First disability focussed startup accelerator’s Summer Cohort

First disability focussed startup accelerator’s Summer Cohort

Apply to be part of India’s first disability focussed startup accelerator’s Summer Cohort

The Assistive Technology Accelerator (ATA) will help startups that are building technologies for the disabled community in scaling up and getting market access.

Krishna Reddy

India’s first disability focussed technology accelerator, Assistive Technology Accelerator (ATA), announced the launch of ATA Enable, which is a 16-week long acceleration program. Through this, ATA will focus on helping startups that are building technologies for the differently-abled with scaling up and market access.

Applications for the ‘Summer 2019 Cohort’, scheduled to commence in July 2019, are now being accepted here.

Prateek Madhav, CEO of ATA, said, “We had been working with a few assistive technology startups and realised this ecosystem needs a more strategic approach. This led us to launch ATA Enable to help these startups tackle the issues unique to this ecosystem. We are excited to work with more startups through this program going forward.”

ATA was founded in 2018 by the Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled in collaboration with industry veterans like including Ravi Narayan, CEO of T-Hub; Jawahar Bekay, Co-founder of Microland; and Krishnamoorthy Ananthasivam, former Vice-President of Infosys.

The accelerator also has disability experts on its advisory board including Mahantesh GK, Founder and Chairman of Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled; and VS Basavaraju, State Disability Commissioner of Karnataka.

ATA’s mission is to improve the lives of disabled people by creating an ecosystem that can help assistive technology startups scale up. It focusses on product development and market access through ATA’s wide mentor pool and partner NGOs.

ATA wants to bring technological innovation, low-cost solutions, and increased availability of assistive products to the disabled population. Further, the accelerator will also help startups get access to the disabled community so that they can build better products and provide scalable business models.

Mahantesh GK said, “As India’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) for startups empowering people with disability, the ATA will aide in developing solutions that can help create a positive impact in areas like social inclusion, economic independence, accessibility – physical and web, independent mobility, empowerment through technology, employment.”

Last December, Karnataka state government’s social welfare department Samaja Kalyana announced that it would be supporting the ATA. This announcement was made by the state’s Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge at the Bengaluru Tech Summit.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over a billion people around the world live with disabilities. In India alone, 2.1 million people are registered with a disability - almost 2.1 percent of the country’s population. Despite having startups working on solutions for the disabled community, the growth is slow due to lack of investments.

Ravi Narayan, Chairman - Advisory Board of ATA, said, “The ATA aims to create an ecosystem that will bring together the entrepreneurs, NGOs, investors, researchers, corporates, channel partners, customers, and consumers to address this issue. This will help accelerate the maturation of the space, fostering innovation, and better living for the disabled. The ATA also plans to launch new initiatives like industry reports and events to further its mission.”

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