Category: Startups


Founders of 2 Hopkins Startups Named to Forbes’ 30…

Founders of 2 Hopkins Startups Named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30

For the third consecutive year, Forbes has recognized innovators and entrepreneurs with ties to Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures on its exclusive 30 Under 30 list. Receiving the honor this year were the co-founders of Healthify — Manik Bhat, Eric Conner, Dan Levenson and Alex Villa — and Osmosis co-founder Shiv Gaglani.

The seventh annual edition of the Forbes list showcased 30 honorees for each of 20 categories. This year, Forbes received more than 15,000 nominations for its 600 slots, meaning fewer than 4 percent of nominees were recognized for their achievements.



Over sixty percent of health is determined by social needs like access to food, jobs, childcare and housing. For Healthify’s work to ensure health care organizations address the root cause of many health issues, Forbes named the startup’s four co-founders to its 30 Under 30 for Healthcare.

Manik Bhat, Eric Conner, Dan Levenson and Alex Villa co-founded Healthify as Johns Hopkins undergraduates, and now its technology connects 4 million Medicaid recipients to the social services they need to live a healthy life.

“[Healthify believes] there is more to health than healthcare and we’re fundamentally rethinking how healthcare organizations and communities work together to help people thrive,” according to the company’s website. “We came from a background of working with vulnerable populations in Baltimore and are focused on building next generation technology to move the needle on healthcare outcomes and cost for these populations.”

Now based in New York, Healthify relied on resources provided by Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV) to progress from its earliest stages. The Healthify team participated in the 2013-2014 Social Innovation Lab cohort and took advantage of resources the university provided to student entrepreneurs. Forbes reports that Healthify has raised $9.6 million to date and that it works with some of the nation’s largest insurers.

Shiv Gaglani


What started as a side project to help classmates has landed Shiv Gaglani on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for Education. Through Osmosis, Gaglani is developing a personalized platform available on the web and as an iPhone app to help students who aspire to become health professionals. The platform serves those studying medicine, nursing, dentistry and other health professional fields perform better in the classroom, on board exams and in the clinic.

The inspiration for Osmosis, a member of the 2013-2014 Social Innovation Lab cohort and now a FastForward startup, came in 2011 when Gaglani and co-founder Ryan Haynes were studying to become doctors at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Each saw an opportunity to improve upon the “cram-and-forget” cycles that negatively impact students’ long-term retention. The pair created an online platform to help their classmates study and saw the impact that peer collaboration could have on each student’s performance.

“Medical school is based on the ‘sage on the stage’ model, where knowledge is handed down from professors to students,” Gaglani said in an interview with Johns Hopkins’ Fundamentals. “But in every class, there is a handful of students who are natural teachers themselves, and will probably end up being professors one day. Osmosis lets other students benefit from these natural teachers because it enables knowledge to diffuse (hence ‘Osmosis’) between students, as well as from the professors to the students.”

Other Hopkins honorees

Forbes also honored four other Johns Hopkins alumni: Elizabeth Galbut in the Venture Capital category, Luke Lee and Leah Siberner in the Healthcare category and Liang Wu in the Science category.

Galbut, who graduated with her MBA from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in 2015, is the managing partner of SoGal Ventures, a firm she co-founded to invest in ventures from the United States and Asia that have diverse teams. Through the New York-based firm, Galbut has invested in at least 50 companies, including FastForward startups, and has had two exits. In 2015, prior to SoGal Ventures, she co-founded A-Level Capital — a student-led venture capital firm that supports Johns Hopkins students and young alumni pursuing entrepreneurship.

Lee received his bachelor’s degree in cellular and molecular biology from The Johns Hopkins University in 2011. Siberner received her Johns Hopkins degree in biophysics in 2013. They were part of a team that co-founded 3T Biosciences. The Silicon Valley-based company is using machine learning to predict the chemicals present in cancer cells but not normal ones.

Wu, who earned his master’s in physics and Ph.D. in condensed matter and materials physics, received recognition for his studies related to topological materials, an area of interest for building the next generation of quantum computers. He received an award from the American Physical Society for his research on the electrodynamics of topological insulators.

History of success

Healthify’s co-founders and Gaglani are just the latest to be honored on a Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

Last year, Fusiform co-founders Param Shah and Alex Mathews were named to the publication’s 30 Under 30 for Manufacturing and Industry. Shah and Mathews, who co-founded Fusiform as Johns Hopkins undergraduates, received the award for their work to improve the process by which custom orthotics are made.

Since receiving the award, Shah and Mathews have expanded the technology’s scope, improving efficiencies for all manufacturers involved in digital manufacturing. The pivot resulted in a new name for the company, FactoryFour, but orthopaedics will operate under the Fusiform brand. Since co-founding their company, Shah and Mathews have raised close to $1 million.

As undergraduates, Shah and Mathews participated in the 2015-2016 Social Innovation Lab cohort.

In 2016, Forbes named David Narrow to its 30 Under 30 for Pharma and Healthcare for his work as the CEO of Sonavex. The startup has raised more than $4.2 million to develop a technology that improves outcomes for surgical patients. Sonavex uses imaging technology that allows clinicians to find blood clots before they cause problems.

Narrow, who earned his master’s degree in biomedical engineering from The Johns Hopkins University in 2013, grew Sonavex in a FastForward innovation hub before moving the company to its own space in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood.

