According to the World’s Health Organization, about 15% of the global population lives with some form of disability, of which 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning. Despite the high percentage, the problems of people with disabilities have still not been properly addressed by the global community. Lack of assistive technology, inconvenience of physical spaces and the overall stigma around disability in many societies make this problem difficult to tackle. However, it presents a huge opportunity for impactful innovations to take place.
When it comes to web accessibility, it’s still on a nascent stage of development and requires not only the global awareness and people-centric approach but a great deal of effort and creative solutions at the intersection of technology and medicine.
To help tackle web accessibility challenges, Seedstars partnered with Mada, a leading non-profit organization based in Qatar that works in the field of ICT access both locally and internationally to enable people with disabilities, and the elderly. The major goal of the collaboration was to find the best tech solution aimed at improving access to quality education and cultural aspects of life such as transportation, tourism, sports, and retail for people with disabilities. Together with Mada, we launched Mada ICT Accessibility Award and ran an open call for ventures globally.
During the screening process, we selected around 20 promising early-stage ventures. The main criteria to pass the selection process was the proven presence of a demonstrable product or service (MVP), ability to scale and less than 4 years of activity in the market.
Two out of twenty ventures - Talov and Lazarillo - won the main prize of 7,500 USD each for further business development.
Talov (Ecuador) helps 470 million with hearing disabilities and 290 million people with visual impairments worldwide live more comfortable lives.LISTEN TO THE VENTURE'S STORY
Lazarillo (Chile) is a platform that connects people with location information, improving the autonomy of people with disabilities and helping institutions become more inclusive.LISTEN TO THE VENTURE'S STORY