The Opportunity of a Billion - special webinar series exploring the Assistive Tech Impact Fund
We're delighted to announce a special Disability Innovation Live webinar series showcasing current AT pioneers and exploring the future role of assistive technology (AT) in the impact investing landscape.
The series will be a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes of our AT Impact Fund, hearing from the innovators, experts and investors on entering new markets, exploring never-used-before financing models and developing pioneering business models.
We'll bring together thriving AT ventures and the minds behind the AT Impact Fund from GDI Hub, Brink and Catalyst Fund to look at how the unique combination of venture building support and capital investment could change the world of impact investing, and open the door to the market of over a billion people.
Session 1: Assistive Technology Investment
(2-3.30pm on Tuesday 23.11.2021)
The AT Impact Fund (ATIF), mobilised by £2M from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office through the AT2030 programme, and led by GDI Hub, has spent the last 16 months testing 'what works' to increase access to AT through investment. By addressing the critical needs of the most promising AT entrepreneurs, we have demonstrated the value of investment in meeting the needs of low and middle income markets in Africa.
The ATIF partnership of experts, academics and venture builders alongside catalytic grant capital, have accelerated 5 pioneering AT ventures in Africa. In this session we explore the foundations of this ground-breaking approach, key learnings from each venture, the market opportunity and the future scope of AT in the impact investing landscape.
Session 2: Disability Lens Investment - mapping the sector
(2pm-3.00 GMT on Wednesday 08.12.2021)
The potential for disability innovation as an investment opportunity, and disability inclusion as a lens on investment at large, is vast and yet globally it remains a significantly under-filled gap. During this session we'll explore the evidence behind this emerging sector - identifying opportunities for growth in disability inclusion innovation.
We will be launching and sharing the work that Briter Bridges, with GDI Hub, has undertaken to map disability innovation (assistive tech and inclusive tech) across emerging markets, sharing insights on the assistive and inclusive tech ecosystems and how these intersect with other tech sectors. We will also share highlights from our work building the case for the Disability Lens Investing opportunity and new resources and tools for philanthropic funders and investors.
Session 3: Investment Ready Innovations - AT pitch day
Ventures will share their learnings from entering new markets, exploring never-used-before financing methods and developing pioneering business models before pitching for further investment as they look to scale.
We know that for every dollar spent on assistive technology, the economy receives a nine dollar return. Join us to find out the economic impact of investing in disability innovation, and the millions that could benefit as a result.
Session 4: Global Disability Summit - Roundtable with FCDO and GDI Hub’s Assistive Tech Impact Fund
A roundtable event to discuss the role and potential of an investment vehicle for assistive technology. This session will take place at the Global Disability Summit in Norway and discuss the evidence base and how it might shape a next generation of Assistive Technologies Impact Fund. Details to follow.
About the series
There are 1.2 billion disabled people on the planet and 90% do not have access to the assistive technology (AT) they need. That’s 900 million people globally with an unmet need, unable to reach their full potential. This staggering figure is due to DOUBLE by 2050 to over 2 billion people as the worlds population ages.
GDI Hub believes that in order to address this untapped market potential, key barriers such as access to, and affordability of assistive products needs to be addressed - this is particularly true in the global south where 80% of disabled people are located. These barriers often stem from the sector's inability to support the scaling of homegrown innovations, stopping AT reaching local populations at an affordable cost. The lack of AT products reaching in-need populations can often lead to further exclusion, compounding stigma and reducing demand.
The AT Impact Fund (ATIF), mobilised by £2M from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office through the AT2030 programme, and led by GDI Hub, has spent the last 16 months testing 'what works' to increase access to AT through investment. ATIF, through addressing the critical needs of the most promising AT entrepreneurs, has gathered evidence that shows that enabling low- and middle-income AT start-ups to bridge the 'valley of death' and increase their chances to scale, is possible and potentially profitable, should the right investors come forward.
The ATIF partnership of AT experts, academics and venture builders alongside catalytic grant capital, has successfully supported 5 initial pioneering AT ventures in Africa. The impact funds current success has without doubt, demonstrated the value of investment in meeting the needs of low and middle income markets.
We invite you to hear from the world’s first ever impact fund investing in innovators and pioneers in AT.
This Disability LIVE series promises to demonstrate the huge progress ventures have made in entering new markets, exploring never-used-before financing models and pioneering business models. Alongside this, we’ll move the sector forward by discussing what the role of investment is in AT through an exclusive look at GDI Hub and ATIFs research and wider learnings on how the unique combination of technical assistance and capital investment could change the world of impact investing and open the door to the market of over a billion people.