CTIA Wireless Foundation is dedicated to the development of mobile technology that promotes social innovation. We embrace the wireless industry’s spirit of entrepreneurism and believe in the promise of wireless technology to improve communities nationwide.
The Foundation partners with nonprofit and mission-driven enterprises that accelerate tech social entrepreneurs’ work. With an emphasis on impact at scale, we are proud to partner with organizations that nurture and develop the potential of social entrepreneurs to deliver positive outcomes made possible by wireless technology.
Camelback Ventures is an accelerator that through the identification, development and promotion of early-stage underrepresented entrepreneurs, aims to increase individual and community education. CTIA Wireless Foundation is proud to support Camelback Ventures and the founders that are working daily to solve these important issues. Since its inception in 2015, over 75 social entrepreneurs have participated in Camelback’s accelerator programming, many of whom have used wireless to achieve social impact.
Camelback Ventures’ premier initiative, the Camelback Fellowship, is a six-month program supporting the development of social entrepreneurs and their ventures. Through coaching, capital and connections, the fellowship emphasizes a focus on entrepreneurial growth through a series of summits and a culminating Showcase.
Since 2015, 94% of the entrepreneurs who have participated in the fellowship identified as people of color, and 60% as women. The program has received over 1,500 applications and has a 4% acceptance rate.
Fellowship alumni have been recognized in Forbes 30 Under 30, Echoing Green and the Obama Fellowship. We are proud to have Camelback alum, MindRight Health as a 2020 Catalyst Finalist. Previous alumni who use wireless technology include:
- Konekti: A mobile app and online platform to facilitate communication among students, parents and teachers.
- Liberate: A meditation app designed for the Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities, which offers resources for common cultural experiences, like internalized racism and micro-aggressions.
- Movers & Shakers: Creates augmented reality to teach the history of marginalized people in classrooms, cultural institutions and public spaces.
- Uvii: A remote learning app that allows instructors to engage with, teach and respond to students using a combination of video, audio and text messages.
CTIA Wireless Foundation is proud to partner with Fast Forward, a San Francisco-based organization that invests in entrepreneurs who are using technology to create social impact.Fast Forward works with tech nonprofits to build a bridge between the tech and social sectors and equip organizations with the funding and resources they need to scale their operations.
Tech Nonprofit: tech startups that build original software or hardware with the primary goal of scaling social impact instead of increasing financial profits.
Fast Forward’s flagship Accelerator program works to connect tech nonprofits with seed funding, mentors, peer communities and fundraising opportunities.
Over the course of the program each organization in the cohort receives:
- Three months of training
- Three demo days, where they have the opportunity to pitch 600+ philanthropists
- Mentorship from 100+ advisors in the tech and social sectors
- $25,000 in unrestricted funding
- Support from Accelerator partners
With the program now in its sixth year, the 2019 Accelerator cohort was made up of a group of 21 rising entrepreneurs leading 10 solution-focused tech nonprofits. 90% of the organizations in the Accelerator have a woman co-founder and 80% have a co-founder who is a person of color.
Demo Day 2019
CTIA Wireless Foundation was thrilled to see the cohort’s work at the 2019 Demo Days and in our role as a mentor to the entrepreneurs during their training. The 2019 Accelerator cohort includes:
2019 Accelerator Cohort with Fast Forward staff.
Karin Underwood of CoachMe pitches at Fast Forward Demo Day.
Lisa Wang of Almost Fun pitches at Fast Forward Demo Day.
Wireless device captures CG Chen of Ample Labs pitch at Fast Forward Demo Day.
Do Good Institute at University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy
CTIA Wireless Foundation also partners with the Do Good Institute at University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. The Do Good Institute provides opportunities for University of Maryland students to immerse themselves in an entrepreneurial community while working to address significant social issues through hands-on learning opportunities.
The Institute provides student social entrepreneurs with workspace, personal and professional development opportunities, coaching, financial support and access to funders and investors. Do Good Institute programs include:
- Do Good Accelerator: A collaborative space on campus that helps to scale up students’ innovative solutions to social problems. The accelerator offers trainings, networking opportunities and more to help social entrepreneurs grow their impact.
- Do Good Challenge: An annual, campus-wide challenge inspiring students to pursue innovative solutions to social issues they are passionate about. Students from across the University spend the year advocating, fundraising, volunteering, supporting and developing solutions to a social issue. The challenge culminates in a finals event where six student teams pitch their venture for a chance to win a share of more than $20,000.
- Faculty Fellows: A program supporting faculty members in their work as scholars, teachers, advisors and educational leaders exploring social innovation.
- Mini-Grants: Do Good mini-grants support the development and innovation of student-led and -run project proposals.
Recent Do Good Challenge projects using wireless technology include:
- 2019 Venture Track Finalist Padres Preparados, Jovenes Saludables is a culturally grounded, open-source app combatting obesity in children by promoting positive parenting practices.
- 2019 Semi-Finalist Chat Health uses novel machine learning and AI technology to enable students to communicate with the UMD Health Center using an SMS platform.
- 2018 Venture Track winner Symbiot developed a wearable device that utilizes wireless technology to detect when elderly people fall in retirement homes and automatically alert staff.
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