busygrad.com catches on with target audience

Graduate students are, by nature, a focused lot. With all their studying and lab work, their world can get pretty insular.

A new website, created by and for Johns Hopkins students, is providing an online meeting and sharing spot for this distinct audience.

Busygrad.com lets its users better manage their social and school life, and connect with one another across departments, divisions, and schools.

Instead of posting on bulletin boards or vying for attention on Craigslist or with social media, students can use the site to look for a roommate, ride share, lab equipment, restaurant recommendations, and maybe even a significant other.

In the science category, they can share protocols, ask method questions, form a study cohort, and share lab reagents. In the event section, they can list an upcoming professional meeting or even a happy hour get-together.

To date, more than 2,200 people have registered on the site, which now accepts students from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Busygrad.com was one of six startups selected in 2013 for the AccelerateBaltimore program, an initiative of the Abell Foundation and the Emerging Technology Centers. Its creators were given $25,000 and free space at an ETC incubator to further develop the website.

The site was created in 2011 by Jon Robinson, a doctoral student in the School of Medicine who is now completing his degree work in human genetics. He was soon joined by Lawrence Gray, a fellow School of Medicine student.

Robinson says that he wanted to form an online community where graduate students could meet and collaborate, even if they were on different campuses. "This site has created a universitywide communication platform," he says.

Robinson and Gray are currently shopping the site to other Maryland schools and hope to add thousands of new users within the next year. Johns Hopkins grad students and faculty can register using their JHED ID.

Posted in Student Life