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Building a business case for innovation and investment in India’s accessibility sector

Programme details

Eligibility criteria

a) Any individual or group of individuals representing a startup can apply. The startup should have an innovative idea that addresses challenges faced by persons with disabilities. 

b) The participating startup should be an independent entity. It should not be a subsidiary of an existing corporation or have legal ties to any government body. 

c) The participating startup should have a developed prototype and must have completed user testing.

Click here to access the application form and read about the eligibility criteria.
 

Relevant stakeholders

Ideation stage startup Validation stage startup Early traction startup Scaling stage startup
 

Relevant industries

Advertising

AI Airport operations  Analytics
Animation Architecture interior design Art & Photography AR VR (Augmented + Virtual Reality)
Automotive Biotechnology Computer vision  Construction 
Dating matrimonial Design  Education  Enterprise software 
Finance technology  Healthcare & Lifesciences  Household services  Human resources 
Indic language startups Internet Of Things  IT services  Logistics 
Marketing  Media & Entertainment  Nanotechnology  Passenger experience 
Real estate  Robotics  Safety  Social impact 
Social network  Sports  Technology hardware  Telecommunication & Networking
Transportation & Storage  Travel & Tourism  Others   
 

Themes for challenges 

Social Impact  Social Entrepreneurship  Assistive Technology Innovation Investment
 

What Are We Looking for?

We are looking for any Assistive Technology and have provided some examples of need statements below. The challenge is NOT restricted to the areas mentioned below. Any assistive technology solution is eligible to apply.

1. Solutions for Visual Impairment
a) Education: Improved infrastructure to deliver education and skilling to people with visual impairment. This includes (but is not limited to) — access to right and affordable digital and physical content, improving physical and digital infrastructure at schools and homes, training and supporting special educators, and promoting inclusivity in mainstream education.
b) Livelihoods: Supporting and improving existing corporate and government infrastructure to make employment more inclusive for people with visual impairment. Providing professional training to people with visual impairment, including (but not limited to) — physical and digital infrastructure, availability of right tools, process and design improvements, training communities around people with visual impairment, or making online training and courses accessible.
c) Independent Living: Solutions that promote independent living for persons with disabilities at home or in public places. This includes (but is not limited to) — better community infrastructure (physical and digital), or tools that support inclusion of persons with visual impairment in routine activities such as daily household chores, navigation at home or outside, and other mobility issues.

2. Solutions for Developmental Disability & Chronic Neurological Conditions

a) Screening or Diagnosis: Solutions that promote affordable and scalable screening and diagnosis of hidden cognitive disabilities among early age groups, or progression of cognitive disability such as dementia in elderly, allowing for timely interventions. This includes (but is not limited to) — tools to identify key indicators, tools for easy adoption with minimal training, diagnosis of the actual reasons to provide right medications/therapies, tools measuring the progress of disability, therapy, or tools to promote awareness.

b) Therapy or Treatment: Innovations that allow improved and affordable clinical pathways of therapy, treatment, or management. Alternatively, innovations that reduce the burden on limited number of clinics for treatment of persons with disabilities with neurological conditions. This includes (but is not limited to) — improved clinical efficiency, solutions adding more therapy providers, innovations reducing cost of therapy/treatments, or allowing remote availability, or promoting home care.
c) Independent Living: Innovations that promote independent living of people with neurological disabilities such as Parkinson’s.

3. Solutions for Locomotor Disability

a) Treatment or Therapy: Solutions that improve clinical pathways of providing therapies to people with physical disabilities, including without limitation — improved affordability, acceleration of therapies, and remote treatment and management.

b) Independent Living: An innovative and affordable product or a service that allows people with physical disability to live independently. This includes (but is not limited to) — mobility, improved physical infrastructure for easy access, and assistive tools to supplement daily activities, or faster infrastructural assessments.

4. Solutions for Speech and Hearing Impairment

a) Screening or Diagnosis: Affordable technologies and services that can prompt, train, and detect hearing loss among children in early age groups and among elders. This includes (but is not limited to) — home tools, affordable and efficient screening services and technologies, innovation to identify hearing loss reasons, or assessing therapy progress.

b) Therapy or Treatment: Services and technologies that provide an efficient clinical pathway for improved therapies for hearing and speech loss. This includes (but is not limited to) — improved home and clinical treatment, process innovation, affordable assistive aids for improved hearing and speech such that dependency is reduced.

c) Education and Skilling: Solutions that provide accessible education for people with hearing loss across all age groups. This includes (but is not limited to) — solutions for training teacher and parents, solutions to improve digital access to content, tools enabling easy communication in classrooms, or improved and faster content development and delivery.

d) Livelihoods: Easily adoptable solutions that promote inclusion of person with both hearing and speech impairment in official infrastructure. This includes (but is not limited to) — solutions which enable easy and effective communication in the office, in both one-on-one and large group settings.

5. Any other assistive technology solution addressing any other need not mentioned above.


Incentives

Fiscal incentives

Prosus has committed $250,000 over three years to Prosus SICA. Each year, top three startups providing assistive technology solutions will receive a grant from Prosus. Further, top three startups are also eligible to receive follow-on funding from Social Alpha of up to $120,000 over three years. In 2021, top three startups will be awarded grants worth $35,000, $25,000, and $15,000 respectively.
 

Non – Fiscal Incentives

On top of fiscal incentives, SICA will provide following additional benefits to the top startups:
 

SICA Mentorship Programme

Each year, the top five startups from SICA, will get a unique opportunity to participate in a highly selective mentorship programme, curated by Prosus’s global group of experts. The mentorship programme will help these startups scale their business and succeed. At the end of the mentorship programme, startups can stay connected through an alumni networking initiative called SICA LENS (Learning, Engagement, Networking, and Service).
 

Individual Mentorship Sessions with Social Alpha

The grant winners will gain access to Social Alpha’s one-on-one mentorship session, to support the startup’s roadmap, marketing, and validation plan.
 

Access to Social Alpha Open Innovation Platform for Assistive Technologies

Additionally, the top three startups will gain access to the Social Alpha Open Innovation Platform for Assistive Technologies — an online ecosystem of innovators, funders, technical experts, and other stakeholders across the assistive technologies value chain. Through this platform, startups will have the opportunity to share and validate their solutions and build connections with key individuals or organizations in the accessibility sector.
 

Incubation Opportunity with Social Alpha

Moreover, subject to requisite due diligence, the top three startups can further engage with Social Alpha for long-term support through its incubation program.
 

Procedure Post Submission 
Evaluation Rounds 

A. Round 1: Application form evaluation 

B. Round 2: Expert evaluation for problem-solution fit 

C. Round 3: Screening calls 

D. Round 4: Presentation to jury