About Us

TCO Labs, Inc. is a non-profit organization focused on fostering the entrepreneurial community at the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus

What Do We Do?

Learn more about the three different focus areas of TCO Labs.

Programming

TCO Labs hosts three large events per year – a Fall Kickoff, a Speaker Symposium, and the Hatch Innovation Conference. In addition, we host a variety of workshops, tours, and networking events focused on entrepreneurial education during the academic year.

Our Events

Community Building

Ideas rise in crowds. That’s why TCO puts a strong emphasis on building a community of entrepreneurship- loving individuals. Check out our social media pages for news, event updates, and information about upcoming meetups. If you are interested in starting something, get in touch!

Our Page

Connection

Baltimore is full of great resources for current and aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as those who just want to be involved in the larger entrepreneurial ecosystem. TCO works with Baltimore startups, accelerators, companies, nonprofits, and governmental organizations to connect interested students to opportunities around the city.

Our Team

Our Programming

Learn more about the different events we host!

Workshops bring in experienced individuals to teach students about specific topics and skills related to entrepreneurship. Whether the leaders be entrepreneurs, investors, or successful alumni, students get to learn from industry leaders in a flexible and engaging environment. Workshops are arranged to progress sequentially over time, but are independent from one another so students can attend any workshop, at any time.

The best ideas rise in crowds. Roundtables bring students, professors, and professionals together to discuss ideas in a casual setting, convening in the pursuit of creating great things. Roundtables provide the perfect environment to talk through problems, parse through possibilities, and learn from the experience of others.

TCO Symposiums bring in entrepreneurial speakers with diverse opinions to share their journeys, experiences, and lessons. Following a classic TED style, attendees are introduced to new and sometimes controversial ideas to help spark discussion on campus and beyond.

Relationships are the most valuable resource there is. Whether students are looking for connections to further their idea or a mentor to help them navigate their goals, networking events are one of the best ways to bridge these connections. From group cooking classes to service projects, TCO networking events bring together students and professionals in engaging, creative ways — no more uncomfortable chats over hors d’oeuvres.

TCO Conferences combine symposiums, startup showcases, and workshops for day-long celebrations of entrepreneurship. Conferences expose students and the community to the people and companies that drive innovation at Hopkins, in Baltimore, and beyond. Hatch 2017, our annual Innovation Conference, is on April 15th.

Our Long Term Vision

TCO recognizes the vast amount of entrepreneurial potential in Johns Hopkins undergraduate students. Whether a student wants to start a business while at school, or wants to learn salient skills for the future, TCO is here to support and inspire the next generation of doers.

 

Top universities across the world have vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems that supplement standard undergraduate education.  By encouraging students to get involved early, these programs foster innovation across the university and prepare students for productive, value-adding careers.

 

TCO aims to create such an ecosystem at the Homewood Campus. Eventually, we see Johns Hopkins University as a hub for undergraduate entrepreneurship, with a thriving startup community, support for students who pursue their own ventures, and programming for those who simply want to learn more about the world of entrepreneurship.

 

But our work doesn’t end there. Baltimore is our home, and we feel its vast potential. But we recognize that talent needs to stay within the city in order to catalyze Baltimore’s economic revival. By connecting student entrepreneurs with resources throughout the city, we aim to keep the most promising companies and top talent within Baltimore after graduation.

Our Story

It all started in August 2015. Weeks away from arriving on campus, we spent much of our day getting to know our fellow classmates and learning about campus life and classes on the JHU Class of 2019 Facebook Group. Ice breakers, surveys, group chats, we did it all in an effort to find common interests. Looking to jump on the bandwagon and find fellow Blue Jays interested in “entrepreneurship, business, tech, and all that good stuff” as I put it, I made a post one night expecting maybe a handful of people to answer. What I woke up to the next morning was pretty surprising; I had over 35 people all asking to join. I made an FB group and subsequently an FB group chat and named it ‘The Crazy Ones’ after the famous Apple quote.

 

The now infamous chat went just how you’d expect a group chat with over 35 people to go; it was constant messaging for a few days until it died down to a group of around twelve who later became known as ‘The Craziest Ones’. That latter chat was a complete success. We quickly became like family, at times reaching 1,000 messages per hour, and even Skyping a few times. We talked about entrepreneurship, food, life, and everything in between. Having people from all over the world, the messages never stopped. Waking up to 5,000 unread messages was a common occurrence. There’s something special to be said about getting to know someone through texting, where people tend to be real, unfiltered, and engaged.

 

While the chat is no longer active, the original vision remains. What started as a chat determined to connect with fellow entrepreneurially-minded students has now evolved into a student-run 501 (c)(3) non-profit determined to not only connect students at Hopkins, but to connect Hopkins students with those at other universities and the greater startup community. Eight of us from the original chat teamed up to create TCO Labs. Today, TCO stands for ‘Technology, Creativity, Opportunity’, three of our core values. To the eight of us, however, those three letters look back to our origins, for they double as an acronym for ‘The Crazy Ones’

 

– Anthony Garay