Category: News


R. Keith Baker Award: A Friend Remembered, 2 Others…

R. Keith Baker Award: A Friend Remembered, 2 Others Honored


R. Keith Baker Award recipients Dave Greenwald and Nakisha Holder

A mentor, friend and so much more, R. Keith Baker passed away suddenly in 2013, but those at Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures who knew him carry their beloved colleague’s memory and feel his inspiration every day.

On July 12, JHTV ensured that Baker’s legacy would endure with the inaugural R. Keith Baker Award, an honor bestowed on current JHTV employees who embody the namesake’s admirable values and qualities: scientific curiosity, strong mentorship capability, altruism, calming influence, resolute perseverance and dedication to Johns Hopkins.

Baker, who earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Wake Forest University and MBA from St. Joseph’s University, began working at Johns Hopkins in 2000 and eventually became the senior director of licensing for Johns Hopkins’ Office of Technology Transfer.

“Keith was someone who everyone looked up to,” says Helen Montag, JHTV’s senior director of business development and corporate partnerships. “He was a quiet, smart leader.”

The recent move of the JHTV headquarters from downtown Baltimore to the 1812 Ashland building in East Baltimore presented the perfect opportunity to establish an award in honor of Baker. Now, when people walk into JHTV’s headquarters, they see a remembrance of Baker, a description of the award given in his honor and a list of R. Keith Baker Award recipients.

With more than 50 people in attendance, including Baker’s wife, Eleanor, and one of his three children, Wade, JHTV presented the inaugural R. Keith Baker Award to Director of Business Development Dave Greenwald and Senior Licensing Associate Nakisha Holder. In subsequent years, JHTV leadership will select only one employee for the award.

Helen Montag

“Dave, like Keith, naturally leans into mentoring colleagues in a modest and low-key manner,” Montag says, recalling how Greenwald tutored two colleagues to use a computer program he used extensively prior to joining JHTV in 2014.

“Dave didn’t expect to be rewarded for it. He did it because it was the right thing to do,” Montag says. “It’s something Keith would’ve done. They’re both natural teachers.”

Holder, whose tenure with JHTV began in 2007 when it was known as Johns Hopkins Technology Transfer, benefited first-hand from Baker’s mentorship. It’s something that she has taken to heart and implements in her day-to-day work.

“Nakisha has taken the lead on our tangible material licensing efforts,” says Neil Veloso, the executive director of technology transfer. “Throughout her career but recently especially, she has taken on a number of responsibilities and is always willing to assist and train others.”

JHTV expects to present its next award in summer 2018.

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New Accelerator Seeks to Attract Connected Health and Fitness…

New Accelerator Seeks to Attract Connected Health and Fitness Startups from Across the Country to Baltimore

The 16-week M-1 Ventures program to provide dedicated startup support that facilitates the development of innovative health care solutions.


M-1 VenturesBALTIMORE, MD (July 12, 2017) – Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, Plank Industries, the University of Maryland (through UM Ventures), Brown Advisory and the Abell Foundation announced today that they are providing support for M-1 Ventures, a new Baltimore-based startup accelerator focused on connected health and fitness technologies. The 16-week program will be housed in FastForward East, an innovation hub on the Johns Hopkins medical campus, and will challenge startups selected from a national applicant pool to validate their business models, engage with customers and build on traction they have already generated. Additional support for the program comes from the Maryland Department of Commerce and Village Capital.

“By focusing this accelerator on connected health and fitness, M-1 Ventures takes advantage of our regional strengths to provide startups in this business vertical with a clearer path to success,” says Christy Wyskiel, a senior adviser to the president of The Johns Hopkins University and leader of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. “M-1 participants will receive specialized support and resources from top industry researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators that will help them develop health and fitness solutions that will drive real impact.”

The program will run under the direction of Paul Singh, an entrepreneur, angel investor and co-founder of the investment firm 500 Startups, and former Wells Fargo, UBS and Bank of America executive Tony D’Agostino, a serial entrepreneur currently working with ZyGood, a medical device startup developing an external neuromodulation device to treat chronic pain. Experts from The Johns Hopkins University, Plank Industries, the University of Maryland, Brown Advisory and several other dedicated, experienced mentors will provide guidance to the M-1 entrepreneurs.

