Christy Wyskiel, senior adviser to university President Ronald J. Daniels for enterprise development, has been busy helping entrepreneurs in technology fields find success at Johns Hopkins.
Wyskiel—who was recently named to Baltimore Business Journal's Tech 10 list recognizing those aiding the technology industry in the Greater Baltimore area to thrive—leads Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV), which aims to maximize the impact of JHU's research by facilitating the translation of discoveries into accessible technologies, products, and services.
Wyskiel told the BBJ that 17 startups have come out of Hopkins so far this year and that there have been several venture financing deals in recent months.
"I think we are starting to see some real traction in terms of company creation, investment funding and ultimately—we hope—these products being on the market," she said.
In a two-part interview recently published by citybizlist, Wyskiel explained the need for a program like JHTV.
"If you look back at Hopkins' history, we've invented many amazing things over time—dialysis, discovery of using vitamin D for health benefits—but we haven't necessarily built companies or very large products from those discoveries," she said. "I think the opportunity really lies within supporting those entrepreneurs, be they student or faculty entrepreneurs, that want to take those discoveries and bring those products to market."
Wyskiel detailed the advantages that Johns Hopkins offers inventors, developers, and engineers:
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Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures is the group that I have the great pleasure of managing. It's really three functions. One is the classic tech transfer function. We get over 500 invention disclosures a year—a huge amount of volume. About three-quarters of those are in life sciences, and these are inventions when a faculty member raises their hand and says, "I've invented something no one has ever done before and I'd like you to patent it." It's all of the work that goes all around patenting and licensing the technologies.
The second group within Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures is a corporate business development. That's when we serve as the ambassador between industry and faculty. A great example was MedImmune, a local partner here that was interested in doing work with some of our faculty. We helped close that deal and bring those research dollars into Johns Hopkins for MedImmune that will hopefully benefit mankind.
The third area under Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures is our FastForward innovation hub. That's where all the space and resources and services for our entrepreneurial community. You can be part of FastForward if you're located in the space, and you can also be a virtual member.