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2020. The Year of Challenge and Change

Ready for some good news in the midst of this extraordinary and challenging time? Remarkable, Australia’s first disability tech accelerator program, has announced the seven startups joining the 2020 cohort. This is Remarkable’s fifth cohort and the first program that will likely be entirely online. Startups this year are working on solving a diverse range of problems that have never been tackled through the accelerator before, – including a resuscitation medical device to prevent newborn mortality and disability, and hands-free sex tech for people with hand limitations.

Heather and Andrew are the co-founders of handi
Heather and Andrew are the co-founders of handi

Heather Morrison and Andrew Gurza, Co-Founders of handi, are taking on a problem that has rarely been considered. Andrew is a high profile advocate for the rights of people with disability in Canada. Andrew along with his sister, Heather are on a mission to make sexual pleasure accessible to all, by creating sex tech for people with disability. Sexual pleasure is a human right, but many people with disability cannot self-pleasure due to hand limitations. According to their research, 63% of people with a physical disability cited issues with dexterity, grip, muscle control and hand pain. handi’s solution is the first line of sex toys that don’t require the use of your hands.

Dr Mark Tracy, Founder of ResusRight
Dr Mark Tracy of ResusRight

Dr Mark Tracy and the team from ResusRight, are working on the prevention of the death and disability of newborn babies that may be caused by incorrect resuscitation after birth. Every year, around a million babies die in the delivery room due to birth asphyxia, and a similar number are left with life-long disabilities. Experts estimate that 30% of these deaths could have been prevented with more effective resuscitation of the infants. ResusRight is developing a new solution that is an inexpensive resuscitation monitor, capable of telling a clinician whether they are resuscitating an infant correctly.

Since March 2016, Remarkable has intensively supported 84 founders from 32 startups. Remarkable has already invested $815k in seed funding into startups and around $245k will be invested in 2020. The 2020 program commenced on 24 March with a two-day kickstart, conducted via video conference from the offices, living rooms and kitchens of the startups, mentors and the Remarkable team. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Remarkable team made the decision to move to a digital program two weeks ago and worked around the clock to transform what is normally a face-to-face program to being entirely online.

Pete Horsley, Founder of Remarkable says “We believe that innovation can thrive in challenging times. We are experiencing an unprecedented global crisis and we are doing our best to adapt, change and support our startups accelerate. This time of global change has magnified our mission to make the world more inclusive.”

“This year’s masterclasses, mentoring sessions and office hours will be conducted using video conferencing and making the most of many of the collaboration tools now available. Changing our program to digital has enabled us to think differently about how we engage, educate and effectively accelerate our startups.”

Pete said “This year, four of the seven startups have Founders/team members with a disability and almost half the startups have a female Founder. We strongly believe that diversity is critical for innovation. This year’s startups are some of the best we have seen and we look forward to seeing how they take on this challenge.”

Get to know our #SYD20 Startups

CPToys

CPToys provides individualised therapy advice to therapists and families of children with cerebral palsy by matching toys to a child’s age and specific therapy goals.

Gecko Traxx

A portable and affordable wheelchair accessory that enables people to get off-road and explore the great outdoors.

Sexual pleasure is a human right, but many disable people cannot self pleasure due to hand limitations. Handi believes everyone should be able to ‘get off’ and is creating the first line of sex toys that don’t require the use of your hands.

Maslow

A voice enabled life assistant for young people living with paralysis. Maslow enables users to independently manage their care and rehab routines, communicate with health specialists, and access best practice health education where it matters most – at home.

Neurodiversity Media

Neurodiversity Media creates accessible information resources to empower the neurodivergent population to fulfil their potential through the dignity of work.

ResusRight

Working to prevent the death and disability of newborn babies who require resuscitation after birth through the development of an inexpensive resuscitation monitor.

Speech Frog

An AI-powered speech therapy app that makes therapy homework engaging for users and effective for therapists.

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