Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

7 startup-centric talks to check out during Labs@Light City 2018

Local and national startups will be at Inner Harbor's Columbus Center from April 18-21 as part of the wider social innovation conference. Here's a glimpse of some of the sessions to get started.

Conscious Venture Lab Director Jeff Cherry speaks at Labs@LightCity.

(Photo via Twitter)

Light City returns to Baltimore this weekend, with two weekends of light art and music. Along with drone races and other activities around the harbor, there’s also some new ideas being born in Baltimore to check out inside.
Labs@Light City, a series of talks, panels and discussions focused on social innovation, will be at IMET’s Columbus Center from April 18-21. As we reported in December, the conference covers seven topic areas, including health, makers and food. In a bid to open up access to everyone, admission is pay-what-you-can.
The conference aims to bring national leaders and local luminaries together on the same stage – sometimes in the same session. In all, 141 speakers are booked over the four days of the conference. A look at the schedule reveals that entrepreneurs and technologists are featured throughout. Here’s a session from each conference where each is represented:

April 18

  • SocialLab: Some of Baltimore’s growing social innovation companies get the spotlight, as the Warnock Social Innovator of the Year will be crowned. The founders featured include: Brittany Young of B-360, connecting youth to STEM opportunities through dirt bikes; Jenny Owens of Hosts for Humanity, connecting people receiving long-term medical care to volunteer hosts; Valeria Fuentes of Roots and Raices, a festival to showcase Latinx artists and Bennie Brimage of Reference Hive, an employment platform for transitional shelters and social service agencies.
  • EduLab: Full disclosure: This reporter will be moderating this session. Titled “Dear Mr. President,” it will include three Baltimore edtech entrepreneurs offering their thoughts on education in lightning-round format, featuring Nicole Tucker-Smith of Lessoncast, Chris Sleat of Workbench and Sean Tackett of Osmosis. 

April 19

  • GreenLab: Baltimore’s urban farming efforts are a fast-growing area of entrepreneurship. In a panel, Dominic Nell of CityWeeds, Ausur Daniels of the Greater Mondawmin Empowerment Project and Walker Marsh of Tha Flower Factory discuss environmental, business and social aspects of the effort to grow food in the city.
  • HealthLab: Nancy Lublin closes out the day with a talk on Crisis Text Line. She founded the service in 2013 to provide text-based support on a variety of health issues. Her keynote is titled “Saving Lives & Changing the World Through Texts and Technology.”

April 20

  • ArtLab: MICA is increasingly embracing entrepreneurship both within its student body and its efforts to connect with the city. In a panel, MICA President Sammy Hoi, Maggie Villegas of the Baltimore Creative Acceleration Network and Muse360 Arts founder Sharayna Ashanti Christmas talk about the arts college’s work in the city.
  • MakerLab: Sree Sreenivasan served as Chief Digital Officer of New York City, Columbia University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He’ll talk about how social media and other approaches are changing how entrepreneurs and institutions alike connect with audiences.

April 21

  • FoodLab Among the city’s incubators is B-More Kitchen, which provides space for food entrepreneurs to grow. Local favorites like Gundalow Juice, Bottoms Up Bagels and Well-Crafted Pizza are members there. A demo and talk is planned for this session.
See the full schedule
Projects: Light City
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