Power Moves: DataTribe's John Funge on his new managing director role and a key learning for startups - Technical.ly Baltimore

Growth

Oct. 29, 2020 6:33 pm

Power Moves: DataTribe’s John Funge on his new managing director role and a key learning for startups

Plus, CareFirst's Healthworx has a new director of innovation, and more leadership moves at Innovation Works, Catalio Capital Management and Baltimore Homecoming.
Anita D’Amico, CEO of CodeDx, accepts the DataTribe Challenge win.

Anita D'Amico, CEO of CodeDx, accepts the DataTribe Challenge win.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, new gig or promotion? Tell us: baltimore@technical.ly.


Fulton-based cyber “foundry” DataTribe as a new head of day-to-day operations.

John Funge was appointed to managing director, the startup studio and investment firm said on Thursday. In the role, he will oversee the work from finding new investments to overseeing portfolio companies. Funge was previously chief product officer of the firm.

DataTribe has a focus on commercializing technology coming out of Maryland’s federal labs and intelligence agencies. It works alongside the technologist founders of these companies to develop the innovation for the commercial market and build startups. He’s a board member of three of DataTribe’s companies.

Cofounder Mike Janke previously led much of the day-to-day activity at DataTribe. Now, he’ll be involved less on the operational level, but remain involved both in supporting companies and investment activities, and he continues on the board.

Starting his career as a software engineer, Funge brought previous experience founding three companies to DataTribe, so we asked him what he finds himself applying now working alongside entrepreneurs.

“One of the biggest lessons I take away from being a founder is about the need for focus — in defining your product, the problem you’re solving, and the market you’re going after. Given the uncertainties involved with forging a new market, it can be tempting to hedge between multiple approaches or target markets — diluting your already extremely limited resources,” he said. “Of course, the tighter your focus, the greater the chance is that you are somehow off. It’s a tricky balance. That’s why, especially in the really early days of a startup, you need a tight feedback loop between the customer and product development — so you can quickly adjust your aim — all the time remaining vigilant for loss of focus.”

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Healthworx, the corporate innovation and venture arm of health insurer CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, named Arianne Graham as director of innovation.

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In this role, Graham will lead “a growing team dedicated to creating innovating strategies that will help to change and improve current healthcare models,” a press release states.

Graham is a cofounder of media and communications agency Samara Collective, bringing 20 years of experience at the intersection of nonprofits and health. She also cofounded Not One More Life, Inc., an Atlanta nonprofit focused on health partnership and education, and held leadership positions at Quartet Health, Kyruus, patientslikeme, Novartis, Genentech and Navigant.

“Her experience and passion for healthcare and health equity, combined with her ability to mold concepts into solutions is a rare find,” Healthworx VP Ricardo Johnson said in a statement. “Arianne brings a versatile skillset to her role at Healthworx which is going to give us the ability to move CareFirst forward in significant ways. She is building an engine that will engage all CareFirst associates in innovation — allowing all 5,000+ of us to be innovators for the sake of improving healthcare convenience, affordability and quality.”

Arianne Graham is director of innovation at Healthwox.

Arianne Graham is director of innovation at Healthworx. (Courtesy photo)

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Innovation Works, the social enterprise-focused resource network that’s focused on neighborhood-level economies, has a new CEO.

Founder Frank Knott is transitioning out of the CEO role, and remain involved on the board. A. Jay Nwachu, who has served as president and chief innovation officer of the org, will assume the CEO role.

“Frank has proudly served as Founding CEO since the inception of Innovation Works in 2017,” an email from Innovation Works announcing the move states. “After three years of hard work, he feels now is the time to step back from the day-to-day operations of IW and commit full time to his leadership position of Board Chair.”

Based out of Open Works, Innovation Works employs programming, a mentor network and capital to help businesses and nonprofits with social enterprise models become sustainable and create jobs in Baltimore’s underinvested neighborhoods.

The org is also adding three new board members:

  • Jim Peterson, Jr. — VP and business banking relationship manager with M&T Bank, a local leader on small business resources
  • Pamela Roussos — Chief community officer with the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University, which is a partner with Innovation Works on programming
  • Nkenge Yasin — Founder and childhood development specialist with Learning How, Inc., and a social entrepreneur who partook in Innovation Works programming

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Catalio Capital Management recently hired a head operations with experience at a noted local investment firm and health tech companies.

In November, Olga Maltseva will join the biomedical focused-investment firm, which R. Jacob Vogelstein and George Peterocehilos spun out of Inner Harbor private equity firm Camden Partners earlier this year and is coming off a $100 million fund close and this week’s $2 billion exit of portfolio company Thrive Earlier Detection.

Maltseva will lead all the areas of the firm that are non-investment, such as operations, legal, compliance, communications and information technology.

Most recently, Maltseva worked at Healytics, a genetic data startup based at bwtech@UMBC, as it completed initial commercialization work and raised angel funding. She also previously led operations, sales and marketing at Fells Point-based healthcare analytics company Protenus, and headed communications at Camden Partners.

“George and Jacob have put together a brilliant team,” Maltseva said. “Catalio analysts, investors and venture partners are all aligned on one goal: Invest in startup leaders dedicated to bringing impactful, breakthrough technology and therapeutics to healthcare. It’s a privilege to have an opportunity to contribute to this work.”

Olga Maltseva. (Courtesy photo)

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Baltimore Homecoming, the nonprofit that produces an event series and programming to attract Baltimore “alumni” and make investment in the city, has a new executive director and assistant director.

Robbin Lee was promoted to executive director. She was with the organization since its founding three years ago, and helped to coordinate the annual event.

With the move, Dan Schochor, the executive director of the org during last year’s event, is stepping down to focus on consulting.

Latisha Coates-Young is also joining the nonprofit as assistant director. The Poly grad most recently worked as manager of programs and system quality for the National Summer Learning Association.

Per a statement, the leaders will be charged with heading up an org that’s focused around the homecoming event, the Baltimore Conversations speaker series and the “Campaign for Baltimore Heroes,” an effort to raise $1 million for local nonprofits.

Robbin Lee and Latisha Coates-Young. (Courtesy photo)

Robbin Lee and Latisha Coates-Young. (Courtesy photo)

The org also has four new board members. They are:

  • Rachel Bendit, a Baltimore alumni
  • Michael Chesser, chairman emeritus of Great Plains Energy and member of the Education and Neighborhoods Committee of the Baltimore Community Foundation
  • Michael Fader, VP at MileOne Holdings
  • Brittany Young, founder of B-360

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The Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center is adding to its board as it seeks to continue to promote an ecosystem around new business growth on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The appointment of three new members is designed to bring more diversity to the board. New members include:

  • Nikko Brady, deputy principal assistant at the Delaware Department of Agriculture
  • Walter Chase, the former chief of police in Easton, where the center is based
  • Neil Davis, a longtime Maryland ecosystem leader who is TEDCO’s former senior director of entrepreneurial development
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