Tag: Portable Alternative Crib


11 Startups with JHTV Ties Rank Among Baltimore’s Best

11 Startups with JHTV Ties Rank Among Baltimore’s Best

In the last six months, Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx) raised a $75 million series B, Harpoon Medical sold for $100 million and Sunayu acquired Fractal Technology. Which Baltimore startup is next?

According to Technical.ly, businesses associated with Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV) are leading the next generation of Baltimore startups. Last week, the publication released the realLIST to catalogue the city’s “top companies who have already shown promise.” The top six companies ranked and 11 of the 20 mentioned have ties to JHTV.


Technical.ly selected a group of startups tackling diverse challenges related to manufacturing, education, health care, social issues and more. To determine “promise,” considerations included:

  • Boldness of idea
  • Talent levels of founders and team
  • Customer base and revenue
  • Investment capital
  • Potential impact
  • Office space



1. READY Robotics
The FastForward startup based in City Garage enables small- and medium-sized manufacturers to unlock the productivity and potential of robots. The company’s software, which it installs in pre-made manufacturing robots, allows manufacturers to change the tasks their robots perform in hours, instead of days or weeks.
2. Osmosis
A venture in the 2013-2014 Social Innovation Lab (SIL) cohort, Osmosis has created web- and mobile-based interactive learning experiences and an online community to help medical school students study. The startup co-founded by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine students recently expanded into print.
3. FactoryFour
FactoryFour is a solution that automates manufacturing processes for the production of orthotics, eyewear and footwear, reducing lead time and eliminating errors. Johns Hopkins University undergraduates Param Shah and Alex Mathews co-founded the company and used a number of JHTV resources. In addition to participating in SIL’s 2015-2016 cohort, the Mount Vernon-based startup received funding and mentorship through the Summer Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Award.
4. Intelehealth
Led by Johns Hopkins University graduate student Neha Goel, Intelehealth operates in the telemedicine space and is developing a mobile app that improves access to health care for remote and underserved communities. Intelehealth was a member of the 2016-2017 SIL cohort.
5. Proscia
Operating in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Proscia is ushering in an era of computational pathology. Proscia CEO David West, who founded the company with other Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering undergraduates, aims to give pathologists a quantitative view of cancer, enabling them to improve patient outcomes. Proscia received funding and mentorship from JHTV’s Ralph S. O’Connor Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Fund.
6. b.Well
B.Well’s online platform puts people at the center of their health care by simplifying access to health data, insurance and on-demand health services. The startup participated in the M-1 Ventures accelerator where it grew its pipeline 300 percent and won one of two $25,000 awards.
8. B-360
B-360 is on a mission to end the cycle of poverty and build bridges in communities through a STEM education program and advocacy program centered on Baltimore’s dirt bike culture. B-360 participated in Social Innovation Lab as a member of its 2016-2017 cohort.


Sunrise Health
Co-founded in 2016 by two Johns Hopkins University students, Sunrise Health is developing a mobile app for anonymous, text-based group therapy that increases mental health support for patients and maximizes health care providers’ efficiency. Sunrise Health participated in the 2016-2017 Social Innovation Lab cohort, received support from the Ralph S. O’Connor Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Fund and the Whiting Student Initiatives Fund.
BurnAlong provides an online video fitness and wellness platform that enables users to work out with top instructors from across the country and their friends. After participating in M-1 Ventures, BurnAlong had 400 business partners and more than 3,000 members. The company also won $25,000 through M-1 Ventures.
Portable Alternative Crib
Shantell Roberts distributes safe sleep baby boxes and supplies to Baltimore families to reduce the rate of sudden infant death syndrome in the city. She was a member of the 2016-2017 SIL cohort, winning the $25,000 prize at the conclusion of the program.
A member of FastForward, PathoVax is developing a universal Human Papillomavirus vaccine. Co-founded by two Johns Hopkins University graduate students, the startup recently received two federal grants totaling $2.5 million that will help the company push its first product to clinical trials.

Click here to learn more about Johns Hopkins startups!



10 Social Ventures Present Visions for a Better World,…

10 Social Ventures Present Visions for a Better World, The PAC Wins $25,000

Ten social ventures. One $25,000 award. Thousands of people benefiting from emerging social ventures.

Those numbers only begin to summarize Tuesday evening’s Impact+Innovation Forum, the Social Innovation Lab’s (SIL) culminating event for its 2016-2017 cohort of nonprofit and mission-driven businesses.

“The ventures in this cohort started out strong, having made it through a competitive selection process with 53 applicants,” says SIL Director Darius Graham. “Throughout the six-month program, these teams worked hard, learned a great deal and, in some cases, pivoted their approach.

“The forum was our way of publicly sharing their vision for a better Baltimore and world with our larger community of supporters.”

Though each of the SIL ventures has made strides in providing a measurable impact to communities in Baltimore and beyond, The Portable Alternative Crib (PAC) received a $25,000 award to accelerate its mission of lowering the occurrence of sudden infant death syndrome across Maryland. The organization’s founder, Shantell Roberts, provides families with young children information and resources, including a certified sleeping space, that keep babies safe.

“Parenthood is one of those weird spaces for which you could never truly be prepared,” Roberts said during her presentation, noting that new parents often receive well-intentioned advice. “But what if the information they gave you was unsafe? Or it didn’t work? Or led you to create an unsafe environment for your baby?”

In 2011, Roberts’ 1-year-old daughter was one of the more than 100 infant deaths that occur in Baltimore each year. Because of this tragedy, Roberts endeavored to ensure no other family had to endure the loss of a child.

