Casey Grage, founder of Hubly Surgical, accepts $25,000 grand prize at the Municipal Acquisitions Student Venture Showcase.

FastForward U closed out the spring semester by collaborating with organizations across The Johns Hopkins University campus on student venture pitch events.

FastForward U helped promote all of the pitch competitions in the weeks leading up to the events as a way to celebrate student innovation across the university, says Josh Ambrose, director of student ventures.

“While FastForward U has its own pitch competitions and events, we also serve as a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship for all Johns Hopkins students,” he says. “Innovators across the university are working on amazing projects, so we are always looking to help highlight their successes and connect them with any resources that we can.”

The pitch competitions included:

  • The Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design’s Dolphin Tank, which featured several startups also involved at FastForward U. Brian Stansky, FastForward’s senior director, served as a judge for the event, which is part of the larger Johns Hopkins Healthcare Design Competition. Finalists included recent FastForward U Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge winners NovvaCup and Visilant, as well as summer incubator teams CurveAssure, Lymphasense, Luna mHealth, and more.
  • HopStart, hosted by the Center for Leadership Education, challenged Johns Hopkins students to develop a business plan around a novel idea and pitch their plan to industry leaders. FastForward U has worked with many of the winning teams, including Edansh, Leaders of Africa, Curve Assure, inWave, B Trace, LymphaSense, Candiddo, Inferno Guard, Stet Pulse and SHARP Diagnostics.
  • Nucleate Baltimore’s inaugural Activator cohort showcase. Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV) is an advisor to the student-run program, and FastForward U sponsored the Audience Choice prize of the biotech-startup program. The event featured several teams that have worked with FastForward U accelerators and advisors. Winners included Fuel alum Hypermelt, Prompt Diagnostics and Hydrogene.
  • The Municipal Acquisitions Student Venture Showcase, which FastForward U advised and helped sponsor, featuring student startups from across the university pitching to nine venture capitalists and attended by President Daniels. Fuel alum Hubly Surgical won the grand prize of $25,000 in non-dilutive funding.

Josh Ambrose, left, FastForward U’s director of student ventures, presents a prize check to the Prompt Diagnostics team during the Nucleate accelerator event in May 2022. (Photo: Julia Reihs)

FastForward U plans to continue to support the pitch competitions in the years ahead, Ambrose says.

“We put fresh energy this year toward promoting all of the events together and we were happy with the turnout and response,” he says. “Student entrepreneurship and innovation continues to grow exponentially at Johns Hopkins, thanks to our invested faculty and staff leaders across campus, and we look forward to our brilliant student ventures continuing to attract the attention they deserve.”

Contact Ambrose for connections to any of the programs or information on the participating teams.