Innovate Now are delighted to share more on our cohort 5 ventures as they continue their innovation journey. Supported by the expert team behind Innovate Now, ventures receive learning, mentorship, live lab’s and ecosystem access – helping to refine and develop strategic, product based, design and marketing approaches to maximise assistive tech solutions.
Based in Kenya and founded by Kaimuri Karauki, Learning differently is an online platform that creates awareness about learning disabilities through short courses and also equips the stakeholders (parents, teachers, and caregivers) with basic practices that can be applied to make learning inclusive in class and at home. Global estimates show that 1 in every 5 children is believed to have a specific learning disability like dyslexia. Diagnosed students often continue to struggle in class because their brains are structured in a way that does not allow them to learn using the traditional methods. As a result, these learners do not meet their potential.
Based in kenya and founded by Muthuri Kinyamu and Nawal Hassan, Accessible Travel Kenya is the country’s first tech-enabled inclusive B2B and B2B marketplace/ accessible travel brand. The company curates accessible accommodation facilities, inclusive meeting venues, and wheelchair-accessible transportation across Kenya to help PWD complete their travels and access recreational activities in comfort, safety, and peace of mind. The company also offers disability mainstreaming training for hotel management and tour guides. 10% of the population (around 4.44 million people) in Kenya experiences one form of disability. In extension, families with a PWD struggle to locate inclusive experiences or recreational activities/facilities for the entire group. Similarly, organizations and schools having PWD face challenges looking for meeting rooms or facilities. Currently, few tour operators serve the disabled or offer inclusive disability-friendly products.
Uptyke Consulting Limited
Based in Kenya and founded by Lillian Kawira and Diana Mutegi, Uptyke Consulting develops relevant academic digital content in line with the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) for use by learners and teachers in the classroom and on electronic devices. The company is exploring IDC for persons with disabilities so that all learners, including the most disadvantaged, have access to quality Academic Digital Content (IDC) and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
Signs to communicate
Based in Kenya and founded by Charles Ngiela, Signs to communicate patented solution is a board game that enhances forming of letters of the alphabet. The art of forming letters of the alphabet through play on finger shapes. This provides early exposure to sign language and fingerspelling that enables deaf learners to communicate. The start-up has also developed to ensure it disseminates the information in an easy and accessible way. More than 300,000 Kenyan children live with a hearing impairment but only 15 percent of the children are in school, although the government has made primary education free and compulsory for all children, the resources that deaf children require are lacking.
Based in Uganda and founded by Ronald Kasule, Dasuns has built a web and app-based solution that leverages assistive technologies to provide digital access to professional assistive support services where persons with disabilities and allied professional service providers are both linked to a digital interactive database system. Service users only need to sign up for an account once, log in to the system, and request preferred support service from available service providers within reach. The system also provides background information about the two parties involved; including brief bio-data and addresses to help the two parties to connect. The company also participates in training professional support service providers
Founded by Firouza Eshonova and Adelina Samuels, EZSpeech has developed an app used as an in-house simulator within Speech Centers and Rehab, as well as a tool to serve remote patients. Stats and progress reports generated by the App will help SLPs to prepare their routine paperwork describing the status and progress of their patients.
Disability Innovations Suite
Based in Kenya and founded by Dr Mbugua wa Mungai & Kenneth Gichohi, Disability Innovations Suite’s locally manufactured Pepesi wheelchair is portable and designed to operate in different terrains. The company has developed a web platform dubbed Kochi System for wheelchair users to input needs and specifications ensuring customization and reliability. Wheelchair users face 3 major problems, firstly, the ack of accessible, affordable, portable, locally manufactured wheelchairs that meet the needs of the user and that are suitable for the user’s environment. Secondly, wheelchair spare parts are inaccessible. Thirdly, there is limited wheelchair-related information reaching the end-user and vice versa. Disability Innovation Suite is changing that.
Founded by Esther Mueni, Brian Olasya and Joseph Mwaniki, Knock-knock is both an assistive (it helps the deaf people) and inclusive (includes them in a general home/work/public setting) device that employs the use of IoT Technology to detect when someone knocks at the door and give a visual alert to the deaf individual.