Leadership team named for FastForward

FastForward—the entity that supports the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Johns Hopkins—has a new leadership team in place.

Brian Stansky, who has served as interim director for the past two months and as a mentor-in-residence working with startups and entrepreneurs for more than a year, has been named director, effective immediately. Nina Urban will join FastForward on Oct. 15 as associate director.

The announcement was made Oct. 12 by Christy Wyskiel, senior adviser to President Ronald J. Daniels for enterprise development at the university.

Part of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, FastForward provides startup companies with the space, funding, and resources they need to move their ideas, technologies, and companies forward.

"We are thrilled to have this dynamic leadership team building on the momentum at FastForward and taking it to the next level," Wyskiel said in her announcement.

Before joining Johns Hopkins, Stansky spent his career in finance and investing. Most recently, he served for 13 years as managing director of Integral Capital Partners. He also spent 10 years at T. Rowe Price in various research and portfolio management positions, and from March 1997 to January 2000 was portfolio manager for the New Age Media Fund and the T. Rowe Price Media & Telecommunications Fund, whose assets grew from a base of $130 million to more than $1 billion and attained a five-star rating from Morningstar during his tenure. He also was portfolio manager of the T. Rowe Price Health Sciences Fund.

A summa cum laude graduate of Boston College, Stansky holds a master's degree in finance and applied economics from MIT's Sloan School of Management and is a CFA charterholder.

Urban comes to Johns Hopkins from Atlanta, where she served most recently as acting CEO of General Genomics, a Georgia Institute of Technology spinoff with a novel approach to protein engineering that incorporates evolutionary biology algorithms. Earlier, she spent five years in a variety of roles catalyzing entrepreneurship at Georgia Tech, including as director of the Emory/GT Coulter Translational Partnership and as director of the Advanced Technology Development Center, or ATDC, which helps entrepreneurs launch and build successful technology companies.

During her tenure at ATDC, she restructured the incubator around a new Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program and initiated Industry Connect, a program where large companies with a presence in Georgia are introduced to relevant startups to accelerate business-to-business deals. She also was co-director of a new accelerator called Flashpoint at Georgia Tech and oversaw the school's early role in the National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps program.

Before joining Georgia Tech, Urban was CEO of Zygogen, an Atlanta-based biotechnology company, for 10 years. She also has served in drug discovery, biotechnology consulting, and business development roles for organizations in the Boston, Southern California, and Research Triangle Park in North Carolina areas.

Urban received her bachelor's degree in social and behavioral sciences from Johns Hopkins, a master's degree in molecular and cellular biology from the Harvard University Medical School, and an MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. She has served for more than a decade as a director of Georgia BIO and as a member of the external review committee for the Georgia Research Alliance VentureLab program.

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