Boston Globe interviews local American Heart Association grant recipient

A social entrepreneur from Rhode Island who was the top finalist in a recent American Heart Association grant competition was profiled in The Boston Globe this week.

Abigail Kohler is the co-founder and chief executive of ResusciTech, a Providence-based startup that developed an app to help train and certify users in CPR and first aid. Kohler was interviewed in the Globe’s weekly Ocean State Innovators column, which features a Q&A with Rhode Island innovators who are starting new businesses and nonprofits, conducting groundbreaking research and reshaping the state’s economy.

Last month, the American Heart Association awarded Kohler a $40,000 grant in the organization’s National EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator finale. The Jan. 26 event saw seven innovative finalists present their business models and concepts designed to drive health equity, sustainability and community transformation.

Kohler will use the grant to empower people to save lives by taking action during medical emergencies. ResusciTech’s app, SMART Certification, provides people with convenient, smartphone-based training that provides Hands-Only CPR compression practice with real-time feedback.

“One of the first things we are going to do is get our app translated in multiple languages. Currently, it is only in English, but by having it translated we will be able to improve accessibility and bring life-saving training to more communities,” Kohler told the Globe, when asked what she will do with the grant money.

Kohler wasn’t the only local finalist. Also competing in the Business Accelerator was Connor Schoen, a Massachusetts resident who co-founder Breaktime,  a non-profit that finds employment opportunities for Boston’s homeless youth population.

EmPOWERED to Serve is an initiative that accelerates change in education, business, and communities in order to help overcome structural racism and achieve health justice. The Virtual EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator Finale was hosted by Sharon Epperson, CNBC Senior Personal Finance Correspondent and judged by a panel of expert judges in the business, entrepreneurial and health sectors.

This is the fourth year of the National EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator. Since its inception in 2018, the American Heart Association has contributed more than $510,000 to help accelerate start-ups, social entrepreneurs and organizations working to improve the health of their communities.

The virtual EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator Finale can be viewed below.