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Six start-up teams compete for top prize at Carey Business School

Why it matters: The contest gives Carey graduates a chance to help identify new consumer needs and new markets for innovation.

Carey Business School is helping lead the way when it comes to discovering the next big start-up company. An annual competition may be just the beginning.

Nine venture capitalist judges took part in Carey’s Municipal Acquisitions Student Venture Showcase (MASVS) and awarded $25,000 to one of the six teams in early May. A second team took home $2,500.

The entrepreneurship competition is an annual highlight for the startup community at Johns Hopkins.

The teams took part in the event at Carey Business School and had ten minutes to pitch their product. They then received feedback from the judges.

Johns Hopkins University President, Ron Daniels, along with Carey Dean, Alex Triantis, spoke at the event.

Founder and CEO, Jon Kling (MSRE ’03), of Municipal Acquisitions, and Josh Ambrose, Director of Student Ventures at the university who oversees FastForward U, partnered and sponsored the competition.

Kling’s estate investment firm now has a portfolio of $450 million. That has led to more than fifty of the world’s most respected insurance companies, pension and retirement funds, mutual funds, and family offices to co-invest in the company’s transactions.

Four Carey MBA students were part of a committee that created the event with Municipal Acquisitions and FFU. They were heavily involved in the design, format, and team selection process.

As head of FFU, Ambrose works with undergrads to post-docs, and helps students uncover new ways to create innovative products and services.

President Daniels spoke of the importance of how competition such as MASVS, can be vital to the future of innovation.

I am so grateful that Josh (Ambrose) and his team at FFU have shown this simple fact time and again, enabling so many to take risks that can turn bold and daring ideas into scalable, impactful products and therapies,” Daniels said.

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The payoff:

The six start-up companies included: Graff Golf, Aptabridge Therapeutics, Drul, Hubly Surgical, ClassEquity, and WeGo Foundation.

Two Carey alumni, Mike Leffer (GMBA ’19) of Early Light Ventures and Carey Adjunct Instructor, Kwame Kuadey (MBA Management ’08) of Thrive Ventures and EO Baltimore, were among the judges who selected Hubly Surgical as the winner.

Hubly Surgical is a cranial and orthopedic drill that includes an auto-stop and pressure indication for patient safety.

The audience, some of whom attended via Zoom, selected WeGo Foundation, who was awarded $2,500 from FastForward U. WeGo uses a robot that allows pediatric patients to experience museums and aquariums from their hospital bed.

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