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By Nikki Cabus

Verizon & CoLAB support startups with new Health Equity cohort

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VerizoncoLAB are supporting startups working to break down barriers to quality care with solutions leveraging next generation technology. They are currently accepting applications for the Verizon Forward for Good Accelerator’s newest cohort: Health Equity.
For the last 10+ years, coLAB has built and managed a community of over 150k innovators, corporate partners, VCs, universities, community organizations, industry experts, nonprofits, and beyond. Through collaboration, they have done everything from business model innovation for Fortune 500s, to working with the next-generation of startups solving pressing social issues like climate justice.
CoLAB leads with a client-first approach, so programs always deliver on specific goals. CoLAB is proud that they don’t take equity stakes in companies saying that they can focus on making you happy through customization, agility, and better prices than the competition. CoLAB focuses on accelerators, ecosystem development, intrapreneurship, pre-accelerators, and open innovation challenges.
Verizon and CoLAB are supporting startups working to close the gaps in health access and outcomes. The search is one for solutions leveraging next generation technology to break down barriers to quality care.
Over 16 weeks, selected startups will receive $50,000 in non-dilutive funding, hands-on technology coaching, industry mentorship, and additional resources to help scale their technology such as the opportunity to create with the community that you’re building for.

Verizon is looking for U.S-based Seed and Series A startups utilizing technologies like 5G, MEC, XR and AI to advance connected health solutions in:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Capture, Sharing & Analytics
  • Telemedicine
  • Streamlined Virtual Care
  • Medical Transportation
  • Chronic Disease Management & Monitoring
  • Care Coordination & Collaboration
  • Population Health Management
  • Digital Marketplace Enablement
  • Health e-Learning / Education

Health Tech has the potential to unlock a more equitable healthcare system. 5G offers one of the fastest networks ever seen, and can provide higher speed, lower latency and greater capacity than previous cellular networks. It can enhance the abilities of other supporting technologies like edge computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and immersive platforms using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Verizon is accelerating the digital evolution of health with 5G connectivity, data security, and collaboration solutions that are enabling the innovation ecosystem. Selected startups will receive hands-on coaching from a dedicated board of Verizon solution architects and healthcare subject matter experts throughout the program.

Applications are now open, but the deadline is Friday, November 11th. Click here for more info

By Nikki Cabus

U.S. government program ACP helps many low income households pay for broadband

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Broadband internet has rapidly become vital for accessing education, healthcare, remote work, and social services. Unfortunately, 18 million U.S. households do not have access to broadband – not due to a lack of available service, but simply because they cannot afford it.

The new Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a monthly federal benefit that helps low income households pay for broadband service and internet-connected devices. The program stands to connect 47 million Americans to home internet, but as few as 23% of eligible individuals have enrolled due to awareness, trust, and enrollment barriers.

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) was created by Congress and implemented by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to assist eligible households to pay for internet services. The ACP will provide assistance to customers needing to connect to jobs, healthcare, and virtual classrooms.

The goal of this program is to ensure that internet service is affordable for everyone. However, you must use the service to keep the subsidy. If you reach 30 days without any internet usage, you may no longer be eligible to receive the subsidy.

The ACP is funded by Congress. In the event it is discontinued, the FCC will announce its end date. In that case, at the end of the program, you will be charged the undiscounted rate if you continue to receive the service, which will be subject to our general terms and conditions. You may transfer this ACP subsidy to another provider at any time.

Verizon recognizes the importance of internet connectivity and is pleased to make the ACP subsidy available to our eligible customers. Up to one $30/month subsidy for each eligible household or up to one $75/month subsidy for each eligible household on Tribal lands is offered.

Imagine not being able to connect to your classroom, job or healthcare? That’s why we’re participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program where qualifying households get up to $30/month off select home internet & mobile plans. Everyone deserves to stay connected.

To learn more about how you can take advantage of the Affordable Connectivity Program using Verizon, click here

 

By Nikki Cabus

Verizon’s Community Partnership Chat with Palm Beach-Based Startup Imanyco

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Verizon’s Director of Local Engagement, State & Local Government Affairs, Merdochey LaFrance, sat down with Saïda Florexil, founder of Imanyco, a company that created a real-time transcription technology called Comunify that assists deaf and hard-of-hearing people during in-person group conversations. Their conversation touches on Imanyco’s participation in Verizon’s Forward for Good Accelerator.

Verizon’s Forward for Good Accelerator is part of Citizen Verizon, their business plan for economic, environmental, and social advancement to help move the world forward for all. Verizon is on a mission to leave the world better than we found it by accelerating emerging solutions using 5G, MEC, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, & Extended Reality.

The current cohort’s focus is on Disability Innovation. Working with the disability community, Verizon is unlocking more than access, but advancing new technology to unlock opportunity for everyone. Verizon is working with startups who “authentically integrate people with disabilities into executive leadership roles, and have validated their solutions within the disability community” which is why Imanyco was a perfect fit for the current cohort as they work to support the deaf and hard of hearing community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26% or 61 million Americans live with with a disability. Just to be clear, that’s 1 in 4 people. Additionally, 5.9 percent of people with a disability are deaf or have serious difficulty hearing and the percentage of people living with disabilities is higher in the south.

As a deaf person herself, Saida understands what’s it’s like to not be able to fully be a part of a group conversation. Although she reads lips and body language very well, this is only helpful when communicating with a single person. Once in a group setting you can’t pay attention to multiple people, distinguish who is saying what and when, and often miss the majority of the conversation.

