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 transformed into Pava Marie LePere Center for Entrepreneurship to commemorate the life and contributions of Pava LaPere

Johns Hopkins University has announced the renaming of its startup hub, Fast Forward U, to the Pava Marie LePere Center for Entrepreneurship. The decision was made to honor Pava LaPere, an accomplished alumnus and tech CEO who tragically lost her life in September. LaPere played a pivotal role in the establishment of the center and her vision for supporting student entrepreneurs. The university unveiled the renaming during a memorial service attended by prominent figures such as Governor Wes Moore and Mayor Brandon Scott, highlighting the impact LaPere had on the entrepreneurial community.

A Visionary Leader and Catalyst for Student Entrepreneurship

Pava LaPere, a 26-year-old entrepreneur, was instrumental in the formation of the Fast Forward U center five years ago. As a Hopkins alumnus, LaPere recognized the need for a dedicated space where student entrepreneurs could bring their ideas to life. Drawing from her own experiences of starting four businesses while in college, including co-founding and becoming CEO of EcoMap Technologies, LaPere advocated for the university to provide mentorship and funding opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs. Her passion and drive were key in shaping the center’s mission and programs.

Honoring a Legacy: The Pava Marie LePere Center for Entrepreneurship

To commemorate LaPere’s significant contributions, Johns Hopkins University has committed to renaming Fast Forward U as the Pava Marie LePere Center for Entrepreneurship. This decision reflects the university’s recognition of LaPere’s impact and dedication to fostering student innovation. The center, which aims to help students transform their ideas into marketable ventures, will continue to build on LaPere’s vision and provide a supportive environment for budding entrepreneurs.

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A Lasting Endowment for Entrepreneurial Excellence

In addition to the renaming, Johns Hopkins University has pledged $2 million for an endowment to support the Pava Marie LePere Center for Entrepreneurship. This financial commitment ensures the sustainability and growth of the center, allowing it to provide ongoing resources and opportunities for student entrepreneurs. The endowment will serve as a lasting testament to LaPere’s legacy and her belief in the power of entrepreneurship to drive positive change.

Pava LaPere’s Impact on Baltimore’s Entrepreneurial Community

Beyond her contributions to Johns Hopkins University, Pava LaPere was a mentor and advocate for entrepreneurship in the city of Baltimore. Her passion for diverse leadership and entrepreneurial endeavors made her a respected figure and role model. As the CEO of EcoMap Technologies, LaPere led a team of around 30 employees, providing valuable data maps and contact lists to government agencies, nonprofits, universities, and industry associations. Her work included highlighting Baltimore’s Black-owned business community, shedding light on the city’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.


The renaming of Fast Forward U to the Pava Marie LePere Center for Entrepreneurship at Johns Hopkins University serves as a poignant tribute to the life and accomplishments of Pava LaPere. Her unwavering commitment to supporting student entrepreneurs and fostering innovation continues to inspire and shape the entrepreneurial landscape at the university. The center stands as a testament to LaPere’s vision and will provide generations of students with the resources and support needed to transform their ideas into impactful ventures. As the entrepreneurial community mourns the loss of a remarkable leader, her legacy lives on through the Pava Marie LePere Center for Entrepreneurship, ensuring that her spirit and energy remain an integral part of Johns Hopkins University’s commitment to entrepreneurship.

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