Josh Ambrose | Director of Student Ventures
Josh oversees all FastForward U initiatives facilitating JHU’s student hub for entrepreneurship and innovation. With a diverse background in higher-education administration, he works with the rest of the team to accelerate ventures that create change and expand opportunity in Baltimore…and beyond! He likes talking with ventures at every level of starting up and will work diligently to help make the connections to ensure the next level of success.

Elena DeBold | Marketing and Operations Coordinator
As a Baltimore-based artist, filmmaker and PR/marketing professional, Elena helps students cultivate creative marketing strategies to tell their unique stories. In her role, she also promotes the valuable resources available to student ventures at FastForward U. Off hours, Elena loves talking movies, animals, art, music and all things Baltimore. View her art and film work below.

D’Mario Northington | Student Program Coordinator
Through his role, D’Mario helps manage the Spark Accelerator program and supports all of the participating student entrepreneurs. He enjoys engaging with students regarding early-venture challenges, realistic goal-setting and getting early adopters.


Sneha Batheja is studying Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Management at Johns Hopkins. She is deeply interested in developing and discovering new disruptive technologies across various industries. She is passionate about entrepreneurship, with both operational and investment experience. At FastForward U, Sneha supports student ventures in product development, project management, and competitive analysis. She also consults about marketing, networking, and funding and develops content for FastForward U social media.

Jack Fischer is an MBA candidate at Carey Business School with nearly 10 years of professional experience building marketing and financial narratives for life science companies. His mission is to advance innovative products from the lab bench to the market, where they can produce a positive impact for stakeholders. At FastFowardU, Jack supports student ventures through positioning development, financial analysis, and business development strategy. He also offers brand development workshops, project management tips, and juggling lessons.

Lanre Ogungbe is always delighted in thinking about abstract ideas and a variety of subjects. He is an MBA student with a pathway in Analytics, Leadership and innovation. Lanre is deeply interested in technology startups as he is also a fintech startup founder in emerging markets and has worked with multiple teams. He hopes to help other startup founders scale through the earliest stages.


Javier Romanelli is studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Management at Johns Hopkins University. He is passionate about getting people together to search for business ideas and bring them into the real world. As a career, he is interested in going into the tech startup space, either as an entrepreneur or as an advisor. At FastForward U, Javier helps student-run startups in product development, pitch deck optimization, and value proposition search. He also consults about sales strategy and marketing.

Bao-Tran Nguyen is an undergraduate who uses her psychology background, combined with her past experiences, to work with teams on UX design-related problems. She is inspired by entrepreneurs who, similarly to her own position, must wrestle with finding their own paths. Her other interests include immersive storytelling, sustainability, and centenarians.


Mahima Kaul is a current MS In Engineering Management Student with nearly 5 years of experience in building a disruptive C2C Marketplace in India. She has acquired proficiency in the cross-functional realm of technology consulting, software engineering and data analytics. Her interest lies in a technically balanced understanding of these areas; to analyze data-intensive problems, find opportunities to model scalable solutions in emerging markets focused on logistics, supply chain and consumer products.  She consults on product strategy, funding and pitch development.

Natasha Portch is an MBA candidate at Carey Business School with an industry-agnostic background in consulting, entrepreneurship and digital marketing. Natasha loves to see start-ups and small businesses thrive, and hopes to collaborate with founders within the JHTV eco-system on developing, launching and scaling of early-stage start-ups.


Leana Silverberg is an MPH/MBA candidate at Johns Hopkins University. She is the former Director of Global Newborn Solutions (GNS), a nonprofit developing medical innovations to address the most vital components of neonatal health and survival in resource-limited settings. Before completing her Master’s in Biotechnology in 2019, Leana founded EMet Nanotech LLC, a nanoimaging drug discovery tools company, and became the CEO. During her career path, she conducted consultation for over 40 startup teams, developed curriculums to teach science professors and graduate students how to commercialize research projects, worked on tech transfer for a Nobel Laureate, and created and implemented strategies for pharmaceutical companies. Leana is always interested in understanding essential world challenges and how to create sustainable and impactful solutions.

Suvin Seal is pursuing his Master’s in Engineering Management at JHU. His background is in machine learning & product engineering. He has a sharp growth-oriented mindset and gets immense joy from collaborating with smart & kind people to solve challenging problems. He is excited to make a positive impact at Hopkins. 



Connor Wall is a third-year undergraduate studying film, game design, and public health. As a marketing and design intern, he creates graphic content for social media. Committed to making systemic social change, Connor has worked to make fresh food more accessible at the start-up Seedling Hydroponics and more accessible storytelling through the Baltimore Collegetown.
Erica Avery is a sixth-year Ph.D. student at Hopkins School of Medicine in the Cellular and Molecular Physiology program. She also majored in journalism for her undergrad and held several editorial positions at the University newspaper. Erica profiles accelerator teams as well as co-hosts the FastForward U podcast, among other assignments.