Call for African Tech innovators to Assist Persons with Disabilities

Innovate Now Africa’s first Assistive Technology Accelerator is seeking applications from innovators across the African continent to develop mobile based technologies designed to assist people living with disabilities.

The UK Aid-funded programme, which is run by Global Disability Innovation (GDI) Hub and Amref Enterprises Limited, hopes to accelerate 12 start-ups in its second cohort, with a focus on solutions with mobile technologies to enable persons with disabilities access information and navigate daily life with independence and dignity.

“The mobile device and associated mobile technologies have tremendously improved access to information, goods and services for people from all walks of life, including persons with disabilities. Innovate Now Cohort 2.0 aims to support ventures that are leveraging this disruptive technology to improve functioning, independence and wellbeing of persons with disabilities in Africa,” explained Bernard Chiira, Director of Innovate Now.

The second intake’s theme, Mobile and Assistive Technology (AT), is in response to research indicating that mobile technology can increase access to assistive technologies, information, digital products and services for people with disabilities.

“The independence and wellbeing of persons with disabilities is critical. Assistive technologies are central to ensuring that persons with disabilities can continue to thrive. It is my desire to see innovations supported by Innovate Now turn into big businesses that will not only make mobility easy, but create employment for our people,” said Senator Isaac Mwaura, Chair of Innovate Now Board.

Last year’s 5 finalists are preparing to pitch at the Innovate Now Virtual Demo Day to be held on June 4, 2020. They include:

Vision Vijana, a start-up that is building and training a network of youth to make vision testing and eyeglasses fitting more accessible.

Linccell Technnology, a start-up that aims to lead the electric personal mobility industry in Kenya and put wheelchair users at the front of this revolution.

Hope Tech Pluse, a start-up that is reimagining mobility and navigation for the blind.

Syna Counsulting, has developed UTULAV, a mobile toilet designed to provide safe and dignified sanitation to the physically challenged, the aged and the sick.

Toto SCI, a start-up that has developed AlexCane, a smart stick that incorporates IOT (Internet of things) technology to help blind persons share their location, request for help or connect with other users automatically at the touch of a button.

Applications for Cohort 2.0 can be submitted online via [https://atInnovateNow.com/apply] until June 8, 2020.

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