M-1 Ventures is a connected health and fitness accelerator for entrepreneurs who have a vision that will help people get healthy, stay healthy, achieve wellness goals and improve fitness and financial outcomes. The 16-week program operates under the direction of Paul Singh, an active angel investor previously with the 500 Startups business incubator, and Tony D’Agostino, a former Wells Fargo, UBS and Bank of America executive and serial entrepreneur currently working with medical device startup ZyGood.
Located at the FastForward East innovation hub on the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus in Baltimore, Maryland, M-1 Ventures startups receive mentorship from experts at The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland.
What’s with the name?
M-1 is a term for first-year medical students. We believe the name represents the promise of M-1 startups. They may be early-stage businesses, but they have the potential to improve the health and fitness of people around the world.
How is M-1 Ventures Different?
M-1 Ventures believes an accelerator focused on a single sector provides startups with a clearer path to success. Our connected health and fitness accelerator brings together the industry’s top researchers and entrepreneurs to serve as mentors and collaborators to participating startups.
The Johns Hopkins University
The leader in federal R&D funding for the past 37 years, The Johns Hopkins University is renowned for innovative solutions to extraordinary health challenges. M-1 Ventures has its base of operations in the FastForward East innovation hub located on the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus, which creates opportunities for collaboration with the institution’s world-class researchers.
Additional support comes from Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. The University’s commercialization arm provides M-1 startups with business mentorship, pro bono accounting and legal services and access to its extensive network of investors and partners.
Plank Industries is a privately-held company with diversified holdings in commercial real estate, hospitality, food and beverage, venture capital and thoroughbred horseracing, all under the Sagamore group of brands. The company is based in Baltimore, MD, USA. Under the leadership of Tom Geddes, Managing Partner, Plank Industries serves as the family office and investment arm of Kevin A. Plank, founder, Chairman and CEO of Under Armour, Inc.
Sagamore Ventures, LLC is the early-stage investment arm of Plank Industries, the private holding company of Kevin Plank, Founder and CEO of Under Armour, Inc.
University of Maryland
The University of Maryland has a strong culture of innovation that dates back 30 years. In 2016, U.S. News and World Reports named the University of Maryland one of the top 25 most innovative schools in the country. Since 2011, the University of Maryland, College Park and University of Maryland, Baltimore have received more than 1,700 invention disclosures and spun out 61 startups, many of which are disrupting the health care industry.
Peer-review model for investment:
Venture capital has a diversity problem. Not only does 75 percent of all venture capital go to three states (California, Massachusetts and New York), women founders and underrepresented minority founders receive only 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
Committed to democratizing entrepreneurship and investment funding, M-1 Ventures has partnered with Village Capital and integrated its unique peer-review model for investment. This open and transparent process for evaluating startups puts the power of investment in the hands of participating entrepreneurs. At the end of the program, the two highest rated startups, as determined by their peers, receive an additional investment commitment.