Tag: Social Innovation Lab


Fusiform’s Param Shah and Alex Mathews Named to Forbes…

Add Forbes’ 30 Under 30 to Fusiform’s growing list of awards and accomplishments. The publication placed Fusiform CEO Param Shah and CTO Alex Mathews on its 2017 list of young people reinventing manufacturing.

Param Shah (left) and Alex Mathews

Shah, 21, and Mathews, 22, co-founded Fusiform in 2015 while still enrolled as undergraduates at The Johns Hopkins University to update the decades-old orthopaedic workflow in place today with digital order forms, a 10-minute 3-D scan that replaces an hours-long hand-casting process and automated manufacturing of custom orthotics.

Shah and Mathews currently have their products in two Maryland orthopaedic clinics and have raised more than $550,000. Now, with a team of 15 employees, Shah and Mathews are leading the company’s pivot to the development of middleware that makes custom manufacturing more feasible.

Standing out for their vision and accomplishments, Shah and Mathews were among the 600 honorees selected from more than 15,000 nominations. Forbes, in its sixth year of putting together its 30 Under 30 list, winnowed the field to 30 winners in 20 categories, selecting those who are “challenging the conventional wisdom and rewriting the rules for the next generation of entrepreneurs, entertainers, educators and more.”

“We’re thrilled to be part of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Manufacturing and Industry and alongside other young people who are driven to positively impact the world,” says Shah, who was also named to the Baltimore Business Journal’s 2016 40 Under 40 list.

Shah and Mathews were joined on this year’s list by DreamIt Health Baltimore alumnus Niko Skievaski, the co-founder of Redox. The trio continue what is becoming a tradition of JHTV entrepreneurs being featured on the annual list. Last year, Forbes named Sonavex Surgical CEO David Narrow to its 30 Under 30 list.

Shah credits the mentorship he has received at Johns Hopkins and around Baltimore for helping his company achieve this honor. Since forming the company, Shah and Mathews have participated in Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures’ Social Innovation Lab, won the inaugural JHU Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Award and completed ETC’s Accelerate Baltimore boot camp.

“We’re so fortunate for the resources that have helped us grow as a company,” Shah says. “This honor is a credit to all the employees, investors, mentors and programs that have helped Fusiform grow over the past two years.”

Check out the resources available to Johns Hopkins student entrepreneurs? Click here!


Social Innovation Lab Adds 4 Mentors to Accelerate Venture…

Entrepreneurs are forced to navigate unfamiliar, often-confusing terrain, and without proper guidance, even the most innovative ideas, products and services might fizzle.

Since its inception in 2011, the Social Innovation Lab (SIL) has provided the nonprofits and mission-driven for-profits it accelerates with intensive one-on-one support, but this year’s cohort will have even more opportunities for mentorship.

In addition to funding, office space and workshops, this year’s SIL cohort has access to four new mentors. These new advisors will join three returning mentors to help SIL’s ventures meet their goals and milestones.

“Among the many ways that SIL supports ventures in the cohort, mentorship is consistently rated as the most helpful and transformational resource the ventures receive,” says SIL Director Darius Graham. “SIL’s mentors come with varying levels of experience and from different industries and play a key role in moving the ventures forward.”

Devika Menon and Matt Barr, master’s students in the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Center for Social Design, will serve as Social Design Fellows to provide hands-on support as peer-advisers to the 10 ventures in SIL’s 2016-2017 cohort in the areas of program design and visual design.

Social Innovation Lab Mentors - Menon and Barr
Devika Menon and Matt Barr

“Devika and Matt will bring a unique perspective that helps our ventures integrate social design principles as they seek to make an impact,” Graham says.

Nan Rohrer will serve as SIL’s Neighbor-in-Residence, a mentor who will provide the cohort with connections in the community and a deep knowledge of Baltimore’s neighborhoods, community organizations and local government. Rohrer has experience leading initiatives in the mayor’s office, a city agency and at the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

Nan Rohrer

“Nan will be a critical resource for our ventures that aim to make an impact locally,” says Graham, noting that nine of the 10 teams in this year’s cohort have a local focus.

Joining the existing Innovators-in-Residence group is Xavier Hughes, the Chief Innovation Officer at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Social Innovation Lab Mentors - Hughes
Xavier Hughes

Hughes will join three returning Innovators-in-Residence: Thread CEO and Co-founder Sarah Hemminger, Shea Yeleen International Founder Rahama Wright, and GuideStar VP of Strategic Partnerships Adrian Bordone. Each will hold monthly office hours in which they provide one-on-one support to teams.

“I’m delighted to welcome Xavier and welcome back Sarah, Rahama, and Adrian as SIL’s Innovators-in-Residence,” Graham says. “This impressive group of leading social innovators with a broad range of experience will support our ventures with key insights and connections.”


Click here to meet the 10 teams in this year’s cohort!


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