One of the best parts of Hopkins, in my opinion, is being able to work with and be inspired by the other students. Blue Jays come to campus from all over the world with their own unique interests and talents. One quality that all students share at Hopkins, though, is passion. Everyone on campus is so driven and with the amount of flexibility and freedom that we are given as undergraduates, students can really take their own path in pursuing their passions. When I first came to Hopkins, my freshman floor (AMR1 Vincent-Willard 2nd floor) quickly became one of my favorite places on campus. Some of my oldest friends from Hopkins lived there with me and I wanted to highlight one of them today! — Tori
My name is Robby, and I’m from the Town of Poughkeepsie, NY, which is pretty much halfway between Albany and Manhattan. I’m a junior Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science double major, with interests in medical robotics and biomedical data science. Throughout my time at Hopkins so far, I have taken a pretty diverse set of courses outside of my major ranging from neuroscience to environmental studies.
When I was applying to colleges, I knew I was interested in the medical device space, but I did not want to be restricted to just this space. So, when I toured and learned about the open curriculum and emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, I was immediately drawn. At Hopkins I could pursue a focus in engineering without limiting my opportunity to embrace these other passions. I was looking for a college focused on innovation. Around this same time, Hopkins was making great progress with their neuralprosthetic arm housed at the APL. I knew Hopkins is where I needed to be.
Outside of the classroom I play intramural soccer with the Interstellar Athletes, am a brother in the professional engineering fraternity Theta Tau, and run a startup with a few of my friends known as Cellular Analysis Technologies (CAT). I have been deeply involved in the entrepreneurial community since freshman year.
When I arrived on campus, I immediately joined the entrepreneurship club TCO Labs and later that year I joined a BME Design Team, which is sort of a department sponsored startup, focused on creating an adjustable feeding tube that would reduce feeding tube dislodgement. Now, I have been working on my own start-up CAT for the past year and a half with my co-founder/friend/roommate Christian and my friend Marc.
CAT is a start-up focused on providing web-based data analysis solutions to biological research labs (mainly cell/tissue labs) in order to accelerate research experiments while increasing the accuracy of research and reducing the costs. Christian came to me with the idea in September of 2018 after spending his summer working in a cell tissue engineering lab and discovering there were a lot of inefficiencies that could be improved. With this idea, we were accepted into TCO’s Hatchery, an incubator for very early stage startups. In this program, we better fleshed out our idea and what our next steps were.
In the following spring, we had a very basic website up and running and presented it at the JHU Business Plan Competition. With a lot of luck, we received the Accenture Technology Award, which was a bit of a turning point for us and when we really started taking the project seriously. Over the summer, Marc joined the team and when we returned to campus we applied to FastForwardU’s Spark Accelerator and Microsoft’s AI grant and were very fortunate to receive both. Through the Hatchery and Spark, we have learned great lessons about entrepreneurship and received great mentorship from a lot of incredible entrepreneurs including Pava LaPere, Jordan Matelsky, Kevin Carter, and Nathan Buchbinder. Having just filed to become an LLC, we will be participating in FFU’s Fuel Accelerator and hope to close our first deal by the end of the semester.