Johns Hopkins Supporting Innovation With New Innovation Hub

By providing startups education, mentorship, services and affordable space, FastForward 1812 aims to help revitalize Baltimore’s economy

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The FastForward 1812 innovation hub provides 23,000 square feet of office, co-working, meeting and wet lab space in East Baltimore. Credit: Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures

The Johns Hopkins University announced today the opening of its state-of-the-art innovation hub, FastForward 1812. The 23,000-square-foot space near Johns Hopkins’ flagship hospital and schools of medicine, public health and nursing provides Baltimore’s burgeoning innovation ecosystem and area startups sought-after office, co-working and wet lab space to accommodate a variety of startups.

FastForward 1812 features 8,000 square feet of office, co-working and meeting space and 15,000 square feet of lab space, including private biosafety level 2 (BSL2) wet labs and BSL2 wet lab benches that can accommodate a broad range of biological and chemical work. The innovation hub currently houses 19 startups developing an array of innovations, including telemedicine platforms, treatments for type 2 diabetes and cell therapies for oncology indications.

“Johns Hopkins founded our university more than 140 years ago with the mission to bring the benefits of discovery to the world,” says Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels. “FastForward 1812 promises to build on our rich history of innovation and provide the best minds at Johns Hopkins and across Baltimore with the support they need to build startups that bring life-changing technologies directly into people’s lives.”

FastForward 1812 is just the university’s latest investment in Baltimore’s innovation ecosystem. FastForward Homewood, the first Johns Hopkins innovation hub, opened in 2013 near the university’s schools of arts and sciences, engineering and education, and has operated at capacity ever since. FastForward East opened in 2015, giving FastForward its first presence in East Baltimore. The newest innovation hub more than doubles FastForward’s footprint in the city, providing coveted and affordable space for startups that pass a rigorous screening process.

Previously, the lack of a robust startup ecosystem to support company growth drove many local entrepreneurs to cities that could provide these resources. Since 2012, startups that launched with technology licensed from Johns Hopkins have raised more than $1.1 billion in investment funding, but 85 percent of that has gone to build those businesses and create jobs outside of Maryland.

“Biotech is one of our region’s great strengths, but for too long Baltimore simply didn’t have the infrastructure in place to support biotech startups,” says Christy Wyskiel, the head of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV). “Adding FastForward 1812 to our two existing FastForward locations and the city’s other innovation hubs gives entrepreneurs developing technologies in any number of fields the resources they need to grow into sustainable businesses, and creates an innovation ecosystem that will support more companies staying and growing in Baltimore.“

In addition to co-working, office and much-needed lab space, FastForward 1812 provides its tenant startups with a number of amenities, including:

  • State-of-the-art conferencing and meeting spaces.
  • Free WiFi and high-speed internet connections.
  • Access to legal, accounting and fundraising experts.
  • Cell culture, microscopy and cold storage rooms.
  • An assortment of other shared scientific instruments.
  • Full-time, experienced lab manager.

JHTV will celebrate the grand opening of FastForward 1812 on April 26 with an event for media and other invitees that provides tours of the space.

FOR THE MEDIA