Innovate Now is the African continent’s first Assistive technology accelerator. It mainly targets innovators who are developing mobile-based technologies that improve the lives of people living with disabilities. The fund will prioritize solutions that develop technologies that give disabled access to information in a manner that helps them navigate through their daily lives with dignity and independence.
The shortlisted finalists will undergo a rigorous three-month training programme starting from June to September. The event will be run via virtual sessions where innovators get direct access to the Innovate Now Live-Lab Network. Part of the process will involve direct engagement with disabled persons to gauge their feedback and reactions.
On completion of their project, the startup will pitch their innovations to a select investor group pooled from leading world institutions. The funds and support received will be directed to scaling for the disabled demographic across the continent. The accelerator covers Activity learning, Mentorship, Events, Live Labs, and Events, and Demo days.
A 2011 WHO Report on Disability puts the number at 1 billion globally. 80 percent of the number resides in the global south. WHO estimates that as of 2050, there could be up to 2 billion disabled persons globally.