Ideas range from an app that teaches coding to a project that helps immigrants keep their data safe

Washington, D.C., April 24, 2017—Two Baltimore County high school seniors are among the finalists for the 2017 Inclusion Revolution Innovation Competition hosted by the Center for Global Policy Solutions with support from JPMorgan Chase & Co. The competition, announcing winners at the sold-out CGPS 2017 Future of Wealth Summit April 26–28, will award a $10,000 grant to the innovator(s) with the most creative plan using technology to uplift marginalized communities.

More than 100 proposals were submitted from across the U.S. and several other countries.

The four finalists’ proposals offer inventive solutions rooted in technology, which, if fully realized, will have a positive effect on people of color, women, low-income urban and rural communities, and/or other vulnerable populations. Finalists will pitch their ideas to a panel of business and start-up leaders on Friday, April 28, 2017 at 2 p.m. at the Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. The winning proposal will receive a $10,000 grant applied toward seed money for start-up costs.

“Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans and women are greatly underrepresented in technology, which is the industry that will play the most dominate role in the future of work,” said CGPS President and CEO Dr. Maya Rockeymoore. “With this competition, we wanted to spotlight those facts while amplifying the importance of inclusion.”

The finalists are:

• codeSpark Academy introduces little learners as young as four to fundamental computer science and coding concepts. With fresh content added every month, “kid coders” constantly stretch the limits of their creativity and sharpen the skills they’ll need for bright futures. CEO Grant Hosford will present the proposal for the Pasadena-based startup;

• Nafasi, Inc. is a virtual pre-accelerator headquartered in Washington, D.C. that specializes in transforming emerging communities into innovation hubs. Nafasi blends lean startup concepts with best practice innovation techniques in a rigorous but accessible way. Founder and CEO Thomas Calhoun will present the proposal;

• Olé Education Fund is a New Mexico-based nonprofit that runs the Electronic Health & Safety Project, which focuses on teaching immigrants how to make their electronic devices less vulnerable and to keep their families’ electronic data secure. Miles Tokunow, an Olé grassroots organizer, will present the proposal; and

• Testify develops games that personalize the learning experience for students in grades K-12 by enhancing the ability of teachers to connect with and understand their students. One of its games, MindMap, is used by more than 40,000 students in several East Coast school districts. Co-founders Femi Adebogun and Zack Tasker, both high school seniors in the Baltimore area, will present the proposal.