Two student software venture teams have been awarded the 2023 Singhal Family Entrepreneurship Awards: Quest2Learn has won the $20,000 Entrepreneurship Award, while CodaHx has secured a $5,000 Seed Award.
A collaboration between the Department of Computer Science and FastForward U, the annual Singhal Family Entrepreneurship Awards were established to help jumpstart student-run ventures in the fast-growing, highly competitive software industry. In addition to funding of up to $30,000, awardee teams will be paired with a software mentor to assist in product development and will have access to: business, marketing, and financial mentorship; investor and advisor networks; and peer/cohort ventures through FastForward U.
Meet the Teams
Quest2Learn launched in the height of the pandemic as a solution to lackluster online lab courses held during quarantine. The student-designed augmented reality app projects laboratory objects and activities onto surfaces via users’ smartphone cameras, allowing them to learn and practice correct lab techniques and complete virtual assignments through interactive, realistic simulations; even post-quarantine, students appreciate the engaging, hands-on experience the app affords.
Quest2Learn has already seen success with over 100 students at JHU and other institutions, but the team has ambitions to inspire local high school students to pursue careers in biomedical sciences and expose underprivileged communities to state-of-the-art lab science education for a fraction of the cost.
“With the Singhal Family Entrepreneurship Award, Quest2Learn will be able to fund additional pilot sessions with schools, enhance our product development by hiring additional team members, and expand our offerings to reach more people,” says co-founder and project lead Chinat Yu, a fourth-year computer science undergraduate.
This award is only the latest in Quest2Learn’s accolades; the team has been featured in local and JHU news articles and additionally won a Johns Hopkins Digital Education and Learning Technology Acceleration Award in 2021 and a Dean’s Design Award at Johns Hopkins Engineering Design Day 2023.
CodaHx is a software as a service startup with the central mission of modernizing U.S. healthcare. Inspired by their shared drive to build software solutions to address the inefficiencies of current patient care systems, the CodaHx team aims to tackle systemic issues in the U.S. healthcare system by combining cutting-edge technology with a patient- and provider-centered philosophy.
The funding afforded by the Singhal Family Seed Award “will help us further refine our product by allowing us to build out cloud infrastructure, conduct more user interviews, access important datasets, and more,” says CodaHx team member and first-year Johns Hopkins medical student Oren Wei. “In addition, support in the form of technical and business mentorship will be invaluable to our success as a startup that is trying to innovate in a complex and highly-regulated space.”
The team is currently working with various partners to fine-tune their product offering and hopes to release a first generation soon.