The M-1 Ventures program will launch with its first cohort September 5 and run for 16 weeks, which includes a Demo Day in Mid-December that will provide investors and potential partners and collaborators an opportunity to get to know M-1’s first cohort. The application period is currently open and will close on August 4. Startups selected to the M-1 Ventures program receive:

  • $25,000 in equity funding
  • 1-on-1 mentorship from investor/entrepreneurs Paul Singh and Tony D’Agostino
  • Co-working space in FastForward East, an innovation hub on the Johns Hopkins medical campus
  • Access to and mentorship from connected health and fitness experts at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland as well as an array of other speakers
  • Pro bono legal/accounting services and additional business resources
  • Access to the industry’s and region’s top investors at a Demo Day
  • The opportunity to win one of two additional $25,000 investments


“Brown Advisory has always been proud to support Johns Hopkins’ efforts to strengthen Baltimore’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, and now we are excited to work alongside several of our city’s leading institutions to accelerate further economic growth,” says Brown Advisory CEO Mike Hankin. “We hope that our colleagues and network will be useful to the M-1 Ventures participants and that, together, we can help to deepen investor engagement across Baltimore, where talent and innovation are on the rise.”

In addition to actively recruiting a diverse pool of connected health and fitness entrepreneurs, M-1 Ventures will deploy Washington, D.C.-based venture capital firm Village Capital’s unique peer-review model for investment. In this model, participating entrepreneurs will rate their peers on a variety of metrics throughout the program, transforming the traditional investment paradigm of “who you know” to “what you know.” The two highest rated teams at the end of the program will receive additional investment commitments.

“We are excited to provide access to our expert researchers and practitioners to ensure that truly innovative ideas have a chance of succeeding,” says Jim Hughes, co-director, UM Ventures and VP, University of Maryland, Baltimore. “Given our collaboration around the Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance at the University of Maryland, College Park, which was seeded with a $25 million gift from Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank, the timing couldn’t be better. We look forward to collaborating with our partners in Baltimore to make this a destination for all connected health and fitness companies.”

For more information about M-1, visit

About Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures

Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV) is The Johns Hopkins University’s intellectual property administration center, serving Johns Hopkins researchers and inventors as a licensing, patent and technology commercialization office and acting as an active liaison to parties interested in leveraging university research or materials for academic or corporate endeavors. JHTV helps develop new discoveries and inventions into products and services that benefit society and transform the world. In 2016, JHTV secured more than $58 million in licensing revenue, possessed more than 2,454 active issued patents and created 22 new startup companies. For more information about Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, opportunities to collaborate, start a technology venture or license a technology, visit
About Plank Industries

Plank Industries is a privately-held company with diversified holdings in commercial real estate, hospitality, food and beverage, venture capital and thoroughbred horseracing, all under the Sagamore group of brands. The company is based in Baltimore, MD, USA. Under the leadership of Tom Geddes, ClEO, Plank Industries serves as the family office and investment arm of Kevin A. Plank, founder, Chairman and CEO of Under Armour, Inc.
About UM Ventures

UM Ventures is a joint initiative of the MPowering the State Program, bringing the University of Maryland, Baltimore and University of Maryland, College Park together to commercialize discoveries, and create economic impact by engaging partners in industry and social ventures. By encouraging students and faculty, providing expert advice and business services, more discoveries will reach the market. By engaging directly with external partners, UM Ventures brings new investment, expanded markets and more startup ventures.
About Brown Advisory

Brown Advisory is an independent investment firm committed to providing its clients with a combination of first‐class investment performance, strategic advice, and the highest level of service. Founded in 1993 as an affiliate of Alex, Brown & Sons, a leading U.S. investment bank, Brown Advisory became independent in 1998. Today the firm serves private clients and institutions in 34 countries from eight offices globally. The firm’s colleague equity ownership, experienced investment professionals, collaborative investment process, and client-first culture help to make a material difference in the lives of its clients. For more information, please visit


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