Accelerators Featured Image

The Pava Center’s accelerator programming is an opportunity for innovators from across the University and Baltimore community to work collaboratively to make progress on their ventures. These engaging, cross-disciplinary initiatives build skills, grow networks, and connect founders with other entrepreneurs, from undergrads to post-docs to community members.

Student teams are grouped by stage to allow them to learn together at a pace that makes sense for where they are on their entrepreneurial journey. Spark and Fuel tracks include a stipend and the chance to win additional funds at Demo Days.

Many of our advanced teams have gone on to raise significant non-dilutive and dilutive investment dollars after engaging with programming. Our staff works to coach students on relevant options and next steps for their venture.

All of our accelerators are industry agnostic; any kind of venture (including nonprofits) are eligible to apply. Learn more about each accelerator below.

Social Innovation Lab

Offered once a year; re-opens fall ’24

The Social Innovation Lab (SIL) is for mission-driven startups working towards a solution with a stated social or environmental impact.

  • Open to early-stage ventures from Johns Hopkins or Baltimore with demonstrated traction (for-profit and non-profit)
  • Ventures work in a cohort structure with other entrepreneurs.
  • Focuses on customer discovery, financial literacy and fundraising, impact measurement, storytelling, and more
  • Provides access to a wide network of mentors, advisors, partners, and funders in Baltimore and beyond
  • Teams who complete the experience are eligible for a $5,000 grant stipend and offers the opportunity to win a $15,000 cohort prize
Short Separator

Student-only Accelerators


Offered each semester

  • Early-stage track for teams (or solo entrepreneurs!) to explore and validate their ideas.
  • Asynchronous online curriculum focuses on early venture basics, market research, customer discovery, and more.
  • Live, weekly MasterMind check-ins for brainstorming and feedback hour.
  • Teams who complete the experience are eligible for a $500 grant stipend and up to $2,000 in additional prize money at the end of the semester Showcase.
  • Successfully completing Spark makes many teams ready for Fuel.

Offered each semester

  • Later-stage track designed to help committed ventures get market/investor ready.
  • Focuses on customer acquisition, marketing development, entrepreneurial finance, investor readiness, team-building, and more via customized attention (workshops, 1:1 mentorship, and more).
  • Weekly cohort meetings throughout the semester with special guests (founders, VC, JHTV staff, and more).
  • Highly customized mentorship throughout the experience–includes peer, staff, alumni, and industry connections as part of the program.
  • Teams who complete the experience are eligible for a $5,000 grant stipend and up to $12,000 in additional prize money at the end-of-semester Demo Day. 
  • Successfully completing Fuel may help prepare teams for I&E Challenge Funding, the President’s Venture Fellowship, and/or other accelerators. 
Summer Incubator

Offered once a year

May 22-July 3: A six-week, co-working experience for student ventures ready to take a “deep dive” into building their startups. Student teams at any stage of development are invited to apply; program participants will be expected to work at least 20 hours a week at our co-working building, while engaging in significant mentorship and networking opportunities. Supported with a non-dilutive grant for living expenses and startup support.