Call for applications for innovators across the African continent who are dedicated to developing digital assistive technologies and services designed to assist persons with disabilities in Africa. 

THEME: Digital Assistive Technology (AT) 

Innovate Now is looking to support startups offering persons with disabilities in Africa access to digital assistive technology solutions or that leverage digital platforms to help persons with disabilities access assistive technology for education, healthcare, livelihood and other sectors. Cohort 7 is particularly interested in assistive technology solutions targeting children and the elderly. 


  • Application deadline: 5 Jan 2023
  • Cohort duration: 3 months
  • Location: Online


Who can Apply?

  • Geography: East Africa
  • Stage: Ventures past proof-of-concept with minimum viable product and some initial users
  • Sector: Digitally enabled Assistive Technology products and services
  • Type: Both for-profit and non-profit social enterprises can apply.
  • Inclusive Participation: entrepreneurs with disabilities and women highly encouraged to apply.
  • Age: Applicants must be of legal working age in Kenya (18 years) or guaranteed by a guardian of legal working age. They must have all the legal rights to work in Kenya.

Who are we looking for?

  • Innovation-driven startups who are improving access to assistive technology through digital means or offering digital assistive technology solutions across education, healthcare, livelihoods and other sectors.
  • Innovative, execution focused-agile problem solvers
  • Authentic mission-driven founder(s)
  • Teams with a culture of empathy, continuous learning and problem solving
  • Structured and efficient teams (defined ownership, commitment, roles and accountability) and organisation (systems, processes and resources)?


What will you get?

  • Access to Kenya-based and global mentors and subject matter experts in assistive technology and entrepreneurship.
  • Access to our growing network of Live Labs-A unique concept that allows you to test, get feedback and validate directly with persons with disabilities across East Africa.
  • Access to our investor network and investor readiness programs and our funding ecosystem e.g. AT Impact Fund, innovation advisory and investment and Norwegian community of practice.
  • Technical Assistance: tangible, direct support relating to what’s needed for your startup to succeed: legal, marketing, fundraising, experimental design, pitching and investor readiness.
  • Access to our global inclusive innovation ecosystem and partner network across organisations of persons with disabilities, universities, funders, Assistive Technology experts, disability experts, inclusive design experts, corporations and NGOs.


Terms and Conditions


  • Applicants will be subject to the Innovate Now Selection process by a panel of expert judges.
  • By applying, participants agree to be bound by the decision and rules of the programme.
  • All applications must be submitted through the official registration form on the Innovate Now website at the address www.atinnovatenow/apply
  • All applications must be submitted by the deadline
  • Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • All applications must be submitted in English.



The selection process will be two-step:

  • Stage 1: online shortlisting
  • Stage 2: online Interview Selection

A team of expert judges will evaluate and will shortlist applicants based on eligibility criteria and application form responses. The shortlist will proceed to stage 2: the final interview where a maximum of 10 teams will be selected to join Innovate Now Cohort 6. All teams must participate online in stages 1 and 2 selections.

Acceptance into the Programme

  • Selected applicants will be notified via email no more than a week after the final interview.
  • Selected applicants will be issued a letter of acceptance which they will be required to sign in duplicate.
  • Accepted applicants will be issued with a welcome pack containing information about all program activities, curriculum and process.



  • Participants will not be charged any money to participate.
  • Innovate Now will not take any equity stake in cohort companies.
  • Persons with disabilities will be reimbursed for any additional costs they have to bear to participate in the programme to reduce barriers to equal participation in the programme.


Equity and IP

  • All IP related to the participant: business, product and or solution belongs to the applicant. Applicants will be encouraged and supported to safeguard their IP. Such IP shall not be copied, used or distributed without the consent of the participant.
  • All IP related to content and material provided during orientation, training, program activities and mentoring sessions belonging to Innovate Now will not be copied or distributed without permission from the Innovate Now project team.


Agreement and Consent

  • By submitting an application, applicants agree to the terms and conditions of the programme before joining.
  • Participants consent to be recorded and photographed during the accelerator programme, where content will be used for promotional purposes (e.g. website, social media).