Author: Hanju Lee

Meet the JHTV Staff Member

Meet the JHTV Staff Member: Steve Kousouris

Meet the JHTV Staff Member: Steve Kousouris


Steve Kousouris is no stranger to Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. As JHTV’s Senior Director of Finance and Administration, he’s overseen finance and operations over the last five years as our commercialization efforts at JHTV have blossomed. As Steve has taken on a new role as Interim Executive Director of Tech Transfer, he says he is excited to see JHTV grow in even bigger ways.
Below, the native Marylander talks JHTV, growing Baltimore and leading about 40 staff members to new heights for Tech Transfer.

I understand you have a background in the health care and finance space? How has that helped you in your roles at JHTV?

My previous role as the senior director is basically like being the CFO for JHTV. Finance skills are translatable across businesses. As we’ve transitioned Tech Ventures from where it was when I joined—just the tech transfer—and expanded our FastForward startup assistance capabilities and the Corporate Partnerships group, those skills from my time in health care have become even more applicable.
During my health care career, I’d done a lot of merger and acquisition work, including the acquisition of startup companies and extensive work selling to pharma. I have experience in two areas where we’re trying to grow.

Do you have any specific goals or anything you’d like to see implemented?

Our job is to commercialize the inventions of Hopkins, mostly from faculty. We get 500 invention disclosures a year and do 170 licenses a year. Over time we’ve built up quite an inventory of unlicensed technologies. While we’re continually terminating technologies that aren’t valuable anymore, we still have a large inventory that is potentially licensable. One of things we will be focusing on is how to better prioritize and focus our licensing efforts on the inventions of highest value.
This year we will focus on prioritizing inventions and working hard to get them out, faculty relationships, licensee compliance and improving surveillance.

How do you define value?

Value to the university is measured by the potential income we receive through licensing. Value is also determined by how well our technology addresses a problem and the impact of that problem on society.

On the personal side, are you a Marylander?

Yes. I grew up in Baltimore and was in fact born at Johns Hopkins Hospital. I grew up near the Homewood campus in Waverly and now live in Carroll County.

What do you like to do for fun? Tell me about your hobbies.

I play golf—not all that well—and I like to travel a little bit.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve traveled?

One of the things I’ve found most interesting was on a trip to Italy when we took a tour under the Vatican. They’ve found and excavated a necropolis under St. Peter’s Basilica.

What do you like about Baltimore?

My family has a small business in produce delivery and I grew up driving trucks and know the city quite well. My Greek grandparents came here in 1904 and we have deep roots in Baltimore. I like that the city is a large enough city, but it’s got that small-town flavor with its ethnic communities. It’s so much more vibrant today than it was 30 years ago in terms of opportunity for restaurants, entertainment and innovation.

What makes it a good place to innovate?

There’s huge opportunity here. We have the university generating great technology and a lot of startup activity happening here, but there isn’t a large company that’s going to use that technology here yet. In terms of the Baltimore skyline, there’s a great opportunity to attract those companies into town as our startups are growing and getting to the point where they’ll be large companies themselves. I’m looking forward to seeing Baltimore move in that direction.


Good News: June 2018

Good News: June 2018

Startup News

  • Mera Kitchen Collective featured in The Baltimore Sun
    Social Innovation Lab venture, Mera Kitchen Collective, was featured in a story about their worker-owned cooperative that empowers refugee and immigrant women through food.
  • Johns Hopkins spinout LifeSprout raises $6.5 million
    The company is creating a synthetic substance to help the body regrow soft tissue and is looking to move toward regulatory approval of its first product, according to Baltimore.
  • Bluefield Innovations, Johns Hopkins University awarded Fundraising of the Year by Global University Venturing
    A new partnership between Johns Hopkins University and New York-based investment firm Deerfield Management announced in November 2017 has led to the creation of the Bluefield Innovations Commercialization Fund, a $65 million fund set up in part to address the decline in government funding for scientific research.
    Bluefield will finance early-stage therapeutic research projects at the university over the next five years with the aim of licensing the most viable ideas to third parties or spinning them out.
    Read more here.
  • September grand opening of FastForward Homewood’s new space featured in The Hub
    The brand new FastForward U Homewood innovation hub will feature a high-tech makerspace with tools for 3-D printing, laser-cutting, metalsmithing and woodworking, in addition to various spaces for events and co-working.
  • Trajectory Next begins 2018 program
    The 12-week training program has been branded as a kind of post-accelerator that will offer startups support and assistance as they work to build up their teams, acquire new customers and develop revenue streams. It is designed to serve startups that are navigating the period after graduating from an accelerator or incubator, specifically those operating in the health technology and life science spaces. Read more in the Baltimore Business Journal (subscription required).
  • Sonavex Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance for EchoMark and EchoMark LP Tissue Markers
    Earlier this month, FastForward alum Sonavex announced it had received FDA clearance of their EchoMark and EchoMark LP Tissue Markers. The medical device company is focused on improving surgical patient outcomes with point-of-care imaging technologies.
  • Johns Hopkins among 100 universities with the most patents in 2017
    Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland, College Park were among the schools to earn the most patents for university-born inventions and technologies last year, according to a ranking by the National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association based on data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Johns Hopkins ranked at No. 7 in 2017, with 164 U.S. utility patents granted
    JHU has ranked in the top 10 since 2014 when it boasted 140 patents, followed by 143 in 2015 and 167 in 2016.
    Read more in the Baltimore Business Journal (subscription required).


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