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“How can we spark young people’s journey to economic opportunity by better connecting education and career?” This question lies at the very heart of the Catalyze Challenge, powered by Skild.

The Catalyze Challenge offers grants to design, pilot, and expand learning models that support young people in achieving lifelong success. The Challenge's Accelerate Award (programs ready for piloting or expansion) grants up to $500,000 to models ready to serve students; the Ignite Award (early stage ideas) grants up to $50,000 for planning and research.

Presented by the CTIA Wireless Foundation, Catalyst is a competitive grants program for ambitious social entrepreneurs using the power of 5G and leading-edge wireless technologies to enhance our lives and address pressing challenges in American communities.

Following months of competition, the CTIA Wireless Foundation has announced the winners of Catalyst 2022. They are . . .

Kai XR — Kai XR uses augmented reality, virtual reality, and extended reality technologies to enable students to learn and explore beyond classroom walls. From a smartphone, students can be transported to museums and monuments across the globe.

5G’s low latency and high speeds provides smooth, uninterrupted virtual reality experiences, allowing students to fully immerse themselves in the environments they are visiting. Kai XR founder Kai Frazier began her work with Kai XR after teaching in low-income schools and being unable to secure funding for field trips for her students.

Parrots — Parrots provides a smart voice tool and telecare to those with neurological disorders. Specifically, Parrots provides Polly, an AI-enhanced assistive platform and “parrot” device. Connected to a wireless device, Polly sits on a patient’s wheelchair and provides assistance to improve the lives of patients, including a 360-degree view of wheelchair surroundings and smart wheelchair navigation capabilities. 

5G connectivity gives Polly the ability to provide even more immediate and responsive care to users, thanks to high speeds and low latency that allow for real-time information sharing. Parrots founder David Hojah used his experience as a medical engineer to develop Parrots after losing his aunt to multiple sclerosis and seeing his uncle and friend fight Alzheimer’s and ALS.

Oxiwear — OxiWear is an ear-wearable pulse oximeter for continuous oxygen monitoring and low oxygen alerting. Users simply place the oximeter on the top of their ear tip, connect the monitor to an application on their wireless device and the device monitors oxygen levels throughout the day. If a user’s oxygen levels begin to decline, OxiWear sends a wireless alert to the user and any emergency contacts.

5G’s ultra-fast speeds and low latency give OxiWear the capacity and bandwidth for constant feedback between the wireless device and the pulse oximeter in use. Shavini Fernando, founder and CEO of OxiWear, created the device to help monitor her own oxygen health. Fernando has pulmonary hypertension as a result of Eisenmenger’s Syndrome, a congenital heart defect that can cause sudden drops in oxygen levels.

Congratulations to all of the winners! Skild is looking forward to powering Catalyst 2023.

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