Innovate Now Cohort 2.0: Africa’s Assistive Technology Innovation Accelerator


Application Deadline: June 8th 2020

In response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, we have gone virtual and expanded the theme of Innovate Now Cohort 2.0 to include mobile solutions that assist persons with disabilities with access to information and resources in times of emergency such as the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic.Innovate Now cohort 2.0 will now be entirely online and accepted applicants can participate from anywhere in Africa.

THEMES-Mobile and AT:

  1. Bridging the access gap to Assistive Products and Services using mobile technologies
  2. Bridging access to information, services and resources for persons with disabilities in times of national and international difficulties such as pandemic 


  1. Duration: 3 months
  2. Location: online

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Geography: Africa
  • Stage: Seed-stage ventures past proof-of-concept with MVP and some traction (e.g. users, paying customers, working product)
  • Sector: AT and mobile-focused Startup ventures
  • Legal Entity: Both for-profit and non-profit social enterprises registered in any African country or with demonstrated presence in Africa
  • Inclusive Participation: Persons with disabilities and women highly encouraged to apply.
  • Age: Applicants must be of legal working age (18 years) or guaranteed by a guardian of legal working age. They must have all the legal rights to work in their country.


  • Access to global mentors and subject matter experts
  • Access to our growing network of virtual Live-Labs
  • A unique concept that allows you to test, get feedback and validate directly with persons with disabilities.
  • Technical Assistance: tangible, direct support relating to what’s needed for your startup succeed: legal, marketing, fundraising, experimental design, pitching, and investor readiness.
  • Access to our global inclusive innovation ecosystem and partner network across organizations of persons with disabilities, universities, funders, Assistive Technology experts, disability experts, inclusive design experts, corporates and NGOs.
  • Access to Investor readiness support and our funding ecosystem e.g. AT2030 Scale Fund


  1. Applicants will be subject to the Innovate Now Selection process by a panel of expert judges.
  2. By applying, participants agree to be bound by the decision and rules of the program.
  3. All applications must be submitted through the official registration form on the Innovate Now website.
  4. All applications must be submitted by 8th June 2020 at 12 midnight Kenyan time.
  5. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  6. All applications must be submitted in English.


  1. The selection process will be two-step:
    a) Stage 1: online shortlisting
    b) Stage 2: online Interview Selection
  2. A team of expert judges will evaluate and will shortlist a total of 20 applicants based on eligibility criteria and application form responses.
  3. The shortlist of 20 will proceed to stage 2: the final interview where a maximum of 12 teams will be selected to join Innovate Now Cohort 2.
  4. All teams must participate online in stages 1 and 2 selection.

Acceptance into the Programme

  • Applicants will only be accepted if they comply or consent to comply with any mandatory standards, especially AT related WHO standards.
  • Selected applicants will be notified no more than a week after the final interview.
  • Selected applicants will be issued a letter of acceptance which they will be required to sign in duplicate.
  • Accepted applicants will be issued with a welcome pack containing information about all program activities, curriculum, and process.


  • Participants will not be charged any money to participate, and meals and refreshments will be provided during program activities.
  • Persons with disabilities will be reimbursed for any additional costs they have to bear to participate in the program to reduce barriers to equal participation in the program.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Innovate Now Cohort 2.0


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