Tag: FastForward


FastForward Adds Alliance Manager, New Program Manager

FastForward Adds Alliance Manager, New Program Manager

June 24, 2019

Starting this summer, startups at innovation hubs at Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV) have access to two new resources. Nicole Snell has joined JHTV in a new position — alliance manager for investment partnerships and translational funding — and Ricky Venters has come on as FastForward’s program manager.

Nicole Snell

Snell focuses on managing Bluefield Innovations, the collaboration between The Johns Hopkins University and Deerfield Management that is providing up to $65 million over five years to support the commercialization of early-stage therapeutic research at Johns Hopkins. Bluefield has one project in the pipeline and will issue its next request for proposals in the fall.

Snell also supports and tracks other translational funding programs to help Johns Hopkins faculty members, staff members and students move early research toward commercialization.

“I’m excited about the ability to fuse my love of science with business and commercialization,” says Snell, who recently received a Ph.D. in molecular medicine from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “I am looking forward to building relationships with established scientists and budding startups.”

JHTV in recent years has increased the number and scale of translational funding opportunities, most recently launching the Bisciotti Foundation Translational Fund. The nondilutive grants range from $20,000 to more than $200,000 over three years.

“Translational funding is an essential component in advancing the many discoveries at Johns Hopkins,” says Brian Stansky, senior director of FastForward. “Given the increase in funding opportunities, it is important we have a person dedicated to enabling these efforts.”

Venters oversees FastForward’s Mentors-in-Residence program and the National Science Foundation I-Corps program at Johns Hopkins, as well as other education programming and human capital management initiatives.

Ricky Venters
Venters was previously a program manager for Johns Hopkins’ HopkinsLocal program, partnering with businesses to support Baltimore residents and local and women- or minority-owned businesses. Venters worked with engineering, construction and law firms, among other businesses, to develop a 12-week course on business development for young companies. More than 70 companies went through the program, called the BLocal BUILD College.

“We designed the program to provide resources needed to build a sustainable company,” Venters says.

He wants to continue building the pipeline of resources for FastForward startups.

“There is an array of different technologies that come through Technology Ventures, and it’s the ability to be able to connect the dots with their next step … that’s what I’m really excited for,” he says.

Venters, who has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, says working for Johns Hopkins had been a dream of his since he was a boy. That’s a story he shares when working with youth programs through the university.

“Ricky joins FastForward with an established track record of supporting ventures,” says Stansky. “These experiences, combined with his technical background and engaging personality, make Ricky an ideal person to continue to build FastForward’s mentoring and educational programs.”

New Stockroom for FastForward Lab JHTV

New Stockroom for FastForward Lab Tenants Opens

New Stockroom for FastForward Lab Tenants Opens

May 28, 2019

FastForward lab tenants looking for basic supplies no longer have to wait for a delivery.

The Fisher Scientific Stockroom opened earlier this month on the garden level of the 1812 Ashland building, part of Johns Hopkins’ innovation hub on the East Baltimore campus.

New Stockroom for FastForward Lab
John Jenkins, left, FastForward lab manager; Mark VanderZyl, FastForward senior operations manager; Karen Anderson, product category specialist-consumables for Thermo Fisher Scientific; Amy Kramer, senior director of academic and biotech business development for Thermo Fisher Scientific; and Bernie Mann, global project management office leader, PMP at Thermo Fisher Scientific, in the new Fisher Scientific Stockroom.
(Photo courtesy of Mark VanderZyl)
Tenants log into a kiosk to scan and purchase gloves, tips, pipets, syringes and wipers, among other consumables.

“It’s a quick and easy process,” says Amy Kramer, senior director of academic and biotech business development for Thermo Fisher Scientific.

The supplies are packaged with a startup in mind: while petri dishes are typically sold in quantities of 500, for example, the stockroom has a sleeve of 20 for sale.

“It’s a real advantage for folks who have very little space,” says Kramer.

Thermo Fisher Scientific, one of FastForward’s corporate sponsors, will monitor supply levels in the stockroom and can adjust inventory based on tenants’ needs.

Mark VanderZyl, senior operations manager for FastForward, said the stockroom is a boon to startups housed at one of FastForward’s nearly 50 labs and lab benches.

“The Fisher team did extensive work surveying all of our lab tenants to find out what products would be most beneficial to have on hand,” he says. “We will constantly monitor and adjust the inventory to adapt to the changing needs of our tenants or to accommodate new startups when they move in.”

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