Tag: B-360

Social Ventures

Impact Hub Event Showcases Social Innovation Lab and Ventures

Impact Hub Event Showcases Social Innovation Lab and Ventures

The energy flowing through Impact Hub at 7:30 a.m. on February 22 had nothing to do with coffee-fueled caffeine rushes and everything to do with passion for social entrepreneurship.

That morning, dozens and dozens of people packed the Station North-based innovation lab for SocEnt Breakfast #29, a re-occurring morning meeting filled with brainstorming and networking to support emerging social ventures.

This iteration featured three Social Innovation Lab (SIL) teams (The Whole Teacher, Touching Young Lives and B-360), and began with SIL Director Darius Graham providing an overview of the program’s mission to develop nonprofits and mission-driven for-profits to better communities in Baltimore and around the world.

After Jenna Shaw of The Whole Teacher, Shantell Roberts of Touching Young Lives and Brittany Young of B-360 explained the issues their ventures intended to solve, each met with a focus group of 15-20 attendees to identify ways to strengthen their organizations.

“The questions were really great, and I felt that people were engaged and interested in what we were working on and very quick to offer community resources,” says Shaw, who established The Whole Teacher to increase the health, happiness and retention of Baltimore teachers.

The focus groups exposed the social entrepreneurs to diverse perspectives presented through a lens shaped by a variety of professional and life experiences.

“My group had so many people interested in Touching Young Lives,” says Roberts, who founded her nonprofit that provides education and tools to reduce the occurrence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) after her 1-year-old daughter died. “One mother in my group lost her baby to SIDS, and she was able to extend her thoughts in any capacity I needed.”

In the case of B-360, a group dedicated to changing the perceptions of engineers and dirt bike riders and using dirt bikes to teach Baltimore children STEM, it not only received feedback but used the time to educate the group.

“We talked a lot about my students who by the age of 5 either ride dirt bikes or want to become dirt bike riders,” Young says. “The group was valuable because they had raw opinions, but they left viewing riders differently.”

Though the event officially lasted only about 90 minutes, many members of the focus groups lingered to meet and exchange business cards with the other SIL entrepreneurs.

“I left with a lot of business cards, and I have a lot of upcoming meetings because of that day,” Roberts says, noting specifically an opportunity to work with the International Rescue Committee to discuss how a relationship between their two organizations might look like.

Shaw and Young echoed that sentiment. Less than a week after the event she had reached out to about a dozen people she had met and had several more reach out to her.

“I made a lot of connections just from that morning,” Shaw says. “People have been offering to make introductions on behalf of The Whole Teacher and others have discussed how they approached similar challenges.”

“We made a lot of great connections, including mechanics, business interests, motorcycle riders, and STEM experts,” Young says. “The best part was that the event was unscripted but had a great flow, so everyone left feeling empowered. B-360 left having more concrete validations on the importance of our work and the need in the community.”

The advice, inspiration and connections derived from this event, which included past SIL cohort members, may turn out to be indispensable. At least one of the entrepreneurs looks forward to paying the support she has received forward.

“(SIL alumni) have all been really inviting and willing to help in whatever they can,” Roberts says. “I always joke with (Graham), ‘How great do I have to be so that I can come back and help future teams?’ I’m always willing to lend assistance.”

Want to learn more about the Social Innovation Lab? Click here.

Social Ventures

Social Innovation Lab Announces New Class of Changemakers

Social Innovation Lab Announces New Class of Changemakers

Since 2011, 52 nonprofits and mission-driven for-profits have participated in the Social Innovation Lab, securing a total of $13 million in funding and positively impacting more than 268,000 lives.

On Oct. 26, SIL director Darius Graham welcomed the 2016 cohort. This group of 10 teams aims to build upon the success of previous cohorts by continuing to create change and build opportunities in Baltimore and beyond.

“These ventures were selected through a highly-competitive process from a pool of 53 applicants,” Graham says. “In addition to being promising solutions to pressing social issues in the areas of health, education and community development, these ventures and their leaders represent the strength and diversity of Baltimore’s social innovation and entrepreneurship community.”

Meet the 2016 cohort:

Social Innovation Lab 2016-2017 Cohort

Touching Young Lives – Provides education and tools to help lower the occurrence of sudden infant death syndrome across Maryland. Operated by Shantell Roberts, community member.

ReLac – Developing a vending machine technology and related services to provide breast pumping supplies to working moms. Operated by Meg Stoltzfus, Johns Hopkins University staff.

Beacon – A mobile application for anonymous, text-based group therapy that utilizes advanced natural language processing techniques to increase treatment accessibility for patients and the efficiency of mental health care providers. Operated by three Whiting School of Engineering students: undergraduate Shrenik Jain and alums Ravi Shah and Satya Bommaraju.

Bent Carrot – Strengthens urban communities by reducing food insecurity and promoting healthful eating. Operated by Mark Corser, community member.

The Whole Teacher – Provides health and wellness services to teachers in order to help reduce burn-out and increase retention. Operated by Jenna Shaw, a Johns Hopkins University alum from the School of Education.

Squadz – Squadz is a social activity and venue booking platform that connects the community to play pickup sports, while generating revenue for community centers and recreation facilities. Operated by Nikhil Panu, a Johns Hopkins University graduate student in the Whiting School of Engineering.

B-360/BCCC STEM Scholars – Exposes residents to STEM and increases diversity in these fields by meeting students at their level and providing job readiness and a pipeline starting at the GED or community college levels. Operated by Brittany Young, community member.

Project Charmify – Brings small-scale investment to Baltimore communities in the form of vacant lot revitalization and community-driven programming. Operated by three Johns Hopkins University undergrads: Elyse Oliver (Krieger School of Arts & Sciences), Darius Irani (Whiting School of Engineering) and Jack Alpert (Krieger School of Arts & Sciences).

The Listening Lab – The Listening Lab is a music listening education program that teaches fourth- and fifth-grade students awareness, concentration and intentional listening skills through a series of classroom sessions and live orchestra concerts. Operated by Rebecca Smithorn and AnnMarie Stockmeyer, community members.

Intelehealth – Improving access to comprehensive primary health care for the last mile through telemedicine. Operated by Johns Hopkins students Neha Goel (graduate student in the School of Medicine), Amal Afroz Alam (graduate student in the Whiting School of Engineering) and Emily Eggert (alum from the Whiting School of Engineering).

Take a look by the numbers:

Social Innovation Lab 2016 Cohort Stats

Social Innovation Lab 2016 Cohort Stats

Click here to learn more about the Social Innovation Lab!

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