FastForward-U Programming

FastForward U

Johns Hopkins University’s hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation

What is FastForward U? | Programming | Locations | Funding opportunities
Become a mentor/guest speaker | Additional resources

FastForward U programming

FastForward U hosts regular educational programs and workshops that help student entrepreneurs develop skills, such as pitching and startup management. FastForward U offers its own programming, including our Mentorship & One-on-one guidance, Social Innovation Lab, educational & social events and connects student startups with seasoned experts and successful entrepreneurs.

Mentorship & One-on-one guidance

Launch and grow a successful startup with one-on-one guidance and support from FastForward U’s extensive network of mentors, including FastForward team members, alumni and others who have extensive industry knowledge and experience building successful startups.

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SIL supports innovative nonprofits, mission-driven companies and disruptive technologies that aim to create change and opportunity in Baltimore and beyond.

A number of student ventures have used the funding, mentorship, office space and workshops that SIL provides to develop their ideas for social entrepreneurship into sustainable ventures that make a measurable impact.


The Commercialization Academy

Interested in becoming an entrepreneur or better understanding how innovative research turns into commercial opportunities?

JHTV’s Commercialization Academy provides experiential learning opportunities to select graduate and undergraduate students interested in commercial assessment, intellectual property management, agreement monitoring and other related areas.


Educational & social events

A number of organizations at Johns Hopkins and around Maryland host educational and social events for student entrepreneurs with educational, funding and networking opportunities.

Hopkins Pitch Night

Hopkins Pitch Night (HPN) is a monthly event that brings together students who are interested in entrepreneurship and innovation to hear pitches from three promising student startups, make new connections and build community within the Hopkins entrepreneurial ecosystem. Although there is no money on the line during these pitches, it provides an opportunity for students to practice and polish their pitch skills. Additionally, we record every pitch so that the student startup can use the video to review or potentially use it as promotional material. Want to pitch at an upcoming HPN? Please contact Kevin Carter (

When and where: Hokins Pitch Night is typically held on the third Wednesday of the month during each semester in our FastForward U Homewood space or different locations throughout JHU

Check out our JHTV Events page for upcoming FastForward U events and more


Introduction to Entrepreneurship: Where & How to Begin

Introduction to Entrepreneurship: Where & How to Begin is a one-hour workshop that walks you through the initial steps to take when starting a new venture – whether it’s a non-profit, a small business or a tech startup. This workshop covers many topics and is meant to provide tangible advice and guidance for pursuing your early stage idea. Attending the Introduction to Entrepreneurship: Where & How to Begin course grants your venture’s eligibility to apply for a Spark Grant within the same academic year.

When and where: Introduction to Entrepreneurship workshops are typically held a few times a month, rotating among Homewood, East Baltimore Campus and other campuses

Check out our JHTV Events page for upcoming FastForward U events and more


FastForward U Friday Office Hours

FastForward U Friday Office Hours offer a chance for students to meet one-on-one for 30 minutes with experienced entrepreneurs or experts and get feedback and insight on their ventures. The office hour mentors vary in their background and expertise, but they each have startup experience that is valuable to budding student entrepreneurs. Past topics include pitch practice, fundraising, grant writing, building out a team and how to make a social impact.

When and where: FastForward U Friday Office Hours are held on the first and last Fridays of each month during the academic year, typically from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., alternating between our Homewood and East Baltimore campuses.

Check out our JHTV Events page for upcoming FastForward U events and more


Innovation Conversations

Innovation Conversations is a FastForward U speaker series that provides students the opportunity to hear directly from entrepreneurs about their successes, failures and insights. This fireside-chat style event puts the spotlight on the speaker’s entrepreneurial journey to date while allowing the audience to ask questions at the end. Past speakers include JHU alums Eric Conner (Co-Founder and CTO of Healthify), Chieh Huang (Founder & CEO of Boxed), and Alexis Ohanian (Co-Founder of Reddit).

When and where: While we attempt to hold an Innovation Conversation each month in various locations, it often depends on individual speakers’ schedules. Please check our newsletter for the next Innovation Conversation event.

Check out our JHTV Events page for upcoming FastForward U events and more


Student Organizations Events

In addition to our own programming, FastForward U supports student organizations which host events to foster entrepreneurship, innovation and opportunities outside of the Johns Hopkins ecosystem.

This includes:


A student-run event focusing on innovation at the crossroads of medical entrepreneurship and technological development.

3 Day Startup

This 72-hour learning-by-doing campus program teaches entrepreneurial skills to university students in an extreme hands-on environment.

Pizza and Pitches

A FastForward U event series enabling student entrepreneurs to share ideas, network and attend workshops that address startup challenges specific to students.


A student-led collaborative event that awards cash prizes to teams solving real-world problems using technology.


This program by the National Science Foundation helps scientists and engineers think outside of the lab to develop business plans and perform customer discovery projects.


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