Investing and Nurturing Entrepreneurship in Baltimore and the Region

Kelvin Fu
Kelvin Fu

Kelvin Fu is Vice-President at Interprise Partners (, a private equity firm focused on growth companies in the Mid-Atlantic Region. He is also a Partner at A-Level Capital, the student-led venture capital firm focused on providing early stage investments across the Johns Hopkins University ecosystem that includes student, alumni, and faculty-run companies. Kelvin is the Founder of the Johns Hopkins Private Equity and Venture Capital Club, which is one of the most active student clubs that organizes educational seminars, competitions, and networking sessions. Kelvin was based in Singapore and Shanghai and worked for one of the largest foreign-owned private equity growth funds. He has worked on numerous deals spanning across consumer related sectors, energy, and healthcare in different geographic regions such as North Asia, Southeast Asia, and Europe. He graduated from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School with a MBA and Macquarie University with a Masters of Applied Finance. He also studied Political Science at the National University of Singapore and Technopreneurship in Fudan University, Shanghai, China. Email: Website:

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Baltimore is changing rapidly and one of the key actors in changing the narrative of the city is Sagamore Ventures, a division under Plank Industriesthe family investment arm of Kevin Plank, Chairman and CEO of Under Armour.

The Johns Hopkins Private Equity and Venture Capital Club hosted Demian Costa, Managing Partner of Sagamore Ventures on Apr 13, 2016 at the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus. This marked the first time that the Club has held an event at the Homewood campus to encourage greater participation from JHU undergraduates and graduates from other schools.

Johns Hopkins Private Equity and Venture Capital Club

Sagamore Ventures invests to bring companies and jobs to the region or keep companies in the region to create lasting jobs and build wealth for the community. Demian described the internal process surrounding the investment in City Garage located at Port Covington, Baltimore. The company analyzed the various work spaces and incubators in Maryland and concluded that many of the spaces were focused on supporting companies involved in the technology sector but there was a gap in supporting companies that built physical products. Hence, the aim is to create a space that people can identify as a “Product Hub” that is focused on creating the greatest product companies in Baltimore.

Main Street of City Garage. Source: City Garage.

In an internal study, Demian shared that they discovered making one pair of running shoes required touchpoints of up to 150 pairs of hands. This kind of manufacturing was labor intensive and the local workforce was not well equipped or trained to do these kinds of jobs. Hence, many U.S. companies had to outsource their manufacturing to other countries. This model was not sustainable in the long run and Sagamore Ventures, working together with Under Armour, has deconstructed and analyzed the entire manufacturing process to make it more lean and efficient by building new cutting-edge manufacturing facilities at City Garage called “The Under Armour Lighthouse.”


Other notable occupants at City Garage include the Foundery (a makerspace that provides access to industrial-grade tools and knowledge), READY Robotics (a Johns Hopkins-affiliated startup focused on creating solutions for manufacturers using robotic automation), and Bustin Boards (a skateboard company that offers custom longboards).

In order to qualify for a space at the City Garage, these are the two key things that the team looks out for:

  • How much economic impact will your company have on the local community and the region?
  • How will your company help the City Garage community through your engagement with other companies already based there?

Learn more about City Garage via their website.

The Johns Hopkins University Private Equity and Venture Capital club is among the most active of the School’s clubs. We provide a forum for students, alumni, faculty, staff and industry professionals interested in all aspects and stages of Private Equity and Venture Capital, and help them develop the skills and knowledge necessary to build careers in these sectors. Visit our website and sign up for our mailing list at





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