Civic News
Incubators / Innovation / Universities

10 projects picked for JHU’s Social Innovation Lab

As part of the incubator program, do-gooding tech ventures get $1,000 in funding and access to resources from Hopkins.

Ryan J. Smith (right) picked up his second award in two weeks at the 2015 Baltimore Hackathon. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Ryan J. Smith won a pair of hackathons this fall. Now, he’s expanding his civic data visualization efforts beyond fast-paced weekends. A graduate student in the university’s school of medicine by day, Smith is going to spend the next six months working on a project that helps Baltimore homeowners learn whether they are eligible for tax credits.
The Baltimore Tax Credit Project is among 10 ventures that are part of the new cohort of Johns Hopkins’ Social Innovation Lab. As part of the incubator program, teams get $1,000 in funding and access to resources from Hopkins. Previously, applicants had to be affiliated with the university, but that requirement was waived for 2015.
Additional projects include an effort to find a new way to create orthotics devices, and a team that wants to develop a low-cost fuel solution for Tanzania.
Here’s the full list, with descriptions supplied by JHU’s Office of Communications:

  • Wiya: A loyalty and rewards app that encourages users to support local businesses
  • Fusiform: Working to recreate how orthotic devices are made in order to revolutionize the orthopedics industry and positively impact the community
  • Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap: Collects donations of educational materials that are no longer being used and distributes them to teachers, schools, and educational programs who need them
  • Hero Lab: Using an original curriculum in resilience training and the science of human flourishing (positive psychology) to nurture gritty school and community change-makers amongst at-risk youth in Baltimore low-income public schools and neighborhoods
  • Greater Baltimore Health Improvement Initiative: Developing and implementing culturally adapted, health outcome-focused educational and social engagement programs for targeted areas in the greater Baltimore region
  • Bright Energy Africa: Bringing sustainable, cost-efficient fuel solutions to Tanzania while providing local citizens with employment, training, and entrepreneurial opportunities
  • Baltimore Tax Credit Project: Preserving homeownership and introducing millions of dollars into the Baltimore economy by taking a data-driven approach to increasing adoption of the Maryland Homeowner’s Tax Credit Program
  • Baltimore Healthy Teaching Kitchen: Engaging the community in lifelong healthy eating habits through hands-on cooking lessons on preparing meals that are nutritious, accessible, and practical
  • SOAR: An online platform that digitally empowers students in Baltimore to showcase and fund their academic needs, interests, and passions
  • #popscope: Providing free public astronomy nights for Baltimore’s many neighborhoods to promote community-building through science outreach in public spaces
Companies: Social Innovation Lab / Bio-Rad Laboratories

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