This week marks another momentous occasion in the development of Remarkable as we launch +N, The Inclusive Innovation Network. We feel an incredible privilege and responsibility for this work – there is an excitement in the team for what is emerging.
Momentum is hard to create.
Some say that when one door closes, another opens. That was certainly the case for us when some potential funding to launch a US Remarkable Accelerator didn’t eventuate in 2019. And to make matters worse, after having traveled to the US a couple of times to start feeling out the beginnings of a network there, the world locked down at the beginning of 2020, restricting travel and surely putting an end to expanding Remarkable.
Instead, we started to look around for other like-minded organisations who, like us, could see the potential of innovation in technology to break down barriers to inclusion. The next chapter of discovery could be developed into a mini-series but in the interest of time let’s look at the key milestones:
- In June 2019, we came across, AssisTech Foundation, India who were just getting going;
- We found Noel Joyce, the Head of Product for HAX (SOSV) – an awesome hardware accelerator in Shenzhen; who happened to be a wheelchair user;
- BeLab would soon spark the Global Centre for Possibility in New Zealand;
- Disability Impact Fund in China, would invest in Xceptional – one of our Remarkable Startups;
- Global Disability Innovation Hub in the UK would help launch Innovate Now would launch Africa’s first Accelerator for Assistive Technology in Kenya; and
- Access to Success in Canada would run some of their first Bootcamps.
Something was brewing!
We began meeting and dreaming of what was possible. A network to connect disparate activities around the world needed to be central. And now here we are.
So why are we launching +N? Here are 5 reasons why the world needs +N.
1. Inclusion: We build what we hope for
The world is not as inclusive as it could be. So we can and must do all we can to break down barriers to full inclusion. 15% of the world’s population have some form of disability, a talent pool is largely ignored and untapped. The world needs this talent to solve some of the greatest challenges of our time.
2. Network: Startups thrive on networks
We regularly encourage startups to increase their surface area to help them learn, iterate and grow. They can’t have all the answers to the challenges that inevitably confront startups. Networks of expertise and experience are lifeblood for startups. What if there was a hivemind you could turn to, to find out how to overcome some of those challenges? What if, when considering launching into another market in another part of the world, there were startups in those locations, helping you navigate a potential go-to-market approach?
3. Capital: There’s not enough capital in Disability Tech
That’s it. That’s the point.
We will change that by sniffing out aligned investors from all over the world and providing one focal point to find great companies making a big impact.
4. Growth: Accelerating the accelerators
Remarkable is constantly iterating and changing as we learn and grow. We learn from our counterparts in other sectors, but we also want to accelerate our learning by learning how others are accelerating and growing great businesses in disability tech and innovation.
5. Community: Like breeds like
Prateek, Noel, Minnie, Jani, Randy, Varun, Bernard – are all brilliant leaders we hold the utmost respect for. Already we’re starting to meet other awesome folks – Gina, Cathy, Narayanan, Pooja, Shashaank, Lucas. I couldn’t think of people we’d rather hang out with.
So inclusion, network, capital, growth and good people we want to hang with – are just 5 of the reasons why the world needs +N right now! And on that note, this week we’re excited to invite the world to the global launch event of +N on 1st September and you can check out the promo video of what’s to come!
An audio-described version of this video is available on our YouTube channel.