Many in the tech world wish they could use their skills to tackle problems of higher social import than the projects frequently undertaken by startups. And many of them don’t know about Blue Ridge Labs. Well, here you go.
The incubator for social entrepreneurship put out a call for applicants this week. The summer fellowship will focus on solving problems for the elderly. Here are the questions Blue Ridge Labs would like to answer:
- How might technologies help fight social isolation and better connecting seniors — especially those with limited mobility — to their communities?
- How can we simplify and demystify the complex web of benefits and support systems already available to seniors, in order to increase their access?
- How can we build the capacity of caregivers to identify challenges, provide support, and connect seniors to resources?
Blue Ridge Labs alumni have had marked success.
Jimmy Chen’s Propel, which helps low-income New Yorkers take advantage of SNAP benefits, can’t stop winning competitions, including a $100,000 grant from the Future Cities Accelerator last month.
“Human beings solved their biggest problems through tools and I feel like tech is the biggest tool we’ve come up with,” Bill Cromie, Blue Ridge Labs’ director of emergent technology, said in a previous interview about the program. “Catalyst is about taking ideas that have a minimum viable product and giving them the resources necessary to get them in front of more traditional funders.”
Sound like something you might want to get involved in?