i3 | April 11, 2022

The CTA Foundation encourages innovative accessibility

Dacia Turner

CTA Foundation group photo at CES 2022
#TechGives Instagram mural. Above: Vahaa Smart Garden earned the Audience Award. Left to right: Nehir Boyacıoğlu, co-founder of Vahaa; Judges Dan Pidgeon; Dr. Susan Malinowski; Bryan Dawson; and Steve Ewell

#TechGives Back at CES 2022

The CTA Foundation had a busy agenda at CES 2022. Steve Ewell, executive director of the CTA Foundation moderated a conference session on the first day of the show on “Improving the User Experience for All” with Kamilah Martin-Proctor, chair of Multiple Sclerosis Alliance Foundation; Clark Rachfal, director of advocacy and governmental affairs, American Council of the Blind; and Mignon Clyburn, former acting chair and commissioner of the FCC.

The panel delved into their personal stories and gave insights on how companies should consider everyone when creating and improving technologies. They emphasized the importance of innovators thinking of accessibility when their product is in the early stages of development so that it encompasses all possible users.

CTA Foundation Pitch Competition

The CTA Foundation hosted its annual Pitch Competition at Eureka Park on the startup stage during day two of CES 2022. Eight companies were selected to pitch their home tech solutions that answered the challenge, “As people want to age in place, how can new, disruptive solutions help homes become smarter, safer, accessible and fun, at any age?”

Participating Companies:

Auum – A smart-cleaning technology that uses dry steam to allow quick and efficient cleaning of glasses within the workplace.

Brombul – Its product Zuluhood is a dedicated home security platform that allows homeowners, and property managers to organize and connect smart home networks.

Caregiver Smart Solutions – A proactive monitoring solution that enables the elderly to retain their independence and live on their own.

Droople – An IoT water asset management solution for any industrial, commercial or residential water point-of-use.

Fresh Portal – A home delivery solution that features advanced multipurpose delivery receiving solutions, remotely controlled via app or Wi-Fi.

LycheeThings – Its product SmartSlydr is a monetarized robotic system that can make sliding windows and doors smart.

UltraLoop – A sanitization device that disinfects 99.9% of pathogens within about 45 seconds in almost any setting.

Vahaa – A smart hydroponic agriculture technique that uses IoT technology to grow fresh fruits and vegetables indoors year-round.

A representative from each company pitched their product and answered questions from the judges: Head of Strategic Partnerships at Phone2Action, Bryan Dawson, Retina Consultant of Michigan, Dr. Susan Malinowski; and CEO of Sears Home Services, Dan Pidgeon.

As the judges deliberated, a panel on startup funding was moderated by Jen Consalvo, co-CEO and co-founder of Established; Ximena Hartsock, co-founder of BuildWithin; Eric Hsia, managing director of Translink Capital; and Kim Folsom, founder, chairperson and CEO of Founders First Capital Partners. They provided insights for startups on acquiring funding and encouraging diversity in entrepreneurs and investing.

Grantmakers Tour

The CTA Foundation gathered members from leading foundations to attend CES and tour the exhibit halls to see the technologies that benefit the communities they serve. The members conversed with exhibitors on their technologies and how tech could be adjusted to be more accessible.

LiveFreely, sponsored the tour and spoke with the foundation representatives on its technology BUDDY, an AI-driven app that pairs with a smartwatch to monitor and support proactive aging.

CTA Foundation Instagram Mural

The CTA Foundation debuted its Instagram mural in the West Hall Lobby to encourage individuals to take pictures and interact with it. The mural pictured a large bullhorn with the phrase “TechGives” in large letters spewing out of the bullhorn. The mural encouraged individuals to share their stories of how #TechGives in their lives. Many CES attendees got in on the action posing with the mural

i3 magazine March/April 2022 cover

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