Start-up Innovation

The second level of innovation ecosystems, catering local-to-regional entrepreneurs. Innovators benefit from standardised entrepreneurship training programme and curriculum, Live Lab activities, business model support and expert sector insight support. This approach supports products with existing proof of concept, providing market ready refinement, strategic input and solutions with GDI Hub provide knowledge, expertise and data to accelerate ventures onto the next phase of their innovation journeys. Current examples include Innovate Now, Africa's first Assistive Tech Accelerator.

Curriculum

Our signature disability innovation curriculum covers four development domains, through a beginner and an advanced set of learning materials. Entrepreneurs can learn about:

  • user development
  • product development
  • market development, and
  • business development.

All GDI Hub Accelerate learning materials are licensed under a creative commons licence. Our Start-up Innovation partners, and other stakeholders can request access to the latest edition of the curriculum. See section below on resources and insights to submit an access request.

The curriculum is maintained and updated by GDI Hub, to meet the latest accessibility needs, and make content more relevant based on the feedback of entrepreneurs and innovation coaches. We also work actively with project partners to adapt the core curriculum to the local context.

Live Labs

The Live Lab is our approach to providing disability inclusive, evidence-based, user centred design methods of user development and product development for early-stage AT start-up ventures. Live Lab is core to the success of Start-up Innovation because:

  • ventures get to make rapid, evidence-based decisions for product development;
  • AT Users have a strong say in the product development process and get a chance of employability in a venture;
  • implementing partners gets sector-wide expert insights and AT specific research instruments.

Projects

InnovateNow Team and AT Entrepreneur Members
Innovate Now Cohort

Innovate Now - Africa's First Assistive Tech accelerator

Innovate Now is our flagship project within GDI Hub Accelerate's Start-up Innovation programme. It has helped to launch 29 African assistive tech ventures over five acceleration cycles. African start-ups receive mentorship, learning and expert guidance over a 3-6 month period to create market fit, scalable and investable technologies - creating new wave of momentum in the African innovation space. The project is a partnership between Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub), Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa (KBTA), ICT Norway and Norad to recruit the next generation of cutting-edge disability innovators to drive Africa as a technology powerhouse, building on the foundational investment of AT2030 funding by UK aid. Increasingly assistive technologies are digital, or requires digital capabilities. Innovate Now supports innovation-driven start-ups who are improving access to assistive technology through digital means or offering digital assistive technology solutions across education, healthcare, livelihoods and other sectors. Visit the Innovate Now website for more details.

Lincoln Wamae, Founder of Linccell Technology at a press event
Innovate Now entrepreneur

Sub-projects

Lincoln Wamae, Founder of Linccell Technology at a press event

Innovate Now: Africa's first AT accelerator

Innovate Now is a model of building start-up ecosystems, to accelerate disability innovation in Kenya and East Africa

Sub-projects

Lincoln Wamae, Founder of Linccell Technology at a press event

Innovate Now: Africa's first AT accelerator

Innovate Now is a model of building start-up ecosystems, to accelerate disability innovation in Kenya and East Africa