Skip to main content


You are here

Journey from Intern to CEO – inConversation with Brad Hennessie of NextStep Robotics

Monday, June 25, 2018

 BioBuzz Shares Profile of UM Ventures Startup CEO

The secret to becoming a successful CEO “Build your own comfort level with being uncomfortable”. Brad Hennessie, CEO of NextStep Robotics, knows a little bit about being uncomfortable. Joining the military early in his career he worked as a paratrooper. In his interview with BioBuzz he compared the feeling of pitching NextStep Robotics to jumping from a plane. Brad’s first pitch ever was to the Maryland Momentum Fund given to a board of about 20 members. He walked away with $250,000 to bring NextStep to life. During that first pitch and in his everyday life his passion for NextStep Robotics is center stage.

Brad didn’t start his career as the CEO of a cutting-edge medical technology company. In fact, his journey started as a research intern where he was fortunate to work with Rich Macko (CSO NextStep) at Veterans Medical Center where the idea that would eventually become NextStep was born. Macko, Hennessie, and their team were part of the VA Maryland Exercise and Robotics Center of Excellence (MERCE). He put time and hard work into his education with a Bachelors in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from Towson University, a Masters in Health Care Administration / Management and an MBA from UMUC. All of those years of hard work, education and raising his comfort level with the uncomfortable all lead to the launch of NextStep Robotics in 2017.

The company’s ‘founding story’ began when Brad took another one of his leaps into the uncomfortable zone and propositioned Dr. Forrester and Dr. Macko, the inventors of the technology, to front his base salary and let him try to commercialize it for them. After eight years of running their studies, administering their grants, and managing the personnel, Brad had earned their trust.  “A strong relationship with your team is probably the most important thing in a startup,” Brad shared. “Your team has to trust each other because everyone can’t oversee every aspect of what is needed to start a successful business.”

Click here to read the rest of the story via BioBuzz.