AT&T

AT&T Celebrates the Aspire Accelerator Class of 2020

Originally published on ATT.comAT&T is a DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.

Immersed Games and Social Cipher win annual “Pitches with Purpose” competition; each receive $25K award

Yesterday, eight education technology companies graduated from the Aspire Accelerator and competed in an all-virtual “Shark Tank”-style “Pitches with Purpose” for two $25,000 prizes – one awarded by a panel of AT&T executive judges and another voted on by AT&T employees and for the first time, the general public.

Watch the full replay of the event here.

In the end, Social Cipher won the general public and employee vote with their captivating, fast-paced 3-minute pitch. They create video games that give players who are autistic a safe space to practice social situations and build social-emotional skills through play.

“It feels amazing to win Pitches with Purpose, and it’s so wonderful to see that there’s so much support for our mission out there,” said Vanessa Castañeda Gill, founder of Social Cipher. “We’ve been through so many challenges this year–we’ve come out so much stronger with the help of the AT&T Aspire Accelerator and the incredible founders in this cohort. We’re beyond excited to take on what’s next with this funding!”

The judge’s Kalpesh Award, named for Kalpesh Patel, who was instrumental to the development of the Accelerator – went to Immersed Games, which helps students through online gaming to build science literacy by directly engaging with science phenomena through hands-on experiences.

“I’m so humbled and honored to be recognized among such an incredible group of founders, but also sad that we’re graduating the program because of how amazing the experience has been,” said Lindsey Tropf, founder of Immersed Games. “We’ll be taking the learning with us as we continue to grow and support more students and will be staying in close contact with many of the founders from the cohort as we all learn and grow together.”

Education Innovation in an Unprecedented Year

The Aspire Accelerator was created in 2015 as part AT&T Aspire, a $600 million commitment since 2008 that leverages technology, relationships and innovation to improve education and prepare students for career success. Program participants have included 70% women-led companies and 51% minority-led companies.

The 2020 Accelerator class shows how women and minority-led startups are transforming education, offering virtual solutions to the toughest issues facing students today: educational equity, disengagement in learning and lack of support for students with disabilities.

And as educators look towards 2021, lessons from COVID-19 and distance learning will also drive the future of education. Key among these lessons is the need for diverse perspectives to fuel innovation for more inclusive solutions regardless of backgrounds, needs and experiences.

Learn more about the 2020 Accelerator class and why diverse perspectives are so important to the future of education in Charlene Lake’s LinkedIn post here.

 

Latest News

President Joe Biden signs his first executive orders in the Oval Office

Biden Administration Already Hard at Work Enacting Numerous Beneficial Policies; Amanda Gorman is America’s New Superstar Poet; and More

President Joe Biden sworn in and new administration already hard at work. Just hours after his emotional, star-studded and highly protected inauguration took place on Jan. 20, President Joe Biden is already working on fulfilling campaign promises and undoing some of the most egregious acts carried out by his predecessor….

Trump commission attempts racist whitewashing of history

Trump Commission Attempts Racist Whitewashing of History; Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert Probed for Potential Role in Capitol Insurrection; and More

Trump commission’s “1776 Report” attempts racist whitewashing of history In the highly controversial “1776 Report” released by the Trump administration yesterday, the outgoing GOP party doesn’t just try to present a nonpartisan, “patriotic” look at the nation’s history (as the President had promised the report would do) it fully rewrites…

Boeing Elects Lynne Doughtie to Board of Directors, Following Resignation of Director Caroline Kennedy

Originally published on boeing.mediaroom.com. The Boeing Company (No. 27 on The 2020 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) board of directors today announced that Lynne Doughtie has been elected to the board, replacing Caroline Kennedy who has resigned following three years of dedicated service. Doughtie, 58, retired from KPMG in 2020, after serving as U.S. Chairman and…

Flint, Michigan water plant

Ex-Michigan Governor Charged for Racist Lead Poisoning of Flint Water Supply; COVID-19 Vaccines Not Increasing in Availability; Democrats Plan to Repeal Trump Rules; and More

Former Michigan Governor formally charged for poisoning thousands of predominantly Black Flint citizens with water containing lead. In 2014, when the city of Flint was forced by the state to begin taking its water supply from the Flint river rather than using water from nearby Detroit as it had for…