O’Connor Fund

The Ralph S. O’Connor
Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Fund


Application process | Frequently asked questions | Past teams | 2016-2017 cohort | 2015-2016 cohort | 2014-2015 cohort

 

The Ralph S. O’Connor Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Fund supports Johns Hopkins students aiming to solve major challenges through entrepreneurship.

Made possible by a generous donation from Johns Hopkins alumnus Ralph S. O’Connor and his wife, Becky, each venture selected for the O’Connor Fund receives up to $10,000 as a grant, mentorship from investors and serial entrepreneurs, and additional resources from FastForward U and Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures.
 

*Applications for the 2017-2018 cohort are open and will close at 9 a.m. on Nov. 6.

Questions? Contact Kevin Carter (kevin.carter@jhu.edu).

 

Application Process


 

For consideration for the O’Connor Fund, applicants must complete an application in which they describe their venture, outline progress to-date, articulate the uniqueness of the venture’s approach and more.

Applications are narrowed down to a group of finalists which then participate in a pitch day, followed by selection of awardees.
 

Eligibility:

  • Applications for the O’Connor Fund are only accepted from current, full-time undergraduate students at The Johns Hopkins University. All team members of a venture do not need to fit that criteria, but the founder/co-founder/CEO (essentially the person with the highest decision-making authority) must be a current, full-time undergraduate student at The Johns Hopkins University.
  •  

  • Ventures can be at any stage, focus on any industry/vertical/problem, and may utilize technology or not.

 

Fall 2017 Application Timeline:

 
Week of October 16
Applications open
 
Monday, October 23
Q&A Session for Prospective Applicants
FastForward U – Homewood (Wyman, 1st Floor)
Drop-in anytime between 5-7 p.m.
 
Monday, November 6 9 a.m. ET
Application Deadline
 
Wednesday, November 15
Pitch Day for Finalists
Time & Location: TBD
 
Monday, November 27
Awardees Notified
 
Thursday, November 30
Awardee Orientation
Time & Location: TBD
 

Click to apply!

 

Frequently asked questions


 
Q: How far along does my venture have to be in order to apply?
A: Previous O’Connor Fund teams have arrived to the program at a variety of stages. The most important criteria we are looking for is that your venture has a clear commercial focus and your team is dedicated to moving it forward.
 
Q: Can I apply on my own or do I need to have other team members?
A: You can apply on your own, but applying as a team is encouraged.
 
Q: Does Hopkins take any equity/IP rights to my company through the O’Connor Fund?
A: No, the O’Connor Fund is a non-dilutive grant which is meant to provide assistance in bringing your venture to market. We don’t take any equity stake.
 
Q: What does the O’Connor Fund provide other than grant money?
A: Teams will receive mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs with a relevant background as well as help in creating a growth strategy and development goals.
 
Q: What are the eligibility qualifications to apply?
A: Applications for the O’Connor Fund are only accepted from current, full-time undergraduate students at Johns Hopkins University. All team members of a venture do not need to fit that criteria, but the founder/co-founder/CEO (essentially the person with the highest decision-making authority) must be a current, full-time undergraduate student at Johns Hopkins University.
 
Q: After the application deadline, when will the next opportunity to apply for the O’Connor Fund be?
A: Fall 2018. The O’Connor Fund operates on an annual application cycle.
 
Q: What are some examples of previous ventures that were a part of the O’Connor Fund?
A: See the list of past ventures below.
 
Q: I’m thinking of applying, is there someone I can get in touch with to see if this is a good fit for my venture?
A: Please attend the Q&A Session on Monday, October 23 to ask any remaining questions you may have. If you cannot make the info session, please email Kevin Carter (kevin.carter@jhu.edu).
 

Click to apply!

 

Past teams


 

Since the 2014-2015 academic year, the O’Connor Fund has supported 17 student teams which have created ventures around telemedicine, app security, fashion and more.

 

2016-2017 cohort

 

Foragerone

Platform that streamlines and standardizes how students look for university-affiliated research opportunities

  • Ansh Bhammar, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
  • Yash Jain, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

 

Fractal Tech

Scalable mobile app security for enterprise applications

  • Alex Sharata, Whiting School of Engineering
  • James Charles, Whiting School of Engineering

 

Gaius

Online tool that utilizes college networks to source top technical talent for startups

  • Ron Boger, Whiting School of Engineering
  • Alex Owens, Whiting School of Engineering

 

Kaleyedos

Telemedicine for the retinopathy of premature screening procedures

  • Rebecca Miller, Whiting School of Engineering
  • Erica Schwarz, Whiting School of Engineering
  • Sami Messai, Whiting School of Engineering
  • Seony Han, Whiting School of Engineering

 

Squadz

Social activity platform to find, organize and reserve space for pickup sports and events

  • Nikhil Panu, Whiting School of Engineering
  • John Stanton, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

 

Tearn

App to help college students connect with peers who can provide tutoring services

  • Pava LaPere, Whiting School of Engineering
  • Andrew Wong, Whiting School of Engineering
  • Brian Cueto, Whiting School of Engineering

 

 

2015-2016 cohort

 

Beacon

Mobile platform for affordable, anonymous group therapy

  • Shrenik Jain, Whiting School of Engineering
  • Akash Ray, Whiting School of Engineering
  • Ravi Shah, Whiting School of Engineering

 

Brevitē

Versatile, fashionable backpack for carrying expensive equipment

  • Elliot Kim, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

 

MoTrack

Rehabilitation platform using motion sensors to integrate hand therapy exercises with fun computer games

  • Ben Pikus, Whiting School of Engineering
  • Parth Singh, Whiting School of Engineering
  • Rahul Yerrabelli, Whiting School of Engineering

 

Proscia

Cloud-based pathology platform for storing, sharing and analyzing digital pathology for better diagnoses

  • Cloud-based pathology platform for storing, sharing and analyzing digital pathology for better diagnoses

 

Semester.ly

Online platform to help college students build and manage their schedules

  • Noah Presler, Whiting School of Engineering

 

Touch Plus

Wrist-mounted device to assist visually impaired individuals with navigation through the use of computer vision and novel haptic feedback technology

  • Brandon Duderstadt, Whiting School of Engineering
  • Matias Eisler, Whiting School of Engineering
  • Bijan Varjavand, Whiting School of Engineering

 

2014-2015 cohort

 

Aezon

Smartphone accessory capable of diagnosing 15 diseases and continuously monitoring vital signs

  • Tatiana Rypinski, Whiting School of Engineering

 

BHEST Medical

Surgical device designed to minimize risk of leaking spinal fluid in the thin membrane surrounding nerves in the spinal column

  • Haley Huang, Whiting School of Engineering

 

Clean Air Pillow

Comfortable, convenient and discreet solution to help travelers avoid contracting illnesses

  • Jeron Chen, Whiting School of Engineering
  • Jason Hu, Whiting School of Engineering
  • Melanie Shimano, Whiting School of Engineering

 

FitMango

Social network to help individuals exercise more and meet health goals

  • Seal-Bin Han, Whiting School of Engineering

 

Forte

Personal fitness game

  • Ivan Chen, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

 

Want to support our student startups? Contact Brian Stansky (bstansky@jhu.edu).