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AccelerateAbility - Disability Innovations Pre-Accelerator Lab


August 10, 2020




Accelerate Ability has been visioned to act as a precursor to a disability innovation accelerator—a collaborative to accelerate the development of and access to assistive social and technological solutions that enable disabled people to achieve their human potential. The pre-accelerator lab will convene innovators, academicians, thought leaders, industry and technical experts, NGOs, impact investors, donor community and people with disabilities to contest and ideate contextual, affordable, and accessible product solutions for people with disabilities.

Designed in two phases, the first sprint of the lab will focus on accelerating early-growth, seed stage and pre-seed stage startups having ICT or smartphone-based components in their product solutions. The first sprint of the lab will be a blend of expert talks, panel discussions, and high-intensive learning sessions, to upskill and nurture participants' knowledge of evolving challenges in the disability domain and how best they can be addressed by producing accessible, usable, and affordable solutions. Learning sessions will be followed by a demo day.

While the first sprint has been planned to nurture the participants' knowledge base on essential success metrics and frameworks to create contextual solutions, the second sprint of the lab will act as a platform for the programme partners to create a vision for a larger accelerator program in the disability domain. This second, three-day sprint will aggregate impact investors, leaders from the donor community, thought leaders, and network partners to take the concept of disability innovations accelerator program further.

The two sprints have been carefully designed with the following structural pillars as anchors:

Challenge traditional solutions and introduce new solutions by aggregating key ecosystem stakeholders:
Thought leaders, experts, innovators, activists, policymakers, and civil society organizations in the disability ecosystem, to ideate cross-cutting solutions and partnerships in the pre-accelerator.

Drive systemic solutions:
The pre-accelerator will probe the innovators to create sharpened solutions that drive the change from the systemic level and reach the end beneficiaries in the most efficient and adaptive way.

Deploy focused user-centered, bottom-up approaches:
The innovators will work on the user-centered approach for the solutions, understanding the community dynamics, existing challenges, and opportunities that can be absorbed within the disabled people most effectively.

Identify intervention avenues and create solutions for protecting people with disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak:
Certain populations, such as people with disabilities, have been experiencing, and will continue to experience greater vulnerability during the COVID-19 outbreak. Thought leaders and innovators will work together to create a strategic framework to address this challenge, and identify solution pathways, capitalizing on how to take essential services and solutions to people with disabilities, who may be facing heightened issues of mobility and access. This will also enable us to understand how to learn from changing user behaviours brought about due to these circumstances.


Vihara Innovation Network, Ford Foundation, LIRNEasia, ARTILAB FOUNDATION, Kerala Startup Mission, Social Alpha, Startup India, AWS, Maharashtra Innovation Society, YourStory, ZOHO

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