Pava Marie LaPere Center for Entrepreneurship

The Social Innovation Lab at Johns Hopkins University invites you to join us in-person at FastForward U for our annual accelerator showcase event that will feature our cohort of changemakers building ventures to create sustainable change with a measurable impact — all while starting right here in Baltimore city.

Event details:

  • SIL Cohort 2023 Teams will compete for prizes totaling 24K
  • Opportunity to vote for the Audience Choice Award
  • Networking and delicious cuisine will be served

The Johns Hopkins Social Innovation Lab (SIL) accelerates leaders and ventures building innovative, sustainable, and scalable solutions in Baltimore that work towards a healthy and prosperous world. We aim to see mission-driven ventures from both the Johns Hopkins and Baltimore communities develop into thriving ventures with measurable impacts.

Three teams in this year’s cohort are from Johns Hopkins University, and seven teams are from the greater Baltimore community. Ninety percent of the teams are led by founders of color, and 90% of the teams are co-led by female entrepreneurs. This year’s teams are:

  • Reveille Grounds, led by Katie Kilby. Reveille Grounds works with veterans to give them a “third place” and networking connections for career and life success.
  • Sew Bromo, led by Stacy Stube. Sew Bromo is a fashion education incubator that provides specialized industry knowledge from hobbyists to startup entrepreneurs.
  • R.I.S.E. Arts Center, led by Kammeran Giggers. R.I.S.E. provides arts education for youth and young adults to foster personal and artistic growth through visual art exhibitions, theater, musical performances, dance recitals and creative writing presentations.
  • Phase 3, led by Anthony Roberts. Phase 3 is an occupational skills training program that brings quality instruction and skill training to marginalized communities, leading to employment within the elevator and escalator repair industry.
  • Fosterpreneur, led by Erica Myers and William Honablew Jr. Fosterpreneur offers foster care youth and alumni employment opportunities, skill training, financial guidance and counseling to develop a career plan, networking connections and education opportunities.
  • Baltimore City College High School Writing Center, led by Lena Tashjian. The Baltimore Writing Center is a student-run high school writing program with ambitions for becoming a citywide workforce development program. The center provides students with the support necessary to become effective writers.
  • Meridian Health, led by Aishwarya Tare. Meridian Health is an app geared toward Gen Z health that utilizes chatbot artificial intelligence and data science to ensure care continuity, diminish barriers to health, and promote preventative wellness habits.
  • Kamoky, led by Toyin Ajisemola and Peju Awodipe. Kamoky is an app that helps consumers find and connect with minority business owners, and promotes their restaurants, stores and services.
  • Leaders Of Africa, led by Peter Penar, Violet Acumo and Eva Penar. Leaders of Africa facilitates a supportive Pan-African community for collaboration that cultivates impactful and translatable research, amplifies diverse perspectives, and leverages creative audiovisual, graphic and technological design.
  • Seedling Hydroponics, led by Arshdeep Singh, Ahkil Atluri, Amy Liu, Anthony Han, Nathan Ji and William Blair. Seedling combats food insecurity, expands fresh food education and builds community partnerships to provide consistent access to healthy, fresh produce across Baltimore neighborhoods.