Tag: FactoryFour


Good News: December 2018


Good News: December 2018

Startup news

  • Social Innovation Lab alums named OSI Community Fellows
    Ava Pipitone of HostHome, Emily Thompson of PIVOT and Brittany Young of B-360 Baltimore are part of the Open Society Institute-Baltimore’s 2018 cohort. Each will receive $60,000 for a term of 18 months as part of the program, which seeks dynamic activists and social entrepreneurs interested in implementing projects that address problems in underserved communities in Baltimore City.

  • AsclepiX Therapeutics raises $5M
    Johns Hopkins spinout AsclepiX Therapeutics raised $5 million in new funding that will assist in development of new treatment for eye diseases that are leading causes of blindness in adults. The convertible note round was led by Barer & Son Capital, with participation from Rapha Capital Management, Salem Partners, TEDCO, and Piedmont Capital Partners. It brings the company’s total raised to $11 million.

  • FactoryFour Expands with $5M Series A, Led by August Capital
    The funds raised from this round, led by August Capital, will help accelerate development of our platform and expand our global footprint including new offices in Los Angeles and London, while ramping sales and marketing efforts to bring FactoryFour to every manufacturer.

  • Marigold Helath looks to raise $2.3 million
    Formerly Sunrise Health, the mobile therapy startup has raised $1 million and plans to use the funding to help the company grow and target larger potential clients.

  • EduMD LLC receives Pre-Seed Builder Fund Support from TEDCO
    The creator of MileMarker, a medical training assessment tool developed by clinicians from Johns Hopkins that helps enhance training programs for surgeons in residence and in medical schools, was one of five ‘economically disadvantaged’ startups that will get up to $50,000 in funding as well as business training and mentorship.

  • BurnAlong raises $1.3M seed round, former IKEA executive and Md. investor join board
    BurnAlong, part of JHTV’s M-1 Ventures cohort in fall 2017, raised a $1.3 million seed round and is expanding an offering that allows companies to provide employees with access to streaming health and fitness classes. Along with the funding round, the Baltimore startup is adding two new board members with experience scaling companies.

  • ClearMask takes second at Open Works’ EnterpRISE Venture Competition
    ClearMask earned $5,000 with its vision to build more breathable foams at Open Works to incorporate into the company’s clear surgical masks. Cofounder Aaron Hsu works to help those who are deaf and hard of hearing find comfort and access to clear, nonverbal communication cues while experiencing medical care.

  • CortiTech places second in Collegiate Inventors Competition
    A team of Johns Hopkins University biomedical engineering students earned the silver prize Friday at the annual Collegiate Inventors Competition with a device intended to reduce the likelihood of injury during brain surgery. Team CortiTech — sophomores Jody Mou, Kevin Tu, junior Sun Jay Yoo, and seniors Jack Ye and Linh Tran —developed a new brain retractor, which they call Radiex. It features a rounded, compact design that shrinks the point of entry for surgeons.


Baltimore news

  • Baltimore No. 5 on Forbes’ list of top 10 rising cities for startups
    “The proximity to Washington, D.C. helps Baltimore’s startup community. Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures serves as the commercial arm of the school’s researchers and investors. JHTV had 164 patents last year, seventh most among schools.”

  • Christy Wyskiel named to The Baltimore Sun’s “25 Women to Watch in 2018″”
    “Wyskiel … brought her investment savvy and passion for startups to Hopkins five years ago, in the midst of the university’s efforts to commercialize research. …(M)ost of the companies founded on Hopkins technology (had) left Maryland for Silicon Valley or other tech hot spots. That’s starting to change, and the opening of FastForward 1812, a Hopkins business incubator with office and lab space for entrepreneurs, has a lot to do with it.”

  • Remington Storefront Challenge
    The Greater Remington Improvement Association and its partners, The Johns Hopkins University and Seawall are excited to announce the Remington Storefront Challenge. Up for grabs are two pop-up retail stores right next to R. House, in the heart of the inspiring Remington neighborhood. Challengers will be evaluated and narrowed down by a panel of judges made up of Remington residents, anchor institutions, and local business owners.

  • Remington Storefront Challenge
    Welcome to the neighborhood, Ulman Foundation, which just opened a new space on East Madison Street providing free housing for young adult cancer patients receiving treatment in Baltimore and their families.

