each race, and the derby over all. Prizes are awarded to the winners, but all the wagers and money raised for the crabs, is donated to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to help clean up the bay.

It’s seriously so much fun, you almost forget you’re there supporting an important cause. If you didn’t make it this year or last year, be sure to show up next year, and check out the highlights below!