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May 19, 2021

CTIA Wireless Foundation Announces Semifinalists in Catalyst Grants Program

Six Social Entrepreneurs Using Wireless for Health and Well-Being Move to Next Round

CTIA Wireless Foundation Announces Semifinalists in Catalyst Grants Program


WASHINGTON – CTIA Wireless Foundation today announced the six semifinalists in Catalyst, its competitive grants program for social entrepreneurs using wireless to solve pressing health and well-being issues.

In its second year, Catalyst identifies and funds early stage social enterprises that take advantage of the speed, efficiency and versatility of wireless technology to improve the health and well-being of Americans.

Catalyst saw a 150% increase in applications in 2021, with social entrepreneurs from across the United States applying in the first round. 78% of applicant organizations are led by a person whose gender identity is female and 66% of the organizations are led by member/members of the Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities.

“The Catalyst 2021 Semifinalists are showcasing the power of wireless for good,” said Dori Kreiger, Executive Director of CTIA Wireless Foundation. “This year, we received an increasing number of outstanding submissions from emerging social entrepreneurs who are using cutting-edge applications of wireless technology to improve health outcomes. We are thrilled to recognize six bold changemakers as the Catalyst 2021 Semifinalists.”

The Catalyst 2021 Semifinalists are:

  • Bloomlife: A wearable patch and companion app for prenatal health, tracking critical maternal and fetal health parameters, founded by two industry professionals after an experience with infertility.
  • EmPowerYu: A remote healthcare monitoring system – using IoT sensors, an app, SMS texting and web platform – for those aging in place, founded by a neuroscientist who experienced long-distance caregiving for her mother.
  • Keva Health: A digital platform for remote monitoring of patients with chronic respiratory illnesses to reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits, developed after the founders’ daughter was diagnosed with asthma.
  • mRelief: Uses text messages, voice and web to create access to nutritious food for American families though the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), created by founders who learned firsthand the importance of food stamps and improved social service delivery.
  • OkaySo: An app connecting young people to trained mental health experts for personalized support related to stress, sex, relationships, identify and more, by founders who experienced lack of access to support and information as LGBTQ-identified teens.
  • Parrots: An AI-enhanced assistive “parrot” device that gives a smart voice and telecare to people with neurological disorders through Bluetooth or LTE/5G networks, created by a healthcare engineer who witnessed his aunt’s and friend’s struggle with MS and ALS.

The six organizations will participate in an invitation-only second round application, which will be evaluated by a team of experts in the fields of wireless technology, social entrepreneurship, philanthropy and health. The Catalyst 2021 Advisors include Charles Corprew, Ph.D. (Senior Lead, Camelback Network); Mary Galeti (Executive Director and Vice-Chair, Tecovas Foundation); Sarah Koch (Interim Executive Director, Entrepreneurship Funders Network); Nicol Turner-Lee, Ph.D. (Director of the Center for Technology Innovation, The Brookings Institute); Chris Nicholson (CEO and Co-Founder, mPulse Mobile); and Mary E. (Beth) Salcedo, M.D. (Psychiatrist & Medical Director, The Ross Center). More information on the Catalyst Advisors here.

Three finalists will be selected in late summer 2021, and the first, second and third-place grants will be announced and honored with $100,000, $50,000 and $25,000, respectively, in the fall.

Thank you to our 2021 sponsors: Qualcomm, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, American Network Solutions, American Tower, Assurant, Asurion, Ericsson, iconectiv, Intel, Mintz, Samsung, UScellular, and Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP.


30 Years of Wireless Social Innovation

For more than 30 years, CTIA Wireless Foundation has been at the forefront of wireless-driven social innovation, leading initiatives to address societal challenges such as public safety, domestic violence, children’s health, mental health and distracted driving. Our mission is to fuel positive social impact by using innovative wireless technology in American communities.

About CTIA Wireless Foundation

CTIA Wireless Foundation ( is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to advancing positive social impact fueled by innovative wireless technology in American communities. CTIA Wireless Foundation was formed by CTIA® member companies in 1991. Follow CITA Wireless Foundation on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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