Meet the Innovate Now startups and find out more about the ideas, products and businesses that are being supported as we look to accelerate locally relevant AT solutions in Africa.
A Kenyan company creating and manufacturing affordable, durable, and comfortable electric-powered wheelchairs from locally available (and some recycled) materials. Wheelchairs are built and tested for in-door and outdoor use on rough terrain. Founder: Lincoln Wamae
A Kenyan company focused on Manufacturing assistive devices using technologies such as Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and assistive software developments. Products include AlexCane, an assistive device that increases the mobility of people who are visually impaired. AlexCane detects both static and moving objects for visually impaired people reducing anxiety and increasing productivity, independence and mobility. There is also an option to provide real time location to better aid the user.
Hope Tech Plus Limited is an organisation focused on innovative solutions for visually impaired people. We believe a healthy society is one where everyone participates in everyday activities. We provide hand-held mobility assistive devices that are geared towards providing a safe way for visually impaired people to move around, boosting their confidence to go wherever they want and freeing visually impaired people from dependence on another person as a guide for mobility.
Business-in-box youth-driven initiative that provides vision testing and fitting of eyeglasses in Kenya. Eye-testing and spectacle assembly kits are provided, with technical and business and soft skills to learn vision testing and eyeglasses fitting services.
A social enterprise that is dedicated to providing dignified and sustainable sanitation solutions to marginalised groups. Providing access to safe, adequate, equitable and inclusive sanitation to all. The Utu Luv innovation is a portable toilet developed for those with mobility issues and older people.
A new technology enabling any mobile phone user to transform their phone number into a unique postal address in order to ensure cost effective physical delivery of mails and parcels. Due to rapid urbanisation and resources pressures, access to parcel delivery is a major challenge in Africa. Postal offices are centralised with existing infrastructure not build with accessibility in mind. The lack of physical addresses in most urban cities in Africa also make very difficult for customers to receive parcels. Through Mpost disabled people anywhere in Kenya with access to a mobile phone will be able to have parcels, including assistive technologies delivered to their doorstep.
A marketplace that connects interpreters with the community at any time, anywhere. As the world strives to be more inclusive the demand for verified and certified sign language interpreters increases. This Kenyan startup is building the Uber of sign-language interpreters, with ratings to create a verified public resume of sign languages professionals.
Developing a i-Sasa web based platform that uses USSD and SMS to channel information to people with disabilities in accessible formats. User can opt-in/out and Disabled People Organisations can share information and campaigns in an accessible way. The Kenya NGO Alliance Against Malaria (KENAAM) is building and testing the platform. With a background of public health messaging to tackle malaria, KENAAM believes a text message-driven CRM solution can help disabled persons organisations and other clients reach disabled persons everywhere with targeted messaging around Assistive Technology products and services.
An education technology company that leverages technology for Deaf Inclusion that give the gift of language and literacy to pre-school children born deaf. ‘Lugha Ishara’ which is Sign language in Kiswahili is developing learning content in the form of animations and online classes for deaf pre-schoolers in Kenya. The content is consumed primarily on any mobile device or computer and is helping parents and guardians with no sign language knowledge learn together with their children at home. Lugha Ishara is working with corporates and Gertrude’s Children Hospital in Kenya to support children and parents from poor backgrounds access Lugha Ishara learning content. The startup is gaining great popularity among hearing kids through the Lugha Ishara cool kids signing competition that encourages hearing adults and kids to learn sign language.
An app to inform, connect and empower Persons impacted by Albinism with factual information and access to eye and skin care needs. Persons with albinism and families in Africa go through various struggles such as lack of access to information about self-care and self-care products. Discrimination and stigma also sets them up for isolation and lack of a voice in society. Positive exposure Kenya is changing all that through the Albinism and I one-stop shop for information on albinism self-care, e-store for albinism skin and eye-care products as well as community of persons with albinism. Albinism and I is accessible through web and mobile.
A social enterprise enabling access to job opportunities for persons with disabilities in Kenya. Facilitating workplace diversity, disability inclusion and linkage to persons with disabilities in Kenya who have particular skill sets, currently untapped for recruitment as a value proposition for companies, organizations and government formations.
An accessible e-learning platform that combines learning-on-demand with live classes. It uses assistive technology to make life-long learning accessible to people with visual and hearing impairments and focuses on courses with direct paths to employment, be it traditional or digital self employment.
An eCommerce platform to connect people who are busy and require assistance in running errands, with individuals with time and skills who want to make money running errands/tasks. We pride ourselves on offering professional customer service, and at the same time providing income opportunities to ambitious young Kenyans.
A creative staffing agency with a pool of qualified, pre-screened Engineering, Product, Marketing & Design talent, who advocate for companies to include 20% - 30% disabled talent. On the Table are developing a platform that enables aggregating diverse talent from multiple sources to broaden your talent search and then, use blind review and analytics to mitigate unconscious bias from source to hire.
A platform creating a direct link between interpreters and the deaf in need of receiving or delivering services. Once a service provider/receiver encounters a deaf person and there is likely to be a communication barrier, they use the app to connect to their interpreters of choice online. assistALL reduces cost of Sign Language interpretation services, providing a flexible, lower cost provision.
Veezaviz [formerly Sekani] is a social enterprise developing leading-edge technology-based solutions—including those leveraging the power of AI and Machine Learning—to address the accessibility and communication barrier for the Deaf. assistALL reduces cost of Sign Language interpretation services, providing a flexible, lower cost provision.
One Networking (Nigeria) provides safer mobility enhancements for the elderly and the visually impaired such as the Visually Impaired Electronic Walking Guide (VIEW Guide) among other assistive technologies.
Safari Seat The Accessibility Institute Ltd (Kenya) & The Accessibility Institute Ltd (Kenya) makes the first truly off-road wheelchair to be designed and made in Kenya, not only providing mobility but also helping mobility impaired people to live full inclusive lives.
Ace Mobility (Kenya) provides safe, reliable and affordable mobility solutions to disabled people to improve their social and economic participation.
Batian (Kenya) is an e-commerce startup helping digital workers combat eye-strain with affordable eyeglasses.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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’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
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.