Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Johns Hopkins launches accelerator to offer mentorship, funding to student start-ups

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 11th, 2019

Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is launching a new accelerator that will offer mentorship and funding to help students get their start-ups off the ground.

FastForward U is a student-focused offshoot of the university’s Tech Ventures incubator that has been offering funding and support to student start-ups for several years. However, many of the funding recipients have said they wanted more structured guidance and programming. In response, FastForward U is launching the accelerator program for the 2019–2020 academic year.

Each semester, the new accelerator will choose teams of student entrepreneurs to take part in a nine-week program in which members of the local business community will teach venture-building workshops. In addition, teams will be assigned mentors and have their own dedicated space at FastForward U.

The accelerator will have two tracks: “Spark” for early stage start-ups, which will receive $1,000 in funding after completing the program to support incorporation and other basic company-building activities; and “Fuel” for more advanced start-ups, which will receive $1,000 upon entering the program and are also eligible to receive up to $4,000 after exiting. The program will culminate in a Demo Day and pitch competition at the close of each semester.

“Teams are coming to us at all different stages,” says Kevin Carter, student program manager for FastForward U. “We want teams that are part of a cohort leaving feeling prepared to take the next step, whatever it might be.”

Source: Baltimore Business Journal

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