|One of the 1,837 colleges and universities in the United States, Johns Hopkins University is committed to bringing new businesses to Baltimore. The university has expanded its business accelerator and innovation hub, adding a new facility called FastForward East.
With 6,000 square feet of office and lab space, FastForward East will be able to house up to 28 new companies at low cost. For $800 per bench per month, startups will have a greater chance of success than if they were to rent an entire lab at the going monthly rates of $6,000 or $7,000.
FastForward East is in close proximity to the nursing school, medical school, and school of public health, allowing startups to collaborate with one another.
“We want to help early ventures increase their probability of realizing their potential and bring their innovations technology to market,” Elizabeth Smyth, director of strategic initiatives, explained to website DCInno.com.
Business coaching is also available from the university’s mentors and other experts to help tenants obtain investors, apply for patents, and write business plans. While you do not need a connection to the university to rent space, some will be reserved for undergraduate students.
While FastForward East is an improvement on the original FastForward facility, which is currently at capacity, the university intends to keep expanding. The long-term plan is to open another facility, this one 30,000 square feet, 50% of which will be tiered levels of lab space. The levels of lab space will allow companies to start small, and move into larger labs as they grow and obtain funding.
Companies that wish to work at FastForward East are required to fill out an application, and will be assessed on their probabilities of success. Applicants’ specialties come in a wide variety, from technology to healthcare.
The grand opening of FastForward East was held on February 10th, with a business roundtable discussion and celebration. An open house followed the next day.