  • The Ulman House opens
    Welcome to the neighborhood, Ulman Foundation, which just opened a new space on East Madison Street providing free housing for young adult cancer patients receiving treatment in Baltimore and their families.

Summer Award Winner: Weel Working to Solve Major E-Commerce…

Summer Award Winner: Weel May Solve Major E-Commerce Conundrum

Mobile users accounted for more than half of Internet traffic in 2017, yet retail purchases from mobile devices resulted in less than 25 percent of e-commerce spend. So, why are consumers reluctant to buy on their smartphones and tablets? Eyan Goldman has answers.

“Most e-commerce vendors don’t want to spend the money to develop and maintain an app which people may not adopt,” the rising sophomore at Johns Hopkins University says. “Additionally, e-commerce hasn’t yet integrated a social experience like what is traditionally found in retail shopping.”

The solution, Goldman believes, is a social platform known as Weel that transforms how shoppers interact with websites and enables them to easily connect with friends. Weel’s progress and potential earned it FastForward U’s third-ever Summer Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Award.

“Eyan and the Weel team demonstrated uncommon dedication, as well as a comprehensive understanding of their product’s marketability and the next steps in its development,” says Darius Graham, Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures’ director of student ventures. “We’re excited to see how much progress the team will make over the summer.”

Weel’s platform — which Goldman, a computer science major, is developing with Cal Lavicka, a high school friend currently studying at Carnegie Mellon University, and Johns Hopkins classmates — uses an intelligent layout system that simplifies the user interface of e-commerce webpages to make browsing, shopping and purchasing on websites much simpler.

A social component of Weel enables shoppers to elicit peer feedback simply by pressing and swiping the image of a product to a Facebook friend. This action seamlessly sends all of the product’s data to the friend who can weigh in before a user makes a purchase.

“Our platform transforms the way users interact with retail websites,” Goldman says. “Weel is designed to work on any website instantaneously as our technology does not require the consent of the host website.”

Weel plans to roll out a beta of its platform for iPhones this summer and to have a full launch in early 2019. (Those interested in participating in the beta can contact Weel at beta@joinweel.com.)

To monetize the platform, Goldman plans to engage brands and provide them opportunities to show Weel users products similar to what they share with friends. When a user purchases one of the suggested products, Weel would receive a portion of each sale.

“With Weel, brands don’t have to fear being hurt by having an online ad placed on a website with which they’d prefer not to associate,” Goldman says of his platform’s advantage. “Additionally, brands also have the opportunity to advertise directly to someone who they know is interested in a similar product.”

The Summer Award, funded by an anonymous Johns Hopkins University alumnus, provides Weel with $10,000, a space to work for the summer and mentorship from the FastForward U team and the Summer Award donor.

Weel will use the funding to cover Lavicka’s rent in Baltimore as well as bring on two interns who can develop the platform’s user interface. Without the award, Goldman says, the team would have had trouble making progress in June, July and August. Goldman and Lavicka live in New York City, but the city would have made getting space and talent cost-prohibitive.

The value and opportunity of the Summer Award has made it highly sought after among Johns Hopkins’ student ventures. This year, 14 highly qualified teams applied for the award.

“We were really impressed with the applicant pool for this year’s Summer Award as it represented the most advanced undergraduate startups at Hopkins,” Graham says.

Receiving the Summer Award is just the latest support Weel has received from FastForward U. Last fall, the group filled out FastForward U’s general interest form to better understand the resources and support it could provide. Shortly thereafter, Weel was named to the 2017-2018 Ralph S. O’Connor Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Fund cohort and received additional mentorship and guidance.

“FastForward U has been unbelievably helpful,” Goldman says. “We definitely wouldn’t be as far along as we are today without them.”

Weel is the third team to win the Summer Award. The first two teams, FactoryFour and MoTrack Therapy, have used the funding and mentorship the award provides to advance their companies.

FactoryFour, known as Fusiform when they received the award in 2016, has moved into its own space in Mount Vernon, added clients and was recently named to Technical.ly Baltimore’s realLIST as it develops a solution for digital fabrication.
MoTrack Therapy, last year’s Summer Award winner currently developing a platform for better at-home injury rehabilitation, was recently recognized as a finalist at Baylor University’s New Venture Competition and won $1,500.

Goldman believes Weel can follow in the footsteps of those two budding ventures.

“My dream for Weel is to have it become a really popular and useful resource for people,” Goldman says. “I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think that there was at least a shot at that.”

Learn more about FastForward U!


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