Women To Watch - Page 18 - Christy Wyskiel

Women To Watch
- Page 18
Christy Wyskiel
Christy Wyskiel 46,
Senior adviser to the Johns Hopkins University president for enterprise development

“My day-to-day job at Hopkins is getting to meet the most brilliant people in the world,” Christy Wyskiel says. But the challenge is getting those brilliant people — researchers and programmers, innovators and inventors, professors who make discoveries — to stay here.

Wyskiel, who arrived in Baltimore in 1999 to analyze the medical technology fi eld for T. Rowe Price, brought her investment savvy and passion for startups to Hopkins fi ve years ago, in the midst of the university’s efforts to commercialize research. Hopkins had plenty of smart people with great ideas, and many of them managed to attract investors. But most of the companies founded on Hopkins technology left Maryland for Silicon Valley or other tech hot spots.

That’s starting to change, and the opening of FastForward 1812, a Hopkins business incubator with office and lab space for entrepreneurs, has a lot to do with it. New patents, licenses and startups have been on the rise. Companies affiliated with Hopkins are raising millions more in capital each year, Wyskiel says, and more of them are opting to stay in Baltimore and Maryland.

“Christy has shown unwavering support, not just for us, but for so many Baltimore startups,” says J.J. Reidy, co-founder and CEO of Urban Pastoral Collective, an urban farming operation that received help from Hopkins Technology Ventures.

Wyskiel became Nick Culbertson’s mentor as he and his partner started Protenus, a company that provides security systems for medical records. “Christy helped me work through some challenging growth problems we faced while scaling our company,” Culbertson says.

“She’s always willing to give tough but insightful feedback and advice that helps companies like ours grow and be successful.” Wyskiel, who lives in the city with her husband and two teenage children, sees Baltimore becoming a technology hub. “Capital is mobile, and capital will find the best ideas,” she says. “I can see so clearly the future of Baltimore, and there is no reason the skyline of Baltimore should not be filled with the names of tech and biotech companies.”

—Dan Rodricks