To catch more university startups, Johns Hopkins is opening FastForward East - Baltimore


Feb. 10, 2015 12:42 pm

To catch more university startups, Johns Hopkins is opening FastForward East

The new incubator space, located adjacent to the university's medical campus in East Baltimore, has room for about 15 startups. The existing FastForward is currently at capacity.

The exterior of FastForward East, located at 855 N. Wolfe St.

(Photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins University)

Johns Hopkins University is set to open a new branch of FastForward in East Baltimore.

The incubator’s new location, called FastForward East, is located in a building just north of the university’s medical campus, at the corner of Wolfe and Ashland Streets.

The original FastForward space, near JHU’s Homewood campus, is currently at capacity with 12 startups. FastForward also runs an accelerator program, which has helped 41 startups. University officials have openly acknowledged that JHU lags behind other universities of similar stature when it comes to tech transfer. The expanding physical space offers the university the chance to nurture companies that have grown directly out research at the university, and become a more visible player in the local startup scene.

About 6,000 square feet is available for office and lab space. Officials think that will be enough for about 15 startups.

Here’s the layout, via JHU’s Gazette:

The first floor will be a more traditional co-working space with seating and desks for 28. This 3,500-square-foot space also offers six private offices, each with three or four desks; a conference room; a lounge area; and a kitchen with caffeinated products for those all-nighters. Rents are modest—$200 per person a month for a bullpen seat; $750 to $850 per private office; and $800 per lab bench, with adjoining shared office.

The new space puts the accelerator program closer to the university’s medical school. According to the Gazette, research at the School of Medicine accounted for three-quarters of the inventions reported across the university system in 2013.

So far, one tenant has been announced: Gemstone Biotherapeutics, which uses stem cells to make treatments that heal wounds. Gemstone co-founder Sharon Gerecht is an associate engineering professor at Hopkins. Officials have also intimated that companies who graduate DreamIt Health Baltimore could also be tenants.


The school is planning grand opening events for the new space this week, with a roundtable featuring business community members on Tuesday, and an open house for students, faculty and staff on Wednesday.



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