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Meet the Entrepreneur

Meet the Entrepreneur: Mike Batista Using Smartphones to Improve…

Meet the Entrepreneur: Mike Batista Using Smartphones to Improve Clinical Outcomes


Mike Batista

Eighty percent of health care management happens alone, out of the sight of medical professionals. Quantified Care, a digital health startup based in FastForward 1812, is developing innovative tools that lead to better management of chronic conditions and post-discharge support outside of medical facilities.

Quantified Care’s multi-channel platform operates through traditional modes of communication, such as SMS and IVR, as well as on patient smartphones and tablets. This reduces the need for expensive single-use monitors while providing custom condition-specific modules that complements their plan of care. Three core features of its platform help improve clinical outcomes:

  • Daily reminders to engage patients and keep them on track
  • Simple and easy assessment for the collection of symptoms, vitals and medications
  • Real-time feedback to allow patients to better control their health

Founded in 2014 by current CEO Michael Batista, Quantified Care has raised $1.15 million in funding and currently has three full-time employees, five part-time employees and an extended remote development team. In addition to winning the 2016 Health 2.0 Start-Up Stand-Up pitch competition in Boston, Quantified Care won “Top Innovation Prize” at the GuideWell Cancer Challenge for its collaboration with DSHI this summer.

Below, Batista shares his startup journey.

In a few words, what does your company do?

Multi-channel, technology-agnostic, real-time communication and coordination.

What are your goals and how will you get there?

Quantified Care’s goals are to create simple, intuitive tools that efficiently enhance remote patient monitoring, management, and engagement while solving medical, operational and fiscal challenges affecting providers, health insurers and worker’s compensation. We’re achieving these goals with an excellent team bringing together clinical, engineering, and business talent as well as key initial clients and partners in each of our three market verticals. Quantified Care also benefits from the amazing support of our investors, many of whom are right here in the Baltimore and D.C. areas.
A screenshot of the Quantified Care platform.


Why have you chosen Baltimore as your startup’s home?

Baltimore is where Quantified Care was born and bred. We entered the DreamIt Health accelerator program with the support of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures and BioHealth Innovation back in 2014, and we are still here building our company. Back then, we found ourselves to be a small fish in a young but diverse pond, which meant ready access to the resources necessary to grow our business. The early support we received from local institutions followed closely by investment from local organizations and the state through TEDCO quickly made it clear that Baltimore was where Quantified Care would call home.

What opportunities make it a good place for growing a business?

Early-stage companies in Baltimore benefit from the fact that institutional, state and private resources in the community have recently made a concerted attempt to put the Baltimore startup scene on the map. This translates into opportunities to work with world-renown institutions like Johns Hopkins, secure funding from Seed to Series A and beyond through TEDCO or engage with local foundations for resources and support such as The Abell Foundation. With a young but growing community, startup companies in Baltimore benefit from a very low barrier to connecting with these types of opportunities.

Baltimore’s location within range of Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York, and just a short flight away, Boston also position companies located here for success. For example, access to policymakers who play a crucial role in defining the landscape of key markets like health care are readily accessible in southern Maryland and our closest neighbor, Washington D.C. Speaking from Quantified Care’s experience, we’ve found value in being able to easily tap into these markets to access clients, investors and partnership opportunities from our home base in Baltimore.

In terms of startups and innovation, what’s one thing that separates Baltimore from other tech hotbeds?

One thing that I have been particularly impressed with is the state’s efforts to support local businesses through funding, programmatic support and resources.

TEDCO provides an exceptionally comprehensive set of funding options for companies at all stages of growth through vehicles such TCF, CIF and LSIF for seed stage ideas, the Gap Fund for companies trying to make it to their next inflection point and the Maryland Venture Fund for vetted, successful startups ready to scale.

Programmatic support comes in the form of events, like the recent Entrepreneurship Expo, and opportunities, such as monthly CEO Roundtables, for local companies to network and engage across channels.

Resources, such as matching programs to help young companies find executives, infuse both wisdom and experience into nascent businesses.

If you could give your past self one piece of advice for creating a startup, what would it be?

I would give my past self the advice to always be selling. Especially for someone with an engineering background, I sometimes found myself too focused on the technology. However, I’ve learned that it is the sales process and understanding what clients will and will not spend money on that ultimately provides the most important feedback in the technology iteration process and finding product-market fit.

What book are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens whose title seems rather applicable to first-time entrepreneurs. I failed to complete the book when I was in middle school but am much more appreciative of Pip’s trials and tribulations this time around.

What innovator do you look up to? Why?

At least one close mentor has described their innovation strategy of generating hundreds of ideas in order to eventually reach the gems. I have adopted that perspective and with it, an appreciation for innovators like Thomas Edison who secured over 1,000 patents for ideas and inventions in his lifetime. I look up to someone who embodies such a prolific depth of creativity and the imagination to constantly push the boundaries of what technology can achieve.

It’s after a long day of work, and you don’t feel like cooking. What is your go-to Baltimore restaurant?

I really enjoy cooking as a way to take a break after work. However, for a bite to eat at literally any time of day, my 24/7 go-to is Sip & Bite, a local Canton landmark.

What’s your favorite non-work-related thing to do in Baltimore?

I try to go hiking or camping at least once every other weekend if not more frequently. Spending time in the wilderness is my favorite way to refocus after a long week. With local hikes north and east of the city as well as the expanses of Shenandoah National Park, George Washington National Forest, and West Virginia all within range if you’re willing to drive, there are a number of great options available. Recently, a friend and I completed the Maryland Challenge which involves hiking all 42 miles of the Appalachian Trail segment that cuts through Maryland in one day!

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