A SI360 alum and graduate of Duke University, Jake Son is now a research assistant for the Child Mind Institute (CMI), a non-profit organization that advances how children’s mental health disorders are understood and treated.
During Jake’s sophomore year, his friend Anissa told him about a paintbrush grip she designed at RISD to make painting more comfortable for artists with joint pain. Excited by the grip’s potential impact on a large community affected by conditions such as arthritis, Jake worked with Anissa to co-found Renoir Grips, a venture focused on enabling artists and musicians to pursue their passions by reducing joint pain. Jake acquired a partnership with Deloitte Consulting through SI360’s support, where he learned about the various challenges of translating a product from ideation to reality.
Jake continues to develop his skill set at the Child Mind Institute (CMI), where he helps create new medical devices and apps in the Mental Assistive Technologies for Therapy, Education, and Research (MATTER) Lab. He shares the lab’s philosophy that “technology can be responsibly designed to help children, parents, and physicians monitor and improve mental health over time.” In one project, the MATTER Lab is developing a wearable device to monitor body-focused repetitive behaviors such as compulsive hair-pulling, a poorly understood and undertreated condition that impairs physical and mental health. Jake draws from his experiences with SI360 to frame medical device development through the lenses of social entrepreneurship.
The SI360 connection
Jake says that SI360 was an essential part of his personal and professional development. “SI360 is a community of lifelong learners – you really learn as much from your mentees as you do from your mentors,” he said. Ultimately, Jake believes that SI360 helped him develop the perspective and skills to create socially responsible medical devices that are sensitive to personal and societal determinants of health.