By 2050 up to two billion of us will need access to AT. There are approximately one billion disabled people in the world, 80% of those disabled people live in the global South. AT is not a specialist need, it affects all of our families, everywhere. We know that AT has far reaching potential, and that investment in locally relevant solutions changes lives and builds wider, more resilient AT ecosystems.
A curriculum of workshops and guest lectures breaks down entrepreneurship into user, market, product and business development modules, taught over the first six weeks of the programme.
The curriculum has been designed to develop problem solving, tenacity and resilience, with a focus on applying knowledge in the real world and responding to the challenges experienced as a founder. In-workshop problem sets, projects and use of Innovate Now’s pioneering innovator’s toolkit will enable owners to actively apply learnings – so founders not just have the knowledge, but also a mindset for success.
Founders will be matched with experienced mentors who have a deep understanding of design, product development, disability and business. Mentors will meet owners regularly, providing critical feedback to support rapid progress.
Innovate Now mentors have included innovation specialists, academics, business coaches, industry leads and start-up experts.
Spaces where AT Innovators can rapidly test design iterations. A safe environment where innovators benefit from real-time feedback from experts and users. They have a specific focus (e.g. Prosthetics, or Mobile Technology) and provide assistive technology innovators with invaluable experience to accelerate product and service development quickly toward the market. Live labs can be big or small, physical or virtual.
As a start founder, a network is one of the most valuable resources you have. A key part of the accelerator experience is ecosystem events, with guest lectures, firesides with local Kenyan entrepreneurs, and keynotes from world leaders in AT and entrepreneurship.
As a member of the Innovate Now accelerator owners will have the opportunity to develop relationships which help their start-ups succeed.
At the end of each accelerator programme, cohort startups will have the opportunity to pitch their business and product to a panel of judges. The judging panel is crafted for each cohort to ensure relevant expertise to appropriately assess the ventures presenting.
Each start-up will receive feedback to ensure your venture is on the path to success. The winning start-up will be featured across partners channels, introducing your business to the disability innovation community.
As well as the judging panel, a carefully curated list of investors and partners will be invited providing a unique showcasing opportunity to people who can support your vision through funding, collaboration, or introductions.
Innovate Now was launched in 2019 as part of the £40 million, UK Aid funded, AT2030 program, led by Global Disability Innovation Hub. Implemented through a consortium of partners including Amref Health Africa (lead implementing partner 2019-2021) and Kilimanjaro Blind Trust (Live Labs implementing partner and new lead implementing partner). Todays Innovation Now is a partnership between Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub), ICT Norway and Norad, bringing a new wave of momentum in the African innovation space.