Peoria Forward incubation venture wins $50K grant

Posted 6/24/20

A Peoria Forward incubation venture won the Greater Phoenix Tech Challenge and received a $50,000 grant from Pakis Center for Business Philanthropy at Arizona Community Foundation.

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Peoria Forward incubation venture wins $50K grant


A Peoria Forward incubation venture won the Greater Phoenix Tech Challenge and received a $50,000 grant from Pakis Center for Business Philanthropy at Arizona Community Foundation.

Televëda designs solutions to combat isolation by offering live and interactive live streamed classes designed to build friendships for older adults.

As a result of COVID-19 and its impact on the elderly population and communities, Televëda pivoted its software as a service solution to help organizations effortlessly build, grow and scale their virtual infrastructure offering an end-to-end class management software so that seniors and other vulnerable populations can experience socialization and wellness directly in their homes; providing much-needed resources for overwhelmed organizations.

Televëda was founded in 2018 with the mission to combat social isolation among seniors.

Televëda will use the grant to scale the service given the surge in demand and expand its tech support infrastructure.

“I have so much gratitude for this community here. Thank you, really, very, very much,” said Shruti Gurudanti, CEO and co-founder of Televëda. “This grant will help us accelerate our growth, further our mission and help so many more community members. We are so honored and grateful for this opportunity.”

More than 40 greater Phoenix-based nonprofits and early-stage startups entered the competition. The selection committee evaluating applications included i6 Challenge project partners from Arizona State University, Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Partnership for Economic Innovation and StartupAZ Foundation. Additional finalists included Beacon Biomedical, Navi Concierge Nurses and Sensagrate.

“The response to this competition was far greater than we predicted,” said Fred Pakis, founder, Pakis Center for Business Philanthropy. “The innovation represented in these four finalists showcased Arizona as the home to talented entrepreneurs and startups, no matter what industry they represent.”

The four finalists pitched their technology and discussed their pivots to address COVID-19 during GPEC’s weekly virtual series, “Regional Report.”

Judges included Ji Mi Choi, associate vice president of Knowledge Enterprise at Arizona State University; Brandon Clarke, co-founder and CEO of StartupAZ Foundation; and Fred Pakis, chairman at Pakis Family Foundation.

The full webinar and transcript is available on GPEC’s YouTube channel.

Peoria Forward is a high-impact partnership between ASU E+I and the City of Peoria to grow and scale the entrepreneurial ecosystem to transform the future of Peoria through entrepreneurship. Peoria Forward provides the tools, innovations and support to leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators to build a thriving, self-sustaining entrepreneurial ecosystem in the West Valley.

Televëda has pioneered the creation of “virtual senior centers” by partnering with senior living communities across North America to offer live online programming so seniors can access educational, wellness and gaming programs wherever they are. For more information, visit