televëda wins Greater Phoenix Tech Challenge and receives $50,000 grant from Pakis Center for Business Philanthropy at Arizona Community Foundation

Published: 05/28/2020
Updated: 05/25/2022

Greater Phoenix-based SaaS company looks to scale interactive digital offering combating isolation and loneliness in senior living communities as a result of COVID-19 pandemic

Phoenix, AZ (May 28, 2020) – On Thursday, televëda was named the winner of the Greater Phoenix Tech Challenge and is the beneficiary of a $50,000 grant provided by the Pakis Center for Business Philanthropy at the 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 SaaS 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 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 & 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 (GPEC), Partnership for Economic Innovation (PEI) 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 & CEO of StartupAZ Foundation; and Fred Pakis, chairman at Pakis Family Foundation.

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

About televëda:
televëda was founded in 2018 with the mission to combat social isolation among seniors. televëda offers live online educational, wellness and recreational programs that are designed to reduce social isolation, build friendships, and encourage seniors to stay active.  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 or visit our social media pages.

About the Pakis Family Foundation 

The Pakis Family Foundation was established in 1996 by Fred Pakis to encourage intergenerational grant making by the Pakis family. Fred Pakis co-founded Scottsdale-based JDA Software in 1985 and previously served on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Community Foundation. Established in 1978, the Arizona Community Foundation is a statewide family of charitable funds supported by thousands of Arizonans. With five regional offices serving communities across Arizona, ACF is among the top 25 community foundations in the nation with more than $960 million in trust and endowment assets, and is certified under the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. Since inception, ACF and its affiliates have awarded more than $783 million in grants, scholarships, and loans to nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies. More information is available at

About Partnership for Economic Innovation
We believe innovation’s next challenge isn’t exponential growth, it’s exponential impact. That’s why Partnership for Economic Innovation is investing in community-building technology and R&D designed to make Greater Phoenix more resilient and empower individuals to take agency over change. Our mission is to transform Greater Phoenix into a top global market for innovation, fueled by world-class research centers, advanced industries and creative entrepreneurs. Read more about Our Mission During Crisis | #C19AZ