Madison Marks

The following was originally released by the Economic Development Office of Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health System.

Teams from Coppin State University, Digital Harbor High School and Johns Hopkins University (Team Alohomore and Team MHA) embarked Oct. 15 on a hackathon experience, HackGood4 Baltimore, designed to address an important issue impacting Baltimore residents and visitors: panhandling.

The teams were challenged to identify a safe and sustainable solution related to public safety, focusing on adult and youth panhandling in city intersections and along thoroughfares. The teams had five hours to prepare their pitch for a esteemed panel of judges, including Alicia Wilson, Vice President for Economic Development at Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health System; Mona L. Morales, U.S. Industry Director, Chief Digital Office at Microsoft; Dana Petersen Moore, Chief Equity Officer and Director for the City of Baltimore; Madison Marks, Director of the Social Innovation Lab at Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures; and Zion Patterson, a Junior at Western High School in Baltimore.

Solutions ranged in complexity and approach, each offering a unique, executable idea that addressed the challenge and created opportunities to visualize change. They included technology-based solutions, like a Virtual Work Base Program (Digital Harbor HS) and H.I.R.E Baltimore (JHU, Team MHA), social service-based initiatives, like Dream Team Interventionist (Coppin State Univ.), and the Voucher Base Program (JHU, Team Alohomore).

The winning team, MHA, solution submitted its plan to the Global Microsoft Hackathon. MHA also will present its solution to the Mayor’s Office and Johns Hopkins’ Department of Public Safety, as well as corporate and university partners and philanthropists.

All of the teams will receive coaching from the Social Innovation Lab as they prepare to present their plans to the mayor’s office in the spring. They also will receive a six-month product development mentorship from Microsoft.

“Although we selected a winner, we decided to expand the prize offerings to all the teams to give them the opportunity to further develop their idea and potentially partner with other teams,” said Wilson.

To view and experience HackGood4 Baltimore pitches, visit JHHackGood4Bmore. Follow the hashtag #HackGood4Baltimore across all @JHConnects social platforms to learn more about the teams and how they plan to collaborate for the good of Baltimore.