Comunify aims to be the most convenient live transcription app for the deaf and hard of hearing community that quickly and reliably identifies multiple speakers in a group conversation to allow each person to be better engaged and involved when others are speaking to them.

“While working with Verizon we were able to launch a testing program for our app and collect feedback from a diverse group of people. Verizon helped us to improve our product quality in terms of functionality, accessibility, and user experience and also helped us solidify a growth strategy,” said Saida. “As a company and as an entrepreneur, receiving support from a company such as Verizon opens up new opportunities.”

Check out the full conversation here to learn more about Verizon’s Forward for Good Accelerator and Communify by Imanyco.

By Nikki Cabus

Verizon Learning celebrates 10 years, $1B in contributions, and now 50 new schools

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This week, Verizon is celebrating 10 years of its award-winning education initiative focused on addressing barriers to digital inclusion for students and teachers: Verizon Innovative Learning.  Since 2012, the program has worked with nonprofit partners and committed $1 billion in market value to support digital equity, reaching over 1.5 million students in some of the most vulnerable populations across the country

Verizon Innovative Learning provides free technology, internet access and emerging technology-infused learning programs to students in under-resourced communities enabling students to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to build an innovative workforce of the future.

In 2021, Verizon launched Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, a next-gen online education portal that provides free access to immersive XR educational experiences to all educators, including K-12 teachers, nationwide. A key program under Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement, Verizon Innovative Learning is helping to drive the company’s commitment to provide 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030.

To mark a decade of dedication to the education community, and to honor the resilience of teachers at the end of another challenging school year, Verizon is proud to support the first-ever TIME Innovative Teachers Project. Chosen by a team of editors at TIME, the list profiles 10 teachers who are changing the landscape of education in America through innovation.

The 10 finalists of the TIME Innovative Teachers Project have helped students with disabilities get placed in STEM careers, made unaccompanied minor immigrants feel welcome in the U.S., connected students around the world on video chat, planted micro-forests to teach ways to fight climate change, and designed video game lessons to teach anti-racism. And they have all demonstrated leadership in their schools and teaching communities.

“We understood early on that closing the digital skills gap in the U.S. must start in under-resourced schools. Verizon Innovative Learning is a strategy to help solve this issue. Our mission has never wavered and now, 10 years later, we are proud to have reached over 1.5M students. This is an important milestone, yet our work is far from over,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Verizon. “We will continue expanding and evolving this initiative to ensure that deserving students have the tech tools and resources to become the next generation of innovators.”

The initiative’s signature program, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools, in partnership with long-time nonprofit partner Digital Promise, equips students and teachers at select Title I schools across the country with free technology devices, internet access and innovative STEM learning programs. The program also provides schools with extensive teacher training focused on technology integration into the learning experience, support and the opportunity to engage in powerful teaching and learning strategies that leverage technology.

Just this week, Digital Promise and Verizon announced that 50 new Title 1 middle and high schools from 11 districts across the country will join the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program in the fall including schools in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. 

The continued partnership between Digital Promise and Verizon for the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program equips students and teachers at select schools with free technology devices and internet access. In addition, all Verizon Innovative Learning Schools receive access to professional learning and opportunities to collaborate with a national network of innovative, technology-driven school leaders and educators.

 

“Access to technology and the internet continues to be vitally important for students and families as we work to close the digital divide,” said Jean-Claude Brizard, president and CEO of Digital Promise. “We are proud to continue our partnership with Verizon to support schools and provide devices and access to the students who need it the most.”

The new cohort brings the program’s reach to 561 schools in 94 school districts across 37 states and Washington D.C., with 100 percent of eligible middle schools in 35 districts participating in the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program. Title I schools with a 65 percent or higher free and reduced-price lunch population are eligible for the program; however, schools in this cohort of Verizon Innovative Learning Schools are at an average of 88 percent.

Of the additional 50 selected Title 1 middle and high schools nationwide to free technology, internet access, and professional development through the Verizon Innovative Learning program, 34 will receive mobile devices (either an iPad or Chromebook) with up to a four-year 30GB 4G LTE Verizon data plan for every student and teacher. 16 schools with existing one-to-one device programs for students in place will receive hotspots with two-year 30GB 4G LTE Verizon data plans for students who lack reliable internet access at home.

Sixteen of these schools are Broward County Public Schools (12) and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (4).

  • Broward County Public Schools (Florida): Annabel C. Perry PreK-8*; Apollo Middle School^; Bair Middle School*; Driftwood Middle School*; Forest Glen Middle School*; Lauderdale Lakes Middle School^; Millennium 6-12 Collegiate Academy*; Parkway Middle School*; Plantation Middle School^; Pompano Beach Middle School^; Silver Lakes Middle School^; William Dandy Middle School^
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools* (Florida): Citrus Grove Middle School; Hialeah Middle School; Homestead Middle School; John F. Kennedy Middle School
*Schools will receive mobile devices with data plans for every student and teacher.
^Schools will receive hotspots with data plans for students who lack reliable home internet access.

 

For more information, visit verizon.digitalpromise.org

 

Verizon & CoLAB support startups with new Health Equity cohort
U.S. government program ACP helps many low income households pay for broadband
Verizon’s Community Partnership Chat with Palm Beach-Based Startup Imanyco
Verizon Learning celebrates 10 years, $1B in contributions, and now 50 new schools