Machine Learning

CTIA Wireless Foundation awards Catalyst 2023 Winners

ReThink, a start-up using 5G to prevent cyberbullying, receives top grant of $100,000

CTIA Wireless Foundation announced the 2023 winners of Catalyst, a competitive grants program for social entrepreneurs using 5G and leading-edge wireless to address pressing challenges in American communities.

“We are thrilled to support our 2023 Catalyst Winners: ReThink, Dope Nerds and Healium,” said Dori Kreiger, Executive Director of CTIA Wireless Foundation. “These innovative social entrepreneurs are using wireless connectivity to empower change in their communities by addressing the challenges of cyberbullying, education inequities and veterans’ mental health with mobile-first solutions.”

The top grant prize of $100,000 was awarded to ReThink, an app-based platform that works to stop digital hate by using AI and machine learning to detect online hostility. ReThink runs a multi-language keyboard in the background of applications and prompts users to “rethink” harmful messages before they are sent or posted. Headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, ReThink has positively impacted more than 5 million youth via its technology, educational initiatives, and anti-hate advocacy.

Catalyst also awarded finalists Dope Nerds and Healium with $50,000 and $25,000 grants, respectively. Dope Nerds is breaking down barriers to digital inclusion by using virtual reality to deliver STEM-STEAM curricula along with career planning to middle and high school students. Healium is an immersive, virtual solution for stress management, working with veterans to improve mental health outcomes. The company’s social purpose provides virtual reality tours to terminally ill and aging veterans who are unable to visit their memorials in Washington, D.C.

Two additional finalists – PONS and Promly – were each awarded Honorable Mention grants of $10,000.

In its fourth year, Catalyst 2023 focused on social entrepreneurs using mobile-first applications that take advantage of the speed and versatility of 5G and leading-edge wireless as a platform for innovation and social good. Catalyst is committed to supporting social entrepreneurs that may face barriers to accessing capital. This year, 74% of applicant organizations are led by a member/members of the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, and more than half of the organizations are led by a person whose gender identity is female.  

Thank you to the Catalyst 2023 sponsors: Qualcomm, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, American Tower, Asurion, Assurant, iconectiv, Intel, Wiley Rein LLP and Wilkinson Barker Knauer.

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.

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