Jason Hardebeck, whom many in Baltimore’s tech community know as the executive director of gb.tc, has been picked to lead DreamIt Ventures‘ new accelerator for health IT startups here.
Hardebeck will take on the role of managing director of DreamIt Health Baltimore, which will shuttle early-stage health care startups through a four-month program beginning in January, providing them with stipends of up to $50,000 in addition to other professional services. The program will be based out of Bond Street Wharf in Fells Point, a Johns Hopkins University property that DreamIt is leasing from the university.
In exchange for the cash, mentorship and programing, DreamIt Health takes 8 percent in common stock of a startup that runs through its program, said Dr. Elliot Menschik, the Philadelphia-based healthcare entrepreneur who oversees DreamIt Health.
Hardebeck said he’ll remain executive director of gb.tc, and that the gb.tc board of directors is “aware and fully supportive.” Whether and how Hardebeck’s role within gb.tc might change is yet to be decided, he said.
“All managing directors are do-ers. Everyone else has multiple projects going on, and that’s who I am as well,” said Hardebeck, who also helped launch a makerspace called the Baltimore Foundery. “We have a very capable team, and a very dependable team, at gb.tc.”
He added that taking on the additional position at DreamIt “isn’t a career move” because the program lasts just four months, and that a full-time program manager at DreamIt will manage the day-to-day operations at DreamIt Health Baltimore.
It was a coalition group — Johns Hopkins, DreamIt Ventures, BioHealth Innovation Inc. and the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore — that ultimately lobbied for DreamIt to set up another iteration of its health accelerator program in Baltimore. The first go at DreamIt Health was in Philadelphia. The program runs more general tech startup accelerators in New York City, Austin and Tel Aviv.
“This is a program that makes the Baltimore tech scene stronger,” Hardebeck said.
According to a press release, Hardebeck’s job at DreamIt Health involves “recruiting program applicants, sponsors, mentors, and speakers, managing the admissions process, designing the speaker and workshop programming, managing relationships with early-stage investors and providing hands-on guidance and mentorship of the participating companies.”
“This is about standing up new companies that we want to stay in Baltimore,” said Hardebeck by phone Wednesday morning. “That means we need to get them funded here, that means we need to find them a place to live. That’s a community effort. This is a chance for all of us to pull together and prove we don’t have the walls or the silos we used to.”