It’s one team from Baltimore and a technologist from the other side of the globe that will be benefiting from a Philadelphia-based fund to spur innovation around gigabit ultra-high speed broadband connectivity.
This morning, Philly Startup Leaders announced the two winners of its Gigabit Genius Grant, a contest put together by several businesses and organizations in the region. The bulk of the funds, $7,500, will go to a teleradiology technology in Maryland and $2,500 to an education innovation initiative in Israel. That money will help specialists collaborate on radiology scans in real-time from around the globe, and it will help enable technology to improve the virtual classroom experience.
The Startup Leaders’ grant came together in April as the City of Philadelphia was preparing an application to become a pilot for Google’s Gigabit ultra-high speed Internet connectivity. Then PSL President and Founder Blake Jennelle pushed the startup organization to donate a charter $5,000 which was followed by additional investments from the community.
As the Genius Grant developed, the contest was marketed outside of Philadelphia to anyone with an idea for high-speed connectivity. In April, Startup Leaders partnered with Communities United for Broadband, a nationwide organization with roots in Philadelphia organized to help cities and towns encourage high-speed connectivity with or without Google’s intervention.
Many members of Philadelphia’s technology community got involved with Philadelphia’s Google Gigabit application process, organized by City Chief Technology Officer Allan Frank and the Division of Technology, and with help from folks like Councilman Bill Green and Independents Hall.
To date, Google has still not announced the winners of its pilot program, but as we reported in July, the search company expects to announce its winners by the end of the year. More than 1,100 cities applied for the test program.
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