Roberts, a safe sleep coordinator for Baltimore who joined SIL as a community member with no affiliation to Johns Hopkins, says the city has had six unsafe sleeping deaths of babies in the first quarter of 2017 alone. The PAC’s solution—a rectangular box only a couple of feet long—provides a certified, comfortable and safe sleeping space for babies.

For the immediate future, Roberts has set The PAC on a 100 box initiative. By selling 100 of the $150 boxes, which include maternal self-care and infant care items, she will have funding to send 100 additional boxes to organizations in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.

The $25,000 award she received from the Social Innovation Lab will go a long way in helping her achieve that goal.The PAC received the reward based on peer evaluations within SIL’s 2016-2017 cohort. Four times from January through April, each venture rated their peers on a four-point scale across seven categories:

Compelling spokesperson – A palpable passion, enthusiasm or commitment to their venture
Vision for impact – A reasonably ambitious vision for making an impact in a substantial way
Vision for venture – A reasonably ambitious vision for their venture’s future size, scale, impact and profile
Resilience – Acknowledgement of challenges and dedication to overcome them
Empathy – An extensive understanding of and empathy for the beneficiary of the venture
Progress – Demonstrated growth or development of the venture during the program
Generosity – Offering time, contacts or ideas to help others in the cohort

“We were inspired to create this peer review process for the award based on the work that Village Capital has done via their Peer Selected Investment Model,” Graham says. “Having such a process where the cohort provides ongoing feedback to each other and where that feedback determines the winner of the award helps us identify the team that best exemplifies what we look for in entrepreneurs.”

Though PAC received top honors at the event, the nine other nonprofits and mission-driven businesses have benefited communities in Baltimore and around the world.

Click here to watch the SIL ventures present at the Impact+Innovation Forum.


Using dirt bike culture as a platform to repair and build relationships in the community, provide a pathway to career opportunities and unite the community.

Presenter: Brittany Young, founder

Inspiration: Became an engineer despite being told she couldn’t because of her race, the community in which she grew up and the fact her parents lacked degrees
Key fact: Children as young as 5 either ride dirt bikes or want to be dirt bike riders
Quote: “Riders, regardless of where they come from, deserve a safe place.”

Beacon Tech

A mobile app for anonymous, text-based, group therapy that uses artificial intelligence.

Presenter: Ravi Shah, co-founder

Inspiration: Saw friend suffering from mental health illness, but she feared judgment in treatment
Key fact: One in five people in the United States suffer from a mental health illness
Quote: “That community and support [my friend who suffered mental illness received] was limited to just 90 minutes a week, but her depression wasn’t scheduled.” — Ravi Shah, co-founder, Beacon Tech

Bent Carrot

Empowering families to eat well by connecting them with essential kitchen tools and fostering a community brought together by a passion for improving its food environment.

Presenter: Mark Corser, founder, Bent Carrot

Inspiration: Lived in a Baltimore food desert with the nearest grocery store 20 blocks away
Key fact: 30 percent of children in Baltimore live in a food desert
Quote: “The Kitchen Kit allows families to prepare fresh, healthy foods in their own homes, on their own terms.”


A mobile app that improves access to comprehensive primary health care for remote and underserved communities through telemedicine.

Presenter: Neha Goel, CEO, Intelehealth

Inspiration: From India, Goel noticed existing telemedicine solutions inadequate for rural populations as they require high bandwidth or are specific to a single illness
Key fact: 400 million people around the world lack access to basic health care services
Quote: “They have to travel long distances and spend an inordinate amount of money to get the care that you and I take for granted.”


Providing supplies and support to breastfeeding moms at work.

Presenter: Meg Stoltzfus, founder, Lacstation

Inspiration: Manager of breastfeeding support program had to race to provide nursing mothers missing equipment
Key fact: Four in five mothers breastfeed when a baby is born, but that rate drops to two in five after three months
Quote: “Breastfeeding is one of the most valuable preventative health measures a mom can take.”

The Listening Lab

A music education program that teaches students concentration, awareness and listening skills through a series of classroom sessions and live orchestra concerts

Presenter: Rebecca Smithorn, founder, The Listening Lab

Inspiration: Education conductor of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra
Key fact: Intentional listening allows people to lose themselves in music as they would a great movie or book
Quote: “A lot of our students face hurdles daily that infringe on their ability to sustain awareness.”

Project Charmify

Bringing small-scale investment to Baltimore communities in the form of vacant lot revitalization and community-driven programming

Presenter: Elyse Oliver, president & co-founder

Inspiration: Grew up in Biddeford, Maine, a town that hadn’t seen investment since the heyday of its textile mills in the 1960s
Key fact: Sixty-five percent of Baltimore’s 7,500 city-owned vacant spaces have no plans for future revitalization
Quote: “I was involved in the revitalization efforts of Biddeford’s downtown during my senior year of high school. That involvement dramatically changed my perception of the city.”


Connecting community members to play pickup sports, while generating revenue for community centers and recreation facilities.

Presenter: Nikhil Panu, founder

Inspiration: The captain of the Johns Hopkins basketball team, Panu has long had an interest in sports but struggled to find people to play with and places to do it
Key fact: In its initial launch in Baltimore, Squadz had 130 bookings of space at recreation centers over a period of weeks
Quote: “We see people from various neighborhoods coming together, and this is all through sports.”

The Whole Teacher

Increasing the health, happiness and retention of educators by streaming wellness programming into schools.

Presenter: Jenna Shaw, founder and CEO

Inspiration: Began teaching in Baltimore public schools nine years ago, and each year she saw fewer and fewer of her colleagues returning to the classroom
Key fact: At 35 percent, Baltimore’s turnover rates for teachers are twice the national average
Quote: “Schools don’t have the resources or knowledge they need to truly support our educators

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