Category: Awards


A young Johns Hopkins alumnus, Minhaj Chowdhury, CEO of…

A young Johns Hopkins alumnus, Minhaj Chowdhury, CEO of Drinkwell, wins $500,000 Under 30 Impact Challenge

Minhaj Chowdhury, cofounder and CEO of Drinkwell, won the first-ever Under 30 Impact Challenge today at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston.

A lot of people want to change the world. Minhaj Chowdhury, cofounder and CEO of Drinkwell, is doing it — and just got another $500,000 to keep providing clean water to India and Bangladesh. He won the first-ever Under 30 Impact Challenge today at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston.

Read the rest of the story at Forbes.


LifeSprout, Proscia and Sonavex CEOs Named to BBJ’s 40…

LifeSprout, Proscia and Sonavex CEOs Named to BBJ’s 40 Under 40

The Baltimore Business Journal included three CEOs with ties to FastForward on the annual 40 Under 40 list it released Tuesday: Sashank Reddy of LifeSprout, David West of Proscia and David Narrow of Sonavex.

The BBJ selected the top 40 professionals in Baltimore under the age of 40 after receiving 450 nominations, significantly more than last year’s 250. In its announcement, the BBJ wrote of the honorees, “They are innovators, professionals and entrepreneurs in Greater Baltimore who have already made great strides before the age of 40. They are hungry for success.”

As the CEO of the FastForward startup LifeSprout, Reddy, 39, is leading the development of a technology that may one day enable the millions of Americans who lose a significant amount of soft tissue through facial aging, trauma or cancer to feel whole physically and emotionally. LifeSprout’s solution is a nanofiber-hydrogel composite material that restores three-dimensional volume, feels like your body’s own soft tissue and can promote tissue regeneration.
West, 23, started Proscia in 2014 while a biomedical engineering student at The Johns Hopkins University. Proscia’s digital pathology solution enables pathologists and other researchers to access and tap into pathology data from across the institution. The startup is currently developing a computational pathology solution that could help eliminate subjective cancer diagnoses. Under West’s leadership, the company has secured nearly $2 million in outside capital over the past year.
While a master’s student at the Johns Hopkins Bioengineering Innovation and Design program, Narrow and a classmate invented and developed an innovative solution to address the issue of postoperative blood clots. Now 27, Narrow has turned this technology into a promising startup, Sonavex, that has raised more than $4 million. Sonavex recently moved out of the FastForward Homewood innovation hub into its own office space in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood.
In addition to Reddy, West and Narrow, three other honorees had ties to Johns Hopkins:

  • John Avirett is a Johns Hopkins alumnus who now serves as a partner at Greenspring Associates.
  • Sarah Hemminger co-founded Thread as a Johns Hopkins graduate student and now serves as the social venture’s CEO.
  • Wendy Osefo is a Johns Hopkins University professor and founder of the 1954 equity project.

This year’s honorees continue a tradition of strong representation of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures entrepreneurs and staff members on the 40 Under 40 list.

Last year, the Baltimore Business Journal selected Urban Pastoral CEO and founder J.J. Reidy and Fusiform CEO and co-founder Param Shah among its 40 Under 40 honorees.

In 2015, the BBJ recognized Vasoptic Medical CEO M. Jason Brooke, Social Innovation Lab Director Darius Graham and AsclepiX Therapeutics co-founder Jordan J. Green. Graham now serves as the director of student ventures for FastForward. In 2014, the BBJ named Rehabtics (now Kangaroo Health) CEO Xiaoxu Kang to its list.

Click here to learn more about FastForward startups!


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