Johns Hopkins University Renames Facility to Honor Slain Alumnus and Tech CEO

Johns Hopkins University Renames Facility to Honor Slain Alumnus and Tech CEO

Fast Forward U to be renamed Pava Marie LaPere Center for Entrepreneurship in tribute to Pava LaPere’s contributions to student entrepreneurship.

Johns Hopkins University has announced that it will be renaming its startup hub, Fast Forward U, to the Pava Marie LaPere Center for Entrepreneurship. The decision comes as a tribute to Pava LaPere, an alumnus and tech CEO who tragically lost her life in September. LaPere played a pivotal role in the establishment of the center and her entrepreneurial spirit continues to inspire students at Hopkins. The university also plans to commit $2 million for an endowment in support of the center.

A Visionary Leader and Catalyst for Student Entrepreneurship

Pava LaPere, a graduate of Johns Hopkins University in 2019, was a visionary leader and catalyst for student entrepreneurship. During her time at Hopkins, she started four businesses, including EcoMap Technologies, where she served as the CEO. Recognizing the need for a dedicated space for student entrepreneurs, LaPere played a key role in the formation of Fast Forward U, which provides resources and support for students looking to bring their ideas to market.

Honoring LaPere’s Legacy and Contributions

The decision to rename Fast Forward U to the Pava Marie LaPere Center for Entrepreneurship is a testament to LaPere’s lasting impact on the university and the entrepreneurial community. Christy Wyskiel, executive director of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, expressed that many of the initiatives and programs offered at the center today are a direct result of LaPere’s energy and efforts. By honoring her legacy, the university aims to keep alive the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that LaPere envisioned for Johns Hopkins.

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Fostering Student Innovation and Growth

Fast Forward U, now known as the Pava Marie LaPere Center for Entrepreneurship, serves as a hub for students interested in creating startup companies. The center offers mentorship, funding opportunities, and accelerator programs designed to help students navigate the entrepreneurial landscape. LaPere’s own accelerator program, which she developed as a student, became the blueprint for the center’s offerings. Through this renaming, Johns Hopkins University aims to further foster student innovation and growth, ensuring that LaPere’s vision continues to shape the entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus.

A Tragic Loss and a Lasting Impact

The untimely death of Pava LaPere in September sent shockwaves through the Hopkins community and beyond. LaPere was found dead in her apartment building in Baltimore, and a suspect has since been charged with first-degree murder in connection to her death. LaPere’s contributions extended far beyond her work at Hopkins. She was a mentor and advocate for entrepreneurship and diverse leadership in the city of Baltimore. Her company, EcoMap Technologies, provided valuable data and resources for business networks, including an overview of Baltimore’s Black-owned business community.

Conclusion: The renaming of Fast Forward U to the Pava Marie LaPere Center for Entrepreneurship is a poignant tribute to a remarkable individual who left an indelible mark on the entrepreneurial landscape at Johns Hopkins University. Pava LaPere’s passion, vision, and dedication to fostering student entrepreneurship continue to inspire and guide students at Hopkins. By honoring her legacy, the university ensures that her impact will endure and that future generations of student entrepreneurs will benefit from her pioneering spirit.

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