Accelerator program for health, fitness startups launches in East Baltimore

M-1 Ventures, which begins Sept. 5, receives support from Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures

A new 16-week accelerator program for fledgling health and fitness businesses will be located in the FastForward East innovation hub on Johns Hopkins' East Baltimore campus and receive support from Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures.

This Baltimore-based accelerator program will select health and fitness startups from across the U.S. and provide them with funding, mentorship, and networking and business services.

M-1 Ventures will challenge startups selected from a national applicant pool to validate their business models, engage with customers, and build on traction they have already generated.

Technology Ventures was joined in announcing the program today by Plank Industries, the University of Maryland through UM Ventures, Brown Advisory, and the Abell Foundation. Additional support comes from the Maryland Department of Commerce and Village Capital.

"By focusing this accelerator on connected health and fitness, M-1 Ventures takes advantage of our regional strengths to provide startups in this vertical with a clearer path to success," says Christy Wyskiel, leader of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures and senior adviser to the president of Johns Hopkins University. "M-1 participants will receive specialized support and resources from top industry researchers, entrepreneurs, and innovators that will help them develop health and fitness solutions that will drive real impact."

The program will run under the direction of Paul Singh, an entrepreneur, angel investor, and co-founder of the investment firm 500 Startups; and former Wells Fargo, UBS, and Bank of America executive Tony D'Agostino, a serial entrepreneur currently working with ZyGood, a medical device startup developing an external neuromodulation device to treat chronic pain. Experts from Johns Hopkins University, Plank Industries, the University of Maryland, Brown Advisory, and several other dedicated and experienced mentors will provide guidance to the M-1 entrepreneurs.

The M-1 Ventures program will launch with its first cohort Sept. 5 and run for 16 weeks. A Demo Day in mid-December will give investors and potential partners and collaborators an opportunity to get to know M-1's first cohort.

Interested teams can apply now through Aug. 4. Startups selected to the M-1 Ventures program receive:

  • $25,000 in equity funding
  • One-on-one mentorship from investor/entrepreneurs Paul Singh and Tony D'Agostino
  • Co-working space in FastForward East, an innovation hub on the Johns Hopkins medical campus
  • Access to and mentorship from connected health and fitness experts at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland, as well as an array of other speakers
  • Pro bono legal/accounting services and additional business resources
  • Access to the industry's and region's top investors at a Demo Day
  • The opportunity to win one of two additional $25,000 investments

Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures is Johns Hopkins University's intellectual property administration center, serving Johns Hopkins researchers and inventors as a licensing, patent, and technology commercialization office, and acting as an active liaison to parties interested in leveraging university research or materials for academic or corporate endeavors. In 2016, JHTV secured more than $58 million in licensing revenue, possessed more than 2,454 active issued patents, and created 22 new startup companies.