Hopkins class to boost Accelerate Baltimore alumnae's marketing efforts

By Morgan Eichensehr, Reporter

Baltimore Business Journal

February 20, 2018

A startup with local roots is getting a marketing and advertising boost from a class of Johns Hopkins University students.

Jetpack Inc. was founded by entrepreneur Fatima Dicko, who also founded Baltimore subscription box delivery venture mybestbox. Dicko went through the Emerging Technology Centers' Accelerate Baltimore program and secured early funding for mybestbox in 2016, before traveling to Stanford University for graduate school. At Stanford, Dicko came up with a new delivery service. With Jetpack, designated university students act as delivery agents for certain "essentials" college students may need at any time. A student can order products like toothpaste or phone chargers through the Jetpack app, and a delivery "Jetpacker" brings the product immediately.

Jetpack was launched on the Stanford campus last year, with goals of expanding to other campuses. And now, the startup is looking back to Baltimore for help with its expansion efforts.

The startup is now a "client" for this year’s Advertising and Integrated Marketing Communications class at Hopkins. During the spring 2018 semester, the undergraduate class will serve as a full-service marketing agency called Hoptimize Advertising. It will research, develop and implement a marketing campaign for Jetpack, specifically for the Hopkins Homewood campus.

The budget for the campaign will be $2,500, and the goal is to secure 1,000 app downloads and increase brand awareness to 80 percent among the school's undergraduates.

Students will use surveys and in-depth interviews to gain market insights on the needs and behaviors of Hopkins students, then roll out their campaign based on a collaborative effort from several departments, including graphic design and finance.

Spencer Abrohms, a junior at Hopkins and co-manager of Hoptimize’s research department, said he was excited about the hands-on learning experience this partnership will provide.

“Many classes at Hopkins are very theoretical, so this class stands out for its practicality. It gives students a taste of what it’s like to work at a real-world ad agency,” Abrohms said in a statement. “While the resume-building aspects are obviously appealing, the class also provides leadership experience and the opportunity to work on client-based projects, which will be useful long after we